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Why is it that North American humour is centred around making fun of others?
I don't know; there are cultural differences in 'taste', but they're not as big imo. Most humor is tend to be centered largely around three themes: violence, humiliation and absurdities.
The violence and humiliation can be projected outward (humiliating others), or inward (comedian humiliating himself, playing a weak character on purpose)
In Belgium humor is 'more' absurd and 'inwardly projected humiliation'. But not exclusively.
Typical prank invented here and was copied several times: "Guy walks into a library with a comically giant cellphone, which goes off loudly and he starts shouting."
That's absurd humor; but it also has an element of violence, because he's being extremely obnoxious on purpose. I think all good jokes are a combination of several 'funny' factors that work together very well.
Panic, Chaos, Destruction. My work here is done. Drink. Get drunk. Fall over - P O'H OK, I will win to day or my name isn't Ethel Crudacre! - DDEthel Crudacre I cannot live by bread alone. Bacon and ketchup are needed as well. - Trollslayer Have a bit more patience with newbies. Of course some of them act dumb - they're often *students*, for heaven's sake - Terry Pratchett
Lobster Thermidor aux crevettes with a Mornay sauce, served in a Provençale manner with shallots and aubergines, garnished with truffle pate, brandy and a fried egg on top and Spam - Monty Python Spam Sketch