Another Benign Violation: Darwin Awards

Charles Darwin is best known for outlining the theory of evolution. The Darwin Awards showcase humans who have “self-selected” themselves out of the gene pool by doing something outrageously stupid. 2004: An Italian named Fabio had quit his job as an ostrich farmer to drive trucks, and in his spare

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Another Benign Violation: 2 Girls 1 Cup Reactions

An Internet sensation, a testament to depravity, and something you will have to Goggle on your own if you haven’t seen it, 2 Girls 1 Cup, has scarred pop culture. There have been a slew of reaction videos added onto YouTube. Watching people’s reactions to 2 Girls 1 Cup is

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Another Benign Violation: Scare Pranks

At some point we have all been the victim of an unexpected scare by a friend or family, which often ends with one or both parties laughing. This Mannequin Scare Prank shows how fear is typically replaced by laughter: According to the Benign Violation Theory, humor arises when something is

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Another Benign Violation: Autocorrect Fails

From the T9 function on flip phones to Swype on smart phones, spelling mis-predictions are the bane of handheld communication. It’s hard to catch all the typos  that result from Autocorrect Fails. Using The Benign Violation Theory, we can break down when Autocorrect Fails will be (especially) funny. Humor arises

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Another Benign Violation: Pet Shaming

Public shaming often makes the viewer uncomfortable. What happens, however, when you replace the shamed person with his or her’s best friend? According to the Benign Violation Theory,  humor arises when something is wrong yet okay, threatening yet safe, or what we call a benign violation. This intersection explains why

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Another Benign Violation: Celebrities Read Mean Tweets

One of Jimmy Kimmel’s most successful bits on his late night show is Celebrities Read Mean Tweets. The title is self-explanatory. You can watch the full bit here. What makes watching celebrities read horrible, detestable, and vulgar tweets about themselves so amusing? According to the Benign Violation Theory, humor arises

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Another Benign Violation: Drunk History

With Drunk History in its 3rd season on Comedy Central, let’s look at why this show is funny. Drunk History features a guest recounting historical stories while actors re-enact the tale. The catch: the guest story-teller is wasted. Imagine watching a History Channel special and having to wait for the narrator to

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Repost: Humor and haunted houses

Are you visiting a haunted house in the couple weeks? I’ve observed two kinds of comedy associated with haunted houses: You observe people being scared and then laugh about it. You laugh at people’s reactions to being scared. Both seem to be happening here. Check out more here. Alf Lamont,

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Podcast - I'm Not Joking

Curtain Call

  Welcome to the final episode of I’M NOT JOKING. Comedian JD Lopez returns from Episode 1 to debrief and reflect on Peter’s experience building

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