Hey You, Teasing Is The LOWEST Form Of Humor

Hey You, Teasing Is The LOWEST Form Of Humor

Even knock-knock jokes encourage audience participation.
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Someone once told me that puns are the lowest form of humor, but I have realized that that can't be true. Puns have to be at least the second lowest form of humor, because the lowest form of humor is teasing.

Teasing is actually a subcategory of another form of humor. Let’s call it “insult humor.” The subcategories of insult humor are teasing, self-deprecating humor, and bigoted jokes (which I will not mention again in this article, because racism/sexism/ableism/homophobia/antisemitism/transphobia/islamophobia/etc. is never funny and therefore doesn’t actually count as a form of humor at all). The difference between self-deprecation and teasing is who the insult is directed at: the joker, or another person.

So why do I specify that teasing, as opposed to all insult humor, is the lowest form of humor? It comes down to power dynamics. But before I talk about power, I need to talk about what (allegedly) makes teasing funny.

A tease consists of a mocking, negative comment made by one person about another person, directly to that other person, sometimes with an audience. In other contexts, we would call this kind of behavior rude, insulting, and inappropriate. But in this context, the two people know and like each other. The teaser is insulting someone that they would not truly ever be mean to. Most humor hinges on reversal of expectations like this. But not all kinds of humor involve hurtful language.

Consequently the teaser is exerting a kind of power over the target, by saying mean things at their expense in the context of a joke. And in order for the joke to work, the target cannot otherwise participate. They cannot respond. They can neither argue against the insult nor take offense without "ruining the joke".

In self-deprecating humor, the teaser and target are one and the same. There is no power imbalance, no risk of hurting the feelings of any unwilling participants. The audience is free to relate to the self-deprecatory feelings and take joy in the joke. In self-deprecating humor, having an audience actively agreeing with you about the insult is an asset to the humor.

Teasing cannot handle agreement any better than it can handle disagreement. A big part of my personal sense of humor these days, which doesn't go over as well as I wish it did, involves responding to other people's teasing with agreement. I call it "back-teasing." I reply to the tease as if it is normal, expected, and taken seriously. The way I see it, if someone pokes fun at me, why shouldn't I be able to poke fun back?

But teasing is a form of humor so low that it cannot tolerate participation. Whenever I back-tease someone, they become very uncomfortable. "I was only kidding," they say, clearly not having fun anymore. By participating, I have somehow "ruined" the joke.

This is because of the power dynamics I mentioned before. The key part of the tease is that the teaser has control of this "not real" situation. They define when it begins and when it ends, and dictate that the insult is not something they would "actually" say. If the target responds to the tease, they take that power of definition away from the teaser. By responding, they lengthen the scenario beyond the intentions of the teaser. And because they responded, it is undeniable that the teaser did in fact actually say the insult, making the scenario potentially real and therefore actually insulting.

Jokes are supposed to create joy between people. A joke that denies participation, that insists that one person have fun while another person is unable to enjoy it, is the lowest form of humor. Even knock-knock jokes encourage participation. And so do puns – it is possible to bounce puns back and forth between people (“Can I tell you a yolk?” “I’d rather crack one.” “Egg-xactly!”), for hours on end, prolonging the fun and creating joy for all who like puns. No insults necessary.

Cover Image Credit: Photo by James Sutton on Unsplash

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18 Times Kate Middleton Was Actually All Of Us In College, Beside The Princess Thing

Every girl has to go through her clueless college stage before she reaches Duchess status.
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Kate Middleton is basically a household name by now, and how could this not be the case when she has the gorgeous hair, kind smile, and incredible fashion sense. With her constantly in the spotlight looking so put together, we sometimes forget that the Duchess was actually all of us in college!

Here are 18 times that Kate proved she was just like all of us.

1. Going all out in the name of school spirit

There is nothing like breaking out the war paint and screaming for your home team. Like Kate, we all love to get a little messy and make some memories with our friends.

2. Hanging out with the roomies

Some people may not get lucky in this area but for those who are best friends with their roommates, they understand the love. It's a dream come true for everyone who has always wanted to live with their best friends. It's like a sleepover that never ends.

3. Dressing up cute on the first day of school...

You got to make a good first impression on your way to school. Whether it's during your 7 A.M or 4 P.M., it's always best to dress to impress.

4. ...and wearing yoga pants for the rest of the year

And this goes all the way until the last week of school when you don't bother getting out of bed to wear pants at all.

5. Going grocery shopping and throwing in cookies, ice-cream, and every type of Pringles because your mom isn't there to say no

You'll probably regret that in a few months when the Freshman Fifteen kicks in.

6. Walking for miles from your car to your dorm carrying groceries

We can't park by the apartment for a solid five minutes to carry our groceries up to the kitchen or we will risk a ticket, but we can walk a few miles carrying food that gets heavier, and heavier, and heavier with every step.

7. Going out for a night on the town on a Friday night

Dancing, laughter, and fun? Everyone in college has been to a party or two. It's a classic part of the college experience. Sometimes you just need a distraction from all the essays and tests.

8. Being so late to class you threw on whatever your hands grabbed next

We've all been there. Our alarm doesn't go off, we press snooze a few too many times, or forget to even set an alarm and next thing you know we are running around the dorm room like Taz from Looney Toons. You throw on whatever, then run to class.

Unfortunately 9/10 times our outfits don't turn out. Although, Kate can certainly pull off this look, no matter how mismatched.

9. Pretending your walking to the same building as the cute boy you met so you have the excuse to keep talking to him

I am very guilty of doing this. Although I missed my class, at least I got to talk to the really cute boy who has class at 9:45 in the STEM building. It was worth it.

10. Sitting on the floor or standing because you're a poor college student who can't afford chairs or tables

Eating on the floor? Always. Being a college kid is tough and sometimes you have to sacrifice some things to obtain the others. Such as choosing chocolate milk and Halo Top over vegetables and hair conditioner.

Judging by Kate's beautiful locks, she chose the conditioner.

Probably the vegetables too.

We should just all follow her example.

11. Going on cute date with the boy you followed to class-turned-boyfriend

Now my short-lived romance may not have extended farther than us talking and walking to his class, but Kate and William obviously had a better ending. Nevertheless, college is the place to grow and date and possibly find the one.

12. Keeping your hair long and growing because you can't afford to get it cut

Don't trust your roommate. No matter how many times she begs you to let her cut it. Don't.

13. Turning 21 and getting dressed up and going out with your best friends

While this one probably doesn't apply to Kate, since you can drink at age 18 in most countries, all my people in the United States know the sweet freedom of turning 21. It's an iconic time in a students life and marks a huge milestone as well.

14. Passing out flyers for some type of movement or protest

Everyone wants to be a part of something bigger - which is why college is the time to stand up for what you believe in. May that be RedforEd, Planned Parenthood, anti-Abortion, Trump, the Wall, pizza bagels, it's all an exercise of the first amendment.

15. Ranting to your friends about the professor that just "doesn't understand you"

You know your thinking about that professor right now as you read this. And you know that that's your reaction whenever they give you a bad grade or say something you disagree with at the tiniest degree.

16. Getting glammed-up for those senior photos

Pick out your best outfit and make sure it's a good hair day because everyone will be viewing these photos forever... and in Kate's place that is more than true. Luckily she looks as gorgeous as ever. Does she ever have a bad hair day?

17. Walking out of your last class knowing you'll never have to write a single paper again

And purposefully not thinking about how you will be going into the real world in less than a few days.

18. When you've graduated and realized you have no idea what you're going to do with your life

Maybe a prince will be right around the corner to sweep you off your feet so you won't have to figure your life out.
Cover Image Credit: Laura Warshauer

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The Football World Loses One Of Its Finest Players

Bart Starr passed away and NFL players, coaches, and fans all mourn the loss of the Packer legend, but his life and career will live on in hearts of Packer nation forever.

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Bart Starr passed away at the age of 85 in Birmingham, Alabama. The NFL lost a great player. The Green Bay Packers lost a hero. And, the world lost a true gentleman. Starr's legacy has surpassed his accomplishments on the gridiron. He inspired not only his peers but the generations that have come after him. He is — and always — will be remembered as a Hall of Famer, a champion, and a Packer.


Bart Starr was a Packers legend. Starr led Green Bay to six division titles and five world championships. As the quarterback of Vince Lombardi's offense, he kept the machine going and executed the plays like no other. His mastery of the position was a large part of the Packers success in the 1960s. Starr was also the perfect teammate for the perfect team. His leadership put him in command of the Packers. Starr's time in Green Bay will not be forgotten by former players, coaches, and the fans.

Bart Starr's resume is rivaled by few in NFL history. He played in 10 postseason games and won 9 of them. He led the Packers to victory in Super Bowls I and II and won the MVP award in both games. He was the MVP of the league in 1966 and was named to the NFL All-Decade Team of the 1960s. The Packers retired his number 15 and Starr has been inducted into the Packers and Pro Football Hall of Fame.


After his playing days, Starr would become the head coach of the Packers. He could not repeat the success he had on the field from the 1960s teams. His coaching years do not take away from his legacy as one of the all-time great Packers. Starr was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977.

One of Starr's last visits to Lambeau field was on a cold November night in 2015. Starr and his wife attended a ceremony in which the Packers retired Brett Favre's jersey number. Starr was the perfect personification of what it meant to be a Packer. His most heroic moment came in the 1967 NFL Championship Game. The Ice Bowl came down to a third and goal in Lambeau Field's south endzone against the Dallas Cowboys. Starr came to the sidelines and bravely told Vince Lombardi that he can sneak it in for a game-winning touchdown. Lombardi then replied, "Run it, and let's get the hell out of here." Starr ran a quarterback sneak for the game-winner and the Packers were off to Super Bowl II. Without Starr, Green Bay would not have won a second straight Super Bowl. His leadership in big game moments will live with Packers fans for a lifetime.

Vince Lombardi: A Football Life - The Ice Bowl

Starr leaves behind his wife Cherry, his son, and three granddaughters. Packers fans will have a tight grip on the memories Bart Starr and the 60s teams created. Starr left behind a template for being a Green Bay Packer. He also left a template for being a good man and a gentleman of the game of football. He was a competitor and a leader. Packer nation mourns for the loss of one of the finest human beings the game has seen.

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