Humour exercise

PDF document explaining how to integrate citations

In the lab today, you will discuss the use of humour in pages 145-203

The situation: You write for a humour blog. This is a blog that discusses the mechanics of humour—how it works, where it comes from, etc. Essentially, it’s a blog for comedy nerds, people who love to talk about and read about comedy.

Your task: You will discuss why three specific moments from pages 145-203 are either good or bad examples of humour in fiction. Basically, if you think it’s funny, it’s a good example. If you think it’s not funny, it’s a bad example. Have one opinion throughout: you either think all three examples are funny or they’re all not funny. Whatever you genuinely feel.

Write a short blog post where you look in depth at these three specific moments. For each moment, do the following:

  1. Include a citation. This should be an example of Lethem’s attempt at humour. Make sure you integrate it properly. It should have a proper contextualizing sentence, and proper punctuation. Use each method of integrating a citation once.
  2. After each citation, dissect what Lethem is attempting to do. Specifically identify which of the following humour methods he’s trying to use. One example can contain more than one of these techniques:
  1. Straight man / funny man
  2. Misunderstanding
  3. Irony: we know something one of the characters doesn’t
  4. Wordplay
  5. Characters
  6. Absurdity
  7. Repetition
  8. Escalation:
  1. Specify why each example either works for you as a piece of humour, or doesn’t work for you. What, exactly, do you find funny about it? Or, what, exactly, turns you off about it?

There’s no specific length for this exercise. You should sit here and write for the entire time.

There’s no structure you need to follow. I figure it will be about one or two paragraphs. Or you can write a short paragraph about each example. Up to you.

Consider your audience: You’re writing for people who love comedy. Comedy aficionados.

Consider your tone: You’re writing about humour. Feel free to be playful in your writing. This doesn’t need to sound like a school essay. How will you write in a way to capture your reader’s attention? How you will open your blog post in an interesting way?


Last steps:

  1. Write your name in the body of the text.
  2. Give your blog post a title.
  3. Insert a feature image.
  4. Make sure it’s in the correct category: Humour exercise

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