The Rise of the Meme – The Demise of the Knock Knock

Humour continues to adapt and develop the more Digital and the Internet grows… Where’s the Knock Knock joke gone?! 

I often ponder about random and arguably useless topics, from whether or not I could actually tip a cow over, to “why Blu-Tack?”. What’s wrong with Red or Purple? Even Turquoise-Tack has a better ring to it.

Most recently I found myself circling the humour drain, mentally contemplating how jokes in the form of storytelling or generic long ones are told less often in the rise of visual humour.

Visual Humour 

Visual humour has been around for many decades, since the invention of the written word has a joke been tangibly sharable. The Newspaper enabled a joke to be shared on mass, with comic strips often being featured towards the back pages. The Television was of course a huge step for comedy, offering many forms of laughter from stand up to sketch shows. But then came the change, where humour would never be the same again. The Rise of the Internet! (please read as a Movie Title to receive the full effect). Here came the complete saturation of humour; at every turn came visual jokes.

YouTube, as the dominant video-sharing platform, allows absolutely anyone with an internet connection to publish a video, containing almost any narrative or content. For comedy this opened up a world of possibility for invention and interpretation, as one joke to one viewer could mean something completely different to someone else. It could be exceptionally offensive or hilarious! Within this video sharing platform emerged the extremely popular ‘Vine’, a very short video with a high comedic element (Arron Crascall does this brilliantly).

The possibilities are endless. For democracy this is of course fantastic, as everyone has the chance to voice their opinions, with a massive influx of satirical content being published.

Outside of this video format has emerged an upsurge in instant comedy, with the Internet Meme being the most regularly published and shared form of such. The Meme is simple, it involves one still image, often accompanied by text.

Altogether the form is so simplistic it in itself is laughable, it works! Memes such as those embedded in this post can cause absolute pandemonium on social media, being shared hundreds, if not thousands, of times. They can be particularly entertaining for one specific digital social group, or they can catch the eye of the masses and make its way outside of the Internet itself. The craze has gone beyond being a craze anymore, but is a regular form of humour.

Instant humour has developed throughout the comedy sphere, as we are also witnessing a rise of One-Liner Comedians, such as Milton Jones and Stephen Francis. What this has meant though, and this is merely an observation I have made, is some joke formats are dying. I cannot remember the last time I heard a Knock Knock joke. It is not even a long joke, it’s an incredibly simplistic format, yet it has seemed to fade away.

Although this is not exactly a shame as they tended to be terrible, it is more an observation about the influential affect that the Digital Age is bringing to all aspects of life.

LinkedIn Meme

We regularly recognise how industries have dramatically changed (or entirely established in the example  of Digital Marketing), but we don’t so much consider how simple things like what we laugh at go unnoticed. Some industries even use the meme to generate traffic, for example the former has been used effectively in recruitment.

I’m sure there are other comedic formats which have fallen under the radar in the shadowy dominance of Web 2.0, but without it we wouldn’t have had the joy of the Internet Meme, especially anything containing Nicolas Cage.

So to pay homage to what is a dying form, I present you with a Knock Knock joke:

Knock Knock.

Who’s there?


Anee, who?

Anee one you like!

Follow the link for more. Although it may be dying, we can still appreciate it.

CJ Carver

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