What Makes Things Funny Rhetorical Analysis

Amazing Essays
“What Makes Things Funny?” Rhetorical Analysis Paper Two men walk into a bar; the third one ducks. Obviously everyone has heard this joke or some kind of joke before. So why do we find this kind of joke funny? Is it the play on words or is it the image of two men walking into a literal bar? Perhaps it is both. Every one has their own definition of what they find to be humorous. Humor can be found in every culture and people of all ages enjoy a good laugh. Humor influences our choices in everything from movies to a person’s choice in friends. Research has even found that humor is beneficial to our health and that laughing can reduce people’s emotional and physical pain. However, the real question is: what makes things funny? In his TED talks speech, Peter McGraw answers this exact question by explaining his Benign Violation Theory to the audience. Overall, McGraw’s speech is effective in persuading his audience that his theory is valid because of his strong ethos factor, extensive use of logos, and his appeal to the audience’s pathos to explain his theory. …show more content…
So McGraw created the Humor Research Lab, or HURL, to discover what it is about humor that people find funny. McGraw and others collectively came up with the Benign Violation Theory to explain the conundrum behind humor. By informing his audience about HURL and the Benign Violation Theory, McGraw builds his appeal to ethos. The audience is now aware that not only has McGraw investigated what makes things funny, but that he and others have proven a theory to back up their investigations. This appeal to ethos validates the rest of McGraw’s speech and opens the door to his strongest

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Comedy, unlike other forms of speaking allows for very unique perspective into our world and times. Whether it 's to criticize or to praise, tackling topics with humor is a great way of showing things for what they are or what they should be. Comedy is also amazing exaggeration, taking an idea and emphasizing what the speaker wants to tell the world. This makes humor a great way of sharing ideas, as comedy makes us feel good and thus we are drawn to you and what you have to…

    • 830 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    In comparison to Shane Snow’s A Quest to Understand What Makes Something Funny? , we can’t help but wonder why Mike E. Winfield’s jokes are so esthetically amusing. Peter McGraw, the author of “The Humor Code”, suggests that good jokes are comprised of more than just punch lines. Simply put, the Benign Violation Theory, a theory that’s been speculated and developed by scholars since 1998, generalizes humor as a violation that’s bounded by benign insights. Virtually, It’s safe to generalize humor as an unexpected violation of social normality that’s influenced by our inner desires, and remains delicately “bounded” by honest and relatable insight.…

    • 824 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Humor Influence

    • 959 Words
    • 4 Pages

    As more and more people have realized the importance of role that humor plays in changing the society, people start to use humor as a tool to express their opinions and it turns out to be a very effective method because the possibility of people being convinced is higher than regular speeches. In the clip A Totally Real, 100% Valid Theory | Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, Samantha Bee uses humor to convince the audience the fact that Donald Trump can’t read. The use of theory of incongruence that Simon Critchley introduces can be found in her jokes. Also, her jokes follow the “benign violation” theory raised by Peter McGraw and Joel Warner which is the main reason of why her jokes are funny. This clip is effective because although everyone…

    • 959 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Louvs explains the situation that may possibly occur to every American adult. Pathos is created by true aspect of Louv’s words. What Richard Louv claims will be true, and the feeling of pathos leads to the humor created. The audience thinks it is funny how they will be able to relate to Louv’s words. Majority of the audience will agree with Richard Louv’s argument of technology separating people and nature because humor appeals to everyone in America.…

    • 914 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Dumas: A Humorist Analysis

    • 1026 Words
    • 5 Pages

    People in today’s society have adopted humor and comedies into their everyday lives, whether it’d be from shows such as Saturday Night Live or from a cartoon column in the newspaper. The success of these humorous selections comes from the entertainment value as well as the sheer value of laughter. Through these positive, light-hearted responses, viewers of humorous programs associate the authors of these comedies with harmless, beneficial motivations. Stephen Colbert relayed his thoughts during an interview, saying, “You can’t laugh and be afraid at the same time.” Thus, de Botton’s view on the role of humorists is correct as it identifies humorists as effective messengers. Not only is de Botton correct in that he acknowledges…

    • 1026 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Robin Williams Comedy

    • 1038 Words
    • 4 Pages

    In fact, a comedian and actor Robin Williams was known as a genius on the audience 's side, but for him, comedy was a way to help him. Sometimes, we see laughing at mental illness as an issue but in reality it shows how people are ready to see past the culture norm and understand the issues more. To start this off, comedy has clearly been a form of therapy to those who…

    • 1038 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Here are the top 5 reasons why laughing to your heart’s content while watching Friars Roasts’ classic roasting are simply great for your health. Laughter is a Stress-buster Laughter holds the key to improving the way you manage stress in your life. Studies have shown that laughter can significantly reduce the amounts of circulating stress hormones. At the same time laughter…

    • 1088 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Thank You For Arguing is a valuable book that should be continued due to the author’s intention for teaching rhetoric to help one argue effectively. The way the author wrote the style of the book allows us to interact with the text because of the situations presented. While reading this book, one can feel the passion the author has for the lost art of rhetoric and his intentions for bringing it back to the society based on its benefits. The book is very entertaining based on its humor while it is also very interesting through its cleverness. The author teaches that the proper use of words along with rhetorical strategies is really effective for when you really have to get your point across to an audience or opponent.…

    • 889 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    It is something as a species that we all experience. We can make friends with humor or we can bring others down. Here are some examples of humor from the harmless to the harmful and the four sources of humor include self-deprecating, slapstick, taboo, and parody and this TV examples show that this humor may or may not be funny based a person or audience. Self-deprecatory humor is when an individual makes fun of him or herself. Comedians like Joan Rivers and Conan O’Brian use this type of humor in their standup routine.…

    • 1798 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Ridiculing People

    • 1155 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Humor has its many uses, such as a “buffer against depression and hopelessness” as suggested by psychologist Daniela S. Hugelshofer. Or help us ease the tension, and help everyone cope with our current situations. Most humor that tends to those needs are often simple slapstick jokes that the general population finds amusing. Comedy has also been used to point out serious social issues through the use of the humor’s less understood brother, Satire. Which is all about ridiculing people’s and social’s views to expose some truth to the listeners, hopefully.…

    • 1155 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays

Related Topics