The things that make us laugh

The Griffin discuss what it is that they find funny and how humor has changed over the last few years. From Sitcoms to TikToks, a good laugh has never been more accessible

This totally tubular kid is best friends with this void dwelling creature, but will their bond survive the alien squid invasion during their vacation to Paris?(Korey Martineau)

Have you ever sat down to truly ponder the sad existence of professional clowns? They train for a very long time to provide joy and laughter to the public but, at least in America, they are immediately written off as freakish and scary. Even beyond that the circus industry by-and-large has been in decline, none of us has been to one in the last two years or longer. When you think about it, a lot of this has to do with how easily we can now access entertainment. 

The spectacle of the circus coming to town is rendered moot when you can pull out your phone and spend the next twenty-four hours watching comedy specials on Netflix. For this piece; however, we’ve chosen to focus on one simple piece of entertainment. A mainstay in the industry: comedy. So sit back while we here in The Griffin office shares with you what it is that tickles our funny bone. 

When a lot of people think of what makes them laugh, they often conjure images or scenes from television programs they enjoy. And that is no different for us here in the office. While it’s hard to deny that the traditional sitcom format — premade sets, awkward jokes and, worst of all, laugh tracks — have gotten increasingly difficult to stomach, there are some diamonds in the rough out there if you look hard enough. 

“Letterkenny” is a gem straight from our neighbors to the north that you can access on Hulu.  It centers on a country boy farmer and the misadventures he and his friends have in their small Canadian town, a guaranteed favorite if you enjoy witty back and forth banter. If you prefer something a little more off the wall then look no further than Netflix for Dan Harmon’s classic “Community.” A show that gets progressively more outlandish as it goes, it features a diverse cast of community college students engaging in creative scenarios. As a note from Opinion Editor Khalil Gordon, The Russo Brothers, known for directing  numerous Marvel films including “Avengers: Endgame,” were hired partially due to their work on the show. “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” is a show centered on the most detestable human the world could conjure, so if you love dark humor, then this is for you. 

Another TV program, “SNL,” is also a favorite for many. The show, at least in its earlier seasons, was known for its effective use of satirical/ironic humor in its sketches that often served as some sort of critique of pop culture. Another outlet that specialize in this form of humor is The Onion, the news outlet infamous for fooling people on Facebook that something like werewolf attacks are a genuine concern. 

One Griffin editor stated that “I often find that The Onion offers better political analysis than the Washington Post’s columnists because its criticism of a person is found within the summary of what that person did. Take the most recent headline from The Onion – “Amy Coney Barrett Promises Catholic Faith Won’t Interfere With Court’s Crushing Of The Poor, Downtrodden.” Just from that one sentence, you get what Barrett said — deny that her Catholic teachings will influence her rulings — in addition to what The Onion sees as the problem with what she said – her history of conservative decisions.”

Something that has become increasingly popular in the last few years is absurdist humor —  that is, humor that is predicated in nonsense. A lot of the humor derived from absurdism is based on how irrational or nonsensical the content is. A lot of times the dumber the better, take for instance the video of a young man using the clicking of his gas stove to sing along to Run D.M.C’s “It’s Tricky” before it combusts due to pressure. People typically can’t seem to explain why they find this kind of humor funny. For many it just is. It is most apparent in the memes of modern day that the traditional format of setup/punchline is no longer essential to get a laugh. In this day and age, a video of a monkey slapping a lion — have you seen that one? — is as funny, if not funnier than, any classic George Carlin routine. Vines, which were typically six seconds in length, barely have time to set up a joke and typically jump straight to a punchline. Nonetheless they remain some of the most quoted and easily recognizable pieces of media in the mind of millennials and members of Gen Z.

Have you ever sat down to truly ponder the sad existence of professional clowns? They train for a very long time to provide joy and laughter to the public but, at least in America, they are immediately written off as freakish and scary. Even beyond that the circus industry by-and-large has been in decline, none of us has been to one in the last two years or longer. When you think about it, a lot of this has to do with how easily we can now access entertainment. The spectacle of the circus coming to town is rendered moot when you can pull out your phone and spend the next twenty-four hours watching comedy specials on Netflix. For this piece; however, we’ve chosen to focus on one simple piece of entertainment. A mainstay in the industry: comedy. So sit back while we here in The Griffin office shares with you what it is that tickles our funny bone. 

When a lot of people think of what makes them laugh, they often conjure images or scenes from television programs they enjoy. And that is no different for us here in the office. While it’s hard to deny that the traditional sitcom format — premade sets, awkward jokes and, worst of all, laugh tracks — have gotten increasingly difficult to stomach, there are some diamonds in the rough out there if you look hard enough. “Letterkenny” is a gem straight from our neighbors to the north that you can access on Hulu.  It centers on a country boy farmer and the misadventures he and his friends have in their small Canadian town, a guaranteed favorite if you enjoy witty back and forth banter. If you prefer something a little more off the wall then look no further than Netflix for Dan Harmon’s classic “Community.” A show that gets progressively more outlandish as it goes, it features a diverse cast of community college students engaging in creative scenarios. As a note from Opinion Editor Khalil Gordon, The Russo Brothers, known for directing  numerous Marvel films including “Avengers: Endgame,” were hired partially due to their work on the show. “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” is a show centered on the most detestable human the world could conjure, so if you love dark humor, then this is for you. 

Another TV program, “SNL,” is also a favorite for many. The show, at least in its earlier seasons, was known for its effective use of satirical/ironic humor in its sketches that often served as some sort of critique of pop culture. Another outlet that specialize in this form of humor is The Onion, the news outlet infamous for fooling people on Facebook that something like werewolf attacks are a genuine concern. One Griffin editor stated that “I often find that The Onion offers better political analysis than the Washington Post’s columnists because its criticism of a person is found within the summary of what that person did. Take the most recent headline from The Onion – “Amy Coney Barrett Promises Catholic Faith Won’t Interfere With Court’s Crushing Of The Poor, Downtrodden.” Just from that one sentence, you get what Barrett said — deny that her Catholic teachings will influence her rulings — in addition to what The Onion sees as the problem with what she said – her history of conservative decisions.”Something that has become increasingly popular in the last few years is absurdist humor —  that is, humor that is predicated in nonsense. A lot of the humor derived from absurdism is based on how irrational or nonsensical the content is. A lot of times the dumber the better, take for instance the video of a young man using the clicking of his gas stove to sing along to Run D.M.C’s “It’s Tricky” before it combusts due to pressure. People typically can’t seem to explain why they find this kind of humor funny. For many it just is. It is most apparent in the memes of modern day that the traditional format of setup/punchline is no longer essential to get a laugh. In this day and age, a video of a monkey slapping a lion — have you seen that one? — is as funny, if not funnier than, any classic George Carlin routine. Vines, which were typically six seconds in length, barely have time to set up a joke and typically jump straight to a punchline. Nonetheless they remain some of the most quoted and easily recognizable pieces of media in the mind of millennials and members of Gen Z.

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