Comedy Done Well

I almost included Hyperbole and a Half on my Liebster Award post, but I wanted to make a separate post about it. She has tons of hilarious posts, ranging from how to deal with grammatical errors by making up a new creature, an awkward social situation survival guide, and tons of stories from childhood all the way up through adulthood. I still can’t put my finger on why it’s all so funny – the hyperbole? the crazed MS paint drawings? the encapsulation of what the thought process of being a kid? – but it’s all amazing.

If you’re on the internet but haven’t read it before, you may recognize the style from this meme:

Why this blog deserves its own post is because it’s managed to take something that’s serious and touchy and somehow still made it into comedic brilliance.

The last three posts, over the course of a year and a half, have explained and also made funny…. depression.

Yup, you read that right. I think there’s a couple reasons why this works. First of all, it’s not all supposed to be funny. They describe crushing apathy, suicidal thoughts and hopelessness unflinchingly.

It’s also that this isn’t someone else making fun of someone with depression – this is someone kind of making fun of themselves and their thought processes while also using comedy as a vehicle to explain what it’s like to live with depression.

I felt a bit like an awful person laughing at some of the scenes:

“I had not been able to care for a very long time, and when I finally started being able to care about things again, I HATED them. But hatred is technically a feeling, and my brain latched onto it like a child learning a new word. “

But couldn’t help but stifle giggles at my desk.

This all makes me think about some of the awful humor I hate, humor that targets the victim instead of the situation or the perpetrator. (Mildly off topic: While quite a bit more mild, it also explains why I dislike the big bang theory; it claims that it’s made for geeks, but laughs at us instead of with us.)

It’s a sign of a talented comedian who can take pain, tragedy, or discomfort and make people laugh. I’m really looking forward to seeing what else Allie writes.

(All images are property of Hyperbole and a Half/Allie Brosh)

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