|Deaf humor is an important part of
ASL literature. Deaf humor is culturally based because in their
jokes the Deaf person is the protagonist and somtimes the jokes are at
the expense of hearing people. The Deaf person comes out on top
because of his or her deafness. According to Dr. Bill Vicars
Deaf humor makes fun of hearing people. But there is a
difference, we are talking about a culturally oppressed group finding
success in the very condition that the dominant culture pities us
for. Deaf humor isn't against hearing people, it is just in
support of Deaf Culture!"
Deaf humor is understood and appreciated if the listener has knowledge of the culture.
Linguistic based humor can be expressed through American Sign Language just like it can in English.
Listen to the spoken English jokes below which are humorous because of their "play on words."
Now watch the clip of a well-known Deaf joke called, "King Kong." This joke is funny because of the use of the sign MARRY.