Wordsmith.org: the magic of words

Wordsmith Talk

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  

Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 2 of 4 1 2 3 4
#48375 - 11/22/01 08:13 AM Re: Development of humour  
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 1,981
jmh Offline
Pooh-Bah
jmh  Offline
Pooh-Bah

Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 1,981
The humour that has been described seems to have moved on from the old fashioned Irish immigrant or Polish immigrant joke to more of a joke between equals, where the group who are the butt of that type of joke are more resiliant. The New Zealand/Australia joke actually makes a joke of the rivalry/jealousy/hatred(I don't think so?) that exists between the two countries, rather than saying "all people from ... are stupid which is what the older, less sophisticated jokes said (and still do). A JAP can't really help the way she is (and I adored the very self-aware ones I met in NY), at least some of the people mentioned in blonde jokes have a choice over their hair colour (my friend wears a t-shirt that says "speak slowly, natural blonde").

The main form of humour amongst those who used to be called alternative comics is observational humour - telling a story about something that happened to you (where the joke is largely against yourself), a strange experience, a sudden realisation or trying to make sense of politics or big business (anyone who actively seeks media attention to promote their business or political cause is considered fair game, discussion of behaviour is fair game, discussion of physical attributes or anything that a person is not able to change (eg race, gender) is not).

Iíve been looking for a theory of humour (and posted this before), based on a discussion that I had with a friend who came from from a hugely successful comicís family (his father was known for combining magic and clowning) and was trying to establish himself as a comedian. He had three main categories, which I think incorporated the following:

Types of humour:
Jokes
Often brief story with a punchline. Can be a humorous one-liners.
Funny Situations
Two or more elements that are combined that show contrast, like a fish out of water or two or more elements that are alike.
Funny Words
Puns.
Spoonerism
Transposition beginning letters of words and changing forms.
Exaggerations
Blown up stories.
Repetitions
Repetition of situations or words that seem unrelated 'til the punchline brings them together.
http://www.laughter.com/comedians/comedy.html
plus his theory of threes which spans a few of the categories shown, where the third thing mentioned (or repeated) gets a laugh.


So here is my entry for the $50 prize (save it until 1/1 and you can send it in Euros, for my travels):

"Doctor, I can't stop behaving like a dog."
"How long have you been acting this way?"
"Since I was a puppy!"



#48376 - 11/22/01 03:03 PM Re: Development of humour  
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,538
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel
tsuwm  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,538
this too shall pass
I think that teD is going to be forced to stipulate as to the difference between a "joke" and other humor forms. what about the 'elephant jokes'(1), the 'grape jokes'(2), the 'what's the difference'(3) jokes, etc., etc....

(1) how do you keep an elephant from charging?
(2) what's big and purple and swims in the ocean?
(3) what's the difference between a duck?

(let's see... that would be about... $150, american)


#48377 - 11/22/01 03:10 PM Re: Development of humour  
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 1,981
jmh Offline
Pooh-Bah
jmh  Offline
Pooh-Bah

Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 1,981
>I think that teD is going to be forced to stipulate

And the classic:

"Why did the chicken cross the road?"


#48378 - 11/22/01 03:23 PM Re: Development of humour  
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 6,296
Wordwind Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Wordwind  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 6,296
Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
To show the possum it could be done, is my favorite answer to the chicken joke.

The ironic sense of humor (or simply having a sense of the humorous ironies) is the best of the best, to my taste.

WW


#48379 - 11/22/01 03:49 PM Re: Development of humour  
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,538
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel
tsuwm  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,538
this too shall pass
>The ironic sense of humor (or simply having a sense of the humorous ironies) is the best of the best, to my taste.

oh my, now, doubtlessly, someone will ask you to define irony!
8^)


#48380 - 11/22/01 05:09 PM Re: Development of humour  
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 13,858
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel
wwh  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 13,858
Of course, to be fair to TEd, 99 and 44 1/100% of jokes told by professionals are the kind he described.


#48381 - 11/23/01 12:30 AM Re: Development of humour  
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 3,467
TEd Remington Offline
Carpal Tunnel
TEd Remington  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 3,467
Marion NC
"Doctor, I can't stop behaving like a dog."
"How long have you been acting this way?"
"Since I was a puppy!"

This is a case of the patient's poking fun at himself. Since he is at the doctor's office, he is implying in the first sentence that there is something wrong with acting like a dog. Otherwise why would he bring it up? Then, in response to one of the standard psychiatric questions, he admits that he believes he is a dog. So the butt of the joke is the patient.

I probably spoke rashly in my prior post in offering $50 for a joke that doesn't have a butt, and I suspect I'll be fielding jokes for quite a while. I still believe that in some way every joke except a pun has a butt; sometimes, like all butts should be, it's fairly well covered, and sometimes the butt is so big everyone can see it, as in ethnic jokes.

What I didn't expand upon, and which I had intended to in this thread, was my idea that the reason we groan at puns is that we have no one at whom to laugh. We recognize the humor of the pun, but can't laugh because laughter is in humor at the expense of someone else.

TEd


Edited moments later:

And in the story you related, we are laughing at a person's affliction with a psychiatric illness.





TEd
#48382 - 11/23/01 12:41 AM Three "jokes"  
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 3,467
TEd Remington Offline
Carpal Tunnel
TEd Remington  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 3,467
Marion NC
(1) how do you keep an elephant from charging?

Take away his credit card. Pun
(2) what's big and purple and swims in the ocean?

Moby Grape -- Implying that the perpetrator of the "joke" is dumb enough to believe it or thinks the listener is dumb enough to believe it.

(3) what's the difference between a duck?

Well, for starters, there's nothing really funny there, but there's the implication that the teller thinks the listener is dumb enough to give serious consideration to an incompl.

You do though bring up something that bothers the holy hell out of me. I would like to hvae a dollar for every time I have seen in the newspaper words to the effect of: "The policeman's bullet was slowed by the suspect's arm and ended up lodged between the wall."

I always want to write a letter to the editor to ask what the rest of the sentence is. But I'm afraid this is becoming so commonplace as to be marginally acceptable. Not by me, you understand!




TEd
#48383 - 11/23/01 12:46 AM "Why did the chicken cross the road?"  
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 3,467
TEd Remington Offline
Carpal Tunnel
TEd Remington  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 3,467
Marion NC
And the respondent says, " I don't know. Tell me why the chicken crossed the road."

The joke teller replys, "To get to the other side." (How dumb are you that you couldn't figure out the simple answer to a simple question?)



TEd
#48384 - 11/23/01 03:44 AM Re: Three "jokes"  
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,538
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel
tsuwm  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,538
this too shall pass
(1) how do you keep an elephant from charging?

Take away his credit card. Pun

agreed; the reason I picked this particular elephant joke is that it is probably the only one that is that sophisticated.

(2) what's big and purple and swims in the ocean?

Moby Grape -- Implying that the perpetrator of the "joke" is dumb enough to believe it or thinks the listener is dumb enough to believe it.

this is a very cynical view of this type of joke. it's really just aimed at the childish sense of silliness, and can be appreciated by most at that level.

(3) what's the difference between a duck?

Well, for starters, there's nothing really funny there, but there's the implication that the teller thinks the listener is dumb enough to give serious consideration to an incompl.

perhaps... or it just could be that it's deeply philosophical.



Page 2 of 4 1 2 3 4

Moderated by  Jackie 

Forum Statistics
Forums16
Topics13,879
Posts224,115
Members9,030
Most Online3,341
Dec 9th, 2011
Newest Members
santo, piostylist, prgill, thefoeller, Ajubdeen
9030 Registered Users
Who's Online Now
0 registered members (), 45 guests, and 2 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Top Posters(30 Days)
Top Posters(All Time)
wwh 13,858
Faldage 13,803
Jackie 11,613
tsuwm 10,538
LukeJavan8 9,036
AnnaStrophic 6,511
Wordwind 6,296
of troy 5,400
Disclaimer: Wordsmith.org is not responsible for views expressed on this site. Use of this forum is at your own risk and liability - you agree to hold Wordsmith.org and its associates harmless as a condition of using it.

Home | Today's Word | Yesterday's Word | Subscribe | FAQ | Archives | Search | Feedback
Wordsmith Talk | Wordsmith Chat

© 1994-2017 Wordsmith

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0
Page Time: 0.013s Queries: 13 (0.003s) Memory: 2.7325 MB (Peak: 2.8627 MB) Zlib disabled. Server Time: 2017-11-19 06:41:43 UTC