Throughout history, people have loved to play practical jokes on each other and tell jokes about each other, and it wasn't until fairly recently, however, that it became a lucrative business. From exploding cigars to the wide range of April Fool's Day pranks, the history of practical jokes is filled with interesting moments and hilarious incidents.
Jokes are the most widespread form of buffoonery, probably because a joke is self-contained and the easiest device with which to trigger off laughter. Funny one line jokes are great and a bout of helpless laughter is highly prized in the modern world, it's today's equivalent of a swig of booze, not curing pain and worry but obscuring the symptoms for a few brief moments. Funny one line jokes are the nearest thing in life to complete escapism next to the climax of making love.
Telling jokes are how, the most social and professional comedians ventilate different anxieties and confirm our racial and other prejudices, it has been said, for every joke there is a sufferer. Laughing at our worries reduces their threat to us. And laughing at silly people who are not as bright or rich as we are makes us feel warm and secure. So the effect of buffoonery and funny one line jokes is opposite to that of classical comedy. In classical comedy, the aim of laughter is to benefit the person laughed at. With funny one line jokes, the laugh measures the laughter.
In between wit, buffoonery and funny one line jokes, lies the third and as far as comedy is concerned, the most interesting subdivision of comedy humor. If wit belongs mainly to the Well educated classes and buffoonery to the lower classes, humor and funny one line jokes is middle class. In medieval times a 'humor' was any of the four cardinal fluids - blood, phlegm, choler, and melancholy, or black bile which coursed round the body and according to their relative, determined a person's mental and physical state.
When one of the fluids is predominated, then a person's character was dominated by that particular 'humor'. He would become either over passionate (too much blood), dull and droopy (overdose of phlegm), quick-tempered and irascible (choler flowing too strongly), or gloomy and dejected (a touch too much of the melancholy, or black bile). Such a man was said to be in a 'humor'. Or, if he carried on behaving peculiarly, to be a 'humorist'.
Helped by the efforts of some industry greats, humor and funny one line jokes in its new meaning took root and became favored light reading amongst Augustan Age Literate Citizens, who were mostly from the rapidly expanding middle-classes. Humor, mostly due to funny one line jokes, long before it had a name, was not the invention of Greek playwrights or patrician Roman poets but of ordinary people and is the oldest of the three divisions of comedy, probably dating back to when the cave man first stood upright in the cave and knocked himself senseless, and the others laughed and told all the others about it. Then came along the funny one line jokes.
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