In humor studies, incongruity and superiority are traditionally regarded as two independent concepts. Taken separately, each concept both under- and over-determines the field of humorous phenomena. When redefined, incongruity and superiority do not represent incompatible views of humor but are strongly interwoven in at least four specific ways: (1) normalization, (2) evaluation through indirect communication, (3) solution, and (4) conditioning. Moreover,such an integrated view of superiority and incongruity helps reduce the gap between concepts and observations. These findings are based on a detailed analysis of two films, The Naked Gun and AFish Called Wanda. Their relevance for humor in other genres, contexts, and uses remains to be verified.
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Jeroen Vandaele; Humor Mechanisms in Film Comedy: Incongruity and Superiority. Poetics Today 1 June 2002; 23 (2): 221–249. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/03335372-23-2-221
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