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QUACKCAST 83 - need your contributions! TITLE: Humour; best served clean, or with a side of naughty?
ozoneocean at 10:28AM, June 9, 2012
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Humour: best served clean, or with a side of naughty?
 
Comedy, funny, humour, gags, all that stuff! What's your opinion?
There is always a bit of a divide between “dirty” and “clean” humour. Obviously “clean” humour has a much wider potential market, while “dirty” humour is a bit more limited in its audience potential- not generally something that can be enjoyed by the whole family, you exclude kids and those of a more sensitive, or maybe “conservative” disposition (not politically conservative).
 
So which style do you prefer and why?
Which style is superior?
You can give shout-outs to some DD comics that are legitimately funny with or without swearing and or raunchiness.
 
Prototype at 12:49PM, June 9, 2012
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I have tried, I really have, to make jokes that has little or nothing to do with nudity, poop and sexual innuendoes. But for whatever reason it just turns out incredibly lame when I do. It becomes boring.
 
To me silly jokes about bottoms and awkward sexual situations are the best and provide the best punchlines that are genuinely funny. At least to me.  That said, I like it when comics are a little naughty in their jokes but not gross or vulgar. Although I make a adult rated comic I never include the actual F word but always try to find silly names for it.
 
So yes, humour with a side of naughty for me. And i'll order in an extra plate of raunchy with that.
last edited on June 9, 2012 12:50PM
bravo1102 at 5:17AM, June 11, 2012
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People are funny.  The things they do are funny.  The things they do that embarrass them are funnier still.  Most people are embarrassed to talk about “dirty” stuff hence it is funny.  It can be even funnier just having people trying to discuss the dirty stuff because of the lengths many go to try to discuss it without actually trying to discussing it.
A pie in the face is funny.  But a pie on the boobs of a buxom woman or on someone's butt is funnier.  So the “dirtier” the gag goes the more embarrassing it becomes and it gets more funny.  Naked people with pies is even funnier especially if one is hit in the crotch, butt or a woman in the chest.  So the dirtier the gag goes it gets funnier.  
Cue the Benny Hill music.
Gunwallace at 12:33PM, June 11, 2012
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I'm a big fan of those writers who can keep it clean … while at the same time suggesting something dirty (or at least not quite right).  My favourite TV cartoons (I have two kids, and my desk is in the same room as the TV, so I see a few) are the ones that manage to sneak in some adult humour under the radar of the kids. So not smutty, just eyebrow raising.  The Muppet Show (the 1970s version) was good at that. Subtle smut for me. But I'm guessing that makes me a dying breed.
David ‘Gunwallace’ Tulloch, www.virtuallycomics.com
Niccea at 2:24PM, June 11, 2012
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I second GunWallace. Anyone can do dirty jokes, but it takes someone special to do that weird bit of humor that goes over kids head but is suggestive to adults. Animaniacs would be my example of popular media. (They had a lot of penis jokes).
Midnite Fools at 10:15PM, June 11, 2012
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Old Loony Tunes shorts were awesome at this. It was funny when you were a kid and once you're a grownup, it's funny on a different level. Very suggestive.
Personally, sex with funny is sexy. Violence or gore with funny, not so much.
El Cid at 8:02AM, June 12, 2012
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I don't have any kind of deliberate preference for one over the other, but taking a good hard look at the humor comics I like, I see that most of them tend to be of the raunchy variety (off the top of my head, some that come to mind: Last Place Comics, Cowtoon, and Oldcore/Hardschool). I think just in general I tend to gravitate toward less “straight laced” comics though. Pitch Black (a CF comic) was a very funny, very quirky humor series I liked that was at least usually not raunchy but also not what anyone would consider “clean.” I don't think either kind of humor has value in and of itself, aside from audience considerations.
Call Me Tom at 10:54AM, June 13, 2012
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I have always had a strong liking of surreal humor whether this comes from
Asperger's syndrome or upbringing I can't say.
gullas at 2:50PM, June 17, 2012
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Midnite Fools wrote:
Old Loony Tunes shorts were awesome at this. It was funny when you were a kid and once you're a grownup, it's funny on a different level. Very suggestive.
Personally, sex with funny is sexy. Violence or gore with funny, not so much.
I have to agree with you on a level but if gore/violence is done “tastefully” it can work and if it is done in more cartoony way can also work (I am looking at you Brendan Fraiser… you and your George and Loony Toons movies). Looking at older slasher flicks or grind movies is often at times very amusing, if not downright funny. Some of the Jason sequals, most notably Jason X or the Halloween sequals were gory but looking at them now makes them more humourous. From Dusk till Dawn would be a better example of violence/gore portrayed as funny without becoming silly. But yes, suggestive humour does it's much better than violence/gore does… 
ozoneocean at 8:47PM, June 17, 2012
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We're getting away from the topic here though! ^_^
 
It's not about violence and gore or even humour styles, simply: Naughty or nice.
 
You know, clean vs dirty. That sort of thing:
Swearing, nudity, naughty humour, or humour that avoids that stuff.
 
What's your preference, why, which is better?
 
bravo1102 at 2:48AM, June 18, 2012
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Think about the Monty Python skit “nudge, nudge”  That skit has a “dirty” premise but is completely clean.  Things are insinuated but never stated.  Of course the dirtiest comic plays of all time were written in the 17th Century.  So even the humor we think of today as clean is really filthy.  Western Literature only got all cleaned up by those annoying Methodists and then the Victorians and our era of upright clean thinking people is only an illusion dating back to the 19th Century.

Humor has always been filthy.  Turns out all the great comedians did filthy routines full of innuendo or actual dirty jokes and we only know and remember the clean bits because that's all they would record back in the day.  Just because it took Lenny Bruce to say the word “fuck” doesn't mean that wasn't what every other borsht belt comic was talking about ad nausuem.  You'd be surprised what you can get away with talking about if you speak Yiddish.

One example is Redd Foxx spoke dirtier on the stage than Richard Pryor but we only remember Redd Foxx as a cranky junkman.  
ozoneocean at 4:20AM, June 18, 2012
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Yes, a lot of ancient jokes from the Romans, Greek, Vikings, all the way to Shakespeare were pretty racy. The ancient world is full of off-colour, bawdy humour. Look at artwork and stories featuring the Greek god Priapus, with his hugely distended penis and the myths that surround him. :)
Literally the god of knob jokes.
 
And I recall the tail of a giantess trying to drown Thor by squatting down and creating a river of menstrual blood… The adventures of Thor and Loki were often pretty funny ^_^
-unlike the silly serious comics…
 
But there's a place for safer, gentler humour too. I appreciate humour that I can enjoy without being awkward in mixed company (parents, little children etc.), and it really does often take quite appreciable skill and talent to avoid certain subjects and not go for the easier ruder option.
In general though my preference is for bawdy humour, Busty Solar is the best example of that.
 
Banes at 5:39AM, June 18, 2012
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I haven't thought about this subject in years…not since taking offense at a “Ziggy”. Oh, that letter I wrote to the editor certainly gave THEM what-for!

It depends…if a joke or piece of comedy is one-note and mean, then it's not funny generally. In the same way, dirty, raunchy material done for the sake of shock value wears thin really fast, and makes me feel less human after listening to it. That's not my favorite kind of humour.

It's more about “what's underneath the joke” I guess. What the intent of the joke (or comedic bit) seems to be.

But still, humour (and humor, even) often comes from taboos and the discomfort
that goes along with taboos - so dirtier or raunchier material taps into
that.

My favorite kind of humour is…I guess you'd call it satire? Something that shows a kernel of truth below the joke. Just some little piece of human nature, or the nature of a specific area of life, or even a specific character. That can be either dirty or clean.

An example:

A little Stephen Colbert for you: “Does the Obama presidency mean the end of racism? And if so, can I stop pretending to like Spike Lee movies?”

There's a “clean” joke, I guess, but still taps into some potentially sensitive subject matter.

The layers in that one liner are inspiring!

And it's nice if that “little bit of truth” in a piece of humour is not often expressed out loud - that's a great thing about naughty humour -  the laughter comes from the discomfort…


…and also eases the pressure around those taboo areas…if it's done right (er…create your own dirty joke right there).
last edited on June 18, 2012 5:45AM
ayesinback at 10:24AM, June 18, 2012
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The humor that I remember longest or has me laugh loudest is when there's an element of surprise to it, so it follows that some of the funnier jokes will be those that challenge taboos.

Like Betty White saying something off-color. It's not because it's off-color, it's because it's coming out of the mouth of a sweet old lady. But once you start expecting it, then it's not nearly as funny, and pure vulgarity – well, smashing a watermelon with a sledgehammer is funnier.

Take Robin Williams for example. He frequently went blue, but I don't think anything he said was as funny as when he imitated Elmer Fudd singing FIRE - the surprise of a very uncool character singing a hot song. hilarious

imo some of the best surprises are jokes based on stuff I already knew but for some reason hadn't “framed”. The surprise is along the lines of “hey I KNOW what you mean!” – that “it's funny because it's TRUE” moment, even if it's turned sideways and it's the opposite that's “true” (Colbert-esque). It's what I like about Chris Rock. I love his humor in spite of the vulgarity because he pinpoints attitudes to perfection, whether black or white, female or male, (and maybe pinpointing attitudes does require certain language sometimes). I know those attitudes, or those situations – but I hadn't thought about it that way before.

There doesn't have to be a sympatico, tho. When my son was around five he had one of his autistic classmates over, and we were playing catch. His friend caught the ball but then didn't know what to do with it. So I told him to throw it back. And he did, but not to me. He threw it over his head, to the back of himself. I almost burst out laughing – which would have been Bad – and knowing that, I wanted to laugh even more – especially when the two of them just kept looking at me, wanting to know what to do next. I guess the surprise of the situation, real time.
 
edit–
 
Sorry - should have read the thread more carefully.  Humor in comics can be tough because of the images – hard to insinuate and/or surprise when so much is depicted.
  
But to get to your black-or-white question:  it's not a black-or-white answer.  For example, are you talking nudity when you write “naughty”?  Total nudity is less funny than a nude guy only wearing black socks.  And, unless their bodies are perfect, guys in speedo trunks are HILARIOUS – way funnier than naked.
 
adding “naughty” imo does not add funny.  But adding embarrassing can.
under new management
last edited on June 18, 2012 10:49AM
NickyP at 8:03PM, June 18, 2012
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I'm on the fence. Or rather, I'm on the fence, leaning towards one side. I prefer clean humor, but at the same time, naughty humor is great when it doesn't go too far.
 
On one hand, I sincerely admire clean humor. I've seen hundreds of stand up comedy acts, and by far, the funniest ones were by Bill Cosby. I would crack up ‘til my sides and cheeks were literally hurting. And you know what? There was not one bad word uttered, no curses sworn, and no naughty gestures done. All he did was talk about real life scenarios, thing’s we've all experienced. Then he adds some satire and a hint of exaggeration. And finally, he employs timing strategies to underline the punchline. It's a classic formula, but it works so well. 
 
This Bill Cosby skit is a perfect example of what I'm talking about: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIq4OkCT_a8 Completely family friendly, but he's killing the audience.
 
Now on the other hand, some naughty humor is perfect. TV shows like Family Guy and South Park are guilty pleasures for me; I'm not proud to admit that I watch them all the time, and often times I get offended by just how much they break the bounds of decency. And yet, when the writers merge clean humor and well timed naughtiness, it results in comedic gold.
 
There's one South Park episode that deals with the main characters (elementary school children) having lice. Their school administered a lice examination, but they didn't announce which students had lice. So what ensued was witch trial-like hijynx that involved underground blood tests and lynch mobs. These are third graders. In the meantime, the plot switches to the perspective of the lice. One of the lice realizes that “the world” is sentient, and that they should leave before it tries to remove them. All of the other lice think he's crazy, which leads this part of the story into a parody of certain 90's thriller films. To put a long story short, it turns out all the kids had lice, and the self-aware lice ended up migrating to a safe haven where “they have lived for generations in peace”…. this safe haven is revealed to be Angelina Jolie's genitals. 
 
See what I mean? It's a brilliant set up. It's by no means family friendly, and yet, it's just enough so that you don't feel wrong for watching it. It dances on that fine line long enough to keep the kiddies away, but never becomes too obscene. That's what I like. But again, there are many times in South Park and Family Guy that make me shake my head and change the channel. It really disappoints me, because the writers for both shows are fantastic in my opinion. It's a shame they waste their talent on basically being an animated freak show; relying too much on shock factor and tasteless humor, and not enough on the good stuff. 
ozoneocean at 8:42PM, June 18, 2012
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@NickyP - Re Family guy:
I talked to a semi-famous pornstar in LA who had just met the family guy writers. She told me they were the rudest, filthiest arseholes she'd ever met.
 
NickyP at 9:55PM, June 18, 2012
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Well, isn't that interesting. A porn star thought Family Guy writers were filthy. How about that! I'm sure they are, though. It reflects on a lot of their jokes…
 
But woah woah wait, what? You met a porn star? What the— how? When? Where? What did you talk about? Were you thinking of hitting on her, and then stopped yourself when you remembered her profession? Have you seen her.. er, “work” before? I don't mean to derail the topic, but I've never heard any one say they met a porn star. That's just so weird!
ozoneocean at 5:55AM, June 19, 2012
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Oh you know, me and Charley Sheen, pimping it up hardcore at sleazy nightclubs in purple suits with fur trim and platform shoes…
The usual.
 
Naw, Lots of actors and pornstars go to Comic Con (San Diego) in costume, It's preeeety awesome… ^_^
But this was a week or so later while I was in LA (last year), Adult Con was on at the Staples Centre in town so I thought it'd be cool to visit. Lots of porn stars there!
The X-Games was happening right next to there too, so lots of skating and stuff to watch as well and companies giving away free stuff outside in the streets. Man that was an awesome day, I finished up at Venice beach where I visited the Santa Monica pier, bought a cool Led Zeppelin shirt, some groovy shorts and joined the drum circle for sunset.
 
Anyway, that was Brittany Amber (many pics of her online). She was a really nice lady, very funny, very interesting to talk to. You'd be surprised how interesting and funny a lot of porn stars are… the ones I met anyway.
 
Niccea at 6:18PM, June 19, 2012
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ayesinback wrote:
Like Betty White saying something off-color. It's not because it's off-color, it's because it's coming out of the mouth of a sweet old lady. But once you start expecting it, then it's not nearly as funny, and pure vulgarity – well, smashing a watermelon with a sledgehammer is funnier.

My dad know Betty White and he confronted her about some of those jokes. She says that she isn't dirty, it is the filthy minds of those who watch those shows.
bravo1102 at 10:56AM, June 20, 2012
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Niccea wrote:
 
ayesinback wrote:
Like Betty White saying something off-color. It's not because it's off-color, it's because it's coming out of the mouth of a sweet old lady. But once you start expecting it, then it's not nearly as funny, and pure vulgarity – well, smashing a watermelon with a sledgehammer is funnier.

 My dad know Betty White and he confronted her about some of those jokes. She says that she isn't dirty, it is the filthy minds of those who watch those shows. 
Working in a senior residence there are plenty of seniors who love off-color humor.  And a lifetime of telling those kind of jokes has honed their timing to perfection.  Many deliver a tired old joke so well it's funny all over again.
 

The unexpected is what makes a lot of stuff funny.  “I didn't expect that” or “You just don't see that every day” can be gut busters.  When it does happen everyday it's not funny anymore.

Even ancient Henny Youngman one-liners can be funny if delivered right and funny over and over again, but not everyday.
last edited on June 20, 2012 10:57AM
Hawk at 10:00AM, June 21, 2012
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I will always prefer the cleaner humor.  I recognize that dirty things can sometimes be funny, but I think clean humor has a certain challenge to it and I can appreciate those who do it well.
 
When you see a webcomic, comedian, or TV show start to circle the drain, and they know they are losing their audience, often their last ditch effort is to roll out some shock-humor, typically the raunchiest stuff they can manage, and it's stuff I don't usually think is funny.  To me, clean comedy makes me feel like the webcomic is not only in control, but is mature and confident.
 
However, like Gunwallace and Niccea, I don't mind a little bit of naughtiness sprinkled into all-ages comedy if it's mild and embedded well enough.
Anubis at 5:43AM, June 25, 2012
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My comic is definatly not for general reading so I can go both ways with humor when I use it.  I do enjoy a good dirty joke,  but not all the time,  One thing I have tried to do is do a setup for a dirty joke, but have it be totaly clean.    More me having a joke at my readers dirty mind.    That to me is a fun form of humor. 
ozoneocean at 8:14PM, June 25, 2012
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Thanks everybody for your contributions!
Anubis, than you too, but we recorded on Saturday… but this IS an interesting discussion so if people want to continue that's great! ^_^
 
Quackcast 83 will be out in a few hours with these being read out in very silly voices, but it's all taken seriously and commented upon by Banes and I :)
 

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