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Surreal humor (or surreal humour) is a form of humor. It wants to be funny by going against causal reasoning. This causes the humor to be illogical, and the humor is created by irrational or absurd situations, or scenes which do not make any sense. The phenomenon is also called surreal comedy, absurdist humor, or absurdist comedy.
Surreal humor was made using surrealism, an art movement of the 20th century. French and Belgian artists started it. They depicted illogical scenes while creating methods to allow the unconscious mind to express itself. The movement itself was foreshadowed by English writers in the 19th century, most notably Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear. The humor in surreal comedy comes from performing in a manner that contradicts audience expectations, emphasizing the silliness and low chances of the situation occurring, so that the humor is created from uncertainty that is separate from a logical analysis of the situation.
Surreal humor in theater is usually about the insensitivity, paradox, absurdity, and cruelty of the modern world. Absurd and surrealist cinema often deals with elements of dark humor: disturbing or sinister subjects like death, disease, or warfare are treated with amusement and bitterness, creating the appearance of an intention to shock and offend.
- Stockwell, Peter (November 2016). The Language of Surrealism. p. 177. ISBN 9781137392190.[permanent dead link]
- "Theatre Of The Absurd Humour Often Relies On A Sense Of Hopelessness And Violence". 123HelpMe.com. Retrieved 1 May 2019.