What's Comedy, Mommy? Where Does it Come From?

There's a question. Whether we're talking about trying to cram humor into the urban fantasy genre, or just getting our friends to spit Sprite out their noses (or better yet, milk).

I could try to dissect the notion of humor, but that would diminish it, every time. I could tell you that comedy is the gap between the subjective expectation of language and the shock of that broken expectation; that the personal relevance of any written humor is absolutely essential to whether the reader will experience surprise and amusement upon the arrival at the failed expectation. I could. I could say those things. I could fill the page with boring words about a funny topic, but I won't. Author E. B. White (that's him right there) once said that, "Humor can be dissected as a frog can, but the thing dies in the process and the innards are discouraging to any but the pure scientific mind."

Comedy is an art. What's funny about a joke is not its construction, no more than what's beautiful about a Monet Water lily is the artist's obsessive brush cleaning.

What I guess I'm saying is this: it was a horrible question for a comedy post, and I'm ashamed. It's not funny at all. Like I said, diminished.

So Mark, you ask. Where can I go to get funny?

Well...I don't know that you can. The stork doesn't tuck funny into Mommy's popo, people. This is learned behavior, or more likely a specific cumulative perspective that may be a bit "off." If you share that perspective with others, you've got a leg up. If not, there are plenty of jokes online.

I will tell you where you can find it. Comedy is in the timing (or the often humiliating lack of it), in understatement, sarcasm and irony. It hides in deliberate ambiguity, embarrassment, being a fish out of water, and finally, dicks and farts (but never penises and flatulence, because those just aren't amusing, at all--except when they are).

Bringing it all back to comedy in urban fantasy, I think when we talk about the two together we're really talking about snark, sarcasm, and a smart ass hero or heroine. This is how it's been for awhile, with few exceptions. That's why I wrote HAPPY HOUR, I wanted to write something with actual comedy elements, setups, and pay offs. I wanted to take urban fantasy characters and make them more like us, clueless, clutzy, and mistake-ridden, even the villains. I hope I've succeeded, because, to me, that shit is funny.

So. That's it.

My first rambling stream of consciousness post here with the League of Reluctant Adults. I'm not even sure I answered the question, or if I'm even qualified. After all, I'm not in the least bit funny. Now, I'm exhausted. I've put far too much thought into a post about comedy. Do you see what I do for you people?

Now, on to what you can do for me * ahem * for us. Us. I'm ready to dust off my prettiest pair of man-panties and be pimped out. As repayment for being my pimp, you may receive this awesome prize package...

Ooo. A signed HAPPY HOUR cover flat (this one's a proof, no blurbs, totally collectible), a copy of everyone's favorite zomedy, SHAUN OF THE DEAD, and probably the most fantastic item of all, a Bop and Beep UglyDoll key chain (made in China, so keep it away from you kids, lest Darwinism go into effect).

Once you've completed your pimpage, make sure to come back and comment to be entered into the drawing.

Pimp away!


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