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There is a brand of humor with an inherent meaning so dark that, even though we may wish we hadn’t laughed, we’re programmed to think it’s funny. An explanation of a joke about a pedophile.
How Hyman Roth’s quip in The Godfather: Part II picks up on a cinematic pastime, and exposits layer upon layer of information about his character.
Humor happens when an audience fills in the gaps—at its best, those gaps are packed layers deep with meaning. An explanation of an 18-word Mitch Hedberg joke.