A Funny Thing Happened When I Examined a Joke
A Quest for Humor's Sake
The latest Lean Into Art Quest is about examining a joke and the assumption behind the joke that makes it work.
I started out with a plan to capture a Futurama joke. I'll watch a few episodes and transcribe one of the many jokes in the dialog or visual pranks in the episode.
Then it hit me... the very beginning of the show starts with a joke when they present the show's title/logo. It didn't seem intuitive that essentially a title screen would qualify as a joke and one worth examining. I mean - there's got to me more parts to it, right? Jokes are two stories where the delight hapens by having the setup story suddenly jump to the punchline twist conclusion. Seems like there would have to be more to it than a title card and sub title could accomplish. The more I considered it, I realized it's perfect as an exploration. Instead of needing two whole stories to comprise a joke, it seems something simpler works: two ideas.
Not the Dictionary Definition
The actual definition of joke, from the OS X Dictionary app:
joke |jōk| noun a thing that someone says to cause amusement or laughter, esp. a story with a funny punchline
Here's my working-draft definition:
joke Juxtaposed ideas that surprise and delight the audience when they experience the connection between those ideas.
Futurama's Title Card
How does this apply to the Futurama title card? I think it starts with the assumption we have by looking at the logo. If you're new to the show you see the bright World's Fair style logo - something representing an ideal of what we can achieve as humans. Our amazing future that lies ahead.
Then they hit you with a second idea, a twist in the form of a sub title.
The intitial title card that inspired me to use it for this quest:
I first tried to mutate the joke using my own take on the twist.
Then to further experiment I came up with two other twists, still based on the foundation of the setup. Futurama's logo.