Final Examples of Types of Humor


Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Hi SEers. John is back with you again. Happy New Year to you all.  Last week I  gave you some humor examples from the list of nine types of humor. Today I want to finish the list. If you need to check back on the Types of humor, go HERE. If you want to review the previous post, go HERE. Well, now that I have directed you all over the place, let’s begin.

Topical Humor – Using current events to create humor. Political cartoons are obvious examples, as are Saturday Night Live skits. As to writing, any story of a topical nature can have an infusion of humor. Narration and dialogue both work.

Trying to find topical humor in literature is tough, but if we go to YouTube shorts, there is plenty. Here’s one.

Here is another about old people. He talks about 80-year-olds, and I’m 81, so it is okay.

Improvisational – Unplanned situational events aimed at causing laughter. The TV show “Who’s Line Is It Anyway is a good example. The only way I can envision using improvisational in writing by describing an impromptu skit. Of course, I could be wrong here, and if so would love to hear in the comments where this type of humor would fit in a book.

My original thought was correct. You really have to witness improvisational. Here’s an example.

Physical – Broad slapstick typified by the physical involvement of the object of ridicule. This was the most practical kind of humor in silent films since it was more visual and required no verbal explanation. Writers Can describe a scene where a character takes a pratfall or other obvious moves for a laugh. I could not find such a description but here are examples. Try not to laugh.

Self-deprecating – Making oneself the object of ridicule. This form is used widely by stand-up comics. In writing, this type is probably best in dialogue. However, a scene could also show something humorous someone said in a self-deprecating way. In keeping with the rest of the examples, I’m going to cop out and head for YouTube.

Wit-Wordplay – Using language to create humor out of a set of words. Puns fall under this category. In writing, wordplay fits in dialogue and scenes where a narrator is telling a story. Let’s wrap up with another YouTube example.

You’ve been a wonderful audience and feel free to comment about your favorite type of humor.

73 thoughts on “Final Examples of Types of Humor

  1. I enjoy good humor in most forms. Great examples, it is a hard art to tackle. Great series on finding ways to add intended laughter to our work, John 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. One of the hard things about writing humor seems to be the setup. If we’re watching a sitcom or listening to a standup, in addition to the visual aspect, we are expecting humor. Some of the funniest lines in a book/story come when they’re unexpected, but it takes work to have a reader not expect something. This has been a great series, John I appreciate your thoughts on a difficult subject.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I love dry humor and silly humor…which are kind of the opposite ends of the spectrum when I think about it. I also ADORE observational humor. This was a fun series, John.
    BTW, loved the humor in Spirited. Great choice in your clips!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Really enjoyed these posts. I’ve never thought about humor in depth before. When I was a kid, my family watched a lot of comedy and musicals. There were a lot to choose from–Red Skeleton, Sid Ceaser (not sure about the spelling), The Carol Burnett show, and comediennes on the Ed Sullivan show, etc. Most of the really good comediennes could flip to a really sad inner core. This brought back memories.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’d never stopped to think about how many different types of humor exist. I think spontaneous humor is my favorite, and I love a good pun. Especially those where you try so hard not to laugh, because they’re so bad, yet you can’t help yourself.

    Great series, John.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Fabulous examples, John. Humor is so subjective. My daughter and I have a favorite stand-up comic who the rest of the family hates. You’d think “funny” is universal, but I guess it’s not.

    Sometimes I write a scene and think it’s funny, then I wonder if my quirky sense of humor makes it only humorous to me. I mean, I’m no Erma Bombeck, but I do make myself chuckle on occasion. (Which is why I largely stick to more serious topics in my work.) Thanks for a great series and a few smiles this morning.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I love the examples you chose, John. Self-deprecating humor makes me laugh every time. I think we all like to laugh at ourselves from time to time. 🙂 I love satire and dark humor, but Chevy Chase never fails to make me laugh as he is kicking the poor Santa and his eight tiny reindeer across the lawn when his masterpiece fails to light. Strange that we can find anger funny. Great series!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I have always preferred ‘dry humor’. You sit by that one ‘quiet’ person and listen to the off-hand comments. I’ve done that since I’m a kid and I’ve sat laughing as no one has a clue what’s so funny!

    Liked by 4 people

  9. I’m a great fan of puns, and love standups like Milton Jones.
    I enjoyed Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Not Going Out, too
    Currently, our favourite sit com is a programme from Scottish TV, now being shown in England. It’s called Two Doors Down.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Pingback: Final Examples of Types of Humor | Legends of Windemere

  11. We have a hard time finding new half-hour TV sitcoms to watch (our official wind-down time) because humor is so subjective, and much of what passes for it is heavily situational and requires you to be aware of the situation.

    And then you watch a season or two, and if it doesn’t morph into something you no longer find funny, they run out of episodes!

    And yet the sitcom is a perennial. And Netflix or Prime algorithms that state, “You will like X because you watched Y” are often not even in the same universe.

    I have no solution – we just keep running through a couple of episodes of the new offerings, and deciding, revisiting the decision in another season or couple of episodes. Doesn’t help that most of the characters on these shows are caricatures – real humans would never be so broad or so desperate.

    And you’d think that a comedian given their own hour-long show would be funny – but that’s no guarantee.

    So we try and are disappointed, and keep trying.

    Really funny? Some seasons of Scrubs. Most of MASH. Third Rock from the Sun. A lot of Firefly. Many episodes of Mom, especially the first couple of years. Mork and Mindy (most – didn’t care for Jonathan Winters), Fawlty Towers, To the Manor Born, Chef (not as funny when we watched it years later). Everyone has their favorites.

    Maybe it would be possible to design a poll that asked a series of questions of viewers – and knew what to recommend based on some sliders about different degrees of, say, physical slapstick or clever wit. But it’s hard – because a near miss is terrible, whereas a near miss in dramas can be overlooked.

    Do you have favorites?

    Liked by 4 people

    • I think you captured in a few paragraphs what is generally wrong with sitcoms,Alicia. I would add that the pace of most is such that really enjoying the humor becomes work. In addition to your list, I enjoyed Seinfeld and Big Bang Theory. Today the only one I watch is American Auto and can’t wait for its return. Thank you for the insightful comment. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      • You make my point re individuality perfectly, John: I positively HATE Seinfeld and all that it represents, and barely tolerated a few episode of Bang. Maybe some of it is a male/female thing, but my husband is also not a big fan of either. We’re both hard scientists by training (plasma physics/fusion, physical chemistry) – out of curiosity, what do you consider your relevant background for liking what you do? Though there is probably no clean divide, no easy predictability. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Wish I had some useful background in marketing. Going against the torrent (I write mainstream literary fiction, but as an SPA) could use some advice, and the SPA advice (frequent books, series, first free, mailing list…) is not helpful, but the traditional readers don’t like to investigate SP work. There’s a gold seam in there, somewhere, but I haven’t located it yet, and have no clue how to mine it without a gigantic budget anyway.

        Marketing experience must be a gift to you as a writer.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I have never faced a tougher nut to crack. If I had a $100,000 budget it would be a no-brainer. As it is with over 1,000,000 indie books launched a year getting rankings and sales is a tough objective. I council myself to keep enjoying what I do and not worry about sales. Since life’s olympic downhill run is fast closing in on the clubhouse, I’m good with that stance.


      • I could spend SOME money on promotion and will, but not that much! As a slow writer and also an older one, I doubt I’d ever recoup much of it, and one needs to eat in retirement.

        A lot of advertising is wasted – but the advertisers still have to pay for it. My current choice is to figure out how to get good reviewers to read Pride’s Children – it’s a slow process to identify those who might read and review, and then persuade them to (as anyone who has been at this for a while knows); some of those have become friends.

        The other part will be to identify competitions and awards which might work for my kind of books – I’m finally getting a bit of traction there.

        I had a bad experience with an Editorial review for Netherworld which seemed to have nothing to do with the book – long story, not to be shared publicly (though I blogged about it happening); fortunately I had – and exercised the option of not having the review published (no, it wasn’t Kirkus).

        I’m trying to fit learning and marketing in around writing time, with really limited energy. We’ll see if any of this year’s efforts are fruitful.

        Thanks for chatting!


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