Any discussion of the problems of being funny in America will not make sense unless we substitute the word wit for humor. Humor inspires sympathetic good-natured laughter and is favored by the healing-power gang. Wit goes for the jugular, not the jocular, and it's the opposite of football; instead of building character, it tears it down.
Humor, a good sense of it, is to Americans what manhood is to Spaniards and we will go to great lengths to prove it. Experiments with laboratory rats have shown that, if one psychologist in the room laughs at something a rat does, all of the other psychologists in the room will laugh equally. Nobody wants to be left holding the joke.