I think there's something wrong with my sense of humour. This is not a new realisation. My concern actually started around the time that Jeremy Mansfield was first plumping his Laugh Out Loud show. I almost tried to watch a whole episode once, but I just couldn't do it. I don't get how embarrassing people, pretending to steal their car/wife/dog, making someone believe that Ferdi Ferdinand has flung himself out of a window, qualifies as funny.
Same goes for Ashton Kutcher's PUNKd. I can see why it makes good TV, dramatically inclined people acting out unwitting personal dramas leads to easy ratings, but funny? Not so much.
There's a regular show every evening in the Netherlands, called Trick or Treat. Similar premise. They humiliate/aggrevate/irritate unsuspecting members of the public, and then surprise them with a cheque of 10,000 euros. For example, pretending to be municipal officials, with a permit to dig up a happily retired couple's prize-winning garden (complete with threatening digging machine hanging over their shrubbery). The old lady was threatening to phone the police and the old man was just about having a heartattack when the pretty lady jumps out and goes, "surprise! we're just kidding! Here's your check." A nice price for not knowing you're on camera, but again... funny? Not so much for the old man who was still clutching his chest when the show ended. It's more thuggery with a smile in the name of 'good fun'.
Russel Brand and Jonathan Ross. Calling a grandpa and leaving abusive messages on his answering machine..? Why is this entertaining? I just don't get it.
An overweight chairman breaking his chair and disappearing from shot in a too-serious news show... Now THAT'S funny.