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As stated, why is it sometimes funny when someone is making an obvious lie, but they really want you to believe it? They are not saying it in a humors purpose, however, a lot of people find it very funny. There are an entire account online who posts "things that didn't happen", people's posts where they are saying obvious lies.

An example from Twitter the other day:

"I was going to book an appointment for the doctor. The lady at the desk explains that you have to call every morning and try to get an appointment. But it can take up to TWO weeks.

Me: I pay taxes. I have an English passport. You work for me.

She: Quiet... Ok. You are prioritized."

This is an obvious lie, because it's very exaggerated. What makes us find this funny? I was trying to apply the "Benign violation theory" to it, but I'm not quite sure how it would be applied. I was thinking that it's maybe the absurd lie in itself that is the violation, and then the benign comes from knowing very-well that it is a lie.

However, I run in to another problem. When it comes to stand-up, it's not very funny if everything is lies. Or, the jokes could be lies, but the comedian should at least try to make some of it appear as true. Otherwise, the audience rather feels lied to than joked with. That is in accordance with the theory- for it to be funny, it requires both violation and benign. Only lies/exaggeration becomes unbalanced.

It punctures my theory though that benign in the lying case would come from knowing that it's untrue. In the case with the stand-up, you would not find it funny if there isn't any conflict between benign and violation (and the benign is not earned by the fact that the things presented on stage are obvious lies), but somehow you find the obvious lie funny.

Someone who could help/try to untangle this?

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    $\begingroup$ Does this answer your question? How does our brain consider something to be funny? $\endgroup$ Sep 8 at 20:37
  • $\begingroup$ @BryanKrause I can see where you are coming from, but I don't think the question you linked is a duplicate. The other question is talking about standard comedy which is supposed to be funny, whereas this question is talking about situations which are not supposed to be funny, but they are in a way. I suppose at the moment it's like the "you've got to laugh or else you could cry" sort of situation and the OP is trying to work out if it is related to the "benign violation theory". $\endgroup$ Sep 9 at 3:24
  • $\begingroup$ On the other hand, I am not sure if we want a separate question for every type of humour either. $\endgroup$
    – Arnon Weinberg
    Sep 10 at 17:39
  • $\begingroup$ I agree @ArnonWeinberg and the way I see it is that this question would cover items not meant to be funny and the question linked by Bryan will cover those that are meant to be. The 2 questions should cover all eventualities then. $\endgroup$ Sep 11 at 7:41

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