The Shadow Side of Hilarity: Tiptoeing Through Comedy's No-Go Zones

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Even casual observers of modern screen comedy must recognize its decline; laughs today often consist of mere titters and yowls rather than the belly laughs or boffos that were common decades ago.

Silent comics didn't strive for artful form consciously, yet their humor often demonstrated it. An example: Near the end of a Sennett film, Keaton might lead bathing girls, cops and an entire city of prefabricated houses on an epic chase scene.


Titters are nervous or self-conscious laughs or giggles given in response to nervous, embarrassing, or coy remarks by someone close, such as when your uncle jokes about his new hairdo or you encounter inappropriate material that makes you chuckle inappropriately. Tittering may signal the early stages of laughter and could indicate you don't quite enjoy what's being presented as humor.

"Saturday Night Live" host Larry David recently caused quite an uproar due to his use of light-hearted language to address sensitive subjects, including Holocaust and homosexuality. Many viewers took offense at his comments and did not find them amusing; ultimately this begs the question: Where lies the line between humor and offense? Should sensitive topics be avoided altogether or is there room for humor when discussing such matters?

An engaged sense of humor allows us to rise above pride and other self-serving sentiments that may exist in daily life, accepting rejection and failure as part of the learning experience.

Finding a theater showing comedy nowadays can be hard. Even when movies labeled as comedies play out, few truly laugh-out-loud moments exist, instead coming from quiet, shallow laughter and tittery responses rather than those which used to bring loud laughs of pleasure from audiences.

If you want to become a comedian or better comprehend the hilarious world around you, it is crucial that you gain an understanding of which forms of humor are suitable for various situations and audiences. Tapping into these distinct styles of comedy will enable you to craft more effective and lasting jokes.


Yowling refers to emitting an animal-like cry, often used to express fear or disapproval but also sometimes sadness, boredom, or depression.

A comedian with the ability to yowl can quickly rise above any self-serving sentiments and find humor in situations that might otherwise cause discomfort or embarrassment. They won't be intimidated by failed jokes, knowing that failure is simply another chance at learning - success requires courage to try again!

Yowl are Californian retro-rockers who have released several albums that mine the vein of 1960s and 1970s underground rock; its sounds evoking guitar fuzz, stomping drums and Marc Bolan's distinctive growl were amply demonstrated during their show at AWE. Their performance proved equally captivating.


Be it out loud or with others, laughing out loud requires guts. And laughing with full-on belly laughs takes even more courage. Yet laughter provides an irrepressibly joyful and therapeutic release with proven health benefits like strengthening immunity, relieving pain, protecting heart health and burning calories - not to mention strengthening relationships and diffusing conflict! No wonder finding comedy is one of life's great joys.

Sometimes humor can go too far, which is where no-go zones come into play. One such example would be Larry David who made waves by making light of sensitive issues such as Holocaust denial. Many felt he crossed a line by doing so and insulted a group that deserved better.

There are those who do not find any humor in grieving the death of a loved one, losing a job, or any other circumstance that causes distress. There are others who feel it's inappropriate to lighten things up around such serious matters - leaving humor for more lighthearted occasions only.

No-go zones can restrict people from laughing freely and it's essential that people understand where the line should be drawn when using humor as a form of stress relief. Laughter is one of the body's natural painkillers and it can help fight anxiety, depression, fatigue headaches or muscle tension.

No matter the form, laughter is one of the best medicines. It helps heal and rejuvenate mind, body and soul - as well as helping alleviate stressful days with some zest and fun! When feeling down or blue, take a trip to the comedy zone and let your funny bones do the work - just remember to turn off cell phones before entering as anyone who doesn't follow the rules will be asked to leave without a refund!


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