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Culture of Laughter - Essay Example

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Culture of Laughter

Bean is that their writers have determined 'laughter' as a reaction that serves the function of a social sanction. In this context Bergson's research on laughter theory reveals that the function of comedy is to correct the 'follies' of mankind by making them appear ridiculous. In other words, such event in which any actor performs 'antisocially' generates an amusing situation. The power of laughter as a social sanction has thus been elucidated in many comedy movies as well as comics. On the other hand, we have seen that the theory of the 'corrective' function of laughter is inadequate to explain its arousal by verbal wit, which as we have seen is similar to any other type of ludicrous situation in many movies of Loriot. However, this is not the case with Mr. Bean, as Mr. Bean comedies revolve around gestures and expressions. Both the characters represent comedies in a social environment however, the difference exists in their way of representing; Loriot with less expressions and more humour whereas Mr. Bean with more physicality in the comedy.
Vicco von Bulow, a German humour performer of comedy remembered as 'Loriot' is best known as a 'cartoonist' for the movies in which he used to perform. His famous work contains television series 'Loriot'. 'Odipussi' and 'Pappa ante portas' are his well known comedies in which he performed not only as a comedian but as a performer. (Loriot, 2007a) Though an all-rounder in artistic works (writer, director and poet), Loriot highlights humour in most of his comedy films and dramas by presenting a series of 'laughing' events, but still one wonders how the sheer relief of such events, whether in the participator who escapes in person or in the observer who watches a peril that passes him touch others, marks a distinct species of laughter. (Gregory, 1924, p. 22)

Among all societies one finds a more or less organised system of social sanctions related to the prevailing code of right and wrong. Such sanctions may be positive, that is, designed to encourage socially desirable behaviour or they may be negative, that is, they may serve to discourage anti-social behaviour. Loriot's comedies inhibit all the characteristics of such positive and negative loopholes of the society in such a critical manner that one does not have any option other than to laugh. His comedies are non physical in nature as compared with those of Mr. Bean's and present before us the flaws of modern society in combination with humour and laugher that one does not feel awkward.

Though such sanction exist in all societies, and any theory which is to explain their meaning must take account of their various manifestations in totally different types of social structure, but the way Loriot presents our society's dilemmas is much more than what viewer expects. (Piddington, 1963, p. 117) In other words we can say that Loriot presents society in a critical manner.

Loriot's Humour
If we analyse Loriot's work in the light of Bergson's laughter theory, most of his films represent laughter triggering in a social surrounding. Following the notion that laughter only triggers among humans, his films highlight all the antisocial happenings but in a social environment. This is evident from one of his dramas 'once upon a noodle', in which Loriot confronts a situation where all the restaurant members ...Show more


Henry Bergson has explained laughter in context with those surroundings in which any living being is deprived of feelings and emotions. Obviously, sentiments are the key characteristics of a human being; therefore Bergson explains that comedy only occurs to human beings in a social surrounding…
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Culture of Laughter essay example
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