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Surreal, Absurd Humor: Everything You Need To Know

Did you know that absurd, surreal comedy is favored by the Millennial Generation? In this article you will learn that there are four things that make this illogical form of humor funny. You will also find that absurd humor is a more positive type of humor over other more lowbrow, negative forms of humor.

What Are the Four things that Make Surreal, Absurd Humor Funny? 

Absurd Humor - This is Absurd!
This is Absurd!

The short answer is that it is focused around illogical situations, behaviors, or absurd characters. What makes it funny is the element of surprise and unpredictability. Surreal or absurd humor is likely to do the following:

  1. Exaggerate Things. Example: “I have just discovered I have superpowers: I can actually melt ice cubes by staring at them. It takes me quite a long time, though.”
  2. Mislead the Audience. Example: “I’ve lost my home, I’ve lost control, and I can’t see any escape. It’s time to get a new keyboard.”
  3. Be Sudden and Take You by Surprise. Example: “I like a woman with a head on her shoulders. I hate necks.”
  4. Go in Unexpected Directions. Example: “My clever friend said that onions are the only food that can make you cry. So I threw a coconut in his face.”

See Witty Companion’s Absurd Humor for on what absurd humor is about.

Millennials Reported to Like Surreal Comedy More Than Past Generations.

Some say that millennial comedy is disorienting, dark, and strange. In 2017, the Washington Post asked: “Why is millennial humor so weird?”  There are several theories on why millennials like absurd, surreal humor more than other generations. Theories include:

  • The world has stopped making sense leading to humor that is surreal and reflects the times.
  • Life has become more rootless (delayed milestones such as marriage, kids, and home ownership; less religious) leading to a fondness for more chaotic forms of comedy.
  • Much of social media encourages five-second clips and 140-character texts. Absurd comedy is usually conveyed in one or two sentences. Many other forms of comedy require a storyline. 

See The Guardian’s Horrifyingly absurd’: how did millennial comedy get so surreal? for more on millennials and surreal comedy.

Is Surreal or Absurd Humor Better Than Other Types of Comedy?

A lot of comedy consists of ridicule where other people are mocked and made the “butt of the joke”. This type of lowbrow comedy may be funny, but in a negative sort of way. On the other hand, absurd comedy is clever and whimsical. Surreal humor is imaginative and creative, making people “laugh together“.  See Sophlylaughing Blog’s Happy Thoughts Travel Fast for more on the merits of surreal comedy over other types of comedy.

For more information from Unvarnished Facts on humor and fun, click here.

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