Evolution of Entertainment Television Formats in the 2000s
The main stages in the development of prime-time entertainment on the national channels are described. The focus is on the four dominant formats which sequentially replaced one another throughout the 2000s. The processes thereby one format is displaced by another from prime time are examined. Basing on Yu. N. Tynyanov’s theory of literary genres evolution the author believes that a new replacing format arises as an opposition to the format that is being displaced. Within this framework comedy variety displaced quizzes and talent shows displaced musical realities.
Nowadays natural language user interfaces, such as chatbots and conversational agents, are very common. A desirable trait of such applications is a sense of humor. It is, therefore, important to be able to measure quality of humorous responses. However, humor evaluation is hard since humor is highly subjective. To address this problem, we conducted an online evaluation of 30 dialog jokes from different sources by almost 300 participants -- volunteers and Mechanical Turk workers. We collected joke ratings along with participants» age, gender, and language proficiency. Results show that demographics and joke topics can partly explain variation in humor judgments. We expect that these insights will aid humor evaluation and interpretation. The findings can also be of interest for humor generation methods in conversational systems.
The Incongruity Theory of Humor in its different forms states that the cause of laughter is the perception of something that violates our mental patterns and expectations. It seems particularly true of comic absurdity which is based on a deadpan violation of established norms of logic and convention. The current paper explores linguistic mechanisms that underlie the comic effects in the works of Mikhail Zoshchenko, one of the great satirists of Soviet Russia. Zoshchenko is well-known for his simplified writing style which imitates the language and mentality of “the simple people” while at the same time mocking the nascent Soviet officialdom and its demands for the popular accessibility of art. The paper considers Zoshchenko’s narrative through the prism of conventional implicatures (Grice 1961, Karttunen and Peters 1979, Horn 2004, Potts 2005, 2007), or meanings that are not directly stated in the utterances, but implied by the speaker; e.g. Even John solved the problem implies that it was it was not expected of John to solve it. In successful communication, implicit meanings form the shared background of conversational partners; violation of these shared norms may be used to create comical effect. One of the most conventionalized societal norms and one Zoshchenko most frequently violates is the value of human life and, hence, solemn attitude to death. The narrator in Zoshchenko’s stories repeatedly implies otherwise, thus creating a comical portrait of the mentality of Homo Soveticus. Consider a quote from “The story about a greedy dairy woman”: “So, her husband died. At first she probably took it lightly. - A-a, she thought – no big deal… But then she realized – yes, this is a big deal!... Eligible bachelors are not running around in bunches. And then, of course, she started grieving” (shift in emphasis; the cause for grief is not the husband’s death but its inconvenience for the surviving wife). The story “A restless old man” (about an old man who lives in a communal flat and falls into lethargic stupor taken by his family and neighbors for death and then after waking up really dies) is based on violating the same conventional implicature. Throughout the story the narrator implicitly creates the image of death as an inconvenient occurrence and of a deceased person as an unwanted piece of waste. The harshly comic effect is achieved by implicatures about the shallow emotional impact of death (“And then of course there is aggravation: because the room is small and here is a superfluous element”, “If my husband, this surviving idiot, ordered the hearse right away, then the wait for it would have only been three days”; “The summoned doctor reassured everybody that now the old man is bona fide dead”); by violation of semantic compatibility rules whereby the seemingly dead old man is alternately referred to as an animate being (“The dead man is lying and demanding the last tribute to be paid to him”, “The babysitter is afraid to be in the room where a dead person is living”) or inanimate object (“There is so little space that there is even nowhere to pile up the old man”; “I am going to pile him up in the hall, let him wait for the hearse there”).
In this paper, we investigate the problem of the humor detection for Russian language. For experiments, we used a large collection of jokes from social media and a contrast collection of non-funny sentences, as well as a small collection of puns. We implemented a large set of features and trained several SVM classifiers. The results are promising and establish a baseline for further research in this direction.
The article covers issues of irony and humor development that can provide an idea of the nonlinear, rhizome characteristics of a modern culture that lacks distinct borders. Their daily usage leads to what were traditionally considered exclusive categories (power, sexuality, and death) now playing the roles of cultural categories that heuristically describe modern social situations. Irony and humor unite diverse elements into a dynamic, conceptual unity, thus opening the way for interpretation ambiguity. They act as the basis for the dynamic association of various elements of modern culture, which suggests the dynamic demonstration of their roles in reflecting the discourse of modern culture and modern social action.
In this paper the author analyses the materials that were pub- lished in the American satirical magazine The Onion in the period from 2006 till 2011 and mentioned September 11 terrorist attacks. The focus of the research is the persistence of 9/11 jokes five years after the tragedy occurred and later on. The jokes are classified basing on their subject-matter and rhetorical patterns. The author concludes that most of these jokes promote respect towards collective memory about the attacks and their victims.
The paper is based on the research that was funded by the Faculty of Philosophy of the National Research University Higher School of Economics in 2011.
In this article the author represents different approaches to humor interpretation and shows own classification that consists of organizational humor kinds. This classification brings the correspondence with types of organizational culture.