Today, when we watch the likes of lumière brother’s “L’Arroseur arrosé” we can easily view it as a primitive and immature example of comedy simply because of the embryonic state of cinema at the time of it’s making. However, we now have similar viral videos once again coming into what we consider as funny. This is especially true when we consider vine videos. Tom Gunning tells us that the comedy of early gag films were born from their embracing of the limitations of technology. Film reels were only so long so filmmakers only had a brief period to capture the full extent of their gag. Gunning tells us this problem actually created a desirable sense of brevity to the humour and therefore “[reflected] an essential economy of temporal form, rather than a primitive inability to edit.”
Vine embraced the limitation of time in order to create a more dynamic package for comedy, 6 seconds to be exact. However, the need for it was not in the amazement of it’s technology like that of the early audiences of cinema but perhaps out of a necessity to deliver a joke at a fibre optic speed to millennial audiences who demand a set up and pay off as soon as possible. We can see this clearly in the famous “Kelly Collins Come Get Yo Juice” vine where there is a problem situation set up within 2 seconds, a lure of mischief within 4 seconds, the payoff of the mischief within 5 seconds then the chaos to finish all in 6 seconds. This is completely following “the basic structure of mischievous preparation and laughable consequence” with even a dash of comeuppance for the mischievous character as they seemingly look at the chaos and destruction they created and utter the horrified and frustrated “Shit!” as the video ends. Here, we have can clearly see how we can relate viral videos today with the phenomena of early gag films.