Making people laugh is the gift that keeps on giving. For example, humor is the number one quality that women desire in their partner!
Why? Because everyone loves a person who can make them laugh. Having a sense of humor is almost a life skill for this day and age.
While humor is a very general term that includes all that we perceive as funny or enjoyable, theoretically, that’s not all.
If you’ve ever thought about what the different types of humor are, then scroll down to find out everything you need to know!
The Different Types of Humor
Humor is not monotonous. Otherwise, let’s face it – it wouldn’t be humor.
Some people do stand-up comedy, others use sarcasm as their swords, while many use restroom jokes even as full-grown adults.
We can almost say that humor comes in all shapes and sizes. And yes, even the confusing gen Z humor comes into play here!
Let’s start our list!
Slapstick humor is one of the most prominent types on our list. It bases itself around exaggerated movements and gestures. Because of this, we also call it physical humor.
All of the aspects of this type of humor are directed at drawing laughs from the audience.
Remember the ever-green Charlie Chaplin? Of course, you do! The best example of slapstick humor lies with him. Or dare I say, he was the king of this category of comedy.
It uses obvious means to deliver hilarious messages to the audience and enact laughable scenarios for their pleasure.
Take a look at this scene from Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times to see slapstick humor in its classic time:
Absurd humor takes place in either unrealistic context, or it downright consists of surreal things. We also know it as surreal humor.
The comedic component of it is exactly the fact that it presents out-of-this-world occurrences that take a dig at the audience’s imagination.
Absurd humor has been a relevant typology in literature and other art forms throughout history. Just think about dadaism and, for example, Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain.
A more recent example that can have you laughing to tears is the famous Monthy Python. The Olympics scene is a great one. Have a look:
This type of humor is pretty self-explanatory. It makes comedy out of the literal and metaphorical meaning of words used. Many sitcoms use this type of humor. One of them is definitely Arrested Development.
You must’ve heard of wordplay humor as “puns“. Sentences with double meanings, over-emphasis on certain words, and word repetition all fall under this category.
Dad jokes are kings of jokes that fall into this group! We all have a love and hate relationship with them.
In this video by AllDef, Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg take turns telling the worst dad jokes they could think of:
If your mind went to toilet jokes when you read this category’s title, then you are absolutely correct.
This type of humor also classifies itself under “toilet jokes”. It’s quite literally the type of humor practiced and preferred by children but enjoyed inappropriately by adults nonetheless.
If you enjoy fart jokes, then we have to break it to you, your humor is juvenile.
However, as George Carlin delicately put it in the clip below:
Where would a comedy show be without a few fart jokes?
This type of humor involves elements of a person’s surroundings to serve as fuel for jokes. A person who uses observational humor takes a very common aspect of life and tears it apart with humorous elements.
This approach might sound uninteresting, but you might change your view on knowing that stand-up comedy utilizes this exact type of humor.
You can take a look at a masterful example of observational comedy by Rob Thomas here:
Dry humor finds its essence in sarcasm and stating the most hilarious of things with no expressions to accompany them whatsoever.
In the different types of humor, this one is especially enjoyable because it involves a mastery of opportunity and gestures. Think Chandler from Friends, and your interpretation of deadpan humor will be spot-on.
There are dozens of spectacular examples of dry humor in the compilation below.
People with this type of humor take twists and turns at the creepiest aspects of a situation.
Are they’re joking about death, expiration, cannibalism? Check, check, check.
Nothing is off-limits in this type of humor, and you should not expect sensitivity. Japanese animations (known as anime), often make use of this type of humor.
Topics that usually cause us to cringe from disgust find a safe home in dark humor. The pain of others and self is also a very appreciated subject in this domain.
Frankly, we don’t recommend this type of humor for those faint of heart. If you want to start exploring dark comedy somewhere, start with ExplosmEntertainment and their legendary Cyanide & Happiness series.
This compilation is their most popular video:
You’ve certainly heard of this type of humor and probably been a bit confused about it.
In self-deprecating humor, people use themselves as the center of all humorous conversation. While the person is the subject of the jokes, they are rarely self-praising. Quite the contrary, in this case, the person makes fun of himself to entertain his audience.
When thought of in this way, self-deprecating humor does sound quite sad, but enjoyable, nonetheless.
We all have a friend who is a master at self-deprecation, and their company is far from uncomfortable. Rather, in the different types of humor, this may be the most popular one with teens.
Take three minutes to laugh at Tyler Wood’s great demonstration of self-deprecating humor below.
This type of humor takes place at the spur of the moment. The person has to come up with every aspect of an elaborate joke right as they are telling it.
Improv comedians are very clever individuals, so you could say that improv humor is a combination of observational comedy with intelligence.
Many celebrity talk show hosts have to possess skills for flawless improv humor. You probably know Ellen DeGeneres; think of how she communicates with guests in her shows and constantly has the audience in stitches.
Feel free to watch the maestro Jimmy Carr at work here:
Outside of these nine different types of humor, we can still divide it in many other ways.
Unbelievable, I know.
The fact is that humor is a very powerful form of entertainment and art. Thus its categorization and analysis is hardly an unusual thing.
Since human behavior is incredibly broad and complex, and humor is a type of human behavior, we’re sure you can do the math.
But regardless of needles in haystacks and other otherworldly comparisons, the different types of humor are all unique. Every category brings something to the table that the other might be lacking. We hope this cleared up any question you might have had on the different types of humor.
Which one from our list is your favorite?