Laughing at Your Own Jokes

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A case where a person (often a comedian) will laugh at his own jokes. May be a sign that such characters are not as funny as they think they are. Sometimes involves Don't Explain the Joke, especially if no one else laughs.

This is generally considered a terrible trait for someone to have - there are plenty of phrases along the lines of "Nothing's worse than someone who laughs at their own jokes".

If a villain does this, expect a Laugh with Me! moment. Sometimes a sign of The Bore. Might also be done in a case of Tough Room.

Examples:

Comic Books
  • Batman: The Joker is a maniacal clown who often laughs at his own macabre jokes. Woe be it for any of his Mooks who fail to laugh along with him.
  • One of the Donald Duck comics involves Donald coming up with a joke he finds so funny that whenever he tries to tell it or even think about it, he bursts into a fit of uncontrollable laughter. This quickly gets him into trouble when people start seeing him as rude or potentially insane, even going as far as to ask him to sleep in the forest so he doesn't bother his neighbors with his loud laughing. When Donald finally gets a chance to tell his joke in a TV show about best jokes, his inability to tell the joke without laughing ends up disqualifying him due to his time running out. The host finally suggests that Donald just write the joke down. Donald does so and then hands the paper over to the host. Upon reading it, the host concludes that it's actually a really old joke that everyone knows. Cue everyone laughing at Donald's misfortune.

Film
  • In the movie version of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Gilderoy Lockhart does this with his Bandon Banshee joke. (In his book, it just says, "He waited for them to laugh; a few people smiled weakly.")
  • In the film of Marley and Me, John says that his boss told him not to end sentences with an exclamation point because it's like laughing at your own joke. John says that sometimes you need to laugh at your own joke, because it's funny.
  • Fred Willard often plays a character who laughs at his own jokes. One example of this is the movie Waiting for Guffman.
  • In Ridicule, as the Marquis de Bellegarde is teaching the protagonist Baron de Malavoy the ways of the Court, he warns him that he should not laugh at his own jokes. The Baron fails to heed his advice the first time and the Marquis scolds him for it, before adding he should laugh more discreetly as well.
  • In Arthur, the title character tends to laugh at all of his own corny jokes.
  • This moment in It (1990), the TV-movie adaptation of Stephen King's novel It:
    Pennywise: Excuse me, sir! Do you have Prince Albert in a can? You do? Well, ya better let the poor guy out! WA-Ha! WA-Ha! WA-Ha!
  • In Spectre, Q laughs after telling James Bond that he had to bring the Aston Martin DB5 "back in one piece" and not "bring back one piece" (it was wrecked in Skyfall).
  • This exchange from Animal Crackers:
    Spaulding: And what do you get for not rehearsing?
    Ravelli: You couldn't afford it. You see, if we don't rehearse, we don't play. And if we don't play, [snaps fingers] that runs into money.
    Spaulding: How much would you want to run into an open manhole?
    Ravelli: Just the cover charge. [Laughs.]

Live-Action TV
  • Bob Saget tended to do this in his stint as the host of America's Funniest Home Videos.
  • In the Blackadder II episode "Beer", one of Edmund's drinking buddies constantly cracks himself up by repeating things that "sound a bit rude." Sample:
    Edmund: Well, well, get stuck in, boys.
    Partridge: 'Stuck in'! Way-hey! Get it?
    Monk: No...
    Partridge: Well, it sounds a bit rude, doesn't it! 'Stuck in!'
  • In the Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch "The Funniest Joke in the World", the original writer of the joke in question reads it after writing it down and dies laughing.
    • Once the joke is weaponised, it has to be read to the Germans by men who don't understand German, to prevent this from occurring. For the same reason, the translation was done by having several translators work on one word only; one of them accidentally saw two words and had to be hospitalized.
  • Fozzie Bear does this on The Muppet Show while doing his stand-up act. He is often the only one laughing.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000. During The Human Duplicators experiment, TV's Frank and Dr. Forrester can't help guffawing at the concept of a refrigerator alarm that only sounds when William Conrad is stealing the food. Most of the segment they can't even explain the invention because they can't stop laughing in advance.
    TV's Frank: Who's going to need this? Maybe Quinn Martin and he's dead!
  • Bill Maher does it as well, though in Real Time with Bill Maher you get the impression that they're not actually his jokes, but those of his writers, which he seems to be learning for the first time from the teleprompter.
  • On Saturday Night Live:
    • In "Weekend Update", Bill Hader as culture reporter Stefan often cracks up because the writer of the bit changes the cue cards at the last minute to stuff even more outrageous than planned.
    • In a "Celebrity Jeopardy!" skit, Sean Connery would nearly always crack up at his own obnoxious jokes while Alex Trebek would wear an annoyed deadpan expression.
  • Teal'c in Stargate SG-1. Most of the time he doesn't get the jokes with references to Earth culture and when he makes one, he's the only one who laughs.
    A Serpent Guard, a Horus Guard and a Setesh Guard meet on a neutral planet. It is a tense moment.
    The Serpent Guard's eyes glow, the Horus Guard's beak glistens, the Setesh Guard's... nose drips. [laughs]
  • That's So Raven episode "On Top of Old Oaky". Raven and her friends climb a tree called "Old Oakey". While in the tree they sing "On top of Old Oakey" (to the tune of "On Top of Old Smokey"). Suddenly the tree snaps and falls over with them in it.
    Señorita Rodriguez: [singing] Well, now Old Oakey is on top of you! [laughs] Oh, I crack myself up!

Radio
  • Commander Murray made a habit of this The Navy Lark. He was usually the only one laughing.

Stand-Up Comedy
  • Dave Allen once apologized to the audience for laughing at one of his jokes.
    Sorry, I've only just heard that one.

Video Games

Web Original

Western Animation
  • In the Adventure Time episode "Power Animal", Jake cracks himself up so hard when he teaches a couple of nymphs how to carry a joke that he spends the rest of the scene just laughing before it abruptly cuts away to Finn and the gnomes that abducted him. When the cartoon eventually cuts back to Jake, it's revealed he spent so long laughing at his own joke that he passed out.
  • Numbuh 2 of Codename: Kids Next Door is always the first one to laugh at his cheesy one-liners (and almost always the only one).
  • In Regular Show, Skips' cousin, Quips, constantly tells bad jokes that only he finds funny.
  • From The Simpsons,
    • When Troy McClure takes Selma out to dinner, we jump cut into the end of a story without even hearing the Orphaned Punchline.
      Troy: [laughing] That's too funny! I can't remember when I've heard a funnier anecdote. (laughing) All right, now you tell one.
    • Marge does this occasionally, as she gives her best one-liners when no one's around.
  • Thomas and the Magic Railroad
    Diesel 10: [singing] Old MacDiesel had a plan/Heh! Heh! Heh! Heh! Heh!/With a pinch pinch here/ And a pinch pinch there/ Here a pinch/ There a pinch [laughs] I crack myself up.
  • Roger from Doug is prone to this, particularly when he's insulting someone. Doug calls him out on it in one episode saying he wouldn't need to laugh at his own jokes if he was actually funny. Roger tries to defend himself, but quickly shuts up after that.
  • Turns out villains doing this this bothers Sam & Max more than do attempts on their lives:
    Max: "Hmph. Now, that's just amateur!"
    Max: "No, laughing at your own material."
  • Luan Loud from The Loud House frequently laughs at her own puns.
  • In the Steven Universe episode "Log Date 7 15 2", Peridot tries to adjust to life on Earth by practicing telling jokes. She awkwardly laughs at herself after stumbling over telling the Chicken Joke to herself. Then she wonders "What's a chicken?"
  • In the 3-2-1 Penguins! episode "The Green-Eyed Monster", Zidgel laughs at his "Nice to meet ewe" pun and explains it.
    • He does this again in "Git Along, Little Doggies" after he says how that cow can really mooooooove.
    • He does this for a third time in "Wise Guys" after he remarks that he thought his crew had a heavy duty mission when it seemed rather light to him. (Light as in their next mission involves light bulbs)
  • A 1961 Popeye cartoon has Popeye and Brutus jockeying for a job at the city zoo to be near zookepper Olive Oyl. To get the job, they have to make a lugubrious hyena laugh. Brutus's joke, below is met with the hyena making a "square" with his front paws and Winston Sharples' "wah...wah...wah..." background music.
    Brutus: "Say, Mr. Bones...I heard a mule kicked ya yesterday." "Yeah, he did!" "And where did he kick ya?" "Well, if my head was in New York and my feet in California, he'd have kicked me in Omaha!" (big laugh)

Real Life
  • Ancient athenian philosopher Chrysippus of Soli reportedly died laughing at one of his own jokes.

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