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Where Do Jokes Come From?

Fri Dec 14, 2007 11:00 pm

(Yes, this is another Friday stupid thread, adding it to the title would just make it too long)

I have always wondered where jokes come from. They have a certain characteristic to them that would make the most prolific viral marketer cry in shame. It is amazing the speed with which they appear after a certain event. Likewise, their universality is amazing - the jokes seem to be the same no matter where you go in the world, especially the ethincal ones. Sure, the French might make fun of the Belgians, the Brazilians might make fun of the Portuguese, etc. but in essence they are the same jokes. However, no-one seems to have ever actually met anyone who has created a joke - they always seem to have heard it from someone else.

So, who is responsible for this whole thing? Is it all a conspiracy? Is there an international joke-making syndicate who gathers together to make jokes to test their worldwide distribution networks and keep them in order, for when the word comes from the Mothership it is time to embark? Is it just one funny guy with a lot of friends, and if so how does he feel when he goes to another country and hears that joke retold to him by someone he never met? Did jokes evolved or is there some sort of "Satiric Design" theory that states all jokes were once cracked thousands of years ago and all we are seeing now is the uses humanity makes of them? Are jokes even created or do they just appear out of spontaneous generation?

What say you?
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RE: Where Do Jokes Come From?

Sat Dec 15, 2007 2:34 am

Quoting Pyrex (Thread starter):
So, who is responsible for this whole thing?

That's a very interesting - and a very vast question/topic:

The subject of humor is one that has long been studied - there are whole classes and professors in college devoted to the subject.

Generally, the basis of all humor, from what I remember, is the fact that man is not always in control of himself or his destiny.

At the most basic level, watching someone walk across the sidewalk on a wintry day and fall on the ice is really funny. But why?

Well - you know the man doesn't want to fall...he's trying to stay up right. But, for whatever reason, something else acts upon him - first something slick, and then gravity. At that moment - the man is not in control. He wants to be, yet he is not.

That is funny.

All humor can basically be expanded upon that premise. From Shakespeare to the Three Stooges to Will Ferrill, humor is at mans expense.
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RE: Where Do Jokes Come From?

Sat Dec 15, 2007 2:38 am

I find the best jokes come from observations about reality.

I think Jerry Seinfeld does a great job at this, as does George Carlin.
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