Apparently I'm also funny. At some level, as you may be able to tell from the preceding sentence, I'm still surprised people think I'm funny. For me, from in here looking out at y'all, I often can feel the heavy lifting I feel I need to do in order to be funny. (I sense the same sort of heavy lifting when James Cameron or Harlan Ellison -- and he, especially, can be a scream -- are being funny.)
I think my default is to be serious and intense (don't forget intense), and that I'm going past my default when I amuse people. And sometimes I try too hard. Usually I'm so glad to be surrounded by clever, quick, funny people, but at some level I get competitive: I want to be cleverer, quicker, funnier. And sometimes I try too hard. And I'm very aware of it when I try too hard. And trying hard won't necessarily result in the best comedy. Desperation: less likely to be funny.
Don't be desperate, Chris.
It's a little like when I had this mundane moment with a friend of mine: I had to remind myself, forcibly, that it was okay to be mundane then, that I could just be relaxed because doing more than that was me Trying Too Hard. In a way, I was performing, and I caught that, and I stopped that, and then (surprise!) got much more comfortable.
And I can always be more comfortable.
I wasn't 100% comfortable for some of Thursday's concert by Stovokor, the Klingon death metal band (again, yes, really). It took me a while to get in a receptive mood, is part of the thing; I also was keeping wrapped up in myself, which is another part of the thing. I was listening in on conversations with my fellow geeks (Star Trek geeks, to boot! My people!) but rarely contributing. Because I wanted at some level for my contribution to be the Best Line Ever. YOU CAN GET OVER THIS, CHRIS. It's not a tough thing.
So I have a "Serious" default setting. So do lots of funny people. It's allowed. Meanwhile, just converse.
I do need to give myself these talks sometimes, you see.