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11-6 9:10am Tommy, offensive costume

Nov 6, 2013|

Tommy talks to Peter McGraw, a Professor at the University of Colorado & author of the upcoming book "The Humor Code," about a humor and tragedies

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

A leash and lynch Michigan woman dresses a victim of April's Boston Marathon bombing. Sporting runners clothing and fake spattered blood. Any Internet just went nuts owners she posted a picture of herself on Nancy Graham and Twitter. Town why would you do this while her Halloween get up get listener named some stink in. Me. -- some skiing in me answers in deserve for Internet. Handle and and she posted this on Halloween in. People. Didn't like it on the Internet and you know couple of other mistakes in this goes to. Once you put it out there. It's out there she had once posted a picture of her driver's license on line and people are outraged by a costume. Used her home address and other personal information. To further attacker. One have a senator of -- packaged as they knew where she lived there was no anonymity are you -- she posted at. Others found racy photos of her on line and circulated them once again. Those include in that picture gets owning an Edberg you you can't control it because then it's in the public domain even tracked down her parents contact information. And sent them death. Threats she sees. She said she lost her job as a result of the photo she says that it voicemails when they wanna slit my throat. -- wanna hang me in -- off my face. Iron. And she says about the cast him defending it honestly it's day of the day and I wasn't a dead person -- wasn't being disrespectful. I was a survivor. Of the marathon not like -- was walking around with a fake leg or my arm torn off or something like that. And I got -- -- is the defense -- know and I think she's just real he went the wrong way it was a sold ghetto well and there's another consideration. This announcement -- -- and join us in a minute to talk about when it comes to comedy and satire. How soon is too soon and some scientists at University of Colorado at Boulder. Said that when he analyze what happens. Tragedy often results in laughter they find -- -- time emotional distance in the size of the tragedy all play a role. -- -- -- -- Far enough away from the tragedy -- it then it becomes funny but it depends on a group as well as it's a large group of people the lever of level of humor increases as time passes. As opposed smaller tragedies which -- deemed humorous only in the immediate aftermath so right after a small tragedy is funny. After a period of time it becomes funny year according -- a study that's a large tragedy. In one study 99% of subjects. Senate car crash that occurred five years ago would be funny here today that it would be on the day of the accident. Funny. Only 18% of people thought a toe injury would be humorous five years later so I don't know about all this Peter McGraw joins us right now he -- Help explain this he's a professor of marketing and psychology at the University of Colorado author of the upcoming book the humor code good morning doctor you do one. The title doctors appropriate. -- I eat just one letter but they get -- doctorate. Talk to us about humor and what's in bad taste what is funny you watch Family Guy you see a lot of things made fun. Let me -- winds there's always the the angle of religion and Tom what's funny when he comes to religion you tell me about well. Don't go where he's been doing and you -- Nikkei -- -- And identified. -- -- -- -- That's funny but humor research land AJA -- that her Oreo. By that -- the underlying. The secret humor and it's like your -- The people the nine violations. At things that are both wrong -- And and it's like you have the right term but on violations really really important to understand what happened. With it. The caught it which I think we intend to be humorous. I tell me again what a benign violations. It's. Sort of been threatening that is unsettling it seems wrong in some way. That it between 200 people out situation is okay -- -- were pretty. And ideas that -- been there violations are well during the Iraq and the other and it reverses and are sort of indicate that other -- that situation it's OK and so. And it explained why he attempted humor to fail in ways they can aura or offend. -- -- The option clearly it was offensive -- not okay now. You people tend to respond more if they're offended and if they -- amused or entertained. Certainly the certainly. The -- with you yeah. What people are offended. I. They wanna let you note that you crawl the line and rather than -- compassion and sensitivity. And insensitive comment or and that can -- -- people often respond and wrote in sensitive way. OWs and being in -- unfortunate for him and interpret kind of alerting perspective. That. People advocate and advocate for the moment. Well it seems disingenuous is well because if you're offended by her costume. I think you more offensive if you threaten her parents life and if you any if you tell her I'm gonna hang UN and slit your throat. -- -- The work that we can do so the idea that in a matter of being far away from the tragedy. Transformed from violate open on. Make -- humorist who are waiting at the tribute saying that. They're -- -- people aren't. And by human really complex thing. Two -- To be helpful so for instance. The attempt at humor it in the bottom. Really difficult to do so the most successful situation. That are humorous in the tragedy actually takes. You know the perpetrator. So for instance during the week following. On. The -- being an article the a lot of people on fire and were we thank all the jokes. But none of -- do targeted the victims of the ball they targeted -- terror. Good that's really important. -- -- consider that sensitivity. That are not only report the crime but also with regard to their food. Targeting. So it might rule always was and and keep in mind he you don't know me but. Ian asked the producers Jordan announced the the master control operator amber -- Italian. I've been funny nonstop since about I'd say 1984. There -- no but seriously my rule always was. If somebody does it. To bring it about themselves then that's OK that's fair game but it if somebody as you said as a victim or it just happens to them. Then it's not for example we've they had a controversy with -- an Atlanta radio station -- football player -- former saint we're very proud of Steve Gleason in the way that he he's handled his fight against dale list. Now think it's funny because you don't do anything to bring that about. There at the rhetoric go through the really cute. Is there some way to make. Start with something negative mark Mark Twain has been wonderful quote but the secret -- -- humor is not joy to borrow. There is humor at. In the dispute that because -- per -- there's nothing wrong there is no optical well. And so when -- approaching. A situation where ordinary people. A great way to do -- to focus on yourself because -- They're taking something that's long been pointing out what's wrong with you make it. And so that means there -- certain people and can joke about and other people can. And it really true poll how difficult -- -- thought that it congratulate you for being funny all the time because most people can't do. Nonstop. Since 1984. Deadly -- for example hooker. Did drunk politician gets caught with a hooker. Or edit his I don't see. Where you could feel sorry for that person because they brought this on themselves. -- and they all that sort of give a little bit being in the public you know goes through celebrated figure payment speakers. In some way. You separate lights and commit a lot of them that you can do people who might be an unfortunate situation. Are people always. Bomb honest when it comes of their outrage because I get emails I get text. Something's and other people are very offended by some other people are laughing about it now so I always wonder if there's is under current. Of people at a professing mock outrage but they're really tell in the same joke to their friend where where that they think will accept this were nobody can hear. Yet the question. And that it's a tough question because -- -- in saying. There are lots of people find farming. Other people aren't born and yet other people are offended by the department knows they're being truthful. Or they're saying. Or they're really well. The case it you know the funny actually defending people. And that that some of the stuff that you use a lot of people find monitor our report small minority of people who hear the helicopter. Anyway. When they're on a couple of things by able formula to go labor in assassinations. Now time is that funny yet. Not correlate that funny but generous and insane if you if you make Johnny Carson and years ago -- was joke about. Some some -- dated that was named. Something Lincoln and they named that because there everybody took a shot -- about him and -- point five years ago so Linkedin is that funny. Yet so. So. Brandon from my it's been comedian allotment vote. You don't -- them. Not to do and it's -- And that might be one of those kind of situations where generally -- -- that side of the facts don't matter. And so that. Are still being the -- that happened long ago that art digital could well so jokes about slavery. All call which. I'm bill about assassinating president although there are folks who. Seemed -- -- either cleverly make that brings farming. And spiritually -- who tuned to target. Com promoted to cheer comedic genius a partner it's good to dark arts and particularly those those big threat but he still -- -- even in many years later. And I would guess if you are prone. To telling jokes about JFK this fiftieth anniversary not the time to do. Professor appreciate your time I really -- I think it's been fascinating professor Peter McGraw professor of marketing. And psychology at the University of Colorado. Author of the upcoming book the humor code and Allen -- the administrator -- -- college research scientist at hurl. He had and the director level. Director of pearl which is the humor. Research laboratory thank you sir have a good day.

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