An Anatomy of Humor

Front Cover
Transaction Publishers - Language Arts & Disciplines - 192 pages
1 Review
Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified

Humor permeates every aspect of society and has done so for thousands of years. People experience it daily through television, newspapers, literature, and contact with others. Rarely do social researchers analyze humor or try to determine what makes it such a dominating force in our lives. The types of jokes a person enjoys contribute significantly to the definition of that person as well as to the character of a given society. Arthur Asa Berger explores these and other related topics in An Anatomy of Humor. He shows how humor can range from the simple pun to complex plots in Elizabethan plays.

Berger examines a number of topics‚ ethnicity, race, gender, politics‚ each with its own comic dimension. Laughter is beneficial to both our physical and mental health, according to Berger. He discerns a multiplicity of ironies that are intrinsic to the analysis of humor. He discovers as much complexity and ambiguity in a cartoon, such as Mickey Mouse, as he finds in an important piece of literature, such as Huckleberry Finn. An Anatomy of Humor is an intriguing and enjoyable read for people interested in humor and the impact of popular and mass culture on society. It will also be of interest to professionals in communication and psychologists concerned with the creative process.

‚ This book belongs on the shelf of anyone who appreciates humor. It also belongs in the laboratories of psychological researchers investigating when and how we laugh.‚ ‚ T. Cameron Wild, Contemporary Psychology

‚ This is a significant book, and it will surely have a welcome place in any professional humor library.‚ ‚ Don L. F. Nilsen, Humor

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Selected pages

Contents

Humor Psyche and Society
1
A Glossary of the Techniques of Humor Morphology of the JokeTale
15
Anatomy of a Joke
57
The Telephone Pole with the Braided Armpits Ethnic and Racial Jokes and American Society
65
On Me You Cant Count An Interpretation of a Jewish Joke with Relevance to the Jewish Question
75
Jewish Fools From the Wise Men of Chelm to Jackie Mason
83
Mickey Mouse and Krazy Kat Of Mice and Men
97
Comics and Popular Culture Not Just Kids Stuff
107
Twelfth Night Comedic Techniques and Social Considerations
133
Huckleberry Finn as a Novel of the Absurd Making Sense of an Existential Hero
145
Healing with Humor A Laugh a Day Keeps the Doctor Away
155
Comedy and Creation On the Generative Power of Humor
163
Bibliography
175
Names Index
181
Subject Index
185
Jokes and Humorous Texts Index
191

Mark Russell in Buffalo
121
A Cool Million
127

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 49 - A man so various, that he seemed to be Not one, but all mankind's epitome : Stiff in opinions, always in the wrong, Was everything by starts, and nothing long; But, in the course of one revolving moon, Was chemist, fiddler, statesman, and buffoon ; Then all for women, painting, rhyming, drinking, Besides ten thousand freaks that died in thinking.
Page 2 - I may therefore conclude, that the passion of laughter is nothing else but sudden glory arising from a sudden conception of some eminency in ourselves, by comparison with the infirmity of others, or with our own formerly...
Page 146 - NOTICE Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot.
Page 117 - We hold these truths to be selfevident: that all men and women are created equal. . . . The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her.
Page 50 - The Menippean satire deals less with people as such than with mental attitudes. Pedants, bigots, cranks, parvenus, virtuosi, enthusiasts, rapacious and incompetent professional men of all kinds, are handled in terms of their occupational approach to life as distinct from their social behavior.
Page 149 - ... about the tragedy, and about Edmund Kean the Elder, which was to play the main principal part in it; and at last when he'd got everybody's expectations up high enough, he rolled up the curtain, and the next minute the king come aprancing out on all fours, naked; and he was painted all over, ring-streaked-andstriped, all sorts of colors, as splendid as a rainbow.
Page 47 - EDIBLE, adj. Good to eat, and wholesome to digest, as a worm to a toad, a toad to a snake, a snake to a pig, a pig to a man, and a man to a worm.

Bibliographic information