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Unit 20 Humor. Act as a circus clown. Leading in Who can say something about comedians?.

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Unit 20 Humor

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Leading in

Who can say something about comedians?

Comedians are people, especially professional entertainers, who tell jokes or do amusing things to make people laugh and think. Look at the pictures . Do you know who these comedians are? What make them funny to you?


The comic duo of the 1930s” Laurel and Hardy.” ( The thin one is called Stan Laurel, while the stout one is called Oliver Hardy.) They are funny because they are each other’s opposites: one fat and one thin; one is clever and one is silly etc.


Mr Bean. Although Mr Rowan Atkinson acts as different comic characters he is most famous around the world as Mr Bean. Mr Bean is funny because he makes funny faces, he acts silly, he seems to be quite stupid, and the things he does are strange.


3: Dustin Hoffman in the film Tootsie (1982). In this film Hoffman acts the role of a woman, and many people agree that his performance was so good that you often can’t tell the difference. But in the film of cause there are all kinds of funny moments.


Ma Ji is a well – known artist of crosstalk shows in China. His numerous crosstalk shows always make his audience roar with laughter.


!. Do you know any comedians who are funny?

2.Have you seen any of the comedians or programs? What do you think of them?


I have seen some films of Laurel and Hardy and I think that they are very funny.

  • I find Mr Bean always very funny.
  • I don’t think I ever saw this comedian. I am not sure if I would like it.
  • I once heard Hou Yaowen on the radio and I had to laugh so much that my stomach hurt and I had tears in my eyes.

Other comic duos are for example, Abbott and Costello, French and Saunders, Wallace & Gromit or Beavis and Butthead.

Other comedians acting as clowns are for example, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton or Austin Powers.


Other famous comedians who dressed up as women are for example, Dame Edna (Australia), Milton Berle (USA) and Eddy Izzard (UK).

Other famous crosstalk artists are Jiang Kun, Hou Yuewen, Feng Gong, Tang Jiezhong, etc.


Read the passage fast and then answer the following questions:

2.What is the text about?


What is the text about?

1,The title is a bit of a puzzle to me and there are no other clues to find out what the text is about. I suppose it will be about something to laugh about.

2,If it’s about laughing or humour, it can be about jokes or funny storied.

Read the text again , try to divide the text into several parts and find out the main idea of each part:


Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:





1 How long has the tradition of crosstalk existed in China?

The tradition of crosstalk has existed in China for more than 2000 years.

2 Give three examples of techniques that writers of comedies often use to make people laugh.

1 ______________

2 ______________

3 ______________



Word play


3 Why are some of Shakespeare’s comedies not so funny for us?

Some of Shakespeare’s plays are not so funny for us because we don’t understand the language and word play that Shakespeare used.


4 Can you describe a clown in your own words? What does a clown look like?

A clown is a funny person, usually dressed up in clothes of very bright colours, such as red and yellow. They often wear a big coloured wig(假发). Their face is covered with white make-up, and their mouth and eyes are made to look very big using red and other coloured make-up. Clowns often have a big red nose. All of their clothes, including their shoes are usually over-sized.


The show of a comedian is more like a comedy than like a clown. A comedian doesn’t wear any of the funny clothes and make-up of clowns. The humour of clowns is often very silly. Clowns often don’t speak at all. Their jokes are almost all body language, mime, and silly things like falling down. The comedian, on the other hand uses all the richness of the language to create fun, just as in comedies. In fact, comedians often act out little sketches which make us think of acting on the stage in comedy.


Work alone or as a pair

Word play by a pair

Theatre play

Act alone or as a pair

  • Complete the following chart:

Make fun of dressing way; Tell an amusing story; Play on words

No words;


make up;

way they


Body language & face; no make-up ;play with words;

Jokes and fun-ny conver-sations ;Dress -up small sketches

Help forget problems for a while

Roar with laughter

Make audience laugh

Think about life


Discussion(group work)

1.Compare Western and Chinese comedy shows. What do they have in common? How are they different?

2.How to make people laugh?



He can speak Japanese as well as English.


Pay attention to the following sentences:

1.Their talk includes rhythm and rhyming words as well as tongue twisters, which often make the audience applaud.

Jane as well as her parents is taking a holiday in China.


The result of the experiment was very good, which we hadn’t expected.


He seldom finishes his work on time, which always makes his boss very angry.

2.Skilled artists make use of all the richness of the spoken language to create a rapid flow of fun.


You’d better make better use of your spare time.


Our free time should be made full use of to get ready for the final exam.



Even if I have to walk all the way, I’ll get there.

4.Perhaps that is the reason why few foreigners know about this Chinese art form.

3.Today students of English, even if English is their mother tongue, often cannot understand his jokes.


Please tell me the reason why so many teenagers love popular songs nowadays.


Is there any particular reason why you can’t come?

5. What comedians have in common with the players in a comedy is their way of playing with words.


I haven’t a thing in common with him.

out of the common 异乎寻常, 不平常


He had noticed nothing out of the common.

how to make people laugh
How to make people laugh?
  • Be different.与众不同.
  • Don’t take the Mick.力戒乏味.
  • Laugh at yourself.嘲笑自己.
  • Include people.群众路线.
  • Don’t overdo private jokes.适度隐私.
  • Don’t be “funny” all the time. “滑稽”有度.
  • Choose your moment carefully.把握时机.
  • Do be unexpected.出乎意料.
  • Don’t be a jackass.不出洋相.
  • Know your audience.了解观众.
moral lessons
Moral lessons:

幽默必须以严肃为背景. (Beerbohm 英.比尔博姆)

1.Humour has its background of seriousness.

2.Life is a comedy to him who thinks and a tragedy to him who feels. (English proverb)

3.The test of real comedian is whether you laugh at him before he opens his mouth.



(George Nathan 内森.美作家)


Useful expressions

A theatre play , make…laugh, use different techniques, appear in the stage, be famous for acting as a woman , a funny play, be stereotypes of nationalities , do a certain job, make fun of others, tell an amusing story, act out stereotypes of people, roar with laughter, sound funny, speak with a foreign accent, play on words create fun, laugh loudly, act alone, act as a pair, make a different kind of fun, be funny for children, forget one’s problem, make the audience applaud, fully appreciate the jokes of cross talk artists, know about an art form


Retell the text using about 100 words. (Try to use the Attributive Clause.)


V-ing form used as attribute and object complement.


6.She went on working though it was already very dark.

7.They stopped talking and began to listen to the teacher attentively.

8.We regret arriving(=having arrived) so late.



2①定语:单个的分词应放在被修饰的名词之前作前置定语,如:Touching story / leading cadres / shining example / coming week / skilled worker / armed forces / boiled water /steamed bread

H 1. He is a promisingyoung man. Barking dogs seldom bite. His is a pressing problem.

S2.Soon our respected and beloved leaders entered the banquet hall.



Who is the man standing (= that is standing) by the door?

We met a group of students returning (who were returning) from school.

They built a highway leading (= which leads) into the mountains.



1.The children ran out of the room,laughing and talkingmerrily.

3.Given more time,I can do it much better.

4.The man walked along the street,followed by his pet dog.


( 4 ).作宾语补足语:


1.He saw an old mangetting on the bus.

2. They kept the fire burning.

3.I once heard this songsung in Japanese.

4.I don’t want the childrentaken out in such weather.