[lit-ideas] Re: Scrushy and the King of Arkansas

  • From: david ritchie <ritchierd@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 2 Dec 2005 18:30:44 -0800

On Dec 1, 2005, at 5:17 PM, Mike Geary wrote:

I tried this anecdote on one of my classes. They didn't find it funny either. On my end, I'm trying to imagine why it's not funny.

Maybe because they were afraid there was some classical, literary or historical allusion that eluded them. Whenever anyone more educated in the arts and humanities says anything that remotely sounds as though it might be an allusion that I don't know, I'm feel intimidated.

I've thought about this and now agree that it's at least as plausible as the explanation I had concocted, which was that they didn't recognize the rhetorical form, that they hadn't been brought up on banter for breakfast, light wit at lunch, allusive tales after dinner, insults all over. When I taught my history of comedy class last year, I discovered that I don't find funny what current students find funny--Chris Rock and a Chinese-American stand-up whose act included a long riff on what it's like to have an accident in your underwear. I haven't remembered her name.

Who do you currently find funny?

David Ritchie
Portland, Oregon
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