The Illusioned Comedy of Life in Todd Phillips’ “Joker”

Conference: The Barcelona Conference on Arts, Media & Culture (BAMC2021)
Title: The Illusioned Comedy of Life in Todd Phillips’ “Joker”
Stream: Film Studies
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation
Amira Rihab Saidi, University of Szeged, Hungary


The perception of humor is of multi-faceted nature among which several factors do influence humor’s operation decryption. Through the essence of this study, I will examine how Todd Philips exposed a counterintuitive type of comedy in his "Joker" as breakthrough of what life is and how the notion of comedy is relatively signified in life by different personas based on their life conditions. The movie divulges equivocal significance of comedy that proceeds to fuse humor with tragedy: it has the structural organism of what humor theoretically ought to comprise, yet; on the other hand, it prevails negative sentiments and reactions towards fundamentally “Arthur’s jokes. In pursuance of conceptualizing the humor operated in the “Joker”, my analysis relies on Kant’s incongruity theory that labels humor understanding in relation to the absurd situations and illogic link occurring between the joke and reality, supported by Aristotle’s conceptualization of humor and tragedy. To this end, the depictions of comedies and jokes as misapprended have been subverted to arouse crucial reasoning that significance of notions is relative and subsequently illusioned by human varied conditions.

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