Have you ever noticed how when people responses to humor change with the setting? If you watch a comedy alone, you'll smile a lot, maybe chuckle once or twice. If you watch it with a bunch of friends, you'll probably all laugh out-loud quite a bit. And if you see it at the theater you'll probably laugh so hard that you'll be gasping for air.
What causes this phenomenon?
The same question applies to the related question of perception - when you're in a big group things seem funnier than they do in smaller groups.
My senior year of college I made a short film. It was, I thought, a pretty even split between romance and drama, with a strong humorous undercurrent. But there weren't any moments in the movie which struck the funny bone. There were big jokes. No place where I felt people would actually laugh.
But when it was first screened for a large group (ok, that was the only large group screening), everyone in the audience laughed - out loud - quite a bit. And I was surprised. Ever since I've wondered why this happens. Very few people have laughed out loud during private screenings. How can this be explained?
Anyone have thoughts on this matter? Why do people react differently to humor when in different sized crowds?
Turn in your teasing comb and go back to highschool