I've been very busy with work, and writing two writing projects simultaneously. So short posts might be the rule for a while.
Over on Grognardia, James Mal has a post about a letter to the editor by Ken St. Andre over Lewis Pulsipher's discussion of Tunnels & Trolls.
"Pulsipher's Sanctimonious Pile of Crap"
The humor in T&T does come on strong. Ken St. Andre might rail against that a bit here, but it's a weird stance to my mind. It's not like the jokes in T&T are accidential.
It's not the only game that has humor and silliness, either.
AD&D sure did, with modules like EX1 and EX2 taking the PCs to lands based on Lewis Carroll's books.
Rolemaster snuck in silly monsters to its monster books - Skeleton, Red, for example, a sub-type (kind of) of the jester skeleton.
GURPS DF takes a humorous tone with its material. My own games feature humor - the Apetrium, the Crogar Conference Room, Phase Snake Junction, actual silly gate destinations, jokes about Raggi's day job as a lawyer, accountant, and more. DF doesn't take the source material and game style too seriously, either - perks like "Van Gogh my Van Dyke" aren't exactly totally serious.
It can be played straight, though. I think the point about T&T's spell names, continent names, etc. really is revealing. If your charm spell is "Yassa Massa" and your feebleminding spell is "Dum Dum" and "Whammy" is a spell to enhance strikes . . . you're going to be hard-pressed to play it totally straight. It's a harder pull toward comedy. It's not always timelessly funny comedy, either. Probably would have been funnier when I was 9 than 19, and 19 than 29, and so on.
I haven't played a lot of T&T - only some limited solo play. But the names really make it tough because I have to remember the joke, not the thing the spell does.
Like a lot of spice, humor is good in the right amount, and can kill the flavor of the rest of the game when it's overdone.