Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Ask Cap'n Marrrrk II

Alessandra Plattner from St. Louis, MO (NOT a shill, really) asks me "Why are monkeys so funny?

The reason why monkeys are so funny is because we think they are furry little humans with grins that seem larger than their entire heads. We are wrong of course and are merely projecting our humanity upon them. Sure they have emotions, but they are very different from ours, and they have worldviews (if they have them at all) that are very different from ours. Monkeys for the most part, are viscious little fuckers that wouldn't hesitate to bite your fingers off, but that's besides the point.

I think it comes down to 2 things. One: Like the Medieval Jesters, they behave in ways we'd like to, but society forces us to, well, behave. So when we see an ape or monkey dressed in human clothes going nuts, hopping up and down, trashing an office, laughing and making funny faces...we wish we could do that. It evokes childlike wonder memories.

And number Two is the dirty little secret of ape humor. We find monkeys funny because they fling poo. As nasty as it seems, thanks to our culture and poo taboos, poo becomes funny. And a monkey that gets to make his own mud pies and fling it up against windows, walls and people...well...you don't get much more slapstickian than that. Plus, the word feces is funny too.

Monkey funny comes from chaos, juxtaposition and slapstick. And we all laugh until someone gets their nose bitten off.

This is great fun. I want more questions! Send them to capnmarrrrk(at)yahoo.com

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