Manual History of English Humour, Vol. 1 With an Introduction upon Ancient Humour (TREDITION CLASSICS)

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I've never read a book that does such a good job at displaying the way we think and the existence of our being staying constant as we age. My only concern is with the beginning, for it does move a bit slowly. However, the plot twists and conclusion make it worth the wait. Paul Goldberger give an excellent study on the evolution of the ballpark.

From the early days of the game, to the wooden ballparks and the steel and concrete structures that replaced them, to the new "retro" parks, Mr. Goldberger covers them all. A fascinating read for both fans of baseball and architecture. A must read for those intrigued with the history of the game. The story is inspiring and a reminder to all that love is love and will find a way. Highly enjoyable and complete with beautiful artwork. I wish that I'd had this book as a kid. The Scoobies return to Sunnydale High in a modern reimagining of the cult classic television series.

Beautifully illustrated and vibrantly colored, this graphic novel revives our old favorites with a fresh new twist. We see a higher volume of leading females right off the bat. We also see Anya already the owner and proprietor of the magic shop, and Cordelia, forever her strong and dominant self. This arc also introduces Rose, Willow's current girlfriend.

Meet your favorite characters all over again! Long-time BtVS fans will find this a fun new interpretation of the classic. Those new to the Hellmouth will find this graphic novel witty and addictive. It's just another day at Fujima High School when an infection makes its way into the academy and spreads like wildfire.

A mismatched handful of survivors must escape the walls of their daily lives. These high school students turn into anti-hero zombie killers and are faced with hard decisions; beheading your best friend isn't easy, whereas for some, it is. Social media is an amazing thing - it connects the world, brings friends together, allows the spread of ideas and innovations Lindy West's memoir shows the consequences.

Straightforward and unapologetic, she reveals a life of humor and empathy even towards those whose world view hurts her , and makes it clear how important it is to stand up, in public, on the side of justice and kindness, especially when it's hard. Tremendously relatable to the modern woman, and probably illuminating to the men in her life who just never considered what it was like being a woman in the public sphere.

The acclaimed team behind crime comic classic Criminal are back at it with what I would classify as their best collaborative project to date, Kill Or Be Killed. Kill or Be Killed follows Dylan, a New Yorker in his mid twenties who has faced issues with mental health his entire life. After an attempt at taking his own life he was spared by none other than the devil himself and given the proposition of either have his life come to an end, or do the devil's work and murder those who have committed crimes for him.

The question is though, are these events actually happening or is this just a product of Dylan's fracture psychosis. Bruce Banner is back from the Dead and on the run again with a new secret. He's being haunted by people from his past and the Hulk itself. Every night when the sun goes down the Hulk comes out and Banner disappears.

This book has great mystery and a fresh take on the Hulk that is fantastic. It's a must read of Marvel right now. I can't wait to read volume 2! Imagine this: in a world somewhat like ours, but slightly different, there's a country much like England after World War I. The difference being, in this version, they have magic. And there's also the Solace: an otherworldly underworld that is more parallel to our own and under the care of faerie-like beings.

That's just the beginning in this amazing gaslamp fantasy which puts a whole new spin on the idea of a world with magic. Focusing on Miles, a war veteran who's faked his death to flee a rich family threatening his with a life of servitude, the story starts with a murder and takes more twists and turns from there.

On January 14, one day after Air Florida flight 90 crashed into a bridge over the Potomac River, Howard called the airline ticket office asking for a one-way ticket to the 14th Street Bridge. Though Twitter today immediately fills with jokes of varying degrees of appropriateness the moment a tragedy strikes, Howard was among the first to head right to the gallows and try to get a few quips in while the nation mourned. That day, and for decades after, Howard Stern pushed the boundaries of the comedy of bad taste, specifically the straight-white-male version of it.

Yankovic began parodying popular music as a teenager in Southern California, sending home recordings to Dr.

To be this sonically and visually accurate, and still this goofy, was a paradigm shift. It was what was now expected of a pop-culture parody. What is staggering is that even though over three decades have passed, his legacy is still firmly in place. Taking cues from his days as a Pentecostal preacher, Kinison brought fire and brimstone to stand-up comedy, literally screaming his punch lines at the crowd.

For better or worse sometimes definitely for worse , this meant pushing the envelope of the darker side of comedy, flirting with misogyny, racism, and homophobia. Raising the bar on the theatricality of stand-up, a little bit of Kinison is in every force-of-nature stand-up, like Lewis Black or Leslie Jones. Named the Belly Room, it became so much more than expected, as visionary comic talents like Whoopi Goldberg and Sandra Bernhard used the space to experiment with different forms of stand-up.

While both shared a theatrical sensibility, Bernhard pioneered a sort of stand-up-as-cabaret-act style, which interspersed wry, personal stories with equally sardonic, self-penned dance and pop hits. Thirty years ago, comedian and actor Robert Townsend, fed up with the types of acting jobs available to African-Americans, decided to do something about it.

In a story that became the stuff of indie-film lore, Townsend maxed-out multiple credit cards to make his own feature film. He wrote, directed, and starred in the loose connection of satirical sketches that hung together around a narrative about a struggling actor. Larson clearly helped pave the way for smart nerds who have since made serious strides in the comedy world, including comics like Patton Oswalt and shows such as MST3K. It works perfectly, encapsulating her irreverence for Hollywood, medicine, and her own addictions.

While Richard Pryor had joked about his drug abuse previously, to treat addiction frankly and with much wit was something entirely new. The most influential magazine of its era left a mark on every other: complicated tiny typography, kitschy clip art, little floating heads as illustrations, charts and graphs analyzing everything it covered, and big memorable stories told with an ironic sensibility and unironic rigor. But clearly its single device with the longest legs was the compound hyphenated pejorative epithet, an update of the old Time house style. Then he went into self-imposed exile in Boulder, Colorado, and his legend really began.

There, Meyer created Army Man , a lo-fi zine full of heady, zippy little jokes and stories from writers he admired including Bob Odenkirk, Roz Chast, and Jack Handey, who contributed his first Deep Thoughts there. The entire run exhibits a sort of unperturbed, jovial tone and some of the best gags — like the one above — remain in light even while toying with existential darkness. What if instead of just having host segments around the commercial breaks as the movie is being shown, the host made comments through the whole thing, like you and your dorky friends making fun of a schlocky movie at home?

The concept was simultaneously innovative and familiar. The real difference, however, was the jokes they were making, like the very knowing Star Wars reference , above, from the very first episode. Never before had there been so many Frank Zappa, Star Trek , Doctor Who, and countless other nerd references crammed into one show. Its positioning, though — that was different. His rise directly correlated with the reopening of the debate over political correctness, with his act standing in as its antithesis. If you broaden that pool to include reality-TV hosts, we just elected one of these guys president.

These comedians argue that the comedy club is a safe space to explore these dark thoughts without acting upon them in the real world. Their critics point to fans pumping their fists as proof that they do more harm than good. Up to that point, if you were LGBT, you were either the butt of the joke — the dunderheaded Blue Oyster Bar gags from the Police Academy films using gay panic as a punch line are particularly odious — or closeted in the the Paul Lynde mold.

Buddy Cole joked about being gay, and how perfectly normal and great it was. The genius of Buddy is that he was a gay character that talked about everything. Buddy questions the entire premise of racial animus, and wraps up his bit with a plea for understanding delivered with his trademark wry sarcasm. I just think the world would be a lot better place if the scientists could keep their slide rules in their pants. Almost immediately, the sketch became a part of the zeitgeist, introducing a constant stream of catchphrases. For years after the comedy club was invented, black stand-ups were mostly relegated to ghettoized black nights at mainstream clubs until they were deemed able to cross over.

His flamethrower delivery of improvisational crowd work became the stuff of legend, inspiring a new generation of comedians including Bernie Mac and Cedric the Entertainer. The entertainment industry heard the buzz and would drive down into the heart of the Crenshaw district to witness Harris in his element. With his star on the rise, Harris died of a heart attack later that year at the age of The bit, thoroughly composed and incredibly specific as it is, was able to be directly translated into a feature-length animated film two years later. For instance, the joke in the last scene of the video is a reference to the classic Sunset Boulevard.

RuPaul is channeling his best Gloria Swanson, all clenched smiles and jealous eyebrows. His supermodel persona looks older at this point, but is still greedy for fame and obsessed with her looks.

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But the real joke, of course, is the idea that any of it was real to begin with. The Tic Tac joke and the reaction to it reflects the improved status of female comedians in the black stand-up scene. Though there have always been some, from Moms Mabley to Whoopi Goldberg, they were treated as exceptions — not unlike women in the white stand-up community.

Jokes like this also raised the bar on the creativity and specificity of crowd-work insults that club comedians of all races are still trying to keep pace with. Every comedian who has written a book of essays, from Tina Fey to Sarah Silverman to Patton Oswalt, owes him a debt of gratitude.


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Also, Sedaris, with his performance of his work, set the stage for the NPR-ification of comedy, where comedians, like Mike Birbiglia and Tig Notaro, found big breaks on This American Life, and others, like Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams, even have their own public-radio shows. The upstart Fox network was at the forefront of that explosion of creativity, with the aforementioned In Living Color, Roc , Living Single , and the show that made Martin Lawrence a superstar. It was a breakthrough moment for the reach of contemporary black comedy, as Martin was embraced by audiences who might otherwise have had no concept of the hip-hop played by the eponymous lead character.

Lawrence would go on to a period of big-screen success in movies like Bad Boys and Blue Streak , but it was short-lived. But the Martin series remains a gold standard, not just in his filmography, but in the annals of black comedy. David Letterman introduced the idea of the late-night show in quotes, where the format was treated with an ironic distance. In a very Simpsons -y, Harvard-y way, he specialized in creating a very high-brow setup for a very stupid bit, and there is no better example of that than the Masturbating Bear, who would usually come on to explain the economy or how an impeachment works, only to start vigorously masturbating.

After a few false starts like the much-unappreciated Big Brawl in , Chan became a household name in America with the Rush Hour series, resulting in The Legend of Drunken Master getting successful U. Jackie Chan combined slapstick and martial arts like no one else before him, ramping up the level of action that could be expected in a comedy and comedy in an action film, setting the table for both movies like Deadpool and Central Intelligence. The two father figures of the holiday season argue about the commercialization of Christmas, fight Mortal Kombat style, and inadvertently kill Kenny.

No one had ever seen the likes of him before. This was not a bit. It was Izzard throwing down the gauntlet regarding his own identity and, in the process, doing in comedy what David Bowie had done in rock and roll. Izzard quickly became an international phenomenon, performing his comedy in multiple languages across every continent. Each offered a combination of characters, storytelling, and song.

Then in he had his breakthrough creatively that is, as he had already established himself in Hollywood at this point , with Freak , a one-man show about his childhood. Combining elements of the character-based one-person show and monologists like Spalding Gray, John Leguizamo landed on something entirely new. Like in this joke, he would tell Bill Cosby-esque stories about say a family picnic, but then inhabit the relatives he was discussing, resulting in an unusually rich stand-up experience. Along with Julia Sweeney, he kicked off the one-person show boom of the late 90s and early 00s, where it seemed every stand-up was giving their acts narrative arcs.

As time went on, it became less a trend, and instead a different way for some stand-ups to approach their form. Griffin is a storyteller who revels in pop culture and personal experiences, and the above excerpt, from Hot Cup of Talk , exemplifies the conversational style that would carry her career for decades. She treats her audience as equals and as one-half of a conversation, paving the way for such contemporary comics as John Early, Beth Stelling, and Phoebe Robinson.

Thankfully, the stalwart writers at satirical newspaper The Onion were around to kick-start the process. It was also the first issue the editorial staff distributed after pulling up roots in Wisconsin and moving to New York City. Wet Hot American Summer is arguably the defining alternative-comedy movie of the aughts, becoming the touchstone for the silliest tastes of a generation.

Comedy, especially after Steve Martin, has always been trying to find smart ways to be dumb, and co-writers David Wain and Michael Showalter found new heights in Wet Hot. In this scene, not-yet-A-list Paul Rudd mispronounces the word journal as gurnal. And not only that, he thinks knowing the proper way of pronouncing journal means Lindsay is smart.

In , Ricky Gervais invented one of the most entertaining and ill-fitting lead protagonists in TV history. David Brent, the general manager of a paper merchant office, struggles with socially acceptable behavior. Even though the show is ensemble-driven, the other characters play as the straight man in the dynamic. Their assorted personalities create a realistic, grounded setting for Brent to make uncomfortable. A classic Office moment, Gervais as Brent conjures sincerity at the start of a statement to only follow up with a painfully awkward, profoundly selfish thought.

He is the cringe master, and through this, a new sort of comedy took over globally. Obviously David Brent paved the way for the American version of The Office , but you can see glimmers of the British Office in almost all grounded, awkward, genuine comedy of the last 15 years. Risky stunts and watching friends hurt each other have been a major part of comedy ever since the silent-film era. In one of the earliest stunts that could truly have resulted in someone dying, Steve-O tries to walk a tightrope naked, save a jockstrap filled with raw chicken.

No one could believe this MTV brand of bro schadenfreude raised their IQ, but it rendered any prior prank or hidden-camera show milquetoast by comparison and spawned any number of watered-down imitators, from Impractical Jokers to idiots on YouTube, as well as raised the bar on what comedy audiences would interpret as a dangerous situation, which Sacha Baron Cohen would, a few years later, leap over with Borat. Before Arrested Development and before the internet, there was a way the callback functioned: getting a laugh of recognition by referencing a previously made joke.

Then, fairly brazenly considering they were setups whose payoff would be in seasons that they might never get and demand people have access to DVDs that might never come out or reruns that might never happen , Mitch Hurwitz decided to reverse it by having a joke that would change the meaning of previously innocuous lines. Same thing for a hand ful of other moments that just passed by on first viewing. There were also some examples of what would be considered classic foreshadowing. This essentially revolutionized the fundamental timing of a joke. A new level of sitcom-joke density was achieved.

Easter-egg jokes are now a fairly common practice, with some shows like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt or BoJack Horseman using them occasionally, and shows like Community and Archer similarly searching for nooks and crannies to place jokes for the most diehard fans. There is the dialect humor, there is a Kaufman-esque unwillingness to break character, there is a Dr. Strangelove —level of satire, there is a buddy road comedy, there is a fish out of water, there is cringe humor, there is gross-out humor, there is stunt comedy. And it all came together to take the humble prank to the point of high art.

Beyond that though, Borat , arguably, inspired all comedy that came after it, if not in form then by raising the bar of what is possible. The changing viewpoints about race and sexual identity clearly resonated with the recently out comedian. Brilliantly, she dissects the contrasts between identifying as gay and as black. As the bit explains, being black was apparent from birth, but unfortunately, homosexuality is still viewed as something chosen.

She maps out a scenario in which she would have had to tell her parents about her skin color. Her style became a standard for fellow comedians and aspiring comedy writers who want to tweet or vine their way to the top, especially women who may be intimidated by going after traditionally male-dominated comedy-writing jobs. This joke represents the major shift that YouTube and relatively cheap digital production offered comedy.

Rae eventually journeyed from YouTube to HBO, but her comedic voice remained as fully developed and individual as the first awkward moment. There was a lot of sketch happening online and at improv theaters, but nothing really broke out. As a result, their best sketches incorporated both racial commentary and formal innovation. Though not a direct parody, this cinematic feel was a game-changer, further pushing the tonal accuracy audiences would expect from comedy.

The impact of this joke was swift, with comedy nerds and sex-advice columnists alike rejoicing at what this said about our current comedic moment, where sex and sexuality can be funny without being the butt of the joke. Abbi and Ilana are female characters whose sexualities are integrated into who they are as people, but they are never made into vehicles for jokes about sex.

The answer: It feels weird and uncomfortable and deeply funny. Not only does Atlanta depict intraracial diversity, but it depicts intraracial questions of identity. Would we treat Justin Bieber differently if he were black? What does it mean to be Justin Bieber? What does it mean to be Justin Bieber, if he were black?

What does it mean to be black? What does it mean to be a person? The episode functions both as a satire of white privilege and a Waiting for Godot —like comedic meditation on black existence. It feels like a culmination of all the comedy that came before it, and also something completely new. Account Profile. Sign Out. By Jesse David Fox.

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Illustration by David Perezcassar. Christy's Minstrels. Tambo: Say, boss, why did the chicken cross the road? Tambo, why did the chicken cross the road? Bones: To get to the other side! Billy Kersands. Lydia Thompson. Algernon: Then your wife will. Jack: [ Sententiously ]. That, my dear young friend, is the theory that the corrupt French Drama has been propounding for the last fifty years. Algernon: Yes; and that the happy English home has proved in half the time.

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Moreland: What kind of races do you play? Russell: Horse races. Moreland: What track you play at? Moreland: How much did you lost? Marcel Duchamp. Harold Lloyd, Fred C. Shut up. Dorothy Parker. Razors pain you; Rivers are damp; Acids stain you; And drugs cause cramp. Sophie Tucker. How do you expect the judge to win his croquette game with no solace in his stomach? The jug here. Leaving somebody here with all this stuff. Voice-over intercom: Calling Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard report to room 66! Fine, 72! Howard, 83! Howard, report to Dr.

Graves: Yes. How did you find that patient in 66? Moe: Under the bed. Graves: How did you find the patient in 72? Larry: Up on the chandelier. Graves: What did you do for him?

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Graves: What are you working here for?! Stooges: For duty and humanity! The custodian nonchalantly strides up with a replacement pane for Dr. Daddy: How many times must I tell you? Baby Snooks: Where you going? Baby Snooks: Why? I just want to be fit in the morning, so I can get this double indemnity policy. Daddy: Well, I certainly stuck my neck out there. Double indemnity means if I die a natural death, I get 10, dollars. If I commit suicide, I get Right now, that seems like a pleasant way of making 20, dollars. Baby Snooks: Do it, Daddy.

Daddy: I will not. Now go to sleep. Molly: Maybe we better see if the closet door is locked. Let me take a look. Police: How does the girl fit into the picture? Gertrude Berg, Robert H. Photographer: Now hold it a minute. Goldberg, would you mind removing your hat, please? Goldberg: My hat? Photographer: You see it throws a shadow on your face.

Goldberg: Haha, Jake. Goldberg: Molly. Goldberg struggling to get her hat off. Goldberg helps her remove her hat. Mailbox: Be careful. Woman: [ Running backwards, screaming ] Ahhhh! Where you sending it to? One group was exposed to humorous content, while the other was not. The anxiety levels were measured through self-report measures as well as the heart rate. Subjects which rated high on sense of humour reported less anxiety in both groups, while subjects which rated lower on sense of humour reported less anxiety in the group which was exposed to the humorous material.

However, there was not a significant difference in the heart rate between the subjects. Humour is a ubiquitous, highly ingrained, and largely meaningful aspect of human experience and is therefore decidedly relevant in organisational contexts, such as the workplace. The significant role that laughter and fun play in organisational life has been seen as a sociological phenomenon and has increasingly been recognised as also creating a sense of involvement among workers. Humour may also be used to offset negative feelings about a workplace task or to mitigate the use of profanity, or other coping strategies, that may not be otherwise tolerated.

Managers may use self-deprecating humour as a way to be perceived as more human and "real" by their employees. Laughter and play can unleash creativity , thus raising morale , so in the interest of encouraging employee consent to the rigours of the labour process, management often ignore, tolerate and even actively encourage playful practices, with the purpose of furthering organisational goals. One of the main focuses of modern psychological humour theory and research is to establish and clarify the correlation between humour and laughter.

The major empirical findings here are that laughter and humour do not always have a one-to-one association. While most previous theories assumed the connection between the two almost to the point of them being synonymous, psychology has been able to scientifically and empirically investigate the supposed connection, its implications, and significance. In , Diana Szameitat conducted a study to examine the differentiation of emotions in laughter. They hired actors and told them to laugh with one of four different emotional associations by using auto-induction, where they would focus exclusively on the internal emotion and not on the expression of laughter itself.

This brings into question the definition of humour, then. If it is to be defined by the cognitive processes which display laughter, then humour itself can encompass a variety of negative as well as positive emotions. However, if humour is limited to positive emotions and things which cause positive affect, it must be delimited from laughter and their relationship should be further defined.

Humour has shown to be effective for increasing resilience in dealing with distress and also effective in undoing negative affects. Madeljin Strick, Rob Holland, Rick van Baaren, and Ad van Knippenberg of Radboud University conducted a study that showed the distracting nature of a joke on bereaved individuals. Their findings showed that humorous therapy attenuated the negative emotions elicited after negative pictures and sentences were presented.

In addition, the humour therapy was more effective in reducing negative affect as the degree of affect increased in intensity. The escapist nature of humour as a coping mechanism suggests that it is most useful in dealing with momentary stresses. Stronger negative stimuli requires a different therapeutic approach. Humour is an underlying character trait associated with the positive emotions used in the broaden-and-build theory of cognitive development.

Studies, such as those testing the undoing hypothesis , [40] : have shown several positive outcomes of humour as an underlying positive trait in amusement and playfulness. Several studies have shown that positive emotions can restore autonomic quiescence after negative affect. Using humour judiciously can have a positive influence on cancer treatment. Humour can serve as a strong distancing mechanism in coping with adversity. In Kelter and Bonanno found that Duchenne laughter correlated with reduced awareness of distress. A distancing of thought leads to a distancing of the unilateral responses people often have to negative arousal.

In parallel with the distancing role plays in coping with distress, it supports the broaden and build theory that positive emotions lead to increased multilateral cognitive pathway and social resource building. Humour has been shown to improve and help the ageing process in three areas. The areas are improving physical health, improving social communications, and helping to achieve a sense of satisfaction in life.

Studies have shown that constant humour in the ageing process gives health benefits to individuals. Such benefits as higher self-esteem , lower levels of depression , anxiety , and perceived stress , and a more positive self-concept as well as other health benefits which have been recorded and acknowledged through various studies. Another way that research indicates that humour helps with the ageing process, is through helping the individual to create and maintain strong social relationship during transitory periods in their lives.

With this transition certain social interactions with friend and family may be limited forcing the individual to look else where for these social interactions. Humour has been shown to make transitions easier, as humour is shown reduce stress and facilitate socialisation and serves as a social bonding function. These new social interactions can be critical for these transitions in their lives and humour will help these new social interactions to take place making these transitions easier.

Humour can also help ageing individuals maintain a sense of satisfaction in their lives. Through the ageing process many changes will occur, such as losing the right to drive a car.


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This can cause a decrease in satisfaction in the lives of the individual. Humour helps to alleviate this decrease of satisfaction by allowing the humour to release stress and anxiety caused by changes in the individuals life. In an article published in Nature Reviews Neuroscience , it is reported that a study's results indicate that humour is rooted in the frontal lobe of the cerebral cortex. The study states, in part:. Humour can be verbal, visual, or physical. Non-verbal forms of communication—for example, music or visual art—can also be humorous.

Rowan Atkinson explains in his lecture in the documentary Funny Business [48] that an object or a person can become funny in three ways:. Most sight gags fit into one or more of these categories. Some theoreticians of the comic consider exaggeration to be a universal comic device. There are many taxonomies of humor; the following is used to classify humorous tweets in Rayz Different cultures have different typical expectations of humour so comedy shows are not always successful when transplanted into another culture.

For example, a BBC News article discusses a stereotype among British comedians that Americans and Germans do not understand irony , and therefore UK sitcoms are not appreciated by them. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This is the latest accepted revision , reviewed on 2 July For other uses, see Humour disambiguation. For the stand-up special by Louis C. From top-left to bottom-right or from top to bottom mobile : various people laughing from Afghanistan , Tibet , Brazil , and Malaysia.