Modderxtrordanare wrote:The basics of comedy:
1. If you fall down a well, I'll laugh.
2. If I get a paper-cut, I wont laugh.
That would be "Schadenfreude". It's a German word meaning getting enjoyment out of someone else's misfortune (there's no English equivalent).
Of course, at some point, empathy cuts in. You know when you see something happen to someone else, and you physically wince at the concept - a good example would be seeing someone getting kicked in the crotch, at least to males. (Ok, it hurts as a female too, but to a lesser extent.)
So, it's a case of enjoying other's misfortune, until you actually start to feel it with them.