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Humor from Life

There is a well-worn theory that all humor is based upon one person feeling superior to another person. In other words, when it comes to comedy, there is always a joke, and that joke is always at someone’s expense. While some humorists make a living by poking fun at others, often the best comedians have great success poking fun at themselves.

Take for instance, Brian Terril’s piece, “Embodiment of a Geek,” in which the author playfully lampoons himself, as well as his kind, to great comic effect.

“It’s chic being geek. Geeks built the space shuttle and the PC. They made the toaster and the light bulb, the Internet and the atomic bomb. Without geeks, Western Civilization as we know it could not exist.”

Read Brian Terril’s “Embodiment of a Geek.”

See Brian Terril perform “Embodiment of a Geek.”

Another excellent example of this type of humor can be found in Joseph Lu’s meditation on what it means to grow up ABC (American-Born Chinese). On the surface, Joseph makes fun of his confusing identity, but if you read between the lines, you will see that he also employs humor to make an important point.

“I’m a person, yet I’m two different people. No, not a bad case of schizophrenia, just a product of today’s ethnically diverse society.  As a Chinese person who has been raised on potato chips, “Friends,” weekly changing boy bands, and the assurance that my future career holds more for me than being a doctor or an engineer, I surely am an ABC, standing not only for American-Born Chinese, but also American: Born Confused.”

Read Joseph Lu’s “Chopsticks, Harvard, and Chicken Claws.”

Your Turn

Make fun of yourself! Brainstorm a list of your most embarrassing moments! Then begin to write a true story in which the joke is on you!



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