Dissecting a Frog

A man tries to explain a joke . . .

No body laughed.

I really don’t have anything against frogs. In fact, my strongest frog memory is tied to the scene in E. T.: The Extra Terrestrial, when Elliot is in class and he has to dissect a frog, and a he passes out. That scene and the scene where a pale, E. T. is found in the creek have traumatized me for decades. But I digress.

This site is named in honor of this quote from E. B. White

“Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it.”

I think there is a lot to learn from dissecting frogs, and from analyzing humor and stand-up comedy. I was amazed during my research how many people were activley analyzing humor theory, joke construction and comedic technique and perspective.

We are living in a comedy boom of sorts. In the 80’s it seemed like any bar or restaurant with a brick wall was hosting comedy. Now with services like Hulu, Amazon, and Netflix all producing and distributing stand-up comedy specials, there is no shortage of material to discuss.

My goal is to watch one comedy special,and write a post about it every week. Will I succeed? Well subscribe to my blog to find out.


Dissecting the Frog – Anjelah Johnson: Not Fancy

Anjelah Johnson is funny. If you were friends with her in real life, you would probably love listening to her share her stories. Before watching Not Fancy I had never seen or heard her stand-up. I chose this special for two reasons. 1) I didn’t want to only watch white men tell jokes. It’s good to…

Dissecting a Frog – Jim Gaffigan: Quality Time

Did Jim Gaffigan really release another special so soon? Yes. Is it good? Also yes. I don’t know how Jim Gaffigan can create so many jokes so quickly. Working with his wife Jeannie, he definitely knows his voice and his point of view. With this hour and fifteen minutes of all-new comedy, Gaffigan doesn’t veer…

Todd Barry – Spicy Honey

The last two specials I watched had some weighty themes and emotional moments. This week I needed a little lighter fare. Scrolling through Netflix, I stumbled upon a Spicy Honey from 2017. Todd Barry is a joke machine. He doesn’t tell a lot of long stories. His jokes come from his everyday life and his…

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