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Joke Analysis, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 262

Essay

The man: “God, how long is a million years?”
God: “To me, it’s about a minute.”
The man: “God, how much is a million dollars?”
God: “To me it’s a penny.”
The man: “God, may I have a penny?”
God: “Wait a minute.”

Freud distinguished between two types of jokes: tendentious and innocent. This joke is identified as innocent, since the content is not sexual or aggressive and the joke does not have much emotional impact. Of the two classifications of innocent jokes, verbal and conceptual, this joke qualifies as verbal. There is nothing more to infer from the dialogue before comprehending the punchline and the information doesn’t need to be re-imagined in a new framework. The comic device of juxtaposition is used in this joke to attain humor. In the beginning of the joke, the man is attempting to pull a fast one on God and trick God into giving the man a “penny”, which according to God’s own words would mean a million dollars given to the man. At the end of the joke God becomes the wise guy, thereby filling a role we do not expect to see God portrayed in. I guess it could also be a little taboo, since it portrays God giving such a fleshly response, as opposed to the dignified persona expected. The set-up portion is the first five lines, the punchline portion the very last line. This joke could be set up for two people, one having something the other wants, or for two people who want the same thing and are at competitive odds.

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