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Subject:

Re: The double take

From:

Arthur Asa Berger <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Thu, 25 Feb 1999 09:44:09 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (69 lines)

Here's some "top of the head" speculations:

Is it possible that the rubber chicken can be looked upon as
a physical parody of a real chicken?  An imitation of a text
(in this case real chicken) meant to amuse...whose artificialness 
is a source of amusement.

Or maybe "imitation" or "impersonation" if parody is too hard
to take??

These are techniques of humor that I explicate in my book
An Anatomy of Humor (Transaction Books).

A double-take is a delayed reaction as I understand things...
would that have something to do with interfering with the
expectations of audiences about timing...a kind of reverse
of something like a chase scene that is speeded up?
It would be universal in that the time element is crucial,
not the content of the humor?

Good luck with your project.

Arthur

At 07:41 PM 2/24/99 -0500, you wrote:
>Hi --
>
>
>I am a writer in New York and am working on a pair of articles for GQ
>magazine's upcoming issue devoted to Comedy. They are to be brief
>appreciations of/histories of the double take and the rubber chicken. I am
>wondering if anybody out there has thoughts on either.
>
>Is the use of the double take (which I personally consider the single
>funniest thing people can do) at all traceable? Who are some of the best
>practioners? Has work been done on why exactly we find the double take
>universally funny?
>
>Similarly, has anybody been able to nail down the origin of the rubber
>chicken? And why is it considered funny?  (I sent a similar question to the
>list about a year ago and thank everybody who responded.)
>
>Any thoughts or leads on the above would be greatly appreciated. The
>articles can go pretty far afield so everything would help.
>
>Thanks for the time.
>
>--Brett Martin
>
>
>
>
Arthur Asa Berger, Ph.D.
Professor of Broadcast & Electronic Communication Arts
San Francisco State University
E-Mail:	[log in to unmask]	
Tel: (415) 338-1788 (Dept. Office)
FAX: (415) 338-1168 (Dept. Fax)

NOTE:  I will be on leave the Spring semester.  
You can read my comic mystery novel, THE HAMLET CASE, at my website:
www.jps.net/aaberger and my articles at:
http://beca.sfsu.edu/beca/faculty/berger




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