Humor’s characteristics

1. Despite having a psychological component, comedy has a strong intellectual appeal; in other words, humor derives from our capacity to comprehend what makes something amusing or unfunny. Remember that “intellectual” does not necessarily indicate “high-brow” or “academic” in this context. The Three Stooges can be considered “intelligent” under this standard. The crucial point to remember is that humor is a matter of perception.
2. Human, accepted social conventions are frequently the basis for humor. When something strange, absurd, or silly contrasts with what is typical or anticipated we find it amusing. Norms might encompass speech, behavior, and moral action patterns. As a result, there is an inconsistent or inappropriate surprise in the funny discrepancy. Some instances of this are:
Irony may be dramatic, situational, or vocal. Irony draws attention to the disparity between opposing viewpoints or between what the reader already knows and what the story’s protagonists already know.
3. According to Aristotle, humor must be painless or harmless to the participants in order to be humorous; for example, we laugh when the boy trips over a banana peel but not when he trips over something and gets harmed. Do you find this to be persuasive?
4. Aristotle also contends that humor depends on the audience’s superiority; we must believe we are superior than the subject of the joke.
5. The ability to “objectify the circumstance” by the perceiver is necessary for humor to exist. In other words, we frequently laugh at things that we have done or are guilty of, but we also chuckle when we are able to put the conduct in perspective. We temporarily separate ourselves from the situation and take a step back to view the conduct for what it is—incongruous and humorous.
6. There are many different types and variations of humor. Some humor can be quite subtle, causing us to either empathize with or even identify with a humorous scenario. Some humor could be more biting, sarcastic, or even filled with venom. Some varieties of humor have a cool, detached wit, while others can be sarcastic in an inward, melancholy way. In his typology of humor, Fowler describes a variety of distinct (but related) forms of comedy. Each sort of comedy, according to Fowler, has a certain audience that it must reach as well as a purpose or aim, a province (or comedic region), and a characteristic approach.
7. I think Fowler’s chart is a little lacking because comedy can be a blend of emotions, like kindness or cynicism. He does an excellent job of recognizing the negative or cruel humor’s various hues (the cynical, the sardonic, the invective), but there are a few more subtleties that go under the category of gentle comedy. For instance, whereas other types of humor can be farcical or clownish, some comedy is highly positive, even redeeming, and full of joy.

The Morals of Comedy
1. Humor does have an ethical component because laughing at/with someone or something carries with it a variety of intentions, methods, and audiences. We have the choice to be arrogant or modest, optimistic, kind, or harsh. Either self-knowledge or self-satisfaction are options.
2. Some comedy, even inadvertently, criticizes us by reinforcing ethical models. Other comedy aims to liberate us from moral restraints. It is more interested in a world that is free and fun, which might be full of wonder or farce, but is interested in joy and laughing for itself. Of course, they are beneficial things in and of themselves—reactions that God has incorporated into his creation.
3. At its best, humor may help us see beyond ourselves and encourage us to stop taking ourselves and the world too seriously. Humor’s objectivity or disassociation can bring us humility by enabling us to make fun of ourselves. It is able to convey the reality of both the universe and human nature. It may be a reflection of the wonder of a world characterized by grace as well as the joy of redemption.
4. Yet, humor may also seduce us into becoming nasty, judgmental, and cynical. We need to consider whether the humor in question is guiding us to love people, despise sin, and offer grace in a frequently perplexing world. If it is doing the opposite of these, it might still be helpful to us, but we will need to evaluate it more carefully.

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