Genial Genitals: A Rudimentary Tutorial in Inappropriate Humor

Consider for a moment one of the classic examples of penis humor: Monty Python’s “The Penis Song”, from the movie The Meaning of Life. It is funny for a variety of reasons:

1) Its brevity. Brevity is the soul of wit, and a joke that would quickly prove tiresome or overpowering in extended use can shine brightly for a short time.

2) Its cleverness. The song’s lyrics draw on an extensive knowledge of slang and euphemism, and so avoids becoming repetitive by constantly drawing on fresh and new content.

3) Its context. The primary value of the bit is derived not from either of the previous two points, amusing though they may be, but from the juxtaposition of the topic with a high-class, high-formality setting in which it would conventionally be considered utterly inappropriate.  The unexpected topic surprises, as does the approval of the audience, and the dissonance between expectation and observation is part of the very foundation of funny.

No matter how much your may appreciate your own humor, if you hope to indulge in comedy of a penile persuasion, you would do well to pre-view your performance from a perspective informed by these three points.  If you cannot provide reasonable assurance that the necessary requirements can be satisfied, it would be best not to make the attempt.

Overreaching one’s comedy skills by trying to accomplish what the great masters of humor managed with tremendous difficulty is a fantastic way to fall on one’s face.  Sometimes shooting for the stars results in the projectile falling back to Earth, with your head the only barrier between it and the ground.

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