The Elements of Humor

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The Elements of Humor
(a quick review . . . )
The Elements of Humor
focus on comic characters, situations, and wordplay. Humor
often depends on some combination of these THREE
elements.
Although we all laugh at funny people
and events, it can sometimes be difficult
to analyze SPECIFICALLY what makes
something funny. There are, however,
various “elements of humor.” Here are
some of the most important:
1. Comic characters and
caricatures
1. Comic characters and
caricatures:
illustrate and focus on specific features, traits,
characteristics, and actions of a person or group of
people and make them humorous.
2. Comic situations
comedy in which the comedic effect depends
chiefly upon the involvement of the main
characters in a predicament or ludicrous,
complex circumstances
--A character
“transports” into a
different time
period
--The
unexpected
happens . . .
3. Comic Language
one-liners . . .
. . . Campers:
Nature's way of
feeding mosquitoes.
We live in a society where pizza gets to
your house before the police.
puns . . .
. . . I'm glad I know
sign language; it's pretty
handy.
When William joined
the army he disliked
the phrase ‘fire at will.’
hyperboles . . .
“She is so dumb, she thinks Taco
Bell is a Mexican phone
company.”
"A man can have a belly you could house commercial aircraft
in and a grand total of eight greasy strands of hair, which he
grows real long and combs across the top of his head so that
he looks, when viewed from above, like an egg in the grasp
of a giant spider, plus this man can have B.O. to the point
where he interferes with radio transmissions, and he will still
be convinced that, in terms of attractiveness, he is borderline
[Zac Efron]."
- Dave Barry, Revenge of the Pork Person
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