Humor in the Big Bang Theory
Humor found in everyday life dates back to the ancient times when Aristotle and Plato formulated why people laugh in the society. Humor is found in daily interactions when people read, hear and watch. The capacity of humor is established when individuals enjoy laughing at hilarious situations, individuals and things that give them entertainment. Indeed, this might be the reason why mass media channels have invested significant amounts of money for the purpose of making people around the world to laugh. The situations that create humor vary due to individual differences like beliefs, culture, experience, time, situation, psychology, and society. Sharing these characteristics enables humor to be more efficient, but they do not dictate that something must be funny (Lamuno). Ultimately, some jokes work despite these individual differences among the audience. Humor is evidenced in the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory at great length.
The aspect of cultural is imperative while analyzing the subject of humor in the American sitcom. The progress of globalization has made it easier to access the American culture in numerous aspects through American TV programs and movies of different kinds. The American sitcom has audience from various cultures and countries to have an impression of the part of humor that requires the culture of the United States of America. The American sitcom has helped people throughout the world to understand the humor of the Americans in a better way (Lamuno). In the recent years, linguistics has concentrated on the study of humor that is evidenced in the American sitcoms. The pragmatic approach is directed to investigating the humorous incidences in The Big Bang Theory.
The Big Bang Theory is one of the most popular sitcoms in America. The American sitcom involves four nerdy characters, two physicists Leonard Hofstadter and Sheldon Cooper, two roommates, astrophysicists Rajesh Koothrappali, and Howard Wolowitz, the Jewish aerospace engineer (Klohe). The characters exhibit a high level of intelligence, but they indicate a lack of social skills. For instance, Sheldon Cooper is unable to grasp humor and irony in general. Moreover, she lacks the sense of empathy. The characters in the sitcom like to engage with comic books and video games and isolate themselves from the social life of the society. Indeed, their social ineptness contrasts with that of Penny who lives opposite Leonard’s and Sheldon’s apartment. Penny manages to compensate in the sense that she is unable to compete with geeks on the intellectual level using her excellent common sense (Klohe). Most of the humorous incidences revolve around characters’ dealings with Sheldon Cooper and this contrast.
The dialogue between the American sitcom characters shows a contradiction with the action, common sense, and environment and hence generating humor. Verbal humor is the most critical characteristic of sitcom and the primary mechanism to proceed (Hu 1186). The Big Bang Theory causes a stir among the young people. The American sitcom enriches the lives of individuals in the society and thus helping individuals understand the American culture. Moreover, the sitcom helps people to cultivate their interest in the English language. On the other hand, the Cooperative Principle and its conversational maxims advanced by H.P Grice have been influential in the development of pragmatics (1187). The theory expresses the imperative mood that makes the casual readers believe that Grice was interested in telling people on how they are supposed to behave. He suggested that conversational interaction operates under a set of rules that are operational. However, in the American sitcom these maxims have been violated, flouted or infringed to remark humor after the other is created (1188).
In a nutshell, humor is an aspect found in every society in everyday life. Indeed, it is established when people enjoy laughing at funny things, situations, and people. The American sitcom The Big Bang Theory has helped people throughout the world to understand the culture of the United States of American. Moreover, it enriches the lives of people in the society and assists them to understand the culture of Americans and thus stimulating the need to learn English. Ultimately, the sitcom presents humor through the interaction of characters with Sheldon Cooper and the contrast with the life of Penny and other characters.
Hu, Shuqin. “An analysis of humor in The Big Bang Theory from pragmatic perspective.” Theory and Practice in Language Studies (2012): 1185-1190.print
Klohe, Sören. “Creation of Humor in ‘The Big Bang Theory’. An Analysis based on Grice’s Maxims.” Grin (2012): Web.
Lamuño, Carmen Romano. ” Linguistic analysis of humor and script interpretation in the Sitcom “The Big Bang Theory”.” Discourse and Pragmatics (2012): Web.