Splitsider

Posts tagged as unintentional comedy

The Accidental Comedy Masterpiece Mark Twain Called "Perfect"

In his introduction to the 1883 American edition of English As She Is Spoke, Mark Twain wrote some of the most glowing praise he’s ever laid on any work, ever: "Whatsoever is perfect in its kind, in literature, is imperishable: nobody can imitate it successfully, nobody can hope to produce its fellow; it is perfect, it must and will stand alone: its immortality is secure. … One cannot open this book anywhere and not find richness."

Twain isn’t being entirely sarcastic. While his claim that, “this celebrated little phrase-book will never die while the English language lasts” might be slightly facetious, English As She Is Spoke is still a [...]

Searching for the Naturally Occurring Punchline

Contrary to the suspicions of a particularly desperate primary school teacher of mine, I do not suffer from Pseudobulbar Affect, a rare neurological disorder characterized by unprompted emotional outbreaks. The poor woman was hoping to control my raucous laughter, which had no discernible cause and regularly disrupted her lessons. Nothing is as controlling as a diagnosis. Other teachers simply referred to it as my "laughing problem" — they controlled it by ejecting me, stricken once again, from their classrooms. In fact, I was merely sensitive to human absurdity. A sappy turn of phrase could send me spiraling into delirium. At my step-grandfather's funeral the rabbi's curious choice of idioms [...]

Operation: Whoops – 10 Moments of Unintentional Comedy from 2010

Anybody can be funny on purpose. It’s so easy, in fact, that your mom is probably being funny RIGHT NOW (your mom is Betty White). The real challenge is this: can you be funny without trying to be funny? Are your inner reserves of humor at such high surplus levels that it just flows out of you effortlessly all the time, like an unstoppable geyser of merriment? If you’re saying “yes” right now, you should stop talking to your computer but you should also quietly congratulate yourself for being a powerhouse of unintentional comedy. Like the other folks whose moments show up on this list, you bring joy to [...]