Humour Archive

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

Thursday, August 16, 2007

How many types of people are there in the world?

There are three types of people in the world: Those who can count; and those who can't.

There are 10 types of people in the world: Those who know binary; and those who don't.

I always wanted to msg Today Today on triplej and suggest for their 'Two Types of People' segment: Two Types f People: Those who ring up the radio; and those who don't. Ahhahahaaha. How witty I was. Humph.

Anyway, this 'type' of joke has got me thinking about something my dad used to say. And what he used to say was that there is only a finite number of jokes in existence (I think he said five), and that any joke anyone ever invented would always fit into one of these categories. It's a strange thought. A finite number of types of jokes. I don't know what the categories are, but has anyone else ever heard of such a theory? Or do you have any suggestions for categories?

The memory is such a distant one. Perhaps my dad was making a joke in proposing such a theory, and I was just too young to 'get it'...

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Yakety Sax

Thanx Gnome for posing the question 'Why?'.

That is, 'Why can you play Yakety Sax* to any footage and almost instantaneously create humour?'.

Why indeed?

*Apologies for the lameness of linking to Wiki - far overused (yet highly addictive, and oft useful)

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The end...?

Well, the reason I started this blog was to help me start writing my thesis. I have found, since thesis writing has drawn to a close, so has my urge to blog. I think this means: here endeth the Humour Archive. Thanks to those of you who have bothered to read it, especially to those who have contributed to discussion of various topics in the comments.

I s'pose I'll finish off this farewell my letting you know how I went this honours and where I'm headed to next. My thesis, after some contention between the two examiners, was given 76. This, averaged with my course work marks just boosted me over the line into H1 with a final score of 81. Hoorah!

Now I'm headed off into the big bad 'real world' of linguistic research. I will possibly be found in rural Australia studying and documenting Aboriginal Languages. Or I could end up living in Indonesia for a while...

I will leave this site up, at least for a while, so if anyone is interested in future humour(/other) discussions, or keeping in touch, or what I am up to, please comment below.

In the words of my good friend AJ:

Ciao for Niao.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Funny humour finding...

Have been reading McGee's 1979 "Humor: Its Origin and Development" (Monash Uni Co-op $4 - can't go wrong!) and came across this gem of information:

"females rated cartoons funnier when heard through the left ear, whereas males rated them funnier when heard through the right ear" (p. 218)

Sunday, November 05, 2006

People who live in glass houses prohibited from throwing stones...

"Yes, it is true. The Glass House won't be returning next year. It's been a great 6 years and we've loved every minute of it.

While we are sorry to say goodbye, we are proud to go out with high ratings and your fantastic support!

- The Glass House Team"

In today's uninformed and apathetic atmosphere, it's hard to spot irony, hard to read between the lines - well, perhaps not hard, but noone seems to do it. But think about this: why would the Aunty axe such a high rating favorite? Most comments on the Glass House guest book regard the unexpected axing as a free speech issue. I tend to agree.

Humour is a powerful and often subversive phenomenon. Authority figures of oppressive regimes have often tried to silence it and with it, the voices of the people. But it cannot be done. And with your help, the axing of the Glass House cannot be done either.

Online, you can SAVE THE GLASS HOUSE (petition), SAVE THE GLASS HOUSE (myspace), or SAVE THE GLASS HOUSE (livejournal).

Grab your snail mail kit and write to the ABC:
"Save the Glass House"
GPO Box 4119
Sydney NSW 2001.
Go on, it's only 50cents!

Whatever you do, don't do nothing.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

TDK does amazing things to my sister

Welcome to the humour archive - place that answers all those questions that you've never dared ask.

Have you ever wondered....

Who was that cross-eyed bear Alanis get so worked up about, anyway?
What possessed Robert Palmer to go surfing in the sisterphone?
Why was Billy Corgon ready to cage?
And how does he know today is the greatest day available?
Where are the special things in sodomy that Five for Fighting's Superman is looking for?
How come Macy Gray wears goggles when you're no there?
Don't Aqua know that Barbie isn't a wee-wee doll ("Come on body lets go potty")?

The above misheard lyrics seem somewhat related to the 'secret yet' - "a short phrase or riddle involving a pun, in which the punning word has been replaced by a synonym" - people often forget a joke and tell it badly by stuffing up the punchline; for example:

Make like a banana and leave

(this is two secret yets in one: it is trees that leave, bananas just split).

Secret yets seem to me a bit like malapropisms; but to some, the comparison may seem odorous!

To finish off, I'll leave you with one of my dad's favorists (warning: if you're allergic to the C-bomb, contents may offend):

There's this guy in a bar having a few drinks.
Another man walking in and says "Tickle your arse with a feather."
The first guy, confused, goes: "What?"
Second guy says: "Particularly nasty weather."
First guy: "Oh, right." He nods and keeps drinking.

Upon arriving home (by this stage he is a little sloshed), he has the following conversation with his wife:
"Shove this feather up your arse!"
"Oh, cunt of a day!"

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Happy International Funk Day

ok ok ok. I know I should be studying, and infact, I am - right now I'm sitting in front of my gradually expanding culture section - the final section of my thesis (not including intro and conclusion). But I'm giving myself a li'l study break to bring to your attention that today is

International Funk Day!!!!

Or atleast, it should be, if someone had written the article. As I am at present in the middle of thesising, I am unnable to oblige, but I call upon some funkily creative and talented so-and-so (possibly TimT or mayhap one of the Brothers Sterne may be interested?) to complete the entry in my stead. [Thanks to Tim and Tim for rising to the challenge - I have linked the above accordingly]

To celebrate International Funk Day I've added some new links: you can check out and chuckle at the Uncyclopedia, Homestar Runner (Strong Bad emails are especially good, but if you haven't already heard of Homestar, check out the whole site) or Perry Bible Fellowship (my goodness some of these are SO wrong!).

Monday, October 09, 2006

The Prescriptive Linguist

A friend sent me a link to this, and being the linguistic humour scholar that I am, seeking out humour in all it's forms, I thought I'd share it with you all.

It addresses the struggle many linguists have between prescriptivism and descriptivism. No matter how much I claim to be a descriptive linguist, I still cringe when something is 'brought from the shop', while something else is 'bought along to a party'.

For all intensive purposes, this post is just an unequivocable excuse to make one after so long, irregardless of my thinly veiled attempt to make it supposably more humorously meaningful.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Coming soon

This is just a brief heads up to THE VAD - What is THE VAD? You'll find out soon, stay tuned and keep checking the site.

Yes, this is not wholly unrelated to humour, it just seems that way because the site's not fully up and running yet.

In the interim, I'll tell you a joke:

What do you do when you see a space man?
Park in it, dude!

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Thanks to Russ for his comment on the previous post, I have added this new parody religion to the 'Links' section. It contains some quite bizzar humour.

Particularly interesting, I find, is that '[t]he faux religion aspect faded ... and the newsgroup became oriented to the sense of humor of Kibo and his followers' (thanks Wiki). I find it interesting that sense of humour is the defining element here.

I wonder if this is because all 'faux religions' are based on humour, or is this saying something more about charismatic people and their followers? Perhaps even Jesus' sense of humour is what kept him on the radar back in the day?

On second thought, other religious figure heads such as the Pope and Osama Bin Laden aren't exactly a laugh a minute. But then there's Father Bob, so I guess it all evens out....

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Verbal vs Referential Humour

I include here for your consumption my recent (and slightly revised) 'PS' to a linguist friend:

PS. One of the main things that all/most humour theories seem to agree on is that there are two types of humour: 'Verbal' (humorous because of the language used) and 'Referential' (humorous because of the content) (there can also be humour which has both verbal and humorous aspects). This is particularly relevant to a cross linguistic study as some theorists suggest that the only way to distinguish between verbal and referential is to see whether the humour ('funniness') withstands translation (for instance puns, which are very language specific, rarely withstand translation; but a man slipping on a banana peel is considered universally hilarious).

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Linguistic Geek (Word Nerd)

Blossoming into full 'blognerdiness', I have recently, with some friends, embarked on a Quest. It was on this quest that I found this gem of an article at Sterne talking about Computer Nerds and Naughty Words. It is so well written that it made me laugh, but the actual content is quite disturbing, especially given the links between arousal and violence.

So why am I posting this on a 'Humour Archive'? I'm interested to know:

- Why is the image of 'deviant dweebs' is amusing?

- Would we be amusing if jocks were making similar threats?
- Is it simply to format of the particular article that makes it funny?
- How is it that we can be amused and yet sickened, as Jon seems to be, at the same time?
- Is it the fact that we are sickened that makes us amused and promts us to create humour?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Thank you Libra!

are you suffering know...............? Hang on, I'll see if I can look it up. Ah, here we are:


That's the one.

Thanks Libra Ultrathins for interesting fact #95. I really, um......................what's the word?.......appreciated it.

This is a rather apt word in describing its meaning. Rather like the onomatopoeia-appropriateness of Palilalia in the post below, only the onomatopoeia is missing, or at least only there in the abstract.

(forgive my lame excuse for a post...just had to get something down)

Monday, August 14, 2006

The Subconscious, and the strange things that lurk therein

At the moment, I am reading Freud's The Joke and Its Relation to the Unconscious. Funnily enough (just HILARIOUSLY, in fact), this post has almost nothing to do with Freud, save the fact that a memory just trickled down through the recesses of my brain and oozed into my conscious.

So, being in a high state of procrastination, I thought I'd blog about it.

Here's the memory
(hope it comes across as at least mildly amusing; when I first experienced it I think it kept me chuckling for several days [this is perhaps an indication of hos sad I really am...]):

Our cleaning lady's daughter had come over, with her mother, to our house.
While her mother was cleaning, she sat, staring determinedly at a printed
A4 piece of paper.
I went about my business, not really noticing what she was reading.
She remained sitting. Staring. Almost frowning at the paper.
Hours passed.
She still had not moved.
The frown remained.
Same sheet of paper - one sided A4 sheet.
She continued in this manner for almost of three hours.
Finally, I glanced at the
title of the paper she was reading.
It read: "Excellent Jokes"

Not laughing? Hey, just because I study humour, doesn't mean I'm funny! :S


The meaning of the above can be found in the comments of TimT's 'nonsequitur' post over at willtypeforfood. I was so entertained by his description of character #4 (of the same name), that I have linked it here for your enjoyment/perusal/brain-hurtiness.

Thanks TimT!

This is nonsense humour at its finest. It reminds me of the childhood stanza:

"Ladies and Gentlemen [sometime pronounced 'Jellybubbles' or 'Jellybeans'],
I come before you to stand behind you,
to tell you something I know nothing about.
On Monday which is Good Friday,
there will be a mothers' meeting for fathers only.
Admission is free,
pay at the door;
Bring your own seats
and sit on the floor"

There's another one about going downstairs to clean the attic, but it escapes me at present.

Saturday, August 05, 2006


When one is comes across some mildly amusing distractions.

Today I learned, while looking up 'Pallava' in my linguistics dictionaries (which wasn't in either of them; it's a type of script) and I came across the appropriately named:

Palilalia - "Speech disorder described as the involuntary repetition of words or larger units".

Perhaps one's brain is receptive to these things at certain times....I'm not so sure it's funny, now that I've spent time typing this up.

This word reminds me of 'echolalia', which, apart from the title of a Something for Kate album, also means "mechanical repetition of the words just uttered by another speaker, when symptomatic of a speech or other mental disorder".

Enoughough ofofof me and me and my linginguistic nerderdinessess.

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?