An interesting article from an alt.usage.english standpoint appears in today's New York Times online edition. It is entitled 'Seriously, the Joke is Dead' and can be seen at:
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/22/fashion/sundaystyles/22joke.html
Charles Riggs
1 2
An interesting article from an alt.usage.english standpoint appears in today's New York Times online edition. It is entitled 'Seriously, the Joke is Dead' and can be seen at: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/22/fashion/sundaystyles/22joke.html

It's not dead. It's only restin.

John Dean
Oxford
An interesting article from an alt.usage.english standpoint appears in today's New York Times online edition. It is entitled 'Seriously, the Joke is Dead' and can be seen at: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/22/fashion/sundaystyles/22joke.html

So a "joke" has a planned setup and a punchline? And "observational humour" is different because it has less setup and depends on the events that were supposedly observed to provide a more continuous stream of smiles?
"So John Kerry walks into this bar and the bartender says, "Why the long face?"
is short enough to avoid losing the ADD generation but doesn't have the setup to be a 'joke'? Isn't "Why the long face?" a punchline?

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Hand hewn by the well schooled shanks
To hold tight the juices from your soul
Before they're sucked clean out a hole
Like a black widow does its mate.
There's the bell, don't be late!
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An interesting article from an alt.usage.english standpoint appears in today's ... the Joke is Dead' and can be seen at: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/22/fashion/sundaystyles/22joke.html

So a "joke" has a planned setup and a punchline? And "observational humour" is different because it has less setup ... losing the ADD generation but doesn't have the setup to be a 'joke'? Isn't "Why the long face?" a punchline?

"Kerry walks in" is the set-up. "Why the long face?" is the punchline. Jokes don't have to be lengthy, they just have to follow the formula. Take my wife. Please.
The likes of Youngman and Hope told jokes in the tradition known as "one-liners". Newman largely did comic monologues. Mason does observational humour.

John Dean
Oxford
An interesting article from an alt.usage.english standpoint appears in today's ... the Joke is Dead' and can be seen at: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/22/fashion/sundaystyles/22joke.html

So a "joke" has a planned setup and a punchline? And "observational humour" is different because it has less setup ... losing the ADD generation but doesn't have the setup to be a 'joke'? Isn't "Why the long face?" a punchline?

That's a good example of a modern (or even post-modern) "joke", (just about the only kind that gets told these days): it is funny at least three levels, two of which are meta-humor. It references the entire "man walks into a bar" genre of jokes, it references the specific one about the horse, and it references Kerry's looks the first two are meta-humor.

Aaron Davies
Opinions expressed are solely those of a random number generator. "I don't know if it's real or not but it is a myth." -Jami JoAnne of alt.folklore.urban, showing her grasp on reality.
An interesting article from an alt.usage.english standpoint appearsin today's New ... 'Seriously,the Joke is Dead' and can be seen at: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/22/fashion/sundaystyles/22joke.html

So a "joke" has a planned setup and a punchline? And "observational humour" is different because it has less setup ... avoid losing the ADD generation but doesn't havethe setup to be a 'joke'? Isn't "Why the long face?" a punchline?

For whatever it is worth, I thought that was a very silly article. It is a typical example of the genre of old farts complaining about how civilization is going to hell nowadays. I can read Barzun if I want that. I don't, however, so I don't.
Richard R. Hershberger
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
So a "joke" has a planned setup and a punchline? ... be a 'joke'? Isn't "Why the long face?" a punchline?

"Kerry walks in" is the set-up. "Why the long face?" is the punchline. Jokes don't have to be lengthy, they ... Youngman and Hope told jokes in the tradition known as "one-liners". Newman largely did comic monologues. Mason does observational humour.

Then there's the Dave Allen style that wanders around and interjects jokes within a joke and sometimes the original joke is never completed.

Tony Cooper
Orlando FL
in the

It's nice to hear from a man this sensitive to changes in our culture: so much more refreshing than hearing from complaining old farts.
Charles Riggs
"Kerry walks in" is the set-up. "Why the long face?" ... "one-liners". Newman largely did comic monologues. Mason does observational humour.

Then there's the Dave Allen style that wanders around and interjects jokes within a joke and sometimes the original joke is never completed.

Ah, Dave Allen. What a sad loss. He could do all the styles. His early TV shows tended to concentrate more on the jokes, the later ones more on the observation. I saw him on stage do an observational piece about his Aunts playing poker and I got chest pains.
A possible successor is Dylan Moran whom we've seen on stage and just recently on TV doing his "Monster" one man show. (Available now on DVD, I believe, as is his superb sitcom "Black Books" which has the added advantage of the brilliant Bill Bailey, whose one-man shows are also on DVD. Now Bailey's style defies description - unless "Victor Borge on crystal meth" is to your taste?)

John Dean
Oxford
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