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Students will be able to: 1. share opinions and knowledge about various types of humor; 2. be familiar with some kinds of comedy ; 3. appreciate brief movie reviews.
16 A What a scream!
Work in groups of three. One of you should look at Task 14 (Page 79), one at Task 29 (Page 85), and one at Task 36(Page 88). Read these jokes and make sure you understand them. Then take turns telling them. Question: Which joke interests you the most? With the reference words, Teacher helps Students identify different kinds of humor. After telling the jokes in the textbooks, the Students are expected to tell some jokes to their parterners. types of humor ①adviser 似是而 非的建议 ②antonymism 利 用反义词 description The comic adviser is a type of epigram that originated with the most famous witticism in the history of Punch. An antonymism is humor which derives its effect from contrasting two words or phrases of opposite meaning. examples I. Advice to persons about to marry: Don't. II. Advice to motorists: Never park with your back wheels on a pedestrian. I. The girl with a future avoids a man with a past. II. Mark Twain said, "There is no end to the laws and no beginning to the execution of them". I. One fellow turned to his neighbor at a large party and said, "I made a terrible mistake just now. I told one of the men here that the host must be a cheap tightwad, and he turned out to be the host". His neighbor replied, "Oh, you mean my husband". II. At a social gathering a musician was conversing with an aging dowager who had been assisting him financially. Without thinking he asked his backer how old she was. "Why do you wish to know?" she countered. "My dear", the musician answered without a moments hesitation, " I merely wanted to know at what age a woman is most fascinating." Little Bobbie asked his mother to put some iodine 碘 酒 on his bleeding knee. "How did you cut yourself?" she asked. "Oh, it
③blunder 说 错 话，错话的弥补
The blunder is wit based on a person who makes a mistake which in turn makes them look foolish. There are a number of types of blunders. Some are based on mistaken identities of people and derive their punch from the failure to observe distinctions between people due to surrounding circumstances. Some blunders are based on situations where an individual rescues themselves with wit after doing something stupid.
③blunting 小事 件引出大灾难
Blunting is an ancient device that was commonly employed in the classic dramas of
Greece, its histrionic effects were studied and exploited. As a technique in modern humor it pretends to dull the edge of dire news while really sharpening it.
③boner 校 园 幽 默
The boner is a humorous device and a category of the slip. Boners are short and pointed mistakes that have an amusing effect. They are the replies made by school children or college students to an oral or written question.
was nothing," he said. "I was climbing on the kitchen ladder and I fell down." "Kitchen ladder? What were you doing on the kitchen ladder?" "I was trying to get the glue." "Glue? What did you want the glue for?" "So I could fix the vase in the living room." "The vase? Did you break the vase?" "No, the ball broke it." "The ball?" "Yes. After it broke the mirror, it bounced off and hit the vase." "Were you playing ball in the living room?" "Oh, No. We were playing in the yard and the ball broke through the big bay window. Now, Mother, will you please hurry and put some iodine on my knee. The boys are waiting for me." I. Teacher to pupil: Tell me two pronouns. Pupil: Who!? Me!? II. A science graduate asks, “Why does it work?” An engineering graduate asks, “How does it work?” A business graduate asks, “How much will it cost?” A media studies graduate asks, “Do you want fries with that?” She laid the still white form beside those that had gone before. No groan, no sob forced its way from her heart. Then suddenly she let forth a cry that pierced the stillness of the place, making the air vibrate with a thousand echoes. It seemed to come from her very soul. Twice the cry was repeated, then all was quiet again. She would lay another egg tomorrow. I. "The world should make peace first and then make it last".
③catch tale 抖包 袱
③epigram 文 字 游戏
The Catch tale is a funny story whose name derives from its essential catch nature, the deception of the reader constituting the basis of its humor. The descriptive catch tale usually misleads the reader by implying something dreadful ending with a sudden trivial denouement. An epigram is a short & clever saying referring to a general group of persons or things. Epigrams are mostly satire and deal with evils and follies of mankind. There are two basic types of epigrams, wordplay and thoughtplay. All epigrams contain both, but generally one or the other dominates. This type of comic saying amusingly overstates the special features, defects or peculiarities of a person or thing. Of all twisted proverbs the most extensive class is the
II. When you are right, no one remembers; when you are wrong, no one forgets.
I. The kitchen was so small the mice had to walk on their hind legs. II. She is so industrious, when she has nothing to do she sits and knits her brows. I. Money talks, but it has few intimates. II. Talk is cheap, except when you hire a
③extended proverb 巧 改 谚
extended proverb. This is the proverb to which a clever tag is added, thereby changing a serious saying into an amusing one. Irony is the use of words to express something other than and especially the opposite of the literal meaning. The most common form of irony is the expression by which a person says the opposite of what they mean and the listener believes the opposite of what is said. The comic recovery is a combination of blunder and wit. A person commits a slip in speech but rescues himself by a quick correction or explanation.
The tired store clerk had pulled down blanket after blanket until only one was left on the shelf. Then the customer remarked, "I don't really want to buy today, I am only looking for a friend." "Well, Madam," said the clerk, "I'll take down the last one if you think he's in it." There's the story about the grocery shopper who was making a scene because he wanted to buy a half head of lettuce. The cashier, frustrated, ran back to the manager, not knowing that the customer was right behind. "Some idiot wants to buy this half head of lettuce" he said, then noticing the customer. "And this gentleman wants to buy the other half."
1. Teacher introduces proper nouns of comedy category. There are many types of comedy. Main forms include black comedy, which has comedy as a defense in a horrifying situation, satirical comedy, which basically mocks social, moral, and political problems, romantic comedy, which, of course, has romance, farce 滑稽戏，闹剧 , which has stupid topics, exaggerated characters, craziness, and lastly, the comedy of manners, which shows the passionate plots of the high upper class. As you can see, comedy varies, however, most comedy that is seen on TV is situational comedy, where the comedy is in whatever situation the stars are in. Another type of comedy seen on TV is standup. Many famous comedians such as Jim Carrey, Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno, David Letterman, and Jon Stewart (of The Daily Show), got their start as stand-up comedians, who brought their talent to the small screen. 2. Students do Exercise A. Teacher encourages them to discuss the questions. What’s the funniest movie you’ve ever seen? What’s the funniest movie you’ve seen recently? What was your favorite funny scene?
Types of Comedies:
Comedies usually come in two general formats: comedian-led (with well-timed gags, jokes, or sketches) and situation-comedies that are told within a narrative. Both comedy elements may appear together and/or overlap. Comedy hybrids commonly exist with other major genres, such as musical-comedy, horror-comedy, and comedy-thriller. Comedies have also been classified in various subgenres, such as romantic comedy, crime/caper comedy, sports comedy, teen or coming-
of-age comedy, social-class comedy, military comedy, fish-out-of-water comedy, and gross-out comedy. There are also many different kinds, types, or forms of comedy, including:
(1) Slapstick 打闹剧 Slapstick was predominant in the earliest silent films, since they didn't need sound to be effective, and they were popular with non-English speaking audiences in metropolitan areas. The term slapstick was taken from the wooden sticks that clowns slapped together to promote audience applause. This is primitive and universal comedy with broad, aggressive, physical, and visual action, including harmless or painless cruelty and violence, horseplay, and often vulgar sight gags (e.g., a custard pie in the face, collapsing houses, a fall in the ocean, a loss of trousers or skirts, runaway crashing cars, people chases, etc). Slapstick often required exquisite timing and well-honed performance skills. It was typical of the films of Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, W. C. Fields, The Three Stooges, the stunts of Harold Lloyd in Safety Last (1923), and Mack Sennett's silent era shorts (for example, the Keystone Kops). Slapstick evolved and was reborn in the screwball comedies of the 1930s and 1940s (see further below). More recent feature film examples include the comedic mad chase for treasure film by many top comedy stars in Stanley Kramer's It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963), French actor/director Jacques Tati's mostly dialogue-free Mr. Hulot's Holiday (1953, Fr.), the Blake Edwards series of Pink Panther films with Peter Sellers as bumbling Inspector Clouseau (especially in the second film of the series, A Shot in the Dark (1964) with Herbert Lom as Clouseau's slow-burning boss and Burt Kwouk as his valet and martial arts judo-specialist), and Jim Carrey in Ace Ventura, Pet Detective (1993) and The Mask (1994). Cartoons are the quintessential form of slapstick, i.e., the Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote, and others.
(2) Screwball 浪漫喜剧 Screwball comedies, a kind of romantic comedy films, was predominant from the mid-1930s to the mid-1940s. The word 'screwball' denotes craziness, eccentricity, ridiculousness, and erratic 古 怪的 behavior. These films combine farce, slapstick, and the witty dialogue of more sophisticated films. In general, they are light-hearted, frothy, often sophisticated, romantic stories, commonly focusing on a battle of the sexes in which both co-protagonists try to outwit or outmaneuver each other. They usually include visual gags (with some slapstick), wacky characters, identity reversals (or cross-dressing), a fast-paced improbable plot, and rapid-fire, wisecracking dialogue and one-liners reflecting sexual tensions and conflicts in the blossoming of a relationship (or the patching up of a marriage) for an attractive
couple with on-going, antagonistic differences (such as in The Awful Truth (1937)). Some of the stars often present in screwball comedies included Katharine Hepburn, Barbara Stanwyck, Claudette Colbert, Jean Arthur, Irene Dunne, Myrna Loy, Ginger Rogers, Cary Grant, William Powell, and Carole Lombard. The couple is often a fairly eccentric, but well-to-do female interested in romance and a generally passive, emasculated, or weak male who resists romance, such as in Bringing Up Baby (1938), or a sexually-frustrated, humiliated male who is thwarted in romance, as in Howard Hawks' farce I Was a Male War Bride (1949). The zany but glamorous characters often have contradictory desires for individual identity and for union in a romance under the most unorthodox, insane or implausible circumstances (such as in Preston Sturges' classic screwball comedy and battle of the sexes The Lady Eve (1941)). However, after a twisting and turning plot, romantic love usually triumphs in the end. (See more discussion later in this section.) (3) Black or Dark Comedy These are dark, sarcastic, humorous, or sardonic 讥讽的 stories that help us examine otherwise ignored darker serious, pessimistic subjects such as war, death, or illness. Two of the greatest black comedies ever made include the following: Stanley Kubrick's Cold War classic satire from a script by co-writer Terry Southern, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) that spoofed the insanity of political and military institutions with Peter Sellers in a triple role (as a Nazi scientist, a British major, and the US President), and Robert Altman's M*A*S*H (1970), an irreverent, anti-war black comedy set during the Korean War. Another more recent classic black comedy was the Coen Brothers' violent and quirky story Fargo (1996) about a pregnant Midwestern police chief (Oscar-winning Frances McDormand) who solves a 'perfect crime' that went seriously wrong.
(4) Farce 闹剧 or Parody 滑稽模仿 - also Satire and Spoof 嘲讽
The identifying features of farce are zaniness, slapstick humor, and
hilarious improbability. The characters of farce are typically fantastic or absurd and usually far more ridiculous than those in other forms of comedy. At the same time, farcical plots are often full of wild coincidences and seemingly endless twists and complications. Elaborate comic intrigues involving deception, disguise, and mistaken identity are the rule. Examples of the genre include Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors, the "Pink Panther" movies, and the films of the Marx Brothers and Three Stooges, including:
• • •
the Marx Brothers' satiric anti-war masterpiece Duck Soup (1933) with anarchic humor the western spoof Cat Ballou (1965) Woody Allen's Japanese monster film parody What's Up, Tiger Lily? (1966)
• • • • • •
the 'genre' films of Mel Brooks (the quasi-western Blazing Saddles (1974), the quasihorror film Young Frankenstein (1974), the inventive Hitchcock spoof/rip-off High Anxiety (1977), the Star Wars (1977) spoof Spaceballs (1987), and his swashbuckler send-up Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)) Herbert Ross' Play It Again, Sam (1972) poked fun at Woody Allen as an insecure nebbish-hero who worshipped an imaginary, trench-coated, archetypal tough-guy detective (a la Humphrey Bogart) Silver Streak (1976) - a comic thriller parody of Alfred Hitchcock's 'train' pictures, with Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor (their best film together) onboard the Silver Streak from LA to Chicago Neil Simon's scripts for The Cheap Detective (1978) and Murder By Death (1978) spoofed Agatha Christie detective films Jim Abrahams' and the Zuckers' revolutionary comedy Airplane! (1980) - a sophomoric parody of the earlier disaster series of Airport (1970) films and the original Zero Hour (1957); their The Naked Gun (1988) series parodied TV cop shows, and Top Secret! (1984) ridiculed Cold War agents and espionage spy films (and Elvis Presley films); Abrahams' military comedy Hot Shots! (1991) was a genre parody/spoof of Top Gun (1986), while Hot Shots! Part Deux (1993) parodied Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) in The Freshman (1990), Marlon Brando (as Carmine Sabatini) poked fun - with brilliant parody - at his own characterization of Don Corleone in The Godfather (1972) Carl Reiner's Fatal Instinct (1993) spoofed suspense thrillers and murder mysteries such as Basic Instinct (1992) Gene Quintano's Loaded Weapon I (1993) made fun of Lethal Weapon (1987) as well as The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Basic Instinct (1992), and Wayne's World (1992) the Austin Powers films (1997, 1999, 2002) - parodies of the James Bond 007 films the Scream films (1996, 1997, 2000) - spoofs of slasher horror films Barry Sonnenfeld's Men in Black (1997) - a sci-fi comedy farce based on a comic book series that poked fun at alien invasion films, with Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith as government agents (with camaraderie similar to Mel Gibson and Danny Glover in the Lethal Weapon series) battling about 1500 Earth-dwelling, other-worldly extra-terrestrials in the New York area; a sequel appeared in 2002 Galaxy Quest (1999), about the cast (including Tim Allen, Alan Rickman, and Sigourney Weaver) of a 70s sci-fi TV series in reruns, this was a parody of sci-fi TV, Star Trek itself, and cultish "Trekkie" activities director Nora Ephron's romantic comedy You've Got Mail (1998) updated and paid homage to Ernst Lubitsch's classic The Shop Around the Corner (1940), with leads Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in their third teaming (after their previous hit with Ephron Sleepless in Seattle (1993)), replacing James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan as feudingby-email Manhattan bookstore owners Last Action Hero (1993) - a spoof of action films
3. Individual Work: Which comedy are you interested in? Please describe it to us. Is it slapstick or screwball? Black comedy or farce?
Information about some famous comedians:
James Eugene "Jim" Carrey (born January 17, 1962) is a double Golden Globe-winning Canadian-American actor and comedian. He is known for his manic, slapstick performances in comedy films such as Ace Ventura: Pet Detective; Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls; The Mask; Dumb and Dumber; Me, Myself & Irene; Fun with Dick and Jane; The Cable Guy; Liar Liar; and Bruce Almighty. Carrey has also achieved critical success in dramatic roles in films such as The Truman Show, Man on the Moon, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. He also provides the voice for Horton in the animated feature film Horton Hears a Who!, released March 14, 2008. The film was his first animated feature role. Whoopi Goldberg (born November 13, 1955) is an American actress, comedian, radio host, TV personality, game show host, and author. She is one of only ten individuals who have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony Award, counting Daytime Emmy Awards. She is the second African American female performer to win an Academy Award for acting (the first being Hattie McDaniel). She has won two Golden Globe Awards and two Saturn Awards for her performances in Star Trek Generations and Ghost. Michael John Myers was born in 1963 in Scarborough, Ontario. His television career really started in 1988, when he joined "Saturday Night Live" (1975), where he spent six seasons. He brought to life many memorable characters, such as Dieter and Wayne Cambell. His major movies include Wayne's World (1992), Wayne's World 2 (1993), So I Married an Axe Murderer (1993), the Austin Powers movies and The Cat in the Hat (2003).
Rowan Sebastian Atkinson (born 6 January 1955) is an English comedian, actor and writer, famous for his title roles in the British television comedies Blackadder and Mr. Bean. He has been listed in The Observer as one of the 50 funniest acts in British comedy, and amongst the top 50 comedy acts ever in a 2005 poll of fellow comedians.