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NJJ
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I wrote a thesis on the sociology of humour at university at can safely say that none of the existing major studies of humour in art and philosophy support your claim.

Perhaps using Wikipedia for your definition was not the best idea.

The best definition I have come across is that humour is the bisociation of two mutually exclusive frames of reference. In other words, the comic takes two contrary ideas and puts them into one situation. The audience then needs to bridge the gap between the ideas themselves. (Hence why you can not explain a joke)

For example - your first joke puts the two different readings of the statement "Leave my provolone." into one reference.

Your third joke uses the word "Joke" to mean two different things in one context.

(the second joke also conforms to the rule but in a more complex way which I will not go into here.)

Magic, on the other hand, seeks to take ONE idea and to separate into two frames of reference. E.g. People do not fly....but that man is flying.
Hagerman
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This is what I'm talking about! Give me time to research these new words. Can you please elaborate on "Your third joke uses the word "Joke" to mean two different things in one context."

I completely agree about the wikipedia mention. I did that for the "flock." I felt the definition was accurate.

And Danny, why are you yelling? That only tells me one thing....
montemagic
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Aim To Amaze
Dannydoyle
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You have proven it impossible to tell you anything let alone one thing.

No problem the point is made, live in whatever world you like.

See most people do the research necessary to come to conclusions prior to comming to conclusions.

It is tough to find the truth, when you already know ahead of time what that truth is supposed to be. You have your mind made up and and anything you find out will confirm your position.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
NJJ
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Quote:
On 2007-07-03 23:02, Hagerman wrote:
This is what I'm talking about! Give me time to research these new words. Can you please elaborate on "Your third joke uses the word "Joke" to mean two different things in one context."

I completely agree about the wikipedia mention. I did that for the "flock." I felt the definition was accurate.




Accurate? Yes. Useful? Probably not. After all, defining a star as a big sparkly thing in the sky is accurate but is of no use to astronomers.

Your third joke is -
So a guy walks into a bar with a rabbi, a priest, a Buddhist and a duck. The bartender looks at the group and says, ‘What’s this, a joke?’”

Under a theory of comedy as social juxtaposition, the deconstruction would be as follows:

A 'joke' is a funny story often containing a combination of unusual or stereotypical characters such as rabbits, priests and ducks!

A 'joke' is also a slang term used to describe a strange or taxing situation. e.g. "These parking tickets are a joke"

In the context of this particular piece of humour, the punchline (the moment when the two frames of reference collide), uses a quote that makes sense for BOTH uses for the word. Two frames of reference become one.

However, the joke becomes less funny now because the frames of reference have been put together FOR the reader. To be truly funny, the reader/listener must combine the ideas themselves. They must 'get' the joke. A failure to make this connection is a failure to get the joke.

A pig falling into a puddle of mud is usually less funny then a snooty businessman falling in same puddle because the businessman when it comes to mud puddle, the businessman is more diametrically opposed then the pig.
Bad to the Balloon
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Wow this is the most un-funny thread I have ever read!!!

I can sort of see the point IF you believe all human brain functions fall into two categories pain and avoiding pain. This I believe is a basic reptilian brain function that evolutionist believe we possess. It is also a cornerstone of NLP theory.

Personally I feel the human brain has more functions other than on and off. There are on and off synapses going on in different regions of the brain, but to relate pain or no pain to them is like having car with power window and suggesting the them going up and down changes the car's RPMs.

There is a certain je ne sais quoi in human not found in any other animals, I think that thing is HUMOR!!

However gut busting funny comes from relativity how well your audience can relate to the story.

"Played golf yesterday, best two balls I hit is when I stepped on a rake"

Seeing it is even funnier!!!!
Mark Byrne
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Dannydoyle
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Yea but doing it, is not quite as funny. Still funny, just takes a minute!
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Hagerman
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Danny, who are you to tell me I did no research? You have no clue of my background. You need to get over yourself. I did do research. And what you do you think this is? Don't give me lip for defending a thought and asking for someone who is a more talented than you are in the area of logic. (Don't worry, it is ok not to be good at something.) If many of the great scientist gave up on the first objections to their theories, where would we be today? You are standing just as firm in your belief as I; so don't tell me my belief systems can't change. Don't insult me. Now go eat a burrito.

Nicolas, your's is the best counter so far and I'm still looking into it. Your's was the only one that made me think. In digging into your argument, it has have opened up still more words I have to digest. But, your argument still doesn't say where I am wrong logically. You have pointed out that there or more details to my examples and we have different definitions; but it is still not exactly what I am looking for. It would be helpful if can you give me a source for your definition? Thank you for your break down on the word 'joke.' You did point some things out I didn't see.

As for my definition, I am now using Webster's; which, I believe, can be used in court. Here is the definition.
Quote:
3 a : that quality which appeals to a sense of the ludicrous or absurdly incongruous b : the mental faculty of discovering, expressing, or appreciating the ludicrous or absurdly incongruous c : something that is or is designed to be comical or amusing


Using this definition, here is my short argument:

Magic tricks involve a surprise. The moment where the "magic" is seen is a surprise to the viewer. A surprise creates fear. All magic tricks are a "battle of the wits" where the object is to fool someone; people fear being fooled and what they do not understand. Laughing is based on fear. Humor is defined as a quality that creates laughing or amusement and also means that quality which appeals to a sense of the ludicrous or absurdly incongruous. The "magic" moment of a trick creates laughs and amuses. A magic trick is ludicrous because it is absurd to think a person can perform miracles. Since humor is based on fear, (of being fooled and surprised), and is absurd, then the "magic" moment, in a trick, is a form of humor.

This came about because I noticed people laughing at the "magic" moment where there was no known forms of humor involved. Where is this argument flawed? I need a qualified opinion.

I would like for somebody who knows what a straw man, red herring, and non sequitur is to point out exactly where my reasoning goes south in the above paragraph. Please use real fallacies and call them be name.
NJJ
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Hagerman - You mention that comedy confuses. This is not the case, comedy consists of taking two contradicting concepts and create a field in which they exist together. The comedian seeks to create a sudden moment of clarity where the audience 'gets' the joke.

Magic consists of taking a known paradigm and creating a contradictory reality. The audience 'gets' the reality of the trick BEFORE the magical moment. The magician seeks to create incongruity. (NOT confusion!)

Therefore, magic has an entirely different, almost diametrically opposed goal to comedy.

When a magician produces a bird, is it “magic” if the audience sees the bird coming?

What about when a magician performs a multiphase ambitious card routine. The audience KNOWS the card is coming to the top...and yet is still amazed (in a good routine).

The unexpected is not required for magic. Often, telegraphing the desired finale helps build suspense.


Jokes are also offered in conversation to show wit: or to “show off” one’s wit. To “show off” means that one person can do something better than another.

This is a terrible reason to do magic OR comedy. When I perform for my peers I do not seek to be funnier or more magical then them. I seek to amaze or amuse them. Likewise, I do not judge a comedian or magicians act based on whether they are BETTER then me.

They laugh at the confusion in their heads created by the magical effect.

Dai Vernon once said "Confusion is not magic". Anyone confuse. We seek to amaze. Laughter is a response to a surprise (something funny, something amazing, something scary).

There are similarities between magic and comedy. Both create explosions of emotion. Both are unpredictable. Both manipulate reality. Both rely on timing.

However, there are also similarities between cats and rabbits but it doesn't mean I'll be stuffing pussy into a top hat anytime soon.

Magic is not designed to be ludicrous or absurdly incongruous. It's incongruity is not ridiculous, it is sublime. It is unexpected and impossible but it does silly or farcical.

I suggest you read Humour in Society- Resistance and Control by Chris Powel as well as any Aristotle you can get your hands on.
Dannydoyle
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If you tell me 2+2=5, telling you to do a bit more research is the answer. Same here. It is obvious you didn't do enough math homework if this is your contention and no matter HOW much research you have done, more is needed.

Same thing here.

See to just be talented in "logical arguement", as you laughingly claim to be, is not enough here. This is not a debate class. Especially since we are talking about is 1/2 art anyhow. To "quantify" art, is difficult and to use just "logical debate" to do so is not possible. Again, read the books suggested, and it will be told to you in almost those words.

As for the silly notion that confussion creates humor, when you break it down the exact opposite is true. If people are confused they have no idea why in the world they are laughing. You get belly laughs from something that juxtaposes positions, as Nicholas said the Man in the mud and not the Pig in the mud. They are not confused. The pig belongs in the mud, the Man does not! It is perfectly clear.

People do not belong getting hit in the face with a pie, avoiding the confussion is the key to telling the "Shaggy Dog Stories" which made Jay Marshall so famous.

Now for a logical problem. You are looking at your own experience and trying to extrapolate that out to the world. Maybe your particular skill level (not saying good not saying bad but the level no matter what it is) is tainting your view. For example people may not take you seriously as a magician, again not saying that IS the case, only that it makes a diffference in "logic". Maybe they take you REALLY serious as a magician. Either way it is a microcosam of the world.

Maybe they laugh at the climax of your trick because they don't take it seriously in the first place. Maybe this is a routining problem.

See when you come up with new theories, which actually are kind of straw man anyhow by the way, (which means you set up an intentionally wrong premise only to knock it down) you should either be able to back them up by one of 2 things. Please share with us which of or hopefully both of these you have used to bolster your position.

1) Experience. This means that you should have been performing comedy and magic for quite some time. Maybe at least 20 years at a level of a comedy club headliner every week of the year. Or close to it. It means that you are at a level quite high in our business and have risen to a position at which your opinion, since it is so diametrically opposed to almost all others, can be seen in action.

2)Having done lots of research, such as Nicholas did for his University paper. Not looking to get your theory out there now, but actually have all the theory in place and have sources other than simply Wikpedia, to show us.

It seems to me as if you have all but both of these.

And your silly attempts here to be funny "now go eat a burrito" are 3rd grade at best.

Now I join Thomas in my being done with this and leave you to your ideas. I had hoped you posessed the ability to learn obviously you have your ideas and will keep them. I leave you in the capable hands of Nicholas.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
NJJ
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Sorry - the italics in my post are all wrong. It is half quotes and half my responses but it is impossible to see which is which.
Hagerman
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The 'battle of the wits' happens sub-conscientiously - on a more primal level. Check this:

Logial Forms of Wit

Here's a quick line:
Quote:
Hence jokes may have evolved (via mate-selection forces)as a way of demonstrating mental fitness.

The "show-off" theory is under the "Humour as posture and pose" title.

I agree to perform comedy or magic to "show off" is not a good idea. I didn't mean to sound as if these acts for performed on purpose.

I will contend there is level of confusion with the magic moment even though we don't intend for it. (here I will say it will be hard to convince me otherwise.) Otherwise the spectator is not fool. I know why we don't confuse during the routine; but what happens right after the effect?

Isn't there some kind of confusion in a joke that has to occur before one can make the connection and "get" the joke? This confusion may only last a split second. From my own experience, I am confused if I don't get a joke, then sometimes I get it late and the confusion is gone.

"The comedian seeks to create a sudden moment of clarity where the audience 'gets' the joke." What existed before the clarity?

Good magic tricks, with no comedy, can make people laugh out loud. I am interested in hearing your reason for this.

BTW, Bad to the Balloon, first line, very funny!
Bad to the Balloon
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Quote:
On 2007-07-05 23:43, Hagerman wrote:
SNIP
Good magic tricks, with no comedy, can make people laugh out loud. I am interested in hearing your reason for this.

BTW, Bad to the Balloon, first line, very funny!



Gee I was thinking nobody read past the rake joke.

Laugher in magic with no comedy present is do to stereotyping the magi. In history the Magi was to be revered, feared and awe-striking ... today magi is reduced to a archetype comedic character of few types, bumbling incompetent, full of himself BS artist, or a playful jester.

Example: Tomsoni bumbling incompetent & BS artist. We laugh at his absurd posturing.
David Copperfield BS Artist we laugh at his cockiness.
Avner the Eccentric playful jester we laugh at magic happening to the ordinary man.

My grandfather was a greatest magician in Ireland and England, he could walk down the street and turn into a pub at moments notice!!!
Mark Byrne
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Hagerman
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Also:
Quote:
Magic consists of taking a known paradigm and creating a contradictory reality. The audience 'gets' the reality of the trick BEFORE the magical moment. The magician seeks to create incongruity.


Is not humor defined as the quality which appeals to a sense of the absurdly incongruous? absurd meaning unreasonable. Changing a man into a woman is ok. Changing a man into a duck is funnier. This being unreasonable, is funnier to me. Didn't the magic itself create the humor?

BttB, possible. I "love" how poker as viewed on TV. (edited-all action) It trains people how to play bad poker. It's music to my ears to hear "I know how to play, I watch it all the time on TV."
Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On 2007-07-05 23:43, Hagerman wrote:

Good magic tricks, with no comedy, can make people laugh out loud. I am interested in hearing your reason for this.




Because you are doing the magic wrong. They are laughing AT you not WITH you.

Or if the magic is being done properly, the exasperated joy that happens when the tension of a good dramatic effect is finished, causes laughter. It is an expression of joy often, not humor.

A very serious suggestion for you is to find a Judy Carter book and read through it. She offers complete courses on comedy, and would help you with your apparant confussion. Of course if you are so set in your mindset as you have said, it is pointless.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
NJJ
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Quote:
On 2007-07-06 00:27, Hagerman wrote:
Also:
Quote:
Magic consists of taking a known paradigm and creating a contradictory reality. The audience 'gets' the reality of the trick BEFORE the magical moment. The magician seeks to create incongruity.


Is not humor defined as the quality which appeals to a sense of the absurdly incongruous? absurd meaning unreasonable. Changing a man into a woman is ok. Changing a man into a duck is funnier. This being unreasonable, is funnier to me. Didn't the magic itself create the humor?




Short answer? No.

Firstly,
Your definitions are once again lacking. Absurdity as comedy differs from the illogicality of magic. 1 + 1 = 3 is illogical but is not funny.

Second,
The humour of a man turning into a duck is not derived from magic itself but from cultural and sociological expectations as to the nature of a magic trick. In other words, the joke is ABOUT magic. The joke is not magic and magic is not the joke.

That would suggest that a funny joke about a Jewish man would imply all Jews are jokes!
Hagerman
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In the last few days I have seen several dramatic effects produce laughs right at the magic moment. At a magic show in town, I took note of two effects that got laughs: a sawing in half and a bicycle seat levitation. Every time I heard a magic laugh, I poked my buddy saying "hear that?" He probably has a bruise now. In the morning show I perform in, I've been noting the laughs my buddy has been getting with his bird productions. I have a video taken yesterday that recorded these laughs and the magic moments. If he gives me permission, I could post the video and let you see that he has a very good dove production and you can hear the "magic" laugh.

Humor is defined as a quality that creates a laugh; plain and simple.

Nicolas, I've thought about some things:
Quote:
comedy consists of taking two contradicting concepts and create a field in which they exist together. The comedian seeks to create a sudden moment of clarity where the audience 'gets' the joke.


One may argue that a magic effect does exactly this. The field in which the contradicting concepts come together in is the field of view and the imagination. Knowing someone can not read minds and seeing "proof" that someone can is contradicting. Changing one object into another also contradicts known laws of physics. Both objects exist as concepts, or memes, in the brain. The contradicting concepts of comedy exist as memes. The idea is to turn one meme into another within a field of thought, or view. Magic and humor both change memes into others.

Using your definition of comedy, can you walk me through how a callback works?
NJJ
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No - a magic effect does the exact opposite.

It takes a known concept and fractures. The box is empty - then it is full.

Comedy
There is a man and a puddle.
The jokes does not make sense
The man falls in the puddle.
The joke makes sense
Two become one.
The audiences GETS it. They understand and comprehend it on an emotional level.
If the audience is confused and bewildered the comedian has failed.

Magic
There is a elephant on the stage.
Everything makes sense.
The elephant floats
The reality no longer makes sense
The audience is now amazed.
One idea has become one. Elephants do not float....but that elephant is floating.


People laughing at the magic moment does NOT mean it is funny. As we have mentioned before. People laugh when amazed, scared etc. Laughter is a reaction to more then just laughter.

I before comedy magic but I NEVER want people finding the moment of magic of magic funny. I want laughs of amazement NOT laughs of humour. Two VERY different things.

Consider they old joke.

"I want you to be bewildered by magic and laugh at my jokes but you'll probably laugh at my magic and be bewildered by my jokes"
Hagerman
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Quote:
The box is empty - then it is full.


How is this not contradicting? These concepts come together physically, in apparent space and time; but in the end, they become memes. If you turn an orange into an orange, the audience will not get it. There has to be a contradicting concept to create an effect.

Again, I refer to the definition of humor. It is the quality of something that creates a laugh or amuses. A laugh is a laugh. If the magic moment amuses or creates laughs, by definition magic is humor. Am I wrong in assuming that magic amuses? Come to think of it, I wonder if amuse and amaze share the same root.
NJJ
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No - again you misunderstand. I will try one more time but, to be frank, people here do not wish for me to repeat myself so this will be must last attempt. Otherwise I will just accept that either I do not have to ability to explain it to you or you do not have have the ability to understand it.

There are two stages to a comedy and magic act.

Comedy
1) The comedian takes two ideas which contradict. e.g. Bar means "drinking place" or "metal pole".

2) The comedian puts the two ideas into one framework. e.g. Two men walk into a bar...you think one of them would have ducked.

TWO becomes ONE

Magic
1) One idea is taken which makes sense. E.g. Boxes that are empty do not become full by themselves.

2) A contrary idea is presented. E.g. Whilst boxes that are empty do not become full...this one has.

ONE becomes TWO.


I can not dumb it down any further.
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