Humanities at the Bedside

Humor - Session A

E.B. White once wrote, “Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies.” Read the below articles and watch the embedded video in the first article.

“The Revenge of Lardass Hogan:”  

Transcript of the story:

Questions for discussion: 

  1. What is your emotional response to this scene? Laughter? Disgust? Both?
  2. Comment on the stereotypical characters in this story; do stereotypes lend themselves to humor? Are they disrespectful?
  3. Discuss the performance of storytelling when delivering a joke. Make connections between stories you’ve told or heard about your emergency medicine experiences. Why were they told? Did you augment details to make them funnier? Did you feel guilty telling it though you knew it was funny? Did you learn anything by telling the funny story, get any insight into your behavior or that of others? If the people involved heard the story, would they think it funny, too?

 Exercise: Consider a time when you told a story that you thought was funny but was not received as such. Write out a defense for why you considered it funny. What the source of the humor? And when you told it, why do you suspect it  was misinterpreted. Do you stand by your original instinct about the story? Have you gained insight into the situation by telling the story? 


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