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What is Antihumor?

 , August 28, 2016
Antihumor is when an audience expects a joke but in place of a punchline is given a serious or absurd statement. In some cases, the surprise of the missing punchline is funny in itself. Antihumor is also associated with deliberately bad standup comics whose jokes are so bad that it's almost funny. The following is a well known example of antihumor:
Why did the chicken cross the road?
To get to the other side.

Tony Clifton

Tony Clifton is a fictional standup comedian created by the influential comedy Andy Kaufman in the 1970s. Clifton has been played by a variety of comedians in costume who traditionally don't reveal their true identity. He is obnoxious, abusive to the audience, sings terribly and tells bad jokes, so bad they're potentially funny somehow.
I just came back from the northeast
Let me tell you something
It was so cold there that
I thought of something funny
You know all the buildings are so cold they have to have heaters
What if they put air conditioners in the buildings instead
Then it would be colder
~ Tony Clifton, Midnight Special, 1981
Overview: Antihumor
TypeStorytelling
DefinitionA set up to a joke that ends with a serious or absurd statement in place of a punchline.
Related ConceptsStorytelling

Storytelling

This is the complete list of articles we have written about storytelling.
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Callback
Character Flaws
Cliche
Dry Humor
Design Fiction
Improv
Deux Ex Machina
Kairos
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Wit
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Peak-End Rule
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Rhetorical Question
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Suspension Of Disbelief
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Looking Glass
Word Of Mouth
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