Archive for March 31st, 2014

March 31, 2014

9/11 Humor


too soon

9/11 humor is black comedy or off-color humor that aims to make light of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. A number of scholars have studied the ways in which humor has been used to deal with the trauma of the event. Researcher Bill Ellis found jokes about the attacks from Americans the day afterwards, and sociologist Giselinde Kuipers found jokes on Dutch websites a day later. Kuipers had collected around 850 online jokes about 9/11, Osama Bin Laden, and the Afghanistan war by 2005.

An early public attempt at 9/11 humor was made by Gilbert Gottfried just a few weeks after the attacks. During a comedy roast at the Friars Club his 9/11 gags ellicited angry shouts of ‘too soon.’ Gottfried improvised and performed ‘The Aristocrats’ routine (a famously vulgar joke), which got great applause from the crowd.

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