Humor is Derived from a Deviation For What is Considered Human

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The definition of comedy has been contested for many years, as it is notoriously difficult to determine. Eric Weitz notes that “a general intention to elicit laughter or amusement remains the signature element of what we consider a comic text.” Laughter is notably the reaction most associated with comedy. We often laugh when we find something humorous. However, the definition of humour is just as problematic as that of comedy, as “no two people will always agree on what constitutes ‘successful’ humour.” Eric Weitz suggests that we “note the conditions generally present when someone does find something funny. This allows us to sketch a general image of what [he terms] the ‘humour transaction’.”
While a certain degree of humour can be
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He points out that “the attitudes, gestures and movements of the human body are laughable in exact proportion as that body reminds us of a mere machine.” This indicates that performance is necessary for us to find humour in a comic text. Bergson discusses two particular ways in which we find the deviation from what we consider human to be humorous: repetition and mechanical movement.
Bergson points out that “life should never repeat itself. Wherever there is repetition or complete similarity, we always suspect some mechanism at work behind the living.” It is not “natural” for repetition to occur. This can be seen in Absurd Person Singular when Sidney and Jane walk into a darkened room and Marion says “boo.” Sidney and Jane’s reaction demonstrates the comedy that can be found in repetition.
Sidney: Well, you had us fooled. They had us fooled there, didn’t they?
Jane: Yes, they had us fooled.
As repetition is not a natural occurrence, Sidney and Jane’s interaction appears not to be genuine and the incongruity between what they are saying and what they actually mean becomes a source of humour. The unnatural and unhuman nature of repetition is humourus. As Eric Weitz notes “the endless river of changing circumstances militates against anything happening exactly the same way twice (or more), and so the use of repetition in an artistic depiction toys with our bodied knowledge of the world.” Thus, as Bergson points out,

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