The Humor Code’s Slate series revisited: When is a joke too soon? A scientific inquiry (#2)

In this article, Joel Warner and I discuss when jokes are ‘too soon.’  How long does someone have to wait before making a joke about a sensitive topic? We explain how to find a balance using the benign violation theory.

The benign violation theory highlights the role of psychological distance in comedy: Not enough distance, and the joke offends; too much, and it bores. So how do you find that comedic sweet spot? Waiting for days, months, or even years before tackling a taboo subject is an obvious way to make a violation feel distant and therefore more benign. (South Park, for instance, declared in 2002 that AIDS was “finally funny.”)

Read the rest of the article HERE.