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Deaf Humor

One aspect of deaf culture that has always been with us, is deaf humor. Historically, deaf humor was passed on through oral and written stories. Today, the Internet has increasingly become the main source of deaf humor. Deaf humor is also continuously evolving to incorporate the latest advances in technology, such as video relay services, cell phones and cochlear implants.

Deaf Humor Books

If you saw the Pepsi Super Bowl commercial, the first tale in the book Deaf Culture Our Way: Anecdotes from the Deaf Community will seem familiar. That first tale is "Honeymoon," in which a groom finds which motel room his bride is in by blasting the car horn until he finds the one dark room that his new wife is in. This classic book is still available.

Deaf Comedians

Some deaf and hard-of-hearing comedians have made at least a partial living through deaf humor. Two such deaf or hard of hearing comedians are Kathy Buckley and Ken Glickman. According to her website, Kathy Buckley has been nominated five times for Best Stand-Up Female Comedienne. In addition to her comedy performances, Buckley has also written a book, If You Could Hear What I See. Glickman also has a website, Deafology 101. Glickman's site sells a book of Deaf Proverbs, another book of Deafinitions (a book of invented words relevant to the deaf community), and a video of past performances. Deaf Mosaic #406 included a segment on Glickman and Deafinitions.

Deaf Humor Blogs and Sites

The blogsite DeafJoke.TV publishes video, cartoons (both drawn and animated), and text stories. The blog aggregator site has an Art and Storytelling category that includes deaf humor blogs. One of the most popular ones, which won for the best deaf humor blog in 2007, is the Olson Brothers (Coda Brothers) video blog, which tells funny stories such as "Accept the CI!" that got over 1,000 hits on Deafread. Another one is the Gary Brooks Show, which sometimes combines politics with deaf humor.

Deaf Comedy Films

Deaf filmmakers often produce comedic films, some of which can be seen only at deaf film festivals like the Deaf Rochester Film Festival, special showings at deaf schools and colleges, or at deaf events such as the DeafNation expos or the ASL expos.

Some deaf comedic short films are being put directly on the Internet by filmmakers and bloggers. One example is McImplant, a film spoofing cochlear implants. Another one that a blogger put on their blog, is "Dangers of CI," a short film that makes fun of the magnetism of cochlear implants. A trailer of a deaf comedy film, The Deaf Family, can be seen on YouTube.


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