Anti-Humor

Anti-humor (also known as unjokes) are a kind of humor based on the surprise factor of absence of an expected joke or of a punch line in a narration which is set up as a joke. This kind of anticlimax is similar to that of the shaggy dog story. In anti-comedy the gist of the humor is in how poor the joke is or how poorly it was told. A popular kind of unjoke involves any seemingly humorous setup leading to the non-sequitur punchline of ‘No soap, radio’ or the joke ‘A man walks into a bar. He is an alcoholic and it’s destroying his family.’ Another form of anti-humor is poking fun at bad humor by the way of parody. An example is Jim’s Journal, a comic strip by Scott Dikkers, co-founder of The Onion, whose four-panel strips end without any sort of punchline.

Alternative comedy, among its other aspects, parodies the traditional idea of the joke as a form of humor. Andy Kaufman saw himself as a practitioner of anti-humor. Other comedians known for their anti-humor are Tim and Eric of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, Norm Macdonald, Ted Chippington, Neil Hamburger, Corey Mystyshyn, Jimmy Carr, and Bill Bailey.

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