The perception of humor, its principal determinants, and reaction trigger is an investigated issue for many kinds of scientific research. Humor provides positive emotions and stress relief; the individual sense of humor reveals personality, expresses an upstanding outlook on life, it indicates “personal characteristics of cognitive and emotional behavior, as well as social components” (Lessing-Venter, p. 9). Though the incongruity should be regarded as an essential component of humor appreciation, it is more typical and demandable in written jokes. The humorous visual phenomenon focuses on another person’s misfortune for the recipient’s pleasure and feeling of superiority, character’s affinity, and exaggeration. In this paper, the sketch comedy character will be created in evidence of this theory; his description will be provided sarcastically.
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Description of the Character
Our character’s name is Mr. Country; he is a 45-years-old American, slightly obese, and with sharply white teeth. He was born in Mansfield, Texas, but moved to New York when he was one year old and has never visited his birthplace again. Nevertheless, he is very proud of it and tries to speak Texas English. He likes to look fashionable and follows trends. Our character never leaves his favorite Nike snickers, even in bed sometimes, and only the cowboy boots, his red and white plaid shirt with the jersey under it, and jeans compose his ideal ensemble for all formal events. But there is one unchallenged outfit for Mr. Country – his green pajama for visiting the local supermarket every morning. Despite his patriotism, Mr. Country loves to travel, specifically he makes trips to Europe, where he frequently talks English slowly and spells words while communicating with French or Italian people; he sincerely believes that his fast speech is the only reason why the Europeans do not understand him.
Mr. Country starts every lunch with potato chips and an Old-Fashioned Meat Loaf; for breakfast, he eats scrambled eggs with bacon and hash browns. He never drinks anything without putting ice into it first, sometimes he puts ice into his milkshake with ice cream. During shopping, this man often buys thirty Coca-Cola pop cans, five kilos of peanuts and ten paper towels packs – better have it and not need it than need it and not have it. In his over-the-toilet storage cabinet, he always has an antiperspirant (our character is worried about the smell), tums (American diet is specific), antiallergic drug, and anti-depressants to manage his complicated American life. Mr. Country prefers all kinds of combative sports – American football, rugby, baseball. He does not understand the association football, and despisingly calls it “soccer.” As a genuine American, our character does not play sports; he watches it, with beer, chips, BBQ, and the knot of good friends. Naturally, his favorite music is old-time rock and country, sometimes he listens to soul and blues.
Mr. Country often repeats “Happy wife – happy life,” and avoids arguing and contradictions with his spouse to the extent he did not notice that she had divorced him two years ago and comes only to feed his fish with another brand-new fish food. Mr. Country loves his daughter so much that he meets her new boyfriend with the gun. Besides, he adores his weapon; it took place in his heart possibly after God and the American flag but definitely before any government and law. Also, he is conceivably ready to defend his private property, his backyard, till the last breath. Everything shown on television is considered by Mr. Country as the ultimate truth – unvalued people and unverified information will not be presented on TV. The Internet and electronics did not gain his trust yet. Foreign films, celebrities, and news, in general, are not attractive to him as well.
He has his small manufacture business; once he had visited his friend and seen his dog, Mr. Country decided that T-shirts with the printed image of his friend’s bulldog in cowboy boots and a pirate hat will be very attractive for customers. His T-shirts are quite popular among young people, that is why Mr. Country often stays at work from 6 am till midnight to supervise fabrication. On every package with his T-shirt, there is the warning “Do not eat.” Once he was interviewed for a newspaper, though not for his business but his 35-lb-loss of weight. Also, Mr. Country never answers phone calls; he would not even answer the president, only after checking the voice message, he would decide whether to call him back later.
Our character drives his Dodge pickup; he has total contempt for fuel economy and recognizes all nations on the road. According to him, there is an Asian in a car dragged in front of his pickup, a Russian or an Iranian in a passing vehicle with blacked-out windows, a Mexican in a car with twenty-five passengers; and if an automobile is tearing by loud music – certainly, there is an African-American in the driver’s seat. The dispute in the court with companies without any substantial reason is a beloved hobby of Mr. Country. Frequently, he gathers with his neighbors to lodge a class action lawsuit against any store, where the quality of service was supposedly unsatisfying, on the grounds that all of them were there. Our character is deliriously happy if he manages to get twenty-dollars compensation shared between all complainants. Mr. Country complains to the manager in any restaurant where smoking is prohibited even if he sees a pictured cigarette.
Reasons for Humorous Appreciation of the Character
The perception that a character or a sketch is “humorous, funny,” is a distinctive quality in human consciousness. With few exceptions, such as lie suspicion based on previous experience, new information is received as serious and requested particular reactions. However, humor is accepted initially as a play, and the knowledge system of an individual is not needed in the upgrade, accepting jokes as a “supposed” truth. Receiving a humorous message does not require actions; it can be taken and amused passively.
This character can be regarded as comical for the vast majority of Americans as he contains significant reasons of humor appreciation in his appearance, behavior, and routine. The noticeable resemblance of the character with an essential number of recipients, mixed with widely known stereotypes and exaggerated features makes Mr. Country funny to a particular age-related, yet broad audience – a notable number of people will partly recognize themselves in this character. Definite clothes, traditional food, and sports, avoiding family disputes, hyperbolic love for pets, private property, weight loss, and big automobiles, work addiction, and value of original ideas in business – all these features will make the character familiar to an audience. Besides, he can be inserted in sketches, making him relative to the characters of Rowan Atkinson, Bill Irwin, and Barry Lubin. Atkinson created the character, Mr. Bean, who represents national, English, humor in a stereotypic and exaggerated way. The figures of Bill Irwin and Barry Lubin are exaggerated as well, but in their traits and actions, the majority of people can notice similarities with themselves. In sketches, our character can represent not only common stereotypes about the American community, as viewed by foreigners but familiar to countrymen traits in character, appearance, and behavior as well.
Lessing-Venter, Nandi. “A Contemplative Investigation into Humour Development, Sense of Humour and a Few Mechanisms Underlying Humour.” ResearchGate, 2018.