A Family Guy version of Mad Libs sits on a countertop.

Watch What You Say

By Tiger Shi
Web Content Contributor

Everyone out there has one or more forms of inside jokes. I personally tell tons of jokes that people not in my friend group wouldn’t understand. My friends and I tend to use dark humor in my apartment that we would NEVER say in public. From making fun of gaffe-prone presidential candidate Joe Biden to using “Family Guy” style satire, dark humor is, in my opinion, fun. However, one must know their limits. Like drinking alcohol, telling dark humor jokes should be a responsibility.

Not everyone is comfortable with dark humor. There are bound to be those who are sensitive or just don’t see it as their style of comedy. That is why if someone you encounter is not cool with it, then don’t use it. It is simple as that. Personally, I got into dark humor as soon as I started watching “Family Guy,” as well as comedians like Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele and Dave Chappelle. As for my friends and I, we mock controversial statements from people like Don Blankenship, Ron DeSantis and Sonny Perdue and use it in a dark humor tone. Again, we made sure to keep it only in the apartment. 

A perfect example would be a friend of one of my roommates, not stating names, who seemed to be too comfortable telling our satire in public. Whether it was on campus, in town or even just outside our apartment unit, he accidentally let slip from time to time. We had to “clean up” after his mess, reminding him to use self-control. Dark humor doesn’t just apply to the mainstream comedy archives; my friends and I even mock each other depending on what we did in our personal lives as in reference to a mess up. 

Dark humor doesn’t always come in a form of an entertainment. TV shows like “Family Guy” or movies like “Jojo Rabbit” tend to make fun of a specific theme or multiple themes. The same thing can apply to non-entertainment industry methods. It can originate somewhere as basic as an idea forming in one’s head. The point of the joke would be a jab at controversy like abortion, historical event or a cultural group. My point is, one shouldn’t misinterpret the satire. If there is overreaction, and there bound to be, the source who told that joke should recant with wise judgment. 

Such humor is technically protected under the First Amendment. The government cannot persecute someone just for saying it. It all depends on the context of the joke and the tone of the speaker as well as the listener being the judge. As seen in the super villain movie “Joker” (2019), Arthur Fleck confessed to killing three innocent people on-air while the audience and the TV host didn’t believe him at first. If something like that were to happen in real life, an arrest will obviously happen. The moral is, there is a difference between being serious and kidding around and dark humor plays a big role in that, on the latter. 

If you were to use dark humor, consider the thoughts of others around you if they are cool with it. Be careful when and where you use it. I know this should be common sense logic but sometimes careless mistakes do happen which would result in unnecessary altercations. You may think you are a pro at using it like Seth MacFarlane but still, in this day and age, watch what you say with dark humor.

Featured image by Tiger Shi.

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