Sarcasm, often known as the language used by quick wits mostly to express their frustration and anger often in a humorous way is quickly gaining popularity as a comedic genre in itself. Compared to the traditional, “pure” and “direct” type of comedy, sarcasm has its effect on the audience in an indirect sort of way.
It isn’t funny in simplistic terms; you must get the context with which it is being delivered and it does require some effort to be able to grasp it. Naturally, this form of “intellectual” humour is difficult for some people to understand and it tends to get interpreted often in the wrong way. In India, there seems to be a lack of sarcastic comedians. Indian humour is more of a “pure”, a traditional form of comedy with jokes often enjoyed in a family setting.
The concept of sarcasm is relatively new for Indians, and this is so much evident on social networking sites such as Facebook, where sarcastic comments, often written intentionally to create some humour out of a situation, end up offending people and leave them ranting. Sarcasm can definitely form a part of the “insult” comedy genre, being sardonic and can end up seriously offending people in some cases. Yet the audience or the people subjected to such insults are carefully selected by comedians keeping in mind their maturity and understanding. For unlike “pure” comedy, sarcasm is definitely for matured people.
Recent studies done at Harvard business school have shown that sarcasm often ends up increasing the level of creativity in those who deliver it as well as those who are on the receiving side. It is a higher form of wit delivered by those enjoying a higher form of intelligence and can help dullards improve their intellectual capacities – which might also suggest that sarcasm is also associated with a higher form of arrogance. Now keeping the “arrogance” aspect aside, sarcasm is definitely better for your brain. It prompts you to think; for it requires some brain power to deliver sarcastic comedy, which often includes spotting the irony of any situation, as well as requiring intellect to understand the same.
India has some of its own share of comedians who use sarcasm. Varun Grover is one of the senior most comedians in India. His jokes are sarcastic, thought-provoking and he takes pot shots at political loopholes in the country. His most famous acts are with his team of “Aisi taisi democracy”. And who can forget AIB? Sarcasm forms the main portion of their comedy too!
Sarcasm is an art. There is great power in it. The verbal dexterity and imagination required to craft it – and for an audience to “get it” – is incredibly challenging. It is the sincerest form of flattery in a way, as you always assume your “victim” is going see that behind the barb is some respect, even affection. In general, it can help overcome shyness, deal with difficult colleagues at work and enrich your relationships as well as make you cleverer. For enough of those same old same old lame jokes already! Throw in some sarcasm the next time you wanna spice it up!