black humor

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Related to black humor: Dark humor, Dry humor

black humor,

in literature, drama, and film, grotesque or morbid humor used to express the absurdity, insensitivity, paradox, and cruelty of the modern world. Ordinary characters or situations are usually exaggerated far beyond the limits of normal satire or irony. Black humor uses devices often associated with tragedy and is sometimes equated with tragic farce. For example, Stanley Kubrick's film Dr. Strangelove; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1963) is a terrifying comic treatment of the circumstances surrounding the dropping of an atom bomb, while Jules Feiffer's comedy Little Murders (1965) is a delineation of the horrors of modern urban life, focusing particularly on random assassinations. The novels of such writers as Kurt Vonnegut, Thomas Pynchon, John Barth, Joseph Heller, and Philip Roth contain elements of black humor.
References in periodicals archive ?
There is another reason why I began with the black humor episode from the wake of Katrina.
The town has come alive and fought a cathartic cleansing game of words through verbal rituals native to Afro-American culture and alien to the white world and, consequently, to the white audience, since as Levine writes, black humor presupposes "a common experience between the joke-teller and the audience" and it functions "to foster a sense of particularity and group identification by widening the gap between those within and those outside of the circle of laughter" (359).
She finds his work to be both a part of traditional American fiction of black humor and a marker of black humor's local and historical developments.
Perhaps morbid teenagers will find the black humor fun, or possibly the story could spark a good classroom discussion on societal mores.
Though replete with its usual black humor, ``Six Feet Under's'' finale has a certain elegance to it, with the message that life goes on.
The milieu is as French as, um, Hitchcock's Riviera-set To Catch a Thief--OK, I'm kidding, but joking around is not out of place for this finely tuned new movie that deploys extremely black humor en route to a terrorizing denouement.
The three one-act stories chosen from the book that now comprise the film -- "The Granton Star Cause," "A Soft Touch" and "The Acid House" -- unleash the same vicious black humor as its predecessor.
Though the film is deadly serious, there is some pitch black humor in the fanatic adoration its Stalin-lovers display.
The throwaway comment in its text that the boys could equally well be posing for photographs as soldiers leaves the viewer stranded between black humor and the unreliability of reportage.
Schultz, in his book Black Humor Fiction of the Sixties, defines black humor as a depiction of "an absurd world devoid of intrinsic values, with a resultant tension between individual and universe" (6); it "enacts no individual release or social reconciliation," for "Black Humor condemns man to a dying world" (8).
com), the first twenty-four hour, cutting edge, video-streaming network will webcast an encore performance of comedian Lewis Black's one man off-Broadway show, Black Humor.
Sonnenfeld may not have made a really good movie since ``Get Shorty'' (though the first ``Men in Black'' was fun), but give him credit for knowing how to take writer Elmore Leonard's black humor and seedy characters and turn them into memorable screwball comedy.