Humor is all about a person making an amusing observation that in result creates laughter and provides entertainment for the audience. In the book titled Status Anxiety by Alain de Botton, the author makes a statement that the role of humor in society is to allow people to say things that other people cannot or will not say because of their role in the community.
I agree with de Botton’s statement because humor secretly allows people to get a message across without having to worry about others looking down upon you because of what you said, as well as providing people with more awareness of the wrongdoing in society by making them easier to understand through the use of humor. In basic comedy, humor is effectively used to bring forth a message that is possibly serious or controversial by making it amusing and easier to understand.
De Botton clearly makes a stand that humorists are not only here to amuse and amaze, but are here “to convey with impunity messages that might be dangerous or impossible to state directly”. In this quotation, de Botton states that comedy can and is frequently used as a secret method to give thoughts and observations that may be thought of as insulting if brought up in a serious manner. Steven Colbert for example, uses humor to make serious comments about our country. He states his opinions about the government and major news stories however does so with comedy to back him up.
When talking about the war in Syria, Colbert said that “Only 29% of Americans want the U. S. to attack Syria — which on the plus side means that 29% of Americans know there is a place called Syria”. Colbert uses humor to convey a message about how ill-informed people in our country are. He says this with a tone that also implies that the vast majority of people who are “ill-informed” simply don’t care at all. The basic component of what makes humor and comedy an essential factor in a society is that although the presentation is not necessarily taken seriously, the message and ideas behind the material are always easy to recognize.
In regards to humor, humorists don’t have to worry about being polite or caring for their audience. They are allowed and accepted as being funny for having quality material that contains offensive and explicit language. Their notable reputation for being indiscreet to its own audience is what makes humor an effective tool in society. For one, humorists have the ability and responsibility of making its audience laugh. But it also has the capability to allow the audience to relate the humorist’s material to their own thoughts, thus allowing them to openly express themselves through laughter and enjoyment.
It also has the potential to inspire people to think in a different sense. Through comedy, a humorist can quickly change one’s views or opinions of a certain subject or argument by making that argument more entertaining and funny. By making an underlying message laughable, it makes it easier for the audience to understand what the message of the material is actually conveying. De Botton’s opinion of the vitality of humor in a society is true in that it is necessary, because it helps not only fulfill people’s entertainment and expressive needs, but it also serves a purpose as an instrument of spreading a message to its audience.