We started this humor project reading Rhinoceros by Eugene Ionceros and started reading Slaughter House-Five by Kurt Vonnegut before we started remote learning. At home, we brainstormed an idea for our humor presentation but due to the limitations, they weren’t going to be live presentations but all videos.
Humoirst 1: Jeff Wysaski- Fake toys
Humoirst 2: Nate Bargatze- Kid Toys
Nate Bargatza’s Kid Toys (on Comedy Central) highlights how toys prepare women for their lives, whereas toys for boys don’t. Then I looked through Jeff Wysaski’s line of fake toys which are a play on things that happen in life. Nate Bargatza’s skit talked about girl toys like baby dolls and houses, comparing them to boy toys like Ninja Turtles and Transformers. He brought up the point of how the toys were a reflection of how kids grow up. Like, women are trained at a young age to care for a baby, meet a boy, and clean the house through toys. Boys, on the other hand, are given toys of make belief, things that aren’t likely to happen or against the traditional stages of growing up. His anecdote is only about three minutes but it gets his point that girls are misleadingly told to become women. In the act, there is a lot of verbal irony about how the reason that women are able to clean the house is because of the influence of toys that they had as children. Besides the comedic aspect of talking about toys, there also are Jeff Wysaski’s fake toys. It’s a collection of fake toys that Wysaski places in stores and he also sells them online. This is a more physical form of comedy. For example, he has a virtual outside toy kit with a leaf, a nice breeze, and the smell of a damp forest after gential rain which is ironic because we are currently in a shelter in place order. There is another toy that is called Please Marry My Daughter which includes an old goat toy and some gold coins. These toys are based on absurd humor because toys are usually meant for kids and these toys aren’t really toys that can be played with or considered fun for kids. Each toy is dramatic irony as they cause awareness to things that are relatable to adults and their daily life. Some of his toys are parodies like the lonely people holding the cat calendar of 2019, a parody of cat calendars that are popular. His work reflects irony in simple things from a sandwich found on the floor to a divorce poncho. A funny thing that he did with the toys is that he put them in toy stores to see how people would react to these ridiculous toys that either humored human’s way of life or how people used to live. These two works are similar in some ways even though they are two very different forms of comedy. Not only are they both talking about the ridiculousness of toys in general, but also they share a theme of how strange toys are and how they influence the growth and learning of children into the real world. For example, Bargatze and Wysaski both find irony in toys and they make toys for adults. Bargatze talks about how the Easy Bake oven has grown into a regular oven and Wysaki turns doctor kits into a doctor kit with a price tag to explain the expensive prices of doctor bills.
I chose to reflect on these two works because they both are comedy acts about toys. I think that these two works both reflect that toys are meant for kids but sometimes they can be comedic to adults. When looking for comedy acts about childhood toys, not many stand up acts came up. Comedy is a lot about finding laughter in common things that appear silly when looked at differently. I’m going to reflect this in my work by choosing not to do a stand up act but more a parody in a commercial. I think that the message that I am trying to convey is similar to them that these silly toys were our entire lives growing up and they really serve no purpose.
- Are you collaborating with others? No
- Which form of humor are you planning to develop?
I’m thinking of combining comedic narrative and stand up.
- What is the subject (or, in the case of satire, the target)? Why did you choose this subject?
How to be cool in elementary school. I think there is a lot of nostalgia and fun it could be as we are now in high school and a lot has changed.
- Which comedic tools/techniques do you plan to use, and why?
I want to use anecdotes to do things like advertising and why they should buy the things that make you cool. I believe the use of irony being nostalgia to everyone as they relieve their younger days and they are overcome with pain of those easier days. I think exagerrism can help with the absurdity of cool things.
- Why do you think this is the right humor project for you? What makes you excited about this idea? What are some potential pitfalls you wish to avoid?
I definitely took some thinking but I think my sense of humor is more dry humor on the spot rather than planned out humor. I think that making an advertisement for being cool as a kid is a fun way for me to relive my childhood at home with things that I haven’t touched in years, it would be fun to film around the house just the ways of being a child, and I hope it has some sort of irony to the video rather than just an advertisement.
- If you get approval, what’s your next step?
My next steps would be to brainstorm ideas of things that made you cool as a kid and write an outline for an advertisement about those things. I want to play with how advertisements were when we were kids, with the bright saturation, the camera works, and the fake excitement.
Sillybandz have traveled from playgrounds to playgrounds around the states. Fun bright colors and cool shapes, attracts every kid. The gotta-have-it rubber band will accessorize your arm. SillyBandz come in all shapes from zoo animals to princess shapes to candy and they come in all the colors of the rainbows. You can wear them, you can trade them, and you could be the coolest kid in school.
Pillow Pets are cute and cuddy. From your cuddly animal l to being your pillow, Pillow Pets are the needed accessory for all your chillaxing needs. It could be a bunny, a fox, a fox, a zebra, a unicorn, a ladybug, a giraffe, an elephant, a cow, a penguin, a sloth, a turtle, a dolphin, a bunny, a zebra, a mosse, a polar bear… It’s a pillow, it’s a pet. It’s a Pillow Pet! Collect them all!
Each Furby has a brain of its own. The more you talk and interact with it, the more it knows. You can tickle it, pet it, pull its tail, or shake it. It loves to dance, turn on your favorite tunes and it will dance along. You can have conversations with it and even feed it with the Furby App. You can shape it’s personality as you get to know it. Sometimes Furby will get so excited that it wakes up on it’s own. Other times it will get angry and its eyes will glow haunting your dreams. Over time, they will start to learn English, and you too can interact and play with Furby. I promise Furbys do not record or repeat things that are said to them, just merely remember and start to learn English. Time to play with Furby, just not in Maryland, they’re banned there.
Rainbow Loom making your own creation. You can make bracelets for your enemies, earring for your dad, necklaces for your dog, keychains for your baby sister, and collars for your best friend. The options are endless. It’s easy to swallow, and can snap like a rubber band. With so many rubber bands keep them secure or you may find them everywhere like bobby pins. The rubber might stick to your skin and cause discomfort. You can make anything with Rainbow Loom. What till you create today?
Chapstick but better. Lip smackers make your lips taste great for some lip smacking. Test out all the flavors or test them out from someone else. Meant for the lips but can moisturize any part of you. Have some lip smacking fun.
Humor Honors Satire Comparison Essay
Rhinoceros is a play written by Eugene Ionesco in 1960. It tells the story of people in the French suburbs where people are turning into rhinos in a plague called rhinoceroses. In the end of the abustist play, Berenger, who wasn’t socially accepted, becomes the last man left. On the other hand, Slaughterhouse- Five is an anti war novel written by Kurt Vonnegut in 1969. We learn about the story of Bill Pilgrim, a war veteran who becomes “unstuck in time”. Throughout the book, he can see parts of his life but it’s out of chronological order. Specifically, he takes us through his story of being in the war, being captured by the Germans, and his life before and after the war. Later in the book, he talks about his experience with Tralfamadore, a planet that he travels to to see aliens. Throughout both books, the authors juxtaposed humans and non-humans in a way that brought satire to both works.
Rhinoceros explores humans and rhinoceros, where the humans turn into rhinoceros. The pure thought of this is humorous because of the choice of animal but what makes it absurd is that the play takes place in a French suburb with no swamps or floodplains, locations that rhinos are usually found. Like Dudard says “What could be more natural than a rhinoceros? BERENGER: Yes, but for a man to turn into a rhinoceros is abnormal beyond question.” This highlights the absurdity of the rhinos running through the streets. Throughout the book, there is an overarching sense of fear that anyone could turn into a rhinoceros and cause chaos to the town. Yet, humans often forget that they inhabited wild land, land that used to roam with animals, to build civilization. Like Berenger puts it, “Man is superior to the rhinoceros.” Slaughterhouse-Five talks about the existence of aliens and humans. As we learn more about Billy’s life, we learn about Tralfamadorians. Aliens are absurd creators that humans are yet to discover but lots of artists and movies have their own version of what aliens look and act like. Billy says, “That’s one thing Earthlings might learn to do, if they tried hard enough: Ignore the awful times and concentrate on the good ones.” Though it seems absurd that Billy could be the only one that sees and finds these aliens, there is an underlying truth that humans could learn to be better people if they learn to appreciate the good and ignore the bad. A very important lesson right now while we are in a global pandemic. Both stories bring laughter to hard to accept but true facts. In Rhinoceros, it’s about the social status and how people always try to blend in with others rather than being themselves. SlaughterHouse-Five attacks the issue of being joyful, seeing the glass half full rather than half empty.