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Laughing Data

Data laughing

Humor is the ability to see or hear something that is funny, comical or amusing - a pleasant emotional response to absurdity, incongruity, or social awkwardness. Laughter is often the goal or result of humor.

In 2366, Q offered the special gift of laughter to Data, his "professor of the Humanities", following Q's brief time as a human. (TNG: "Deja Q")

Data didn't understand what was funny when Jono unintentionally spilled banana split in Wesley Crusher's face until Commander William T. Riker told him to check his databanks on "humor, subsection slapstick". Data then understood that the situation was a variation on the "Pie in the Face"-gag. (TNG: "Suddenly Human")

Some species find the ability to understand humor difficult. Vulcans, due to their rigid adherence to the principles of logic and emotional suppression, do not normally use or understand humor. Saavik once noted that humor was "a difficult concept. It is not logical." (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)

However, when their emotional suppression is removed, Vulcans have been known to express laughter. (TOS: "This Side of Paradise"; VOY: "Workforce"; ENT: "Kir'Shara") Tuvok, even with his suppression in place, is known to exhibit what can be described as dry humor.

One form of humor is slapstick, which, according to Data's database, is "comedy stressing farce and horseplay", the "Pie in the Face"-gag, for example. (TNG: "Suddenly Human") The Three Stooges were well known for their physical, slapstick humor. (ENT: "Carbon Creek")

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