On how jokes work

by Cem Basman

They all laughed when I said I wanted to be a comedian. They're not laughing now.

Bob Monkhouse

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Well, I didn't have the nerve to read all the 5 pages. In fact, he is putting it into a very single sided perspective, generalising as if all jokes have to be like the performance of a comedian on stage. This is definately only part of the story and against his assumption, that a joke is only worth something, if it is delivered in spoken language, there are definately very good jokes, that come over only when written, or don't forget the "Bilderwitze", cartoons ..... that usually are absolute worthless in a narrative form. Sorry to be that negative about the article ......

Jens-B. Augustiny, 2006-11-01

Some jokes are purely visual.

At a place I worked years ago, there was a new urinal installed into the men's room. It was set very low, as if for a child or a dwarf. As we had neither working at the building, this made little sense (though I'm sure it was a building code issue). Someone taped a signed next to the larger unit which had a heavy black line across and said simply "You must be this tall to ride this ride".

Now, out of context, that piece of paper wouldn't have been funny one bit.

Andrew Pollack, 2006-11-01

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