Show simple item record Smith, Moira 2009-06-24T19:20:20Z 2009-06-24T19:20:20Z 2009-06-16
dc.description Paper delivered at the 2009 meeting of the International Society for Humor Studies, Long Beach CA. en
dc.description.abstract Jokes are not just about being funny or arousing pleasure. Beneath the humor frame’s cloak of non seriousness, some serious and far-reaching epistemological work is going on. In his Redeeming Laughter, Peter Berger argues that the experience of the comic is the perception that “man is in a state of comic discrepancy with respect to the order of the universe.” Jokes step beyond the logical habits by which we normally order our experience and our perception of reality. The experience can be both transcendent and unsettling. This paper will explore this claim with reference to some practical jokes. In this genre, the humorous mode is not an armchair enjoyment but a visceral experience—not only for the butts of the jokes, but sometimes also for the tricksters. The perpetrators of jokes may also be disturbed by the epistemological implications of their activities. This last claim will be supported with results from interviews with the journalists who ran an April Fools’ Day spoof on the radio in 2008. This practical joke, and other media spoofs like it, was an applied exercise in the built-in incongruities of the journalistic role—between reporting the truth and constructing it. en
dc.language.iso en_US en
dc.rights This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. en
dc.rights.uri en
dc.subject Humor; Practical jokes en
dc.title Joking Toweard Transcendence en
dc.type Presentation en

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