It's true that mockery is designed to raise a smile, but that's not the only difference, or this:
There’s no more faith in thee than in a stewed prune.
William Shakespeare: 1 Henry IV
would be mockery. And it's really an insult.
Mocking someone encourages others to feel contempt for him.
It can be kindly done, but it's far easier to be cruel:
do not mock me:|
I am a very foolish fond old man,
Fourscore and upward, not an hour more, or less:
And, to deal plainly,
I fear I am not in my perfect mind.
William Shakespeare: King Lear|
There's often a strain of imitation to mockery, and imitation has been part of the sense of the word for hundreds of years. We still talk of mock exams (which are taken as practice before the real ones); or mock turtle soup (which is made from a calf's head); or mockumentaries (ouch, horrible word!) which imitate a documentary.
Tenniel's illustration of Alice listening to the mock turtle.
We talk of mock-ups, too, which are models of machines (or anything else) for testing purposes.
So. Do you want to mock someone?
Fine. Be my guest.
Just as long as he is stronger than you.
Thing To Do Today. Possibly. Mock someone. This word comes from the French mocquer.