How to Recognize Comedy

We all crave a chuckle now and then, but most of us chose to receive our larfs in safe venues like open mike comedy clubs or your local college improvisational team.  Why limit your yuks to these rare and controlled occasions when comedy is all around us?  Comedy is, after all, nothing more than a common situation with surprising or unexpected results.  I myself have an uncanny knack for recognizing comedy in daily existence.  Allow me to present some recent situations I found myself in to illustrate how to spot comedy in your life.


ME: Excuse me, Mr. Banker, I was wondering if you could give me a loan.

BANKER: You have to fill out an application, but first, could you loan me twenty bucks?

ME: (doing a double take) You, the banker are asking me for a loan? That’s absurd!

BANKER: I know, it’s wholly inappropriate.

ME: And here I was trying to get a loan from you.  This is not the predictable outcome, is it?

BANKER: No, indeed it is not.

ME: You know what’s happening here?

BANKER: Comedy?

ME: Bingo.



ME: I have this clicking in my knee.

DOCTOR: I have a cure for that. (Turns to reveal a carving knife) I’m going to kill you.

ME: Hey, you’re not supposed to kill me; you’re supposed to heal me!

DOCTOR: But I am going to murder you instead. Not only that, but—(he tears off doctor’s coat to reveal a tattered and dirty trench coat).

ME: You’re a murderous hobo!

DOCTOR: Correction, I’m a murderous hobo with a PhD. You can call me Stinky McStabbs, MD. Oh, and by the way, you have cancer.

ME: But I’m so young.

DOCTOR/HOBO: Yes, it’s quite unexpected for some one of your age to get cancer of the face.

ME: Wait, did you just say “unexpected?”

DOCTOR: I did.

ME: I think something funny is going on.

(DOCTOR/HOBO chases me around the examining table in fast motion as a Benny Hill music plays.)



ME: (pouring dog food into a dish) Here is your food, dog.

(Dog Enters. Takes a bite)

DOG: Hey, this isn’t what I ordered.

ME: (eyeballs bulging) Wha–?!

DOG: That’s right I can talk.

ME: (putting hands on hips) I never in a million years would have suspected my dog could talk.

DOG: Yep, pretty contrary to your commonly held assumption that dogs can’t talk.

ME: You got that right.

DOG: But wait, there’s more.  Not only can I talk but I also am a high powered attorney who has taken more than one case to the Supreme Court.

ME: Wow, a doggie lawyer. What else?

DOG: I’m having sex with your girlfriend.


DOG: Way.  We’re not even doing it doggie style.

ME: What an unexpected turn of events. You can’t write stuff like this.

DOG: If you like that, you’re going to love this: tonight I making you sleep outside because you pooped on the carpet.

ME: You’ve done it to me again, dog. (I shake my fist at him playfully)



GUY: Hello sir, I am a right-wing religious conservative. If I may ask, are you a registered voter?

ME: Sure, why not.

GUY: Well then, would you care to sign my initiative? It will make abortions illegal while making the death penalty legal.

ME: Wait a sec, something funny is going on here.

GUY: Excuse me?

ME: Maybe you don’t see it because you are not as accustomed to recognizing comedy as I am; allow me to explain. You support the sanctity of life by protecting unborn fetuses, yet at the same time you believe in government subsidized murder. Do you see the contradiction?

GUY: No one has ever put it that way before, but yeah.

ME: Let me guess, you also support gun rights.

GUY: Support? I think every American should be required to carry a gun.

ME: Exactly. You think gun laws infringe on your inalienable rights, yet you want to stomp on a woman’s rights by telling her what to do with her body.

GUY: Whoa, what a crazy mix up. My gosh, that’s a lot of contradictions.

ME: Here’s the good news. It’s also a lot of comedy.

GUY: It is? Then let us throw our heads back and laugh in the manner people do when their expectations have been subverted.

ME: Yes, lets.



ME: (Entering) Well, I’m here to pay my last respects.

FUNERAL DIRECTOR: (in casket) you like it like that, huh baby?

ME: Hey, are you having sex with my mother’s corpse?

FD: Who? Me?

ME: Yeah, you in the casket.

FD: Oh, sorry about this. I didn’t expect you so early.

ME: Well, I guess I am a little early. I—hey, wait a minute! My promptness has nothing to do with this.

FD: You got me there.

ME: I gotta say, this is a surprise.

FD: I can imagine.

ME: Any chance you could get out of the casket?

FD: No.

ME: Alright then.

FD: I know this is awkward. I mean, I’m the one guy you explicitly trusted not to have sex with your dead mom, and here I am. Honestly, this is pretty awful. Probably about the most awful thing that can happen under the circumstances. You would not be faulted if you found this turn of events to be strange and beyond what you expected.

ME: You might say it’s the opposite of what I expected.

FD: Ooo, that’s irony.

ME: You know what else it is? Its comedy.

FD: Really?

ME: Sure, for comedy is nothing more than a juxtaposition of two contrary ideas.

FD: Wow.

ME: Isn’t it amazing that even in this dark moment of my mother’s passing, which you have made all the more unspeakably horrifying by your actions, that I can rise above this moment and see it for the skewed, comical situation it is? Isn’t that a triumph of the spirit?

FD: Comedy is great.

ME: Yeah, it’s so…so…

FD: Human?

ME: Exactly.

FD: Juxtaposition!

ME: Comedy!

FD: By the way, we’re in outer space.

ME: (Floating away) No way!

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2 Responses to How to Recognize Comedy

  1. Joshua says:

    Your funny is gilded. I love all of it.

  2. ReneeIsMe2day says:

    Cole, I’m glad I read your article on Cracked, and I’m glad I linked to your site. ‘Nuf said!

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