Humor 2.0: How the Internet Changed Humor (Hardcover)
The book provides a comprehensive discussion of the new humor that has appeared on the internet. The book is divided into five sections: First, the introduction, which explains the idea that humor has changed since the widespread adoption of the internet and social media. The introduction reviews the theoretical tools that will be applied throughout the book: a discussion of humor theory and memes and how they function. The discussion is kept engaging and readable but is nonetheless based on rigorous scholarship, presented clearly by a well-known humor researcher.
Part 1 collects several chapters on the new humorous genres that have appeared on the internet: the humorous meme, the compilation video, online digital cartoons, the "stuff white people like" phenomenon, Dogecoin, the joke crypto-currency, and of course satirical news, such as The Onion. The overall point is that many of these phenomena are completely native to the internet/social media or have been significantly affected by the distribution via the internet.Part 2 considers in more detail a number of examples of humorous memes: they include the Cheryl She Shed meme, the BoatyMcBoatface incident in which the crowdsourcing of the name for a boat went awry, Pastafarianism, the joke religion, grumpy cats, and the Chuck Norris memes. Part 3 considers multimodal humorous genres: the Hitler rant, photobombing, embarrassment ("cringe") comedy, rant-to-music videos, and music video parodies. Here too, these new genres can exist only due to the availability of platforms such as Youtube or TikTok. Part 4 looks at the dark side of internet humor, considering the use of humor by the alt. right on 4chan and 8chan, trolling, and related phenomena. The last chapter looks at humorous cartoon "mascots" such as Pepe the Frog and Kek, which have been appropriated by the right.
The first comprehensive guide to humor in the age of the internet and social media, this book will make you laugh (for the examples) and will enlighten you (for the analyses). Hopefully.