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August 23, 2008

Bad Comedy: This is Gonna’ Hurt Me Worse Than it Hurts You (genghis)

While you’re waiting breathlessly for the Secret Service to arrive at Sen. Biden’s residence to arrest his hair plugs for making terroristic threats against the presumptive Democrat(ic) nominee for the U.S. Presidency, you might as well read this story.

(Point of record: I have no actual knowledge of Sen. Biden’s hair plugs making any actual threat against the nominee, just a rumour that they were threatening to “shed,” whatever that means.)

According to a story reported online today by an anonymous source telling a bad joke can get your ass kicked. Or get you punched in the arm. Or worse, a glare, and possibly not being invited to after-work drinks.

”MOSCOW, Idaho (AP) - There's a reason comedians call it "dying on stage."

Research by a Washington State University linguist found that people who tell bad jokes often endure an astonishing outpouring of hostility from the listeners.

"These were basically attacks intended to result in the social exclusion or humiliation of the speaker, punctuated on occasion with profanity, a nasty glare or even a solid punch to the arm," said researcher Nancy Bell.”

"The predominant verbal reaction to failed humor in our study was oriented exclusively toward attacking the speaker," Bell said.”

That there’s some grim shit. And I bruise easily. But what are the reasons for this violent reaction?
”First, such canned humor often disrupts the natural flow of conversation. And jokes that fail to deliver humor are a violation of a social contract, so punishing the teller can discourage similar behavior in the future.”

“Finally, a stupid joke insults the listener by suggesting that he or she might actually find it funny, Bell said.”

But there’s hope for the droolers who actually read this blog and find themselves insulted (assuming they can actually read). Be assured that The American Humor Studies Association is working on it.
”Humor is a serious topic with a rich academic tradition. The American Humor Studies Association publishes a journal and accepts papers on topics like "Colonial Humor" and "Dark Historical Issues made Light," according to its web site.”

You can learn more about the AHSA here. Feel free to submit a paper of your own. As the famous Greek comedian Bluto once said…”It don’t cost nuthin’” Of course, the rabble outside of the academy have their own take on things.:
”Somewhat less academically oriented, Maxim magazine recently rated the worst professional comedians of all time, with Sinbad rated No. 1, followed by Margaret Cho.”

You can find that list here.

There’s no truth whatsoever to the rumour that Dave in Texas is #13 on the list. (more like #11)

Also, If you don’t agree that this man is the funniest comedian ever, there’s a high probability that your comments will be edited and/or deleted. (but not by me)

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posted by xgenghisx at 03:06 AM

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