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What exactly is deadpan humor? (A guide & examples)

In this blog post, we wrote a brief guide on what is deadpan humor. I also gave you a few examples of deadpan humor jokes, movies and TV series.

The definition of deadpan humor

Nowadays, the sense of humour is an important feature that we look for in the people we surround ourselves with.

This attitude towards the sense of humour would raise some illustrious eyebrows from Antiquity.

For example, the ancient Greeks considered humour an aggressive reaction. Therefore, humour was not seen as a positive trait but rather as a defect.

You don’t need college or other specialized studies to make good jokes, and for the deadpan humor, which is almost meaningless or with predictable points, you don’t even need a good sense of humour.

Some jokes are bad and that’s it.

This is what deadpan humor is about.

In just a few sentences, it tells you a funny message that is easy to remember, even if not always to everyone’s liking.

And the comedian tells the jokes by keeping a classic poker face – this is the key element of deadpan humor. 

Deadpan humor jokes

Deadpan humor jokes are not appreciated by everyone, because they require a certain degree of sarcasm that only certain people possess.

However, deadpan humor jokes are funny and clever.

We have selected a collection of the best deadpan humor jokes of all time, for the moments when you want to take a break and enjoy a healthy portion of laughter.

  • Two walls discussing: We shall meet at the corner!
  • Two eagles were sitting on one leg, and the third was falling.
  • A policeman was thinking.
  • German love: I want you cold!
  • An old man and a grandmother died young.
  • Even if I were a logarithm, I wouldn’t give in to your base.
  • My neighbour has two daughters. One is very beautiful and the other is a physics student.
  • How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb?

One… provided the light bulb wants to be changed!

  • What does a pregnant woman mean to cannibals?

A Kinder egg with surprises.

  • Children, why do we say the mother tongue and not the mother tongue?

Because my mother talks the most at home.

  • What does half an orange look like?

Like the other half.

  • Why do women talk during intercourse?

Because they are connected to a source of intelligence.

  • How do you get light with water?

Wash the windows!

  • Husband-wife discussion:

“Did you pretend last night?” he asks.

“No, I was really asleep,” she replies.

  • Depression must be greeted with a smile. Depression will think you’re an idiot and leave.
  • Attention: Handsome young man, student, I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I have an expensive car, a 12-room house, rich parents, I don’t want anything, I just wrote to brag.

Popular deadpan humor movies and TV shows

According to IMDB, there are over 125 deadpan humor movies and TV shows loved by a lot of deadpan humor fans.

Below we are going to list the best 10 deadpan humor movies and TV shows. 

  • Boy Meets World – A family comedy that has as the main character an adolescent with two siblings, who learns the ups and downs of growing up.

Although the TV series was filmed between 1993 and 2000, there are still a few current subjects that will definitely make you laugh and cry, cry from laughter. 

  • Angie Tribeca – Described as “a parody of The unclothed -style police proceedings,” the series shows the extreme experiences of the titular character, played by Rashida Jones, a police officer in the “super-nasty crimes” department of the Los Angeles police.
  • Toni Erdman – The message of the film is obvious: we can become robots, with a wooden language, and without a sense of humour. Toni has the role of the one who pulls your sleeve, not to forget your humanity and the true meaning of life. 
  • Travel Man: 48 Hours in… – If you fancy travelling and a presenter (who most people think is not funny at all), you might be interested in this British production.
  • Dirty Work – After 20 years of research, Professor Noodle discovers a magic formula from which he makes a substance that he considers the greatest scientific discovery ever made. 

A small amount of this substance can make the thing that everyone dreams of possible – that is, rejuvenation – a few drops can be rejuvenated even by thirty years.

Just as the teacher’s creative effort was in full swing and he was preparing for the final test, two chimneys appeared at his door, none other than Stan and Bran, asking permission to clean the chimneys of the house, especially the fireplace. 

A seemingly simple task, if done by the two friends, can have no other result than a disaster.

  • Eagle vs Shark – When they reach adulthood, Lily and Jarrod seek revenge for everything they endured during their school years. This movie is for those fed up with today’s American romantic comedies, which include the same lines, where you know from minute 1 how it ends, full to the brim of clichés. This is a movie without any cliché.
  • Wiener-Dog – From director Todd Solondz, we have the film Wiener-Dog, a story about a dachshund, on the one hand funny, and on the other dramatic. The puppy in his short life travels around the country meeting different people and sharing with each compassion. 

The man’s best friend, from a sick boy to whom he had alleviated the suffering caused by the disease, getting sick in turn, is taken over by a veterinary technician, Dawn Wiener (Greta Gerwig), who soon embarks on a trip.

The cute dog also meets a little boy, a film director, and a grandmother troubled by her niece’s longing.

  • Grand Canyon  – The Grand Canyon is a great movie about real life and its miracles … about how, after millions of decisions you make in life, one thing can change everything.

Mack and Simon are two men with different paths in life, who meet by chance.

One good deed inspires another, giving rise to a real chain of surprising events that will change the life and future of both men, their families and friends.

The Grand Canyon brings together famous actors who give life to an extraordinary story, directed by the long-acclaimed Lawrence Kasdan.

  • Save the tiger –  Jack Lemmon won the Oscar for this dramatic performance, considered by many to be his best.

Lemmon plays Harry Stoner, a man caught in a violent collision with his past and present.

He believes that there is nothing more important in his life than survival, and that instinct pushes him beyond moral behaviour.

He modifies the registers, brings women to the clients and even sets fire to his own clothing factory.

Meanwhile, he misses the days when life was not only worthwhile and heroic, but everything seemed much simpler but more satisfying, life deserves to be lived.

But Harry is afraid of breaking free from the seemingly successful goal of his life.

  • Mother (1996) – After two failed marriages, John Henderson (Albert Brooks), a science fiction writer, decides that reconciliation with his mother will increase the chances that he will finally have a real relationship. Therefore, he moves into his mother’s house (Debbie Reynolds), but things do not go as easily as John imagined and wanted.

Why do we need humour?

Humour is a social coagulant. It works as a means of communication between people.

Through it, social cohesion is achieved, people approach, manifest and live together certain ideas and dispositions.

Our psychological development depends on social inclusion. Without the social environment, we would not be able to develop psychologically.

So, by facilitating the closeness between people, humour also contributes to our psychological evolution.

Laughter, as a beneficial effect of humour, and which spreads in the presence of other people, helps us to get closer to others, creates the framework of closeness.

Each person feels the need to belong to a group and wants validation from others.

And through humour and laughter, we can fulfil these needs.

Laughter is a way of human interaction, subtle understanding and complicity with others, through which we want to arouse a reaction in them and “be” together.

Humour also has an educational role and a social guide. Humour is sanctioned by people’s unpleasant features and behaviours.

Here the humour takes the form of a large and empathetic mirror that shows what is deformed and socially unpleasant in people, what are their behaviours or traits unwanted by others.

Sarcasm and irony remain forms of humour accessible only to some, being difficult to manifest without being deeply offensive.

But those who know how to handle them have a great deal of sympathy and appreciation from those around them, who are in their assent.

Humour therapy

Often, humour plays another role alongside the social one. It is the emotional panacea that we manage when we live in sad or tense situations.

Laughter is thus the instant therapy we use most often. Humour is comforting, it helps us relax, reduces our level of frustration and stress.

For example, it is used in stressful situations either at work or at school, before an important exam or a presentation, as a method of reducing stress.

This is the refuge from suffering and negative emotions in general. It is our source of good mood and a mechanism that stabilizes our well-being.

Thus, it is an easy way in which we can revive and balance emotionally in difficult situations.

It also represents the gap through which we narrate loaded situations and which otherwise would be too difficult for us to narrate.

We often choose to confess using humour, using it to modulate and accept painful experiences, told in a funny tone in difficult situations.

There are many people who tell through humour the sad or less pleasant experiences of the past.

Thus, they either mask the pain or are able to look at it from another angle so as not to exacerbate it.

On the other hand, humour can be seen as a way in which we try to improve reality when we experience painful or unpleasant events.

Through humour we try to reconcile with an ugly reality, which we do not like and in which our needs are not met, but for the change of which we do not have the necessary psychological resources.

Conclusions

In this blog post, we wrote a brief guide on what is deadpan humor. I also gave you a few examples of deadpan humor jokes, movies and TV series.

The bottom line is that humour is extremely important in our lives. It also contributes to our psychological evolution.

Laughter, as a beneficial effect of humour, and which spreads in the presence of other people, helps us to get closer to others, creates the framework of closeness.

Do you know any good deadpan humor jokes or comedians? Do let us know!

References

Kuiper, N. A., Kirsh, G. A., & Leite, C. (2010). Reactions to Humorous Comments and Implicit Theories of Humor Styles, Europe’s Journal of Psychology, 6(3), 236-266.

Martin, R. A., Puhlik-Doris, P., Larsen, G., Gray, J. & Weir, K.(2003). Individual differences in uses of humour and their relation to psychological well-being: Development of the humour styles questionnaire. Journal of Research in Personality,37, 48–75.

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