It can generally go without saying that humor is something that is completely subjective. There are some types of humor that focus on being as absurd as one can possibly be. Other types of humor depend on situation, timing, and tone.
In fact, a lot of people do not realize what goes into comedy and creating jokes that can cause a whole room to erupt with laughter. Just about any comedian will tell you that, in a sense, humor is a type of art. It takes time, effort, and dedication to create a joke that will make an audience laugh, and even then, the audience may not share the same sense of humor as the comedian.
With that being said, there are a fair few categories that people can divide their senses of humor into.
What Are the Senses of Humor?
There is physical humor, which is often referred to as slapstick comedy. This type of humor originates from clowns and mimes to modern-day comedians who play skits for their audience to laugh at.
Generally, physical humor involves using the body in some way to create the joke. This type of humor is often accentuated in animations and shows, as it is much easier to show slapstick comedy than to act it out in person as you can easily exaggerate it.
Another form of humor is known as improvisational. This type of humor, as the name suggests, relies almost entirely on improvisation. The most that someone who practices this humor might do is have a few outlines for jokes planned beforehand. Aside from that, just about everything is made up on the spot. This style of humor is quite difficult to pull off well, but when someone can do it, it is something that millions can appreciate.
Another type of humor is known as topical humor. This is a tricky type of humor, as it often holds little to no value when looking back on it. This is because topical humor focuses on current-day events, often politics, and making light of certain situations. Not only does it not hold up well to the test of time, but to pull it off right, it requires a very thorough understanding of current events to be done well.
A more criticized type of humor is known as dark humor. This type of humor tends to focus on some of the things that people don’t often joke about. Often, there are depressing or unfortunate underlying tones to this kind of comedy, but that is what a lot of people enjoy about it. This type of humor requires a delicate balance between the dark topic of the joke in question and enough talent to put a humorous spin onto it.
Finally, there is dry humor. Dry sence of humor, sometimes referred to as a dry sense of humor or deadpan humor, relies on the juxtaposition of a comedic (or outlandish) situation and a straight, deadpan response to it. This type of comedy can be incredible if it is done right, but it takes the right timing to pull it off. The crux of dry humor is to not show any emotion while doing it, acting as if whatever comedic situation is happening is normal, everyday life.
What Makes Dry Humor Different?
Dry humor is quite a bit different than most other types of humor. It takes a little bit of every category of humor and turns it into one complex joke that many people can appreciate. A lot of people compare it to sarcasm, but the two are actually quite different. Sarcasm relies on an emphasis on the sarcastic delivery, whereas dry humor is defined by the lack of emphasis on the delivery.
In fact, it can be hard to distinguish dry humor from a strange remark from somebody because of the nature of not really adding expression or emotion into it.
Dry humor tends to be the exact opposite of low-brow humor. From potty humor to slapstick comedy, dry humor relies on the fact that the comedian is not reacting to the situation at hand and is just providing a comedic statement in a deadpan tone of voice.
Dry humor incorporates observation, wordplay, and the ability to see the larger picture of the surroundings so that you do not ruin your deadpan expression by reacting to what is going on around you. Dry humor can be difficult to master, but if it is something that you want to excel in, it will be well worth it to do so.
How Do You Practice Dry Humor Jokes?
If you are trying to get into comedy and you want to take the route of using dry humor, then you will want to remember a few different things. For one, you should research and read up on comedians whose styles you admire. More often than not, this will give you insight into how these comedians come up with and deliver the jokes that you know and love.
From there, it will be about practicing some of the core concepts of dry humor. You will want to be able to observe the situation so you won’t be caught off-guard and react inappropriately. You will also want to make sure that you are balancing the dull approach to the humor by having some fun with it. It is never a good idea to try and think of life as dull or boring. Instead, you will want to take the opportunity to practice this style of humor when you can.
Finally, you will want to have a good grasp on wordplay. Wordplay makes up a good portion of dry humor, and without it, the dry statements that you make can often fall flat. You will want to learn how to work with puns, working with words that are common in everyday life, and words that most people can understand. If you put too many layers of complexity into your humor, it begins to lose its value when you are working with dry humor.
It may take some practice to get the delivery right, especially if you are a naturally animated person. However, this will be another key part of making sure that your dry humor lands. By giving a dull introduction to the joke, especially as a response to something that is the exact opposite of dull, you can create a humorous situation that can get a whole room laughing.
What Are Some Examples of Dry Humor?
Dry humor is surprisingly versatile, as it can take on many different tones (despite the lack of tone in the delivery). It can be used as a sarcastic way of remarking about something, or it can be a way to continue a conversation through laughter.
Here are a few examples of dry humor in the right places and situations. A common joke people use to explain dry humor is “I’ve never been married, but I tell people I’m divorced so they won’t think something is wrong with me.” from Elayne Boosler. Another common example people use are the plethora of jokes from A. Whitney Brown, although some of these jokes may not be the most appropriate subjects to work with. There are plenty more comedians who work with dry humor that you can take inspiration from as well.