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 when something is wrong yet okay, threatening yet safe, or what we call a benign violation.

The violation is clear: the tweets are littered with profanity and cruel material about about the celebrity. These violations, however, can seem benign because it is hard to feel bad for rich, successful celebrities – especially because the celebrity isn’t all that upset about being trolled.