After doing an article about Deaf Laugh, I might as well talk about Deaf Humor. What makes a deaf person laugh so heartily? How can we deliver a good punchline to deaf people in order for them to “buy” our jokes?
Always remember that a deaf person is a visual person. He/she cannot understand long winded dialogues and dramatic exchanges of verbal tones. You cannot easily pull them into watching tearjerkers and heart-wrenching scenes unless you would patiently volunteer to interpret for them. And since, they are visual, they are more of an “action” type of group. So, to choose from between Arnold’s Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and Mandy’s A Walk to Remember, Arnold wins hands down. Of course there are some exceptions like Titanic or Ghost which is very graphic or even the famous Children of a Lesser God by Marlee Matlin, an international deaf icon.
The deaf is leaning more towards the “Leslie Nielsen” type of humor than “Billie Crystal” or “Robin Williams” type. I can even categorize them as the “Mr. Bean” type where explanation is not necessary. Rowan Atkinson is hugely popular among deaf people especially here in the Philippines. His brand of comedy strikes right through the deaf’s funny bone.
Which leads us to an assessment, deaf humor is basically a slapstick type of humor. Watching two persons clowning around draws out crispy (malutong na tawa) laugh from them or Jim Carrey falling off a cliff in “Me, Myself and Irene” than say David Schwimmer throwing punchlines to Jennifer Aniston in “Friends”. The latter would be too boring for them.
So the next time you treat a Deaf to a moviehouse and have a grand time, make sure you select a “girl-stumbling-after-stepping-into-banana-peel” genre. They would surely appreciate it. 🙂