Similarity Breeds Comedy
My last piece I talked about associating or pairing up opposites
to produce funny ideas. Today we associate SIMILARITY or
CONGRUITY; by puting the same or similar objects, person or
animals together to engender laughter.
One fine example is a pair of identical twins or two person
wearing the same clothes. They naturally appear "odd" or "funny"
to others. People will stare, giggle or whisper some cheeky or
unkind remarks under their breath. It's a very normal response.
For cartoonists, this association of similarity can spawn lots
of funny cartoons. They can draw a person looking like an animal
or two unrelated objects which are visually alike. The most
popular is the garden hose partly hidden by the foliage and
mistaken as a snake.
Caricature is a visual art form that employs the technique of
congruity. It doesn't look exactly like the actual person being
drawn, but just a distorted or an exaggerated impression of the
person and it usually looks kind of funny, doesn't it?
Aside from visual art form, many verbal humor derives from this
technique too. The most obvious form of verbal humor is the
puns. A pun is a play on words, usually humorous based on
several meanings of one word, or a similarity of meanings
between words that are pronounced the same or the different in
meanings between two words pronounced the same and spelled
somewhat similarly. Following closely is another form verbal
humor, called the double entendres. It can be a word or an
expression having a double meaning, especially the second
meaning is risque.
So, similarity breeds not only contempt, but comedy too!