Comically Gifted

What was the geometry student looking for at the beach?

A tangent.


Who Writes This Stuff? 

Throughout my childhood, whenever there was a book fair at school and my mother allowed me to purchase a book or two, I seemed to always gravitate towards the joke and riddle books. I came from a family of jokesters, so jokes, riddles and pranks were the norm. But, with every new joke I heard and each new riddle I read from one of my favorite books, I was consumed with wanting to know who wrote these clever and comical jokes, who wrote these words that magically made me laugh inside and out? I always envisioned that somewhere out there, far away, there were people who were extremely intelligent and had a brilliantly witty mind creating these jokes and writing funny stories.

Once I became a mother myself, I found all three of my sons also clamored to the humorous and comical books, almost above any other genre. Calvin and Hobbes, Captain Underpants; The New Kid on the Block; and The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales were just some of my sons’ favorite hilarity to read, and often we read these over and over—and over.

Humorously Talented

Gifted children are not gifted across the board and do not always excel in all areas—there’s intellectually gifted, musically gifted, artistically gifted, gifted in science or math or technology. And just in case you may not have thought about it before, I believe we also have comically gifted children and adults, too. Robin Williams, Groucho Marx, Lucille Ball and Chris Rock to name a few well-known comically gifted people. I consider my own sons comically gifted. They may not be celebrities, or will ever make a living from their wittiness, but they do make life quite hysterical.

It all started with my oldest who was on the shy side when he was a little boy. While talking to neighbors—no, wait, he wasn’t really talking, but I’ll continue—so, while talking to neighbors one day, I was a little annoyed that my then 8 year old would not answer the adults’ questions they were asking him. Questions like, “how’s school?” or “do you like your teacher?” were met with one or more shrugs of his shoulders. Finally, I asked my 8 year old to answer the neighbors’ questions because that was the polite thing to do, and he looked at all of us with a mischievous twinkle in his eyes and said, “I am answering. I’m just using shoulder language!”

Comical giftedness was genetic in our family and my middle son has always kept us in stitches. Son #2 had a friend in high school named Shem. Shem could most often be seen riding shotgun in my son’s truck. Shem would sometimes unexpectedly be found sitting in the desk of one of my son’s many classmates. Or, classmates would be scared out of their wits finding Shem sitting in their back seats when hopping into their car to head home after school. Shem had no trouble doing my son’s bidding if it meant bringing someone to tears of laughter. One would think Shem was the comically gifted person, but you would be mistaken. Shem was just a torso mannequin with a bad wig and eyes with two pupils each painted on.

Ahh, now comes son #3. The reign of comical giftedness keeps flowing through our family’s blood. His jokes. That boy’s jokes always bowled me over. I am amazed at how quickly he can manipulate the English language to create his clever jokes and riddles. Here is one of his most recent:

What do you call a parent who is sitting in the passenger seat with their new teen driver?

A Nag-ivator

Comically Gifted—The Other Giftedness

Most often, when we think of giftedness, we think of intellectual giftedness or more popularly, we think of children who are highly intelligent and do well in school. Maybe giftedness brings to mind those who are gifted in the arts or sciences. But, have you ever considered that giftedness includes those gifted individuals who excel at making us laugh? Comically gifted—the other giftedness.




Calvin and Hobbes, Bill Watterson

Captain Underpants, Dav Pilkey

The New Kid on the Block, Jack Prelutsky

The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, Jon Scieszka



It’s a Funny Thing: A Gifted Child’s Sense of Humor



This post is part of the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum February 2016 Blog Hop–Loving the Unexpected Gifts of Giftedness. Click the image below to read all the posts about the surprising upsides and light-hearted facets of giftedness.

FB Blog Hop Feb 2016

20 Comments on “Comically Gifted

  1. Pingback: Keeping the keepsakes | Sprite's Site

  2. Celi, thank you for your blog. is the best! I am Portuguese mother of a 9 year old boy gifted. went through very difficult, same as many parents and gifted children moments. Today I am heartbroken, my son in distress to cry says: “Mother I have friends all ignore me Nobody wants to be my friend…” And hug him, cry with him and say that he is my treasure, it is wonderful and that one day he will have true friends.
    Celi, been through moments like that?
    In Portugal there is no blog for the gifted. I’ll follow your blog carefully, like a lot like writing.

    • Eduarda, yes, my sons have, many times, felt as though they didn’t fit in and like they didn’t have friends. It helps to make sure they are in groups, activities or teams which they are very interested in. They may find friends who share their interests.

      Thank you for following my blog! I wish you and your son all the best and don’t hesitate to reach out! <3 <3 <3

  3. I’m cracking up over here! I love your gifted kids’ humor – especially the original jokes. Mine are little pranksters and pun-makers. Never a dull moment!

    • Nikki, I think humor, sarcasm, pranking and joke writing are awesome gifts. I mean, we need them to counterbalance the not-so-funny parts of parenting gifted kids, lol! Thanks, Nikki!

  4. I love this! I’ve always joked that understanding sarcasm at a young age is a requirement for living in our house.

  5. I’m laughing out loud! I love when you share these funny stories, Celi! My youngest keeps us in stitches all day long.

    I agree with Robyn above. My kids understood adult humor and sarcasm and made witty remarks earlier than one would expect.

  6. Yes! Ah the wit of a gifted child! We have the same books, plus add a stack of Garfield complete with sarcasm. Though schools don’t support sarcasm (gee…ask us how we know), we enjoy the funnies at home too ! Cool twist, Celi!

  7. I find that one of the first tell tale signs of an intellectually gifted child is their ability to understand adult humour and to see humour in situations. They love that play on words that no one else has noticed. As a classroom teacher it was the child who quietly giggled at something I’d said or read from a book, while the joke went over everyone else’s head, who I would flag as possibly gifted.

    • Yes, Robyn, I can just picture that child giggling in the classroom with the rest of the students none the wiser. Yes, giftedness can be heralded in in different ways! Thanks, Robyn!

  8. Oh Celi! YES! I love the comical, the humour, the divergent thoughts that bring on the laughter. What a positive reminder of what the gifted share in our lives.

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