Comedy is the lifeblood of being a human being. Imagine how dull and dreary life would be if you couldn’t laugh like a fourth-grader and found no humorous silver linings anywhere. Luckily for us, the internet is here to save the day by surprising us into smiling and chuckling even when we don’t feel like it.
There are so many social media posts out there that are so bad, they’re actually brilliant (whether unintentionally or very much on purpose). And they find their way to the r/comedyheaven subreddit. We’ve collected some of their best posts for you to enjoy. Upvote the ones that made your day a tiny bit better as you scroll down and be sure to follow ‘Comedy Heaven’ if you had fun.
London-based comedy writer and musical comedian Ariane Sherine gave Bored Panda some insights into comedy that's so-bad-it's-good and how subjective it can be. Read on for her insights, dear Pandas!
The ‘Comedy Heaven’ community is quite large, boasting a whopping 1.47 million members (who are known as “Gay Jar Jars” in the group, referring to the super annoying and probably secretly-a-Sith character from the Star Wars prequels, Jar Jar Binks).
The r/comedyheaven group even has Jar Jar as their mascot in their profile photo, so we can only assume that they think the character is so bad, he’s actually good! Personally, I’m a fan of Jar Jar: he’s quirky, he’s fun, he adds flavor. But some hardcore Star Wars fans would roast me on an open fire (along with Representative Binks) if they heard me saying that, so keep this just between you and me, okay?
Comedy writer Ariane told us that as long as something is funny and entertaining, it doesn't matter how bad it is. "We might groan but we'll still enjoy it! The line between so-bad-it's-good and so-bad-it's-still-bad lies where the thing ceases to be funny and entertaining," she said.
Ariane also pointed out to Bored Panda that comedy relies on surprising the audience in some form or another. If it isn't there, it isn't comedy. "I think there has to be an element of surprise—that's where the laugh comes from."
The comedian added that humor is quite a subjective thing. "I love comedians my friends don't, and vice versa. I've sat at comedy gigs laughing my head off while a friend sits stony-faced beside me," Ariane shared. "I like puns and one-liners, whereas one of my friends loves slapstick. Physical comedy leaves me cold, I can't really see any humor in it, but Buster Keaton and Chevy Chase would never have succeeded if everybody had felt that way."
She added: "Of course, there are comics who nobody finds funny, but they tend to be at open-mic level (entry-level) and either they get better and rise through the ranks, or they stay bad!"
The subreddit was started in mid-March of 2018 and they’ll be celebrating their third birthday in just a couple of short weeks. We’re not sure what they have planned, but you can bet your bottom dollar we’re trying to find out.
But before you go posting on the r/comedyheaven subreddit, you have to read the rules. “This sub is for so-bad-it’s-good humor. All posts must be images that are so stupid, juvenile, or generally bad that they become funny for the wrong reasons. Ironically bad posts are allowed, but ONLY if they could pass as something made unironically. Obvious satire is NOT allowed. This may also just mean your post is unfunny,” the subreddit moderators explain.
T-they, errr, they’ve even made a handy flowchart for you to check if you should post something. What’s more, the posts have to be best suited for ‘Comedy Heaven,’ not any other specialized comedy subreddit. So if it isn’t so-bad-it’s-good, it might just belong somewhere else. Luckily, Reddit pretty much has a separate group for each and every taste of humor you might find. So, odds are, you’ll never run out of content for your particular palette.
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Jokes and posts that are sooo bad that they circle around and actually end up being pretty good are a personal favorite of mine. There’s nothing like making someone cringe and then laugh despite themselves. It’s corny, childish, dad-joke-like humor. And despite being low-effort (sometimes), it’s a great way to boost someone’s day. Even if it is at your own expense.
TV Tropes, one of the best places on the net to waste your time, goes into detail about the paradox created by things that are so bad, they’re good and stuff that’s so unfunny, it’s funny. “In English slang, this type of joke is commonly called a ‘groaner’ or ‘dad joke.’ Other languages also have words for this phenomenon: for instance, in Indonesian, a joke that's So Unfunny It's Funny is called a jayus,” they explain.
“Failing so hard you succeed is a rare gift. A common variety is to have something overloaded with so many bad funnies at the end you are laughing for some reason,” TV Tropes writes.
For TV Tropes, the core of what makes something bad-but-good lies either in the self-aware intentions of the creators behind a piece of media or the reverse: in how unintentionally poor quality becomes loveable and dear to us.
“Once in a while, a work turns out to be so bad, it creates a disruption in the badness continuum and wraps right around to good. Rather than it unintentionally Breaking the Fourth Wall like usual, something about the specifics of the work in question instead cause an enjoyable, though equally unintended, emotional response in the viewing public,” they detail.
“Maybe the hubcap-on-a-wire flying saucers are cute, the spontaneous brothel scene goes on for so long it's hilarious, or the technically oriented find humor in the way the hacker can suborn the traffic lights of New York with no perceptible effort. Whatever the reason, a truly horrid piece of work can become an unintentional riot and even get its own fandom for its very lack of quality. This can well be an ongoing process as attitudes change, budgets grow, and cynicism increases.”
However, TV Tropes warns us that even something that’s so-bad-it’s-good is still… bad at the end of the day. Just because we enjoy something, it doesn’t, after all, change that it’s objectively poor in quality, possibly made with low-effort, or so random it shocks us into giggling like a schoolkid.