At a time when sensibility is highly contested in the internet due to the negation of the faith of contingency as described by Rob King in his text “Laughter in an ungoverned sphere”, the reproduction of early cinema comedy in contemporary media seems to provide redemption of these feelings of inadequate comic savvy.
“Grandma bites security guards’ finger” is an interesting example in analysing users’ sensibility. It is the presentation of a predetermined comedy that follows a narrative. The narrative reaches its climax with the revelation of the camera and the reaffirmation that what has just been reproduced was a stunt. It seems like, without this revelation, the joke would not work; both for the makers and the audience.
That is, the makers need the revelation of the camera to be able to justify their own perception of humour, therefore securing their sensibility by generating laughter on screen.
As far as the online audience is concerned, the revelation of the camera reiterates what they might have guessed already; that is, that the stunt was meant to game with its live audience but not its online audience. That makes online users feel safe. They can comment and like and find their own way of interpreting the joke without the fear of being criticized for their comedic intellect. It opens them a window to appreciating early cinema humour.
So, I think it is important to insert that in this fast-pacing world of actuality-based humour, online comedy seems to be trying harder to elicit laughter; but it also seems like that among users, sensibility can be preserved in reproductions of early cinema comedy. Because it is the only thing one knows for certain.