Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Goth humour

I can't believe I've had more hits on this site in six months than I had on the old Piczo site in three years... I must be doing something right over here!

What do you get if you cross a Goth and a toilet?
The Cisterns of Mercy.

Despite certain stereotypes, Goths can and do smile, laugh and have fun without worrying (too much) about cracking their make-up. In fact, Goth's particular brand of humour has created an entire consumer market, from comic books to TV series, even cute and cuddly toys designed to appeal to the Gothic sense of black humour and whimsy.

A lot of Goth humour revolves around the scene itself, whether poking affectionate fun at the often-confusing world of Goth social etiquette or satirising (gently or none-too-gently) the subculture as a whole. I think I've said this before, but I believe that in order to be part of a subculture like Goth, you really have to be able to see the funny side of it.

There's a Goth walking down the road with a rat on his shoulder. An old lady walks past, stops, stares at the two and says "Yuk! What are you doing with that revolting creature?"
"Squeak, squeak, squeak!" says the rat.

And there's plenty to laugh at. For example, the Twitter account Goth Girl Problems is ever-growing in popularity, with snarky tweets that may cut a little close to the bone for some Gothlings, including the following gems:

  • "I know Goth night is supposed to be this great equalizer where we all accept each other but I fucking hate cybergoths."
  • "I need a camera with a stronger flash. I could make out my nose in that last picture."
  • "The popular girls only talk to me when they think I can get them drugs."
  • "I really hope I get a good role at the Renaissance Fair this year. Last time I got stuck in a barn with a fat centaur."
  • "Big hair. Small car."
Goth comics such as Writhe and Shine, 7 Shades of Black, Nemi and Rebecca's Realm thrive on making fun of the subculture that spawned them. Such comics are often rife with in-jokes, usually relating to fashion dilemmas and Goth social etiquette - extra humour value for darklings, confusion for non-Goths.

Source: Bleeding Edge
How can you tell if there is a Goth driving a car?
The horn goes "ankh ankh."

The black humour that is rife in the Goth scene is found in the jokes that turn up on both Goth and anti-Goth websites all over the web. Goth haters post these jokes because they think the ickle Gothlings will be offended. Goths post them because of the cheesy black humour.

Other examples of black humour in the Goth scene are shown by comics like Johnny the Homicidal Maniac (by Jhonen Vasquez); those without Goth or 'dark' inclinations may find this humour offensive or disturbing. And of course, not all Goths enjoy it either. But many do - enough so that it has become a cliche within the scene.

How do you get a Goth out of a tree?
Cut the rope.

Two Goths are having sex. Suddenly, the girl Goth comes. "Darling, darling!" says the boy Goth, "what's wrong?" "Nothing," says the girl Goth, "nothing at all. Why?" "You moved."

Probably the first name that comes to mind for Goths when comedy is mentioned is Voltaire, whose books, comics and musics are riddled with his trademark brand of snark. Voltaire maintains that he is the only 'intentionally funny' Goth musician, but other bands such as the Scary Bitches (with their classic songs You'll End Up Looking Like the Scary Bitches, Lesbian Vampire From Outer Space and This is Not My Idea of Fun - look them up!), Ministry's infamous Every Night Is Halloween, and Dr Steel's cheerful tunes about world domination have a definite brand of dark humour about them.

What do you store your heavy velvet cape in for the summer?
Goth balls.

What's black and knocks on the window?
A Goth in a microwave.

'Classic' Goth humour is ably demonstrated by old TV programmes such as The Addams Family and The Munsters. These shows have just the right blend of black humour and cheerful whimsy to make them huge hits within the Goth scene. Some of Tim Burton's movies, most notably Beetlejuice, have also plumbed the depths of ooky-spooky Goth humour.

Many 'mainstream' TV programmes have also jumped on the bandwagon in recent years and turned a main character or two temporarily Goth, so that they, too, can take advantage of the wealth of comedy material that can be mined from the subculture. From The Mighty Boosh and The Big Bang Theory to South Park, dozens of comedy shows and sitcomes have, or have had, a Goth character - at least for a little while. Even Abby from NCIS's Gothness is often used for humour.

Wayne Hussey dies and goes to heaven. At the pearly gates, he meets up with Gabriel who gives him the grand tour of heaven. While toruing he sees many familiar faces including Jimi Hendrix, Ian Curtis, Mary Shelley, and of course Nick Fiend kinda shows up once in a while... And then he sees Andrew Eldritch sitting on a HUUUGE throne.. Wayne says to Gabriel "I didn't know Andrew was dead!" Gabriel replies, "Oh, that's God. He only thinks he's Andrew."

Unfortunately, there is no denying the comedy value of the badly-dressed mallgoth. You can check out the bad, the worse, and the really quite scary over at Look at this Fucking Goth, a Tumblog which, unfortunately, has not been updated since October.

There is even a card game, referenced in The Goth Bible, where one can earn Goth points and Angst points whilst rolling one's eyes at some of the worst-dressed Gothlings featured on the cards.

How many Goths does it take to make cheesecake?
None, there are no Goths in cheesecake.

Of course, the last few years have seen the rise of the Goth comedian, beginning with would-be Goth Russell Brand and finishing at its peak with Mark White, 'the Marilyn Manson of comedy', who will "make you laugh and be depressed... at the same time!" Mr. White's website proclaims, "In a world where stand up comedians increasingly look and sound the same, here is a performer who dares to wear goth makeup and dress in all black, with fishnets and nail polish and get huge laughs with all kinds of crowds."

How many Goths does it take to change a lightbulb?
What's a lightbulb?

How many Goths does it take to change a lightbulb?
None, but one has to light the candle.

How many Goths does it take to change a lightbulb?
Two, one to do it, the other to bitch about how Andrew Eldritch could have done it better.

How does Andrew Eldritch change a lightbulb?
He holds it into the socket and waits for the world to revolve round him.


Saskia said...

Haha, I loved this post! Some of those jokes are absolutely hilarious.

Lilly Peppermint said...

Voltaire's humour is so fantastic. His jokes are funny even when they're at your expense, as I would know... =/
I think Goths, nowadays especially, have to get that we do stuff with a lighthearted notion. Otherwise we'd all have commited suicide many years ago. It's frustrating to make this clear to my loved ones, though. They don't get that coffin shaped bags and skulls are cool.

Violette B. said...

My favourite one is this:

How many Goths does it take to change a lightbulb?
Two, one to do it, the other to say "This is sooo goth"

SaryWalrus said...

I love goth humour. Cemetery Polka and Writhe and Shine are some of my favorites!

I will never forget this quote from The Addams Family Values:

Nanny with puppet: "Don't you want to go and clean your rooms?"

Wednesday with Satan puppet: " I will go clean my room in exchange for your immortal soul." -Rubs puppets hands together evilly-

Laurel said...

Loved the twitter :) Are you on there Amy? If so I am larkapples. Also, I guess more of a joke for readers, but "Edgar Allan Poe" has twitter and I would class him as a goth cliche. It makes me laugh though...

Chloe Anderson said...

Hey Amy!
It's Chloe!
Remember me? Yeah, I'm sorry I haven't talked to you since December *is shot*..
But I emailed you back!
And I love reading your posts!
Hope you're enjoying 2011!!!

Amunicia said...

God, I miss Seven Shades of Black so damn much!

I used to have one of his desktop wallpapers and everything!

Swofter said...

I'm learning so much fun from reading your post's. Keep it up!

Hugs from a norwegian "happy-goth"

Ophelia Black said...

How many goths does it take to change a lightbulb?
Two, one to change it and one to write a poem about how much they miss the old one.

Becky said...

Thanks for mentioning Vasquez! I've actually been having JtHM cravings, recently - Johnny's even been popping up in my dreams. Not sure what that means...

Qwack said...

I love that "you're always the tallest in the class" thing. It's really true. ^^
I go from my normal height of 5'2" and then to an instant 5'5" whenever I wear my boots.

MaryJoe said...

Thank you ever so much for your blog! It's really loads of useful information! And I REALLY loved the "Cicterns of Mercy" joke.

MaryJoe from Russia

MaryJoe said...

PS Queer enough, I haven't found any information on hippy goths.

MoonfacedAsh said...

Man do I love a good laugh.

Darling Violetta said...

How many Goths does it take to change a lightbulb?

One to change it. Two to sit back and complain about how the old one was so much better.


Darling Violetta said...

How many Goths does it take to change a lightbulb?

One to change it. Two to try to revive the old lightbulb.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE all the lightbulb jokes! So funny...

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