The Humor Code’s Slate series revisited: Are comedians really depressed? (#9)

The depressed and drunk comedian is a common stereotype within the entertainment business. Joel Warner and I investigate the phenomena in this Slate article:

So then why do so many people assume successful comics are troubled? Maybe the problem isn’t with the comics, it’s with the act of creating comedy. Comedians are constantly disclosing problems and discussing taboo topics—because that’s what’s funny. According to McGraw’s theory of humor, the benign violation theory, humor arises when something seems wrong or threatening but is simultaneously OK orsafe. If comedians are going to mine their lives for material, they’re naturally going to start by looking for violations—the foibles, neuroses, and bad behaviors that are great for a laugh (and might make others think they’ve got a screw loose).

Read the full article HERE

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