I started this post as a light commentary on a type of humor that I think is interesting from a writing point of view. But — spoilers — it just devolves into a collection of memes that I think is funny.
My kids exist in an online world where the humor is surreal and sometimes not even funny. They think it’s funny, of course, and when I point out that it isn’t, they smile indulgently at my GenXness.
But some jokes do work. There’s a particular type, which my daughter says probably originated on Twitter, that has no setup; you get the context and the punchline in the same sentence. As someone who grew up reading Reader’s Digest jokes, which spent a good twenty words setting up the punchline, these “no context” jokes fascinate me.
I culled most of these memes from our family chat. Then I came across one that was funny only if you know the one it’s based on.
This is the updog meme:
The joke (sorry, I’m explaining it, just skip this if you have to) is that you’re supposed to respond, “What’s updog?” so the first guy can say, “Not much, what’s up with you?” So really, the joke here is that all the commenters spoiled the joke.
But that brings us to… upjesus!
And while we’re here, we’ll do another Jesus joke. This one employs another internet convention I think is interesting: communicating tone by the size and type of font:
Here’s another joke that does the font thing. In internet-speak, writing in a mix of caps-and-lowercase indicates derision.
(Also, yes, I edited it because internet-speak considers the f-bomb to be either inherently funny or a word of general utility. As a writer, I find it irritatingly unnecessary most of the time.)
And lastly, a meme that isn’t no-context, or font-based, or anything else I’ve mentioned here. It’s just a funny one that my son and I quote pretty often.
And I guess this is how this post ends. It’s good for a smile on a gray February day, so you’re welcome.