Surreal Comedy is the form that involves bizarre, creepy, and nonsensical behavior which is also funny at the same time. It includes deliberate and obvious illogical behavior to create amusement.
Absurd and dream-like situations are created to make the jokes unpredictable for the audience.
“My friend said, “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” So, I threw a dictionary at his face.”
Not all the genres of humor are script-ready! There are times when the comics have to go on the stage, understand the audience, and just wing it the way they feel is best.
It requires one to be funny, and extremely amazing at both coming up with jokes and humorously delivering them.
Improvisational Humor / Improv:
Improvisational Humor, shortly called improv, is a genre of comedy that is unplanned and is performed without a script. The comics have to make up the whole act, along with the dialogues at the moment, while they are performing.
They can draw a source of inspiration from the audience or absolutely anything to start with the act, and use their wit, sense of humor, and theatrical skills to present the whole act.
Alternative Humor is a style that doesn’t rely on the already set standards and ways of comedy. This form of comedy is considered to be different from a pre-existing style or a mainstream way of a comedy routine, and it breaks free from the standardized structure of punch lines and jokes.
The humor that arises out of everyday situations, which are quite mundane and ordinary, is called Situational Humor.
Situational Comedy is a very popular genre and is widely used in TV shows. Series like “Friends” and “How I Met Your Mother” are based on this style.
It uses various genres of humor, such as slapstick, screwball, and farce, to make the situation more and more hilarious for the audience.
Creating humor out of an anecdote, i.e. an abstract story, either real or fictional, told with great characterization and concrete details about the subjects and places involved.
An anecdote is always presented in a recalling way of the mentioned incidents or events involving real people.
“Kevin Hart Took His Son’s Phone But Forgot One Thing”, a stand-up comedy video by Kevin Hart is the example of a hilarious anecdote.
Sketch comedy is a humorous series of short scenes called sketches, played by a group of people, which make up a whole story, or a complete sketch. Sketches contain various humorous elements and unlike improv comedy, they are well-written, rehearsed, and memorized.
Indian Comedians have time and again proved their talent in this genre, Naveen Richard and Sumukhi Suresh are quite well known for this type of comedy.
This video titled “THE BREAK-UP” by Kenny Sebastian and Kannan Gill is hysterical!
Topical type is based on trends or current events, in any field like politics, news, or pop-culture. It is satirical, subtle, witty, and often hard-hitting. After Trump’s Disastrous Axios Interview, American comedian Jimmy Fallon uploaded a video making fun of the president’s interview on his YouTube channel.
Screwball type is a subgenre of the genre, “Romance-Comedy”, and it is well known for the satirical depiction of the traditional romantic stories.
In films based on screwball humor, it is often seen that the female character dominates the relationship instead of the male character, while his masculinity is being challenged.
It includes farce, repartee, and plots comprising marriage and courtship.
It is a genre of comedy that is based on the common aspects of everyday life and pokes fun at the things that go unnoticed. Observational comedy also brings out the facts about society by observing and stating things that aren’t as normal as our society accepts them to be. It humorously does all of that!
It often leaves the audience wondering, “Oh, I never thought about it this way!‘, or “Oh, yessss.. How could I have not noticed that!”
This type of comedy genre is generally espied in stand-up comedy, like this video by Kenny Sebastian.
A humorous observation about exams that we found on Twitter:
“I skip questions in exams like I’m gonna be a different person when I come back to them.”
Stand-up comedy is probably the most famous type of comedy these days. It is where a comic gets on stage to perform a monologue, or deliver a humorous act by interacting with the audience. The comedian might also make use of props in the act.
In a stand-up routine, the comic can use different types of humor such as farcical, blue, dark, cringe, deadpan, and more.
Now, humor isn’t always seen in shows, movies, or stand-up videos. Humor is a part of our everyday lives. Most of us choose to involve it in our daily conversations for sometimes impressing our colleagues, sometimes making new friends, and many times to just have fun in whatever we are doing. When it comes to oneself, humor can be perceived and conferred in two ways. Let’s have a look!
This is positive humor based on oneself, which is used to find amusement in tough times and sailing through it in a fun way, and by avoiding stress. Also, this type of humor in advertising is used by top brands when they are launching a superior product to its previous version.
“Self- Enhancing” here refers to the quality of using humor in a good-natured way, while targeting one-self in a situation.
For example, if Jack didn’t score well in an exam, he says:
“I have failed the exam. I’ve not lost my mind. I’ll do better next year!”
Creating humor by targeting oneself in an aggressive or unhealthy way, by creating humor at one’s own expense, and putting yourself down to sound funny, is called Self-Deprecating Humor.
If we look at it psychologically, this is considered to be an unhealthy form of humor when one tries to sound funny by pitying themselves, for example, we found a tweet that says:
“It’s garbage day?
I can’t believe they made a day dedicated to me. :)”
Let’s say you are a comedian. You have a show, and you know anything about your audience. Now you’re thinking what genre of humor would be apt for the audience that could comprise anyone, any age, gender, city, or country.
This humor can be understood by anyone with little or no effort. Like bathroom jokes, fart jokes, or sarcasm relating to common things which everyone comes across, is called Lowbrow humor.
It is a different type of comedy that doesn’t require background knowledge of anything and it is very easy to understand and relate to. It is not specific to any culture or heritage either, it is for people who come from anywhere or everywhere.
It’s not always that everyone would get a joke. It can be because it is made to get a laugh out of a specific type of audience. Let’s dive deep into this genre.
Highbrow is the opposite or lowbrow, as the name suggests. It is the type of humor which is sophisticated and cultured, and not everyone would get it, and it requires the concerned background knowledge to be understood, such as high-level math jokes, or a chemistry joke pulled by a chemist.
It is characterized by advanced knowledge regarding the subject matter and is deliberately witty. Highbrow comedy can be based on classic literature, history, or politics.
For example, if Elon Musk tweets a high level-physics joke, only the physicists around the world would get it.
It is a genre in which the comics discuss the stereotypes, myths, or traits about their heritage or culture, playfully.
A Hindu joking about the cows being worshipped in their culture would be Heritage Humor.
For example, you might have seen Kenny Sebastian joke about his Tamil culture.
Inside Humor is used to characterize the private jokes or inside jokes. These inside jokes and this genre of humor are understood by the people who are a part of a particular group, club, or society.
Only the people who are aware of the circumstances behind an inside joke find it humorous.
For example, if you’re a member of a religious group, you will get the jokes being pulled by other members of your group, and someone who is not in your group, would probably not get that joke.
That was all about group-focussed humor. Let’s move on to other types of humor that you might have experienced in various instances.
Internet Humor refers to the repetitive circulation of jokes or something humorous via the internet which then becomes a trend or a popular meme.
These types of jokes are gaining more popularity among millennials every day because, well, they are on the internet after all. Reddit, Instagram, YouTube, and other social apps are the major platforms for Internet humor. The most recent example being that of ‘Binod’ which was spammed all over the live streaming videos.
Musical Humor is found in the films or theatrical plays in which dialogues are interspersed with songs to create humor and also advance with the plotline.
Although all the Bollywood movies have musical numbers in them, to quote a favorable example, “Hum Aapke Hain Kaun” stands to be a fine musical comedy of the 90s.
It is the style of comedy that is used to enhance one’s relationships among new people, friends, or in the workplace. It is an amusing and positive kind of humor used to facilitate conversations in a fun and benevolent way, to often ease tension among people.
Ellen DeGeneres is the epitome of Affiliative Humor as he does a great job with her guests on her talk show.
One-Line Joke Humor:
As the name suggests, this is the humor created using one-liners, jokes delivered using a single line. A one-liner needs to be short, concise, and meaningful to draw the impact in a quick instant.
They are majorly created using wordplay, they can even consist of puns.
“The worst time to have a heart attack is during a game of charades.” – Demetri Martin
This is the humor derived from the awkwardness of the social situations, created by putting the characters in greatly embarrassing situations where they humiliate themselves by saying or doing the most awkward or offensive things.
For those who get it, Cringe Humour can be hilarious, and for those who don’t, it can just be offensive and meaningless.
There are many scenes in “The Office” where Michael Scott does Cringe Comedy. Watch the video below, for instance.
This genre of comedy is often less heard of but probably witnessed by everyone, either in real life or in reels!
Humor using Ventriloquism is created by performing a humorous act in which a ventriloquist, the person leading the action, uses his puppet, or dummy, by creating an illusion and portraying that their voice is coming from the dummy, rather than themselves.
In the famous Bollywood movie “Dil Hai Tumhara”, Jimmy Shergill has practiced this comedy with his puppet.
Anti-humor is a kind of indirect humour, where the comic delivers a joke or punch-line, which is deliberately not funny, and also not expected by the audience at the time, which in itself creates an ironic situation which is quite humorous.
The pranks pulled around the world are based on anti-humour, like the one you’re pulling the prank on is not expecting it, and the main deed of the prank pulled by you isn’t funny but played out as a prank, it becomes hysterical!
So, you are all set with your “Humor-Guide”, encompassing all the types of humor that could possibly have been witnessed by great eras of literature, theatre, and art. Being suffused with plenty of humor examples, we hope reading this blog would have been an illuminating journey.