Reverse Humor

The Fallen AceHave you ever noticed how Disney animated movies try to make you cry after you have been laughing for a while?

It is ironic, but true, that you have to use a little bit of the opposite to make something seem more like what it is.  The sad moments in the Disney formula are there to make you see how light the lighter moments really are.  The brightest light needs to be contrasted with the deepest shadow.

So, ironically, I find myself talking about irony as a story telling tool.  You see it in today’s first Paffooney.  In World War I pilots were usually dead if their plane was shot down.   Parachutes were not invented until late in the war.  Yet the pilot is giving the thumbs up sign as he sees you watching him fall to his death.  Irony is the perceived twist on reality that overturns expectations and makes you severely think for yourself about what the meaning could be.  Is the pilot happy because he is not the pilot of the pictured plane?  Could he be the pilot who shot it down?  Is it the Red Baron’s plane, forever robbing Snoopy of the ultimate opportunity?  Is the pilot the Baron himself, happy to be done with his famously deadly career?  Ironically, he is wearing a parachute in the painting, because ironically I didn’t look up the fact that the Frenchman, Jean Pierre Blanchard tested the first soft parachute in 1785, dropping a dog in a basket safely from high up in a hot air balloon until after I wrote the sentence about them not being invented in WWI.  And ironically, they still were not commonly used by pilots in World War I because they were mostly flying a few hundred feet from the ground and parachutes rarely were able to save them that close to death.  (Also, ironically, I seem to be using the word irony or its derivative parts of speech so much that the irony is lost by being made too obvious.  Dang me!)


The Moose Bowling Paffooney is another example of the kind of reverse humor that I am trying to explain and confusticate today.  If you can’t read the screwy legend on the swirl, it says, “Life is like Moose Bowling because… in order to knock down all the pins… and win… you have to learn how to throw a moose!”  Now I know that Bullwinkle-ized moose humor is naturally funny in itself, but I believe this Paffooney uses irony to make a funny.  You see, it is surprisingly the opposite of what you expect to happen when you talk about Moose Bowling (an obscure but well-loved sport in Northern Canada) and claim that you do it by throwing a moose at the pins at the business end of the bowling lane.  According to, an average adult male moose weighs about a thousand pounds.  He would be remarkably difficult to throw even if you could get the three finger holes successfully drilled into his antlers.

To sum up, you can plainly see that there is a real science to the use of irony in a humor blog… or maybe not… because I confess I dropped some excess irony on my left foot and nearly crushed it.  I know it was irony because I saw the rust.  Oh, and I forgot to add a whole nuther essay on why puns are a form of irony.  Well… maybe another day.


Filed under humor, irony, Paffooney

2 responses to “Reverse Humor

  1. Oh, that rusty irony. It hurts. I find it ironic that James Bond is not dead or afflicted with some form of VD.

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