Starting to think of what aspects of Asian media interest me that I would love to find out more about and fully immerse myself in, I came to the conclusion that comedies were it for me.
My love for comedies cannot be triumphed by anything else, and I absolutely believe that watching and absorbing comedy material from other countries is a great way to understand a culture. It involves both hearing the languages being spoken but also the many ways you can make someone laugh. Australians tend to have one way of doing comedy, perhaps using our own stereotypes, enhancing accents and so on. Americans too have their own style, their own stereotypes and different taboos. Like how in Australia swearing is no issue at all, you can freely say the c word and no one would take offence. But in America that word would probably get you beaten up.
But back to the cultural side of things, comedy is a fantastic way to learn about taboos in different countries like speaking too casually to an elder, eating a certain way, unacceptable public behaviors. When you’re going overseas you might be wondering how can I embarrass myself the least and not do anything offensive without knowing. If you ask locals you might only get the surface of what’s wrong as other things are just common knowledge to them (don’t seem that important to bring up until you actually make the mistake) so by watching comedy weirdly enough you can learn a lot of what not to do and also how you can make people laugh across generations.
Where it Began
I’ve been interested in comedies for as long as I can remember, when I was younger probably in my early teens, my favourite comedians were Gabriel Iglesias, Brian Regan, Mitch Hedberg, Jim Carrey, Russell Peters, and probably some others I can’t remember. Most of these comedians were and still are American.
My favourite comedians now amongst these different platforms are: Evelyn from the Internets (YouTube), Richard Ayoade (Especially when paired with Noel Fielding on quiz shows), David Mitchell, Dylan Moran, Romesh Ranganathan (basically anyone I’ve religiously watched British quiz shows for), Chelsea Peretti, Sarah Millican, Miranda Hart and I’ll stop here. I frequently just have Big Fat Quiz of The Year on in the background or Would I Lie to You while I play games or do uni work.
So I’ve decided why not use this interest for comedy to explore other forms I have not ventured into before. Asian Comedies, game shows and quiz shows. In my Digital Artefact I will be exploring different comedy styles, what people in other countries find funny, common trends and ratings of whether I enjoyed the comedy in question.
The layout of each post will be: having a basic overview of what happens in the show or skit, rules of the game and who is involved. Then listing the many themes in the styles of humour used or what I notice is extremely popular to get a laugh. It will be interesting to find out what people in that country enjoy laughing at and whether I also enjoy it. Which won’t be difficult as I love most jokes, this also can show tiny cultural differences or huge cultural differences depending on the circumstance.
Next I will put in my favourite moments during the duration of the show, the bits that made me chuckle, chortle or wheeze the most. Even if the show isn’t generally my tastes there will usually be a bit I’ll lose my mind in anyways, maybe out of cultural shock, unexpectedness or because it just hit me in the giggle bit at that moment.
Then I will give my honest review from an autoethnographic stand point to do this I will be writing in the first person like right now to give a sort of “eyewitness account” (Cauley, 2008) of my findings in the different comedies and I will be trying to “illustrate new perspectives on personal experience—on epiphanies” (Ellis et al, 2011) I will be trying to understand it from both points of view, while also giving my opinion on whether I enjoyed it and would watch more.
Lastly I will be putting a simple laughometer I made in Microsoft paint as my verdict for the entire episode, just saying the intensity of which I laughed. Scaling from complete boredom to dying of laughter.
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Caulley, Darrel N. (2008). Making qualitative research reports less boring: The techniques of writing creative nonfiction.Qualitative Inquiry, 14(3), 424-449.
Ellis, C., Adams, T.E., and Bochner, A.P. (2011) ‘Autoethnography: An Overview‘, Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 12:1.