Types of Humor
By Brad Bell
Humor is a form of communication enjoyed by many people. There may be a number of different types of humor. In this article, I will provide information on four of the possible types of humor. I include a satirical humor definition, an ironic humor definition, an off-the-wall humor definition, and a dry humor definition. I have also included a hypothetical example of ironic humor, a hypothetical example of off-the-wall humor, and a hypothetical example of dry humor.
What is satirical humor? Satirical humor is the expression of humor that reflects a critical commentary on a situation.
What is ironic humor? Ironic humor is the expression of humor that reflects an outcome or response that is incongruent with what may be expected.
Here is a hypothetical ironic humor example. Imagine that a person applies for an adjunct faculty position at a university. This person is asked to complete an employment application. During the interview, the interviewer states, “You forgot to indicate whether you graduated from grammar school.” The job candidate laughs. It is ironic to be asked about grammar school.
What is off-the-wall humor? Off-the-wall humor is the expression of humor that is bizarre or absurd.
Here is a hypothetical off-the-wall humor example. Imagine that a cat owner sees her cat on the roof and states, “I guess my cat wanted to get a good view of the sunset.”
What is dry humor? It is important to define dry humor. Dry humor is the expression of humor in an unemotional manner.
As indicted above, dry humor is defined by the manner in which it is expressed, rather than the content. Thus, dry humor may involve other types of humor, such as satirical humor, ironic humor, or off-the-wall humor. Here is a hypothetical dry humor example. A comic tells a joke about his dog in a monotone voice and showing no expression on his face.