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Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Art of Humor: the third beat and the surprise: Hamster Alliance

Via Facebook, I received this video without attribution. I'd seen it before but didn't remember the dialogue. While extremely vulgar, it was also extremely  hilarious.  I cried.  I thought, "Surely, this was faked. No one speaks that funny of dialogue."  In fact, with the disparate references and scenarios, I suspected multiple authors. Someone surely staged this.

Actually, it's a real event on silent video--I hate embarrassing videos where people secretly capture others behaving foolishly. A group called Hamster Alliance dubbed in the dialogue, which was well done until you find the real video and realize the teller is female (not to mention that some dialogue occurs without the actors opening their mouths).

If you can't stomach vulgar language, I'll PG and analyze it here:

We begin en medias res:

--Don't tell me _____. Unless you're speaking McNuggets into my hands, I don't want to hear it.

Genius, too-good-to-be-true dialogue. Clever retort.

--Ma'am, it's 10:30 am. We don't serve Chicken McNuggets at this time.
--Yes, you do.
--No, we don't.
--Why not?

The switch up could be real dialogue since humans our change tactics all the time, but it's still funny since it flips from certainty about a thing's existence to questioning why it doesn't exist. But that's not all. The irate customer goes on:

--You know what? Rawr!
--Did you just hiss at me?

The customer is reduced to impotent rage, with a child-like growl. Genius. In case you didn't understand what you were hearing, the teller lets you know by questioning what the customer just did. So a no-no becomes acceptable and also makes the ridiculous credible because the teller is also incredulous.

This also represents a third beat in comedy. The previous two exchanges are mildly humorous in retrospect, but it wouldn't have been funny alone. Neither would the third beat/punch line have been as funny if it were alone. We are lead down one track and find ourselves on an entirely new one.

--I'll do more than just _____ hiss at you.
--Yeah, get your skinny ___ out of the car.

Finally, the teller gets a funny line although backing up while supposedly saying it, making this dialogue three things at once: comment on 1. actual customer, 2. actual self, 3. supposed boldness of self. That both parties are funny is a giveaway that this is staged (or dubbed).

--Don't you _______ run away from me, you fat meatbag, I will end you. 

Typical, realistic angry words. Not especially funny except for the hyperbole of running away and ending someone. But here comes the third beat:

Don't make me assume my ultimate form, I will ______ wreck--

Wait, what? "Ultimate form"? She thinks she's a superhero?

This third beat is doubled with the following threat made impotent by her drunken attempt to climb into the building:

--Just wait. I'm gonna come in there, and I'm going to wreck you.

Some high-pitched cussing followed by the taunt that's semi-realistic until she follows that up:

--Do you know who I am? Rawr. Rawr!

She's so famous who she is should be obvious. That the character feels the need to sat this means the teller doesn't know who she is, either. Then she follows with the "hiss"--which is like bringing back a running gag.

The next dialogue is only funny because of the vile threats made impotent and muffled behind the glass.

--You want a piece of me? I will go super saiyan.

For those not up on pop-culture, here's a link. The rest of the dialogue is more angry, muffled yelling, that's meant to be threatening but again it's funny because it's unintelligible and possibly impotent behind the glass.

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