Just like a fingerprint, no two people have the exact same sense of humor. Humor is a very fluid and flexible personality trait that is constantly changing and adapting to new life experiences. What one person finds hilarious might make someone else incredibly uncomfortable. You know this if you’ve ever seen George W. Bush try to give a neck massage.
This quiz is designed to see which of the 6 main styles of humor—we’ll call them observational, satire, deadpan, dark, surreal, and slapstick—tickles your funny bone. It certainly doesn’t mean that this is the only kind of humor that works. (And it also doesn’t mean that there are only 6 styles of humor!) But it might give you a bit of a clue about what your own comedy style might be, which is can be a key element of your comedy persona. At very least, it might point you in the direction of some awesome new comedians, movies, and shows to check out.
1. What’s your favorite punchline?
2. Favorite comedian?
3. What’s the deal with…?
4. Favorite SNL sketch?
5. What do you do to lighten a mood?
Find your funny: What kind of humor are you?
Surreal humor (also known as absurdist humor) is a form of humor predicated on deliberate violations of causal reasoning, producing events and behaviors that are obviously illogical. Constructions of surreal humor tend to involve bizarre juxtapositions, non-sequiturs, irrational or absurd situations and expressions of nonsense.
Comedians we bet you’ll like: Maria Bamford, Monty Python, Dan Harmon, Tim & Eric, Steven Wright, Coen Brothers.
Shows and movies we bet you’ll like: Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt, SpongeBob SquarePants, The Big Lebowski, The Eric Andre Show, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, Spaceballs, The Good Place, Community.
Dark (black comedy)
Dark comedy (or black comedy) is a comic style that makes light of subject matter that is generally considered taboo. This type of humor often includes topics of violence, discrimination, disease, sexuality, religion and barbarism.
Comedians we bet you’ll like: Sarah Silverman, Jim Norton, Anthony Jeselnik, Richard Pryor, Seth MacFarlane, Trey Parker & Matt Stone.
Shows and movies we bet you’ll like: South Park, Four Lions, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Rick and Morty, Inglorious Basterds.
In satire, vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, corporations, government, or society itself into improvement. This style of humor is often constructive social criticism, using wit to draw attention to both particular and wider issues in society.
Comedians we bet you’ll like: Gilda Radner, Conan O’Brien, Amy Sedaris, Dave Chappelle, W. Kamau Bell, Sarah Silverman, Samantha Bee.
Shows and movies we bet you’ll like: SNL, Blazing Saddles, The Daily Show, 30 Rock, Wet Hot American Summer, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.
Observational comedy is a form of humor based on the commonplace aspects of everyday life. It is one of the main types of humor in stand-up comedy. In an observational comedy act the comedian "makes an observation about something from the backwaters of life, an everyday phenomenon that is rarely noticed or discussed."
Comedians we bet you’ll like: Amy Schumer, Louis C.K., Joan Rivers, Kevin Hart, John Mulaney, Ali Wong, Phoebe Robinson.
Shows and movies we bet you’ll like: Get Out, Brooklyn 99, Seinfeld, Arrested Development, Bridesmaids, Master of None.
Deadpan (or dry humor) describes the deliberate display of a lack of or no emotion, commonly as a form of comedic delivery to contrast with the ridiculousness of the subject matter. The delivery is meant to be blunt, sarcastic, laconic, or apparently unintentional.
Comedians we bet you’ll like: Tig Notaro, Steven Wright, Mindy Kaling, Mitch Hedberg, Aubrey Plaza, Bob Newhart.
Shows and movies we bet you’ll like: Portlandia, The Office, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Documentary Now!, In Bruges.
Slapstick is a style of humor involving exaggerated physical activity which exceeds the boundaries of normal physical comedy.
Comedians we bet you’ll like: Melissa McCarthy, Buster Keaton, Jim Carrey, Lucille Ball, The Three Stooges, Martin Short, Molly Shannon.
Shows and movies we bet you’ll like: Laverne and Shirley, Naked Gun, Airplane, Family Guy, There’s Something About Mary, Modern Family.
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CARSEN SMITH (intern, branding and content) performs standup and improv in New York City. She co-created the improvised cooking show “I’ll Have What She’s Having,” which ran at Nashville’s Third Coast Comedy Club. @carsenasmith