Why are corny, formulaic attempts at humour so popular - that they’ve even caught on with cultural terminologies in the form of "dad jokes" or otherwise?
People laugh at the juxtaposition of incompatible concepts and at defiance of their expectations-that is, at the incongruity between expectations and reality.
The Japanese even have a name for it: oyaji gyagu, a.k.a. corny, dad jokes that young people respond to with a blank stare
These jokes thrive on their simplicity; one doesn't need the perfect punchline, a crafty delivery style, or an endless shelf life.
What hangs at a man’s thigh and wants to poke the hole that it’s often poked before? Answer: A key.
There’s a hint of superiority in dismissing a conventionally bad joke. Recognizing a discrepancy is a show of ability and one’s calibre; it becomes a way to elevate one’s social status.
Arguably, a bad joke is also a safe one, so laughing at these zingers responds to our desire for security. They become a reliable indicator of such relaxed, safe times and paved the way to playful emotions.
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