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Anti-humor and anti-jokes[1] (also known as unjokes) are a kind of humor based on the surprise factor of absence of an expected joke or of a punch line in a narration which is set up as a joke. This kind of anticlimax is similar to that of the shaggy dog story.[2] In fact, John Henderson sees the "shaggy dog story" as a type of anti-joke.[3]

An example of anti-humor is "Why did the chicken cross the road?" with the answer, "To get to the other side". Another popular unjoke involves any seemingly humorous setup leading to the non-sequitur "punchline" of "No soap, radio". Another example of anti-humor is "A man walks into a bar. His alcohol dependency is destroying his family." Another form of anti-humor is poking fun at bad humor by the way of parody. An example is Jim's Journal, a comic strip by Scott Dikkers, co-founder of The Onion, whose four-panel strips end without any sort of punchline. Alternative comedy, among its other aspects, parodies the traditional idea of the joke as a form of humor.[4] Andy Kaufman saw himself as a practitioner of anti-humor. Other comedians known for their anti-humor are Ted Chippington, Neil Hamburger, Corey Mystyshyn, and Bill Bailey.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ Paul Lewis, "Joke and Anti-Joke: Three Jews and a Blindfold", The Journal of Popular Culture, 1987, Vol. 21, Issue 1, pp. 63-73
  2. ^ Warren A. Shibles, Humor Reference Guide: A Comprehensive Classification and Analysis (Hardcover) 1998 ISBN 0809320975
  3. ^ John Henderson, "Writing Down Rome: Satire, Comedy, and Other Offences in Latin Poetry" (1999) ISBN 0198150776, p. 218
  4. ^ Andrew Stott (2005) "Comedy", ISBN 0415299330, p. 119
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