Post-punch Line Humor Booster: A Neglected Component of Persian Online Jokes

Elaheh Sadeghi, Mohammad Ali Heidari-Shahreza


The present research examined the underlying structure of Persian online jokes to shed light on how humor was realized (and reinforced) in this genre of verbal humor. In light of our previous research within the framework of General Theory of Verbal Humor (GTVH), we noticed that a number of Persian online jokes contained an additional post-punch line component. It was hypothesized that this seventh component served as a 'humor booster'. That is, it was a supplemental element to reinforce the humorous effect of Persian online jokes. To test this hypothesis, initially such jokes were identified in a corpus of Persian online jokes. They were then scrutinized based on GTVH. In the next phase, through two questionnaires, 70 Persian native speakers rated the funniness of two versions of the same Persian jokes. In the first version, the jokes did not contain a humor booster. In the second one, however, they included this component. Mixed results were obtained. Thus, an interview was conducted with 20 of the respondents. Controlling for gender as a moderator variable, the findings generally supported the hypothesis that 'humor booster' was an appropriate label for this final constituent. This study may contribute to the relevant literature by illuminating a somewhat neglected (or equally emergent) aspect of online jokes.


Humor booster, Online jokes, Persian humor, Verbal humor, Gender, GTVH

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