I ask because a lot of people laughed at Lt Picard.
"Tapestry" was not intended by the writers or producers as a comedy, though it certainly has light-hearted moments.
Writer Ronald D. Moore explained about his choice to set the episode's flashbacks when he did:
[Picard's stabbing] was an interesting little story about him. That story, to me, said a lot about Picard's character – that he was a different guy in those days. Then he changed. Why did he change? What would be the difference in the young womanizing, hard-drinking, hard-fighting Jean-Luc Picard and the guy that we know today?
Further production notes indicate that the episode was intended seriously:
Both actors were aware of the difficulties in the shot [of Picard and Q in the afterlife], and de Lancie felt that it made his performance in the scene somewhat more subdued than normal. Moore, however, noted that this low key result was perfect for this more serious than usual Q episode.
John de Lancie said of it,
I thought it was a terrific script... There was a speech at the end where I talk about what he would have been, which I thought was a tip-top speech. I just thought that show from beginning to end was terrific.
Michael Piller was less impressed with the end result (he thought it felt too A Christmas Carol-y) but noted that other people found it moving.
It did not have the power and the impact on me that it seems to have had on other people. I'm delighted that it was a meaningful experience for a lot of people and made them think about their own lives because that's what Star Trek is trying to do.
(Quotes from the Memory Alpha entry for the episode, variously sourced to the Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion and Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages.)
Although they disagreed on how effective it was, all of the principals appear to agree that "Tapestry" was intended as a dramatic look at the events that had shaped Captain's Picard's life.