Hacking Rhetoric

Today’s Humorous Discussion


Before today’s class discussion, I never really thought about the different ways how humor could be used.  I mainly focused on the fact that humor is used to get a few chuckles out of people, but it does have other strengths too.  For example, if you want to get a point across without being overly blunt, you might want to try sarcasm.  The videos that we watched about Mitt Zomney and Barack Obama on the Jimmy Fallon show were especially two clever ways to utilize humor.  In Whedon’s video over Romney, he used humor to try to sway voters from voting for the candidate.  In the Obama video, the president used humor to strengthen his ethos, as a good candidate for reelection, because he passed a substantial law that stopped the rate of student loans from increasing.  Both videos show that while humor can be used to cause laughs, it can also do things like change other’s thoughts and enhance credibility/likeability.  


2 thoughts on “Today’s Humorous Discussion

  1. Might want to check this one out. I thought this was a little humor telling people why they should have actually not voted for anyone.

  2. I’ve read studies on the nature of laughter and humor and why it developed in humans, and what I’ve read is that laughing was a behavior that developed in early primates as a way to signal that the environment is safe. When monkeys laugh, they are both connecting socially, and signalling to other monkeys that there’s no predators around. If we extrapolate that to modern humans, it makes sense. Stressed out people lose their sense of humor, no one laughs during a tragedy, sometimes people will let out nervous laughter as a reflexive way to lighten an awkward mood, etc. We could interpret political ads and videos that use humor as a way to lighten the mood, calm down the partisan feelings, and hopefully get people to start thinking rationally. I would imagine that it’s hard to hate a candidate of the opposite party without any merit when he’s making you laugh; at the very least you’ll give the guy a chance and see if he’s really as bad as your political party is making him out to be. When Obama does slow jams on talk shows, he’s trying to get people to see him as a real human who should have his good and bad characteristics analyzed, rather than be named a terrorist or Muslim or the antichrist.

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