I rarely make a sound when something is funny. I laugh inwardly for the most part, and I’m fine with that. I’ve sincerely praised many films (i.e., Greenberg) for being “no laugh funny.” But Saturday Night Live‘s humor is rarely even that. I don’t even titter inwardly. The writers are obviously sharp and clever and attuned to the culture but all the performers do in these skits is portray smug, clueless and/or arrogant assholes by way of tabloid fixtures and cultural stereotypes.
Here’s how I put in September 2009: “I almost prefer the kind of comedy that is clearly coming from a place of modest merriment (perverse or otherwise) but which you don’t really laugh at. Call them smirkers or half-chortlers or simply no-laugh comedies. Films that seem to float along on a charged-attitude high — a frame of mind that’s clearly dispensing amusement but not quite to the point of inspiring audible reactions. (Except from those awful people in theatres who laugh too loudly and too often.)
“And I’m not talking about flagantly and painfully unfunny films like The Year One, any of the Rush Hour movies, any of the ‘comedies’ by the Wayans brothers, anything starring Anna Faris or Will Ferrell or anything like Duplex or Rumor Has It or Gigli or what-have-you. I’m talking about movies that know what they’re doing and have a fine sense of dry humor but aren’t actually ‘funny.'”