Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Dirty Jokes Kill Comedy (Eventually)

by CWK

We may think that lewd jokes make for the heartiest laugh. Perhaps such jokes evoke laughter, but the laughter doesn't last. Consider,

Stand-up comedians use obscenity to shock their audiences into paying attention. However, one of the reasons given for the mid-1990s slump in the popularity of comedy clubs was that audiences were turned off by comedians' heavy reliance on vulgarity. Jokes about such (obscene) subjects … surprised audiences into laughing, but it was more often a nervous than a full-hearted laugh (1)

And Carlyle reminds us, “true humor springs not more from the head than from the heart; it issues not in laughter, but in smiles that lie far deeper.''

(1) Encyclopedia of 20th-Century American Humor. Contributors: Alleen Pace Nilsen - author, Don L. F. Nilsen - author. Publisher: Oryx Press. Place of Publication: Phoenix, AZ. Publication Year: 2000. Page Number pg. 261.

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