Saturday, May 15, 2010

Is Alex O'Loughlin funny? Depends ...

by carol

What is really funny? Well, it depends …

The Back-Up Plan is the first leading man role for Australian actor Alex O’Loughlin in American films. It’s a romantic-comedy co-starring Jennifer Lopez, who has had success in the genre. How can you lose? Who doesn’t love comedy? Who doesn’t love romance? Well, read some of the reviews the film got and you’ll know who.

It seems comedy is defined not only by personal taste, but by gender, geographical location, culture, maturity, level of education, intelligence, context, shared experience and a host of other variables. Simply being in a theater where people are laughing out loud versus a quiet audience will affect the way you respond to what is happening onscreen.

Someone said “Dying is easy. Comedy is hard.” Sounds right to me.

So why did Alex choose this film? 
“I chose this specific movie because I thought it was funny and romantic and it had a little bit of a naughty edge to it,” he says.
Alex thought it was funny. So, dear heart, tell me something about your sense of humor:
“… humour is a really important part of my life. My mates and I are always giving each other a hard time and breaking balls. When I get to know someone, if I’m interested in them as a person, I sort of do a bit of that. I just test the waters a bit.”
Other comments from and about Alex have given me the impression his funny bone gets tickled easily and quite often. I believe his humor originates from his Australian roots and decided to find out more about what is funny in Oz and why.

(excerpts from

The distinctly Australian humour, reflects the country's search for a national identity based on both Australia's convict origins and the convict sense of humour and also Australia's physical characteristics. Australia is a country of climatic and geographic extremes and Australian comedy often manifests itself as a comedy of extremes.

This unique sense of humour is recognised (although maybe not always understood) the world over as being distinctly Australian. Our humour is dry, anti-authoritarian, self-mocking and ironic.
“The country itself is the ultimate joke; the wave you body-surf into shore after a day at the beach could contain a shark or a rip-tide and, when you get back, your house could have been burnt to the ground in a bush fire. That's where the whole 'no worries' thing comes from.” ~ Mark Little
A black sense of humour

Australians can have a very black sense of humour. While in many cultures it is considered poor taste to find humour in difficult circumstances, Australians tend to look for this lighter side. This is perhaps our strongest reference to our brutal past, where humour was a means of coping with a bad situation. A (perhaps unintentional) example of this is the naming of the Harold Holt Memorial Swimming Pool in Melbourne after a Prime Minister who disappeared whilst swimming in the ocean in 1967.

Anti-authoritarian humour

Australians have a very strong anti-authoritarian sense of humour, again a reflection of our past. This aspect has been in evidence since colonial times where the ability to make a policeman or other authority figure laugh often meant the difference between the gallows or harsh labour and freedom. A convict of West Indian origin named Billy Blue was notorious among officials for his creative and humourous explanations of his law-breaking - a talent that kept him from being locked up on many occasions. One example of his antics was his explanation, upon being caught smuggling alcohol, that he just kept finding liquor floating in Sydney Harbour and had been caught before he could report this to the authorities. The authorities 'believed' this explanation and Billy was free to continue his adventures.

Self Mocking

Australians also have a strong tradition of targeting themselves as objects of humour. A regular on the stand-up circuit is comedian Steady Eddy, who has cerebral palsy and uses his disability as material for his routines. One of his gags talks about how hard it is for him to find love – whenever he sees a beautiful woman, he finds himself wishing ' …if only she had a limp'.

Now, go to this website and you’ll find examples of what gets a laugh in Oz.  (And please heed the site warnings) 


  1. Carol, I love your musings as they relate to AOL. They go beyond the typical he is so hot ramblings.

  2. I've see Sophia Myles quoted as saying, some days she went home with a sore jaw from all the laughing on set, because Alex is so hilarious (and her as a Brit understood his sense of humor). He also has a this way of flirting with female reporters/interviewers in a funny way (sometimes I don't know if they then giggle because it's funny or because this sexy man is unnerving them). It has also been said that the funny 'carguments' has played a major part in the success of Hawaii Five-0.....I think he is funny and can play/act "funny" as well!

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