The Comedy of Animal Control (Tony Heron Blog 1)

A bat accidentally gets trapped in a family’s kitchen and the family, with an impressive degree of ineptitude, attempt to get the bat out. With an objective, unbiased lens, this is not the premise of something that should gain millions of views but in today’s society it is exactly what would gain international recognition.

In Rob King’s ‘Laughter in the Ungoverned Sphere’ he suggests that viral videos reshape how we approach what is and is not comedy because we can now “annotate, link to, remix, and, ultimately, share it.” (pg 306) With this development, individuals add their own lore onto simple ‘actuality’ based videos, giving them a sense of a quiet grandeur and spectacle often to the massive surprise of the unsuspecting auteur who whimsically posted these videos to begin with. This phenomenon has become a staple of comedic culture in our society, perhaps most notably in the culture of ‘memes’. The humour of a meme is often created by a strangely arbitrary and abstract process achieved through a combination of a collective comedic consciousness and a mass sharing of content. Humour is attached to a meme often without any semblance of what King would see as orthodox comedy.

The humour of our bat video is not quite as abstract as some of it’s viral relatives because it is set in an environment and depicts people who are familiar to our own lives. King makes the valid point that humour separates those who “get” and joke from those who do not. This video is an example of an ordinary situation that could happen to anyone at any given time thus including everyone in, at least, the premise of the joke. The narrator of thevideo provides a tool of a more orthodox form of comedy for King as it creates a narrative and form that many simple or abstract viral trends seem to lack.

One comment

  1. While I agree that the universality of the video is one of its greatest strengths, I do not think that the humor in the video comes from any narration given by the man behind the camera. Rather, the main force behind the humor comes from the absurdity and lack of narrative which the editing style lends itself too.

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