Why U2? – # 40 – Humor

I often hear U2 criticized as being humorless, which is a complaint that I never got. I suppose, to someone who’s only ever seen the cover to The Joshua Tree and nothing else from the band, those four guys look mighty serious, but that’s far worse than simply judging a book by its cover. Judging a group of men based on a single photograph taken almost thirty years ago is like judging a woman based solely on the color of her fingernail polish. It makes no sense, but I can’t imaging what else people might be looking at when they draw the conclusion that the four members of U2 are without senses of humor. For example, take Bono’s performance of “Oh Jeannie”, from the documentary film Outside, It’s America, from 1987. The band is cutting up and having a good time being silly, singing about the stewardess on their flight. If that doesn’t convince you, what about the Dalton Brothers, from the same tour? Heck, PopMart alone should be all the proof that people need that U2 have a sense of humor. For something a little more recent, what about the top ten things that U2 have learned over the years from David Letterman’s show in 2009, or Bono’s coffee mug speech from Jimmy Fallon’s show earlier this year? At the very least, one would have to admit after viewing the clips I’ve provided that U2 don’t take themselves too seriously at all. So for number 40 of my Why U2 series, I’m listing their sense of humor. Feel free to list some of your favorite examples below for others to enjoy.


Oh Jeannie

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Ever since I realized as a kid, while poring over the liner notes of the Bob Marley - Songs of Freedom boxed set, that writing about music was a viable career choice, one of my greatest desires has been to write about U2. The band has been a major part of my life for as long as I can remember, and I'm thrilled to have this opportunity to contribute a little something to the fantastic online community that's been built around the band.

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