Digital humor by alleen pace nilsen and don l f nilsen
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Digital Humor by Alleen Pace Nilsen and Don L. F. Nilsen. And look how far we have moved away from books,. Evolution of the Cell Phone. Intentional Cell Phone Humor:. Accidental Cell Phone Humor . Everybody is now a news photographer for Hurricanes, Meteors, Floods, Police Actions….

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Digital humor by alleen pace nilsen and don l f nilsen l.jpg

Digital Humorby Alleen Pace Nilsen andDon L. F. Nilsen

Everybody is now a news photographer for hurricanes meteors floods police actions l.jpg
Everybody is now a news photographer for Hurricanes, Meteors, Floods, Police Actions…

And how far we ve come with photos l.jpg
and how far we’ve come with photos. Meteors, Floods, Police Actions…

Texting l.jpg
Texting Meteors, Floods, Police Actions…

With a cell phone, we are able to escape the moment.

This increases our social audience, and allows us to transcend.

But is it always a good thing?

We ve gone from talking to texting at the game and at dinner l.jpg
We’ve gone from talking to texting Meteors, Floods, Police Actions… --at the game --and at dinner

At the art museum and in the car l.jpg
--at the Art Museum Meteors, Floods, Police Actions… --and in the car.

Be right back l.jpg
Be Right Back! Meteors, Floods, Police Actions…

Memes l.jpg
Memes Meteors, Floods, Police Actions…

Memes allow us to combine pictures with text.

The text in the top part of the meme gives us the historical context.

The text in the lower part of the meme gives us the ironic spin.

Memes give new meanings to old events l.jpg
Memes give new meanings to old events Meteors, Floods, Police Actions…

Lazy college student meme l.jpg
“Lazy College Student” meme Meteors, Floods, Police Actions…

Philip fry from futurama l.jpg
Philip Fry from Meteors, Floods, Police Actions…Futurama

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A Meteors, Floods, Police Actions…New York Times photo of students in BYU’s computer animation program Can you spot the photo-bomber?

Changes in society religion and technology cause anxieties that inspire new movements l.jpg
Changes in society, religion, and technology cause anxieties that inspire new movements.

  • FRANKENSTEIN became popular when scientists began experimenting with real bodies.

  • In the 1800s American “Tall Tales” were humorous extensions of the strange things people found as they moved west.

  • And in the 1970s, urban legends made fun of people facing new and scary technologies, including microwave ovens, organ transplants, and a lack of privacy.

  • Zombies are now popular because of medical advances, aging populations and fears of biological warfare and pandemics.

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The Vine Application that inspire new movements.

  • Vine is an application that allows users to take and post short video clips.

  • The teller of a verbal jokes has the luxury of taking their time in order to provide the information needed to understand the joke. This is especially true in a shaggy dog story.

  • But Vines are 7 seconds long, so they require careful cutting and editing.

  • They also require the use of stereotypes, so that the information can be presented quickly.

  • Editorial cartoons also follow the 7-second rule for the same reasons.

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  • that inspire new movements.







As new concepts emerge we recycle old words and phrases from fantasy and science fiction l.jpg
As new concepts emerge, we recycle old words and phrases from fantasy and science fiction.

Godzillagram = a huge packet

Munchkins = teenage techies

Wabbit = a mischievous program

Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mode = an indefinitely repeating program

42 = the meaning of life, truth, and everything

A Trojan Horse = a program infiltrating a computer

UTSL = Use The Source Luke (from Star Wars)

Obi-Wan-Error = Off by One error from HAL (IBM) in Space Odyssey

Tree Killers = paper wasters from J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings

Code Police or Net Police = thought police from Orwell’s 1984

Millennials and their careers l.jpg
Millennials and Their Careers: from fantasy and science fiction.

Call and response on facebook l.jpg
Call and Response on Facebook and especially Video Games.

More call and response on facebook l.jpg
More Call and Response on Facebook and especially Video Games.

ELLEN DEGENERUS: “In Your Facebook”:


Example of a gender based computer joke no wonder you can t write you re not plugged in l.jpg
Example of a gender-based computer joke: and especially Video Games. “No wonder you can’t write. You’re not plugged in.”

(Eschholz-Rosa-Clark [2009]: 105)

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  • Peter Steiner’s 1993 cartoon in the and especially Video Games.New Yorker showed two dogs in front of a computer. One is remarking “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.”

  • Even Steiner was amazed at how popular it became.

  • It not only reflected, but helped shape world-wide attitudes.

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We like making fun of computers. and especially Video Games.

I have a spelling checker.

It came with my PC.

It plane lee marks four my revue

Miss steaks aye can knot sea.

Common spell-check mistakes include:

Untied States, Worth nothing that, and Fraud for Freud.

Importance of the rule of three l.jpg
Importance of the “Rule of Three” and especially Video Games.

Because headlines are so short they often contain ambiguities l.jpg
Because headlines are so short, and especially Video Games.they often contain ambiguities

These sentences are ambiguous computers don t provide real world knowledge l.jpg
These sentences are ambiguous; computers don’t provide “real world knowledge”

  • A cheesecake was on the table. It was delicious and was soon eaten.

  • SIGN IN A CHURCH: For those of you who have children and don’t know it, we have a nursery downstairs.

  • NEWSPAPER AD: Our bikinis are exciting; they are simply the tops.

  • It’s time to make smoking history!

Challenges in the digital world l.jpg
Challenges in the Digital World “real world knowledge”

  • People want to create and post their own material.

  • What goes out on the Internet has probably not had an editor, a director, or a producer.

  • This results in originality and spontaneity, and also in questionable materials.

Grammatical errors are common as in this success kid meme l.jpg
Grammatical “errors” are common “real world knowledge”as in this “Success Kid” meme.

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Recent firings because of the digital broadcasting of inappropriate humor…

  • In October 2013, White House staffer Jofi Joseph was fired for posting “snarky” and mean-spirited tweets under the handle of @natsecwonk.

  • These tweets were a mix of leaking sensitive national security information, criticizing the White House policies, and insulting the personalities and appearances of national security officials.

  • In his own “apology” or maybe “defense,” Joseph called it a “parody account,” and said he was only “saying what everyone else…thought.”

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After the crash of Flight 241, KTVU in northern California broadcast fake names of the pilots, which caused three men to be fired.

  • They had identified the pilots as

    Captain Sum Ting Wong We To Lo

    Ho Lee Fuk Bang Ding Ow

  • They claimed that the names had been verified by the NTSB, which never releases pilots’ names and certainly would not have had these names on any list.

  • The female newscaster was not fired because she was as surprised as anyone when she read the script on air.

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It was inappropriate because it targeted the victims, came so soon after the tragedy, and was presented as real news. Later in fake news reports…

  • Stephen Colbert said that the names sounded Chinese instead of Korean, and “if you’re going to make ethnic jokes, you really should get the ethnicity straight.”

  • Bill Maher had fun creating the name Cok Fo To for former Congressman Anthony Weiner, who tweeted photos of his crotch to women

  • Maher also created the name Me Lik Ho for Eliot Spitzer, who resigned as New York Governor in 2008 when he was caught patronizing prostitutes. The names Weiner and Spitzer are natural set-ups for such jokes.

Even a university president found himself in trouble for his humor l.jpg
Even a University President Found Himself in Trouble for His Humor

  • Gordon Gee, the highly respected president of the Ohio State University made controversial statements at a semi-private meeting with members of his athletic department.

  • He objected to admitting Notre Dame to the Big Ten Conference because “You just can’t trust those damn Catholics on a Thursday or a Friday…The Fathers are holy on Sunday, and they’re holy hell the rest of the week.”

  • The Associated Press heard about the statement and asked for a recording of the meeting. The upshot was that President Gee retired at the end of May.

  • He apologized, but said “I have no regrets about having a sense of humor and having a thick skin and enjoying life.”

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Other High-Profile Firings Include: Humor

  • An ESPN announcer was fired for doing a story under the heading “A Chink in the Armor” when Asian basketball star, Jeremy Lin was let go by the Knicks in February of 2012.

  • Comedian Gilbert Gottfried, who had the job of being the voice of the Aflac duck, was fired in 2011 for tweeting jokes about the Tsunami in Japan. 75% of Aflac’s business is in Japan.

  • Paula Deen, a celebrity chef on the Food Network, was fired from her television show because of using the N-word and catering “old plantation” parties that were considered racist.

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Tumblr Humor

  • Tumblr is a website that is part social network and part microblogging.

  • On Tumblr can be found list jokes, puns, parody, sarcasm and call and response.

Tumblr’s Mighty Pixie

(Teh Mighteh Pixeh)

Video game irony smiling children as villains l.jpg
Video Game Irony: HumorSmiling Children as Villains

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Compare Cartman on HumorSouthpark

Video game glitches photoshop sorcerer s apprentice mode l.jpg
Video Game Glitches: HumorPhotoshop & Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mode

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In conclusion, Steiner’s joke is no longer true. HumorToday, if you’re a dog on the web…, someone will find out.

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Digital Humor Website Humor


BYU Computer Animation Team:




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