Understanding What Dark Humor Is and Busting Some Myths


Hey! I’m Ripudaman and I’m that kind of person who doesn’t get offended much. But I find it quite interesting to learn about why people get offended easily and also the things that offend them. I live in India, so pretty much everything about me is Indian.

It was interesting to find out why I don't get offended while most of the people around me do. So, let's look into it.


What Does Dark Humor Mean?

So as per the urban dictionary, dark humor is often defined as the form of humor involving some kind of turning and twisting to make the statement or the sentence offensive towards the end of the joke. This offense is usually directed upon the whole society than on a particular section of the society.

But most of the people in India seem to think that it is directed towards them, which I can assure no comedian tries to do. One can say that dark humor is subjective. Well, I can't agree more on that, but are those jokes that bad that you have to abuse people online?

Yes, you guessed it right. I am talking about the Agrima Joshua case. Well, many people took offense on her speech due to her lack of judgment when she was just joking on a religious figure.

But, guess what she did not know by any chance was that, the clip would be taken out of context after two years and that she would be abused after two whole years. I was offended by the fact that how unfunny she was (but that is a different topic).

As I told you earlier that dark humor is subjective, so you might argue about the fact that offense is also subjective. Yes it is. But, a joke is often done in a light-hearted placing and in most of the settings it is established that viewer's discretion is advised, which means the viewer should take other points into consideration rather than a statement.

In the above-mentioned case, there is an argument where the abuser thought that it would be apt to abuse the girl and name it as dark humor, which I think is a valid point, but I will say that I disagree with this.Here the question arises as to where should we draw the line in dark comedy?


Let's Start by Studying a Few Jokes

So I think you all know about fish pedicures.In fish pedicure, there is a tank which has fishes that eat dead skin cells.You just put your feet or hands in that tank for the fishes to eat off the dead skin cells.

The other day I took my grandmother for fish pedicure. That was quite a fun day, also guess what, it's so much easier than cremation.


Understanding the Joke

If you look at the joke mentioned above,mainly, it would be considered offensive by the masses because deaths are a kind of taboo in society. But wordsin the end, are twisted in such a way that it will seem funny.

Well this may also offend someone else, but the fact that I am talking about my grandmother and not theirs can come handy in that scenario.


Where to Draw a Line in Comedy?

I don't think that you should draw a line in comedy because if you draw a line, then a person cannot explore the areas beyond it. Also, a thing that is funny in a state or a country need not be funny anywhere else.

But here the argument arises about the fact that whether is it okay to be stupid and abuse someone in the name of comedy, just like many cases of comedians being abused online.

If you have a well-defined structure and a proper joke setting, even the comedian will praise your efforts. But abusing them by forming opinions is something that I disagree.


But I Don't Agree With the Opinion of the Comedian. What Should I Do?

One cannot deny that morbid dark humor helps in a crisis. Now, the argument that arises here is that, the dark humor can become inappropriate and there is a fine line a comedian needs to play on.

In such cases, the audience may need not agree with the person making the joke,but at the same time, the audience can appreciate the writing and beauty of the joke even if the said thing is portrayed in the negative shadow.

Also, in some cases, the kind of humor that is considered funny in India, is considered misogynistic in other countries.

For example, most successful Indian comedians might only joke and show women in a negative light, such humor is not considered dark here, but the same humor is considered mostly dark everywhere else in the world (well most of the places).


But I Don't Agree With You

Comedy is a subjective art form. You can either agree with the statements or disagree with the statements. But you have to understand that even if you disagree with the statements, you can still enjoy the art.

Your opinions might not match with the comedian, but you can still like him or her or at least refrain from forming demeaning opinions and abusing them online, as in the classic case of Agrima Joshua.


Written by – Ripudaman

Edited by – Adrija Saha

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