Humour Archive

Scraps of humour research presented here for your consumption. Comments welcome.

Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Cherished Fart Joke

This post is inspired by an email I received form by beloved AJ, the image of which I include here:
You find me asking the question 'Why?'.

Why do we find farts so funny? Are they funny because everybody does them? Are they funnier when committed by someone famous or held in high esteem, a respected member of the community?

This is not restricted to an 'uptight' British attitude. When wayang kulit (Javanese shadow puppets) stories are told, the puppeteer creates humour by making prince Arjuna fart.

It seems finding humour in the bodily functions of our royals is not restricted to one culture. Is this something that all people can share? Laughter across cultures at our 'superiors'?

A crude action coming from a refined person - is it the incongruity that makes us laugh? - That something just doesn't fit with our expectations of the world? Royals don't fart. Neither do they pick thier noses, or wipe their arses!

Does it bring 'them' down to 'our' level? Is it the recognition that no matter your status in life, we're all biologically the same?


Blogger Armagnac Esq. said...

Gotta love wayang kulit!!

Hither, a message, enscrolled:

Despite reservations about their bona fides, I have belatedly discovered the roving band of minstrels, bards and village idiots and offer my hearth, replete with decantered Jerez....

1:20 pm  
Blogger Daniel said...

So, fart-related mirth transcends cultures, but the kind of nonsense humour enjoyed by you, Hooch, draws a blank from others of your own society. Do we all belong to a personal culture of one? Does nonsense only work for some with a particular mindset while farts work for everyone because they are a universal human characteristic?

12:32 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe why we find the fart so funny is because of its sound. Remember as a baby when mum used to make those babyish noises at you and then finishes off with a big raspberry on the tummy? I believe this stems from this experience. The reason we laugh as a baby, is i believe because it is ticklish, and hence over the years as we grow into primary school children, we instantaneously associate the fart as the raspberry on the tummy and hence we laugh strictly because of the sound it makes. Sometimes it is funny coming from a refined person, just because we don't associate that 'crude' behaviour with them, however associating childhood experiences with bodily expulsions may be a main contributer to why we find 'farting' so hilarious.


2:12 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its Andrew again.

Come to think about it, laughing may just be an instinctive thing, just like when you pull your hand away from a hot stove if you touch it. When something 'funny' happens, it may just stimulate nerves in your brain so you do laugh. Therefore hearing the farting noise may stimulate your brain and hence you laugh. This reasoning can easier be supported by monkeys. I mean you hear them laugh (oo-aah-aah-oo), but i doubt their intellect is at the same advanced state that our ones are at.

1:10 am  

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