While many comics and commentators have used this phrase, the website QuoteInvestigator, cites a 1957 Cosmopolitan interview with talk show host Steve Allen as the first recorded use of the phrase. Martin Dockery, a brilliant storyteller who works the fringe theatre circuit, uses this phrase creatively in his monologue, Bursting Into Flames. He explains that the greatest and oldest tragedy in the world is the extinction of the dinosaurs. From there, he delivers a string of dinosaur jokes that prove, perhaps, that the equation tragedy + time = humour may not be easily quantified.

Ecclesiastes 3:4
a time to weep, and a time to laugh

While this verse from Ecclesiastes does not use the exact wording, it certainly contains tragedy and comedy and can be even read that tragedy (weeping) comes before comedy (laughter). We often use the phrase “too soon” to describe a situation where there has not been a sufficient passage of time for humour. It can be thought of as simple respect, and the entertainment world has shown this to be the case. Both David Letterman show following the 9-11 tragedy and Jon Stewart’s show after the mass shooting at the Charlie Hebdo newspaper in Paris are examples of major media stars showing this respect by offering shows void of humour.

Views: 216

Comment by Forrest Curo on 5th mo. 13, 2017 at 11:37am

If you laugh at the dinosaurs while they're still in the process, one of them might step on you.

But some of the "best" humor is probably gallows humor: people joking because that's what you do when you're used to suffering and somebody is about to make things worse. People laugh, at the time, because crying would give the bastids too much satisfaction.

The tragedies of the past are the tragedies of the present and the tragedies of the likely future; people aren't crying because they haven't heard the punch lines yet.

Comment by David McKay on 5th mo. 13, 2017 at 5:17pm

If you can still laugh at it, it hasn't killed you yet.

Comment

You need to be a member of QuakerQuaker to add comments!

Join QuakerQuaker

Support Us

Did you know that QuakerQuaker is 100% reader supported? If you think this kind of outreach and conversation is important, please support it with a monthly subscription or one-time gift.


You can also make a one-time donation.

Latest Activity

Keith Saylor replied to Thomas Maxwell's discussion 'Concept of Diety'
"Christ's living appearance within me has drawn me out of the reflective nature and the process…"
6th day (Fri)
Forrest Curo replied to Thomas Maxwell's discussion 'Concept of Diety'
"God is also more than anyone's experience of God. It's not that we can contain God in a…"
6th day (Fri)
Keith Saylor replied to Thomas Maxwell's discussion 'Concept of Diety'
"Hello Thomas, Through the immanent appearance of eternal life itself inshining upon me, I am drawn…"
6th day (Fri)
Forrest Curo replied to Thomas Maxwell's discussion 'Concept of Diety'
"I'd rather encourage people to examine the Bible sympathetically than discourage them from…"
2nd month 23
William F Rushby replied to Thomas Maxwell's discussion 'Concept of Diety'
"Instead of floundering and thrashing around to find a way to conceptualize God, Turn to the Bible…"
2nd month 23
Forrest Curo replied to Thomas Maxwell's discussion 'Concept of Diety'
"Masculine _nouns_? A word like "Godd-ess" would imply that 'God's were normally…"
2nd month 22
Patty Quinn replied to Thomas Maxwell's discussion 'Concept of Diety'
"To hear God referred to in masculine nouns and pronouns feels to me like a slap in the face to the…"
2nd month 22
Forrest Curo replied to Thomas Maxwell's discussion 'Concept of Diety'
"It's probably best to talk about many Biblical concepts of God. What they have in common is…"
2nd month 20

© 2021   Created by QuakerQuaker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service