How To Tell When Jokes Fall Flat
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Entertainment

When Does A Joke Fall Flat?

Comedy in any movie or TV show can add to the overall experience, but what happens when the joke completely misses?

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When Does A Joke Fall Flat?

I believe that comedy and humor are two of the greatest concepts on the planet. It is such a great feeling to laugh and it is honestly an even greater feeling to make someone else laugh. The pure joy that fuels laughter and comedy is nothing less than euphoric. Given this, it is only natural that we want to capture that feeling in our entertainment. Thus we get comedy in our TV shows and in our movies. From here, we have gotten some iconic movies and shows such as "Monty Python and The Holy Grail," "How I Met Your Mother," and even animated shows like "Gravity Falls." Jokes an comedy can be found in shows like these and in all genres of shows and movies. It is a foundation for show creation.

However, comedy is a double-edged sword which seems odd for a thing that is designed to bring happiness and joy. When structured and executed properly, comedy is a wonderful thing. A well written, timed, and executed joke can leave a lasting impression in the minds of the viewers. However, a poorly written joke can leave a sour taste in the mouths of the viewers which can change the perception of the rest of the show or film. Due to this, comedy is very tricky and there are definitely instances where jokes completely miss or fall flat.

One thing that can definitely cause a joke to fail is the delivery of the joke. Sometimes what makes a joke or scene especially humorous isn't exactly what is being said. Instead, it's how it is being said. The enunciation and tone can make a joke super funny or dull to watch on screen. This is why it is so important to make sure your delivery matches either the tone of the scene and character or captures the intended feeling and tone. If this is off target, then the joke will feel awkward and incomplete and from here, it will fall flat on its face.

Another thing that is so important in creating jokes is making sure the joke feels natural and authentic. The jokes need to make some sort of senes in the world of the show. Thus, the viewers need to feel some sort of connection to the world of the story itself and to the characters within it. If the creator has failed to build that connection with the audience, then jokes sound less like actual instances of comedy and human. If I feel a disconnect in the characters and comedy, then it just turns into a mental image where I can actually visualize the writers sitting around and saying to themselves "Okay now this will be funny and this will make them laugh." It feels less real and feels actually kind of awkward.

Other times, jokes fall flat because the creator has severely misjudged his target audience or made the humor too exclusive. This often takes the form of specialized humor and pop cultural references. People from certain walks of life won't understand the joke so the humor falls flat. For example, if you make a joke that centers on the politics of George H. W. Bush or some other past president, people not well versed in politics and people from current generations may not get the joke. Thus your product has been extremely limited and the humor cannot be appreciated.

Comedy can make or break a viewing experience. It can make an audience member attentive or turn away depending on the quality of the joke and there is nothing funny about a joke that misses its mark.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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