is a type of indirect and alternativehumor
that involves the joke-teller's delivering something that is intentionally not funny, or lacking in intrinsic meaning. The practice relies on the expectation on the part of the audience of something humorous, and when this does not happen, the irony
itself is of comedic value. Anti-humor is also the basis of various types of pranks
Also called Shaggy Dog Story
, this is a type of anti-humor that involves telling an extremely long joke with an intricate (and sometimes grisly) back story and surreal or repetitive plotline, before ending the story with either a weak spoonerism
, or abruptly stopping with no real punchline at all.
The Obvious Punchline:
Involves narratives that are structured like a traditional joke including a set-up and punchline, but whose punchline is the answer which is most obvious to the narrative; The best example of this is Why did the chicken cross the road?
. Another great example are the What did the farmer say/do
set of jokes, which include various situations where the joke teller asks the listener what the farmer did in any given situation.
e.g. The Lost Tractor:
Q: What did the farmer say when he lost his tractor?
L: I don't know, what did the farmer say when he lost his tractor?
Q: "Where's my tractor?"
The Inobvious Punchline: Involves narratives that are structured traditionally to include a set-up and punchline, whose set-up typically suggests a risque punchline, but whose actual punchline the opposite of what the listener is anticipating,
e.g. K-Y Jelly and Window Putty:
"Did you hear about the honeymooners who confused the tube of K-Y Jelly
with window putty? Quite the tragedy, all the windows fell out of their new home."
The No Punchline:
Involves a narrative that begins with a traditional structure (set-up and punchline) but which has no punchline or an incomplete punchline. This type of joke tends to have two targets, the main listener and an audience, and is meant to confuse the listener who does not know that there is not supposed to be a punchline while entertaining the audience which does.
One more example of an anti-humor is found in the joke "No soap radio
In stand-up comedy
- ^ Warren A. Shibles, Humor Reference Guide: A Comprehensive Classification and Analysis Archived September 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine (Hardcover) 1998 ISBN 0-8093-2097-5
- ^ John Henderson, "Writing Down Rome: Satire, Comedy, and Other Offences in Latin Poetry" (1999) ISBN 0-19-815077-6, p. 218
- ^ Andrew Stott (2005) "Comedy", ISBN 0-415-29933-0, p. 119
- ^ "Norm Macdonald: 'Worthless' anti-comedy 'is for the weak and cowardly'". Twitchy Entertainment. May 12, 2014. Retrieved January 20, 2015.
- ^ "Norm Macdonald, Still in Search of the Perfect Joke". The New York Times. August 31, 2018. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
Last edited on 11 May 2021, at 00:05
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