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May 20 2006 / Aaron

Aaron’s law of Comical Transcendence

I have a strange sense of humor1. I laugh at my own jokes, usually alone. However, I think I’ve captured one of the many laws of humor. I call it the Law of Comical Transcendence. It’s the underlying humor-physics that I use as a basis for a large chunk of my comical exploits. Here’s the theory. Take a bad joke or moderately funny taunt, gesture, or other such silliness. Now keep repeating it. As time goes on, it will get less and less funny to those around you. Eventually to the point where it’s no longer funny anymore — perhaps even annoying. Your friends will start to ask you to stop it. The joke’s old man, give it a rest. It’s not funny anymore. But keep persisting, because comical transcendence is imminent. At some point, the repetition of such stupid humor causes the act to undergo a phase-change. Due to the sheer ridiculousness of the repetition and irrational persistence, ones unwavering loyalty to the rehashing of long-dead material, the joke is reborn. If you were to plot the joke’s funniness over time it would look something like so:

As a concrete example of this device, a few years ago at work, I started answering ‘your mom’ to pretty much any question asked of me. It was moderately funny as a non-sequitor to random questions. “Aaron, is the printer out of toner?’, ‘Your mom’. Gold. Of course, they found it funny the first time or two. After a few months though, I think they were starting to tire of it. But eventually, out of pure persistence, it became ridiculous.

My brother Sam introduced me to an AWESOME bit that I enjoy doing thoroughly, and it plays off of this theme as well. With a drink, sit down in a quiet location near at least one victim. Take a quiet but audible sip of your drink and let out a soft ‘ahhhh’. After a long pause, take another sip, followed by a slightly longer, ‘aahhhh’. Repeat. Build. Progressively sip and moan louder and more obnoxiously each time. Good times.

So next time your joke falls flat, remember with a little effort, you can make it work. Take your flop to the next level. The latest joke theme I’m thinking of putting into heavy rotation is pretending to be homophobic about girls doing girly things. The other day Christine and her Sister were waxing their hands. When they explained this to me, I replied ‘Oh my god that is Soooooo gay. Good thing you guys are girls’. They didn’t find that even remotely funny. To me, it was pure gold. They’ll see. Once I make jokes like that about 5000 more times, they will start to get it. Muhahaha.

1 Widely considered unfunny

One Comment

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  1. Alex Kasprzyk / May 21 2006

    The time for which the humour value is negative is inversely proportional to the fame of the person telling the joke.

    Witness the intense pleasure TV audiences get from hosts who repeat the same inane thing over and over again. If the negative period wasn’t immensely short, they’d be on the streets.

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