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Old 03-19-2012, 09:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Dark Humor and Shock Comedy How far is too far?

Recent events in a thread have inspired this topic.

How far does black comedy go before it becomes so distastful that it becomes offensive? Can so called dark humor, such as jokes about death, murder, rape, and domestic violence, or so called shock humor jokes about God, race, homosexuality, etc... Ever be appreciated in any kind of context, or is it morally disgusting to use such serious subjects in comedy?
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't know that you can have the line set in stone but you can always tell when it's been crossed. Are emoticons a license to offend?
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I think it's all about context. Anything can be funny if it's said under the right circumstances by the right person.
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I think it's all about context. Anything can be funny if it's said under the right circumstances by the right person.
This.

Referring to the argument that inspired this thread...if Canwll made a rape joke I might be so surprised he did that I would probably laugh. A lot. Other people are on thin ice and should really watch what they say.
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I think it's all about context. Anything can be funny if it's said under the right circumstances by the right person.
I am notoriously bad at judging what the right circumstances are. I don't know how many times I have made a joke that nobody has understood and have been completely embarrassed by the time I have explained to people what I meant and why I thought it was funny.
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I think dark humour is able to stretch the band a bit further since it makes light of a negative side of life, a current tragic event, etc. while shock humour is funny only for its inappropriate vulgarity.

Plus, fazstp, that's what made me the weird guy amongst my friends who is hilarious only to two or three other people. There's a lot of awkward silence following these jokes, but me and those who get my jokes are together, we have one hell of a ball.
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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One of the key differences that makes death a more accepted subject of dark humour is that it is an event that everyone will experience. Nobody is immune to it, and while it make come sooner for some who don't deserve it, and longer for others that do, in the end everyone will die. That universal fact makes it something that we will all think about at one point or another in our lives as is something we have to come to terms with.

I would say that subjects like rape, abuse, and genocide fall more in lines of what Frownland said about shock humour, or saying something that is so shocking that you laugh, not because you think it's genuinely funny, but to help assuage the awkwardness of the subject matter. Dead baby jokes are a perfect example of this. Not clever in any real sense or even witty, just take some horrible act and inflict it on something we are hardwired to protect and nurture.
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Old 03-19-2012, 11:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I think it's all about context. Anything can be funny if it's said under the right circumstances by the right person.
This is about where I stand on this issue. Although, I will only call someone out on dark humor when they fixate on one thing and it becomes annoying. Like those people who only make jokes about race, but take offense to religious jokes or whatever.

Traditionally, if the person takes similar humor in return without getting all upset, it helps a lot.

If the joke is a joke though, and it appears that the person means no harm, I find it hard to object. Hatred is entirely different.
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Old 03-19-2012, 11:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I think the biggest deciding factor in whether or not to tell a joke in poor taste is your audience. The key to getting away with black humour is to know your audience and when it's appropriate to toe the line.
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Old 03-19-2012, 11:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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One of the key differences that makes death a more accepted subject of dark humour is that it is an event that everyone will experience. Nobody is immune to it, and while it make come sooner for some who don't deserve it, and longer for others that do, in the end everyone will die. That universal fact makes it something that we will all think about at one point or another in our lives as is something we have to come to terms with.

I would say that subjects like rape, abuse, and genocide fall more in lines of what Frownland said about shock humour, or saying something that is so shocking that you laugh, not because you think it's genuinely funny, but to help assuage the awkwardness of the subject matter. Dead baby jokes are a perfect example of this. Not clever in any real sense or even witty, just take some horrible act and inflict it on something we are hardwired to protect and nurture.
I sort of tend to disagree, George Carlin is notorious for making fun of suicide. Christ he has an entire album on the subject titled "Life Is Worth Losing" and he's genuinely funny. It might have shock value, but I think the harshness of life and human behavior is funny in a sadistic sense. I think you're sort of laughing because of how ****ed up humanity really is.

I do definitely agree that some of it revolves around shock, though.
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