Just a little bit of wit. Or is it?
When I was putting together the "Comedy Quote Dictionary" (Doubleday) I noticed how many sages (from Oscar Wilde and Mark Twain to P.T. Barnum and Yoko Ono) were quoted for some bit of wisdom. If you say it with just the right gravity, or while carrying a rolled up copy of The New Yorker, your funny remark might be taken seriously. Or vice versa.