Scrobbles and Slapstick: Comedy Theory in the Age of Funhaus by Will Larkin

Rob King’s assertion that moving image humor has, in its capabilities, the possibility to utilize the visual media it is presented to create unique comedic moments that might not be achievable in other forms of media. King’s usage of the example of Buster Keaton coming through the movie screen is a very good example of this but it is not contemporary. The way in which more contemporary internet comedy uses technology to generate laughter in the audience is not so much about making jokes about the medium itself but more about using the medium in a way that’s possible only in that medium.

This short clip from one of Funhaus’s gameplay videos is an excellent example of this. The video is a combination of the creative efforts of both the creators at Funhaus and the editor of the video itself who uploaded it separately from the Funhaus Youtube channel. This duality in creative input demonstrates the application of two forms of jokes/gags to get the audience.

Similar to how King describes, the limited possibilities available to the editor of the video affect the way in which the humor is presented[1]. For example, when the three men start to discuss the low number of scrobbles that a certain band has, the view of the computer screen zooms in to the part of the screen that has the number on it. This emphasizes the impact of the joke being made by the gentlemen commentating while also keeping the humor in the style of other internet meme videos of the same nature.

In this way, this video is an excellent example of how certain technological mediums, such as youtube, lend themselves to certain forms of screen comedy.

[1] Rob King “Laughter in an Ungoverned Sphere: Actuality Humour in Early Cinema and Web 2.0” in New Silent Cinema, ed. Flaig & Groo (New York: Routledge, 2015) p. 296.

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