Body Language Humor
by Don L. F. Nilsen and
Alleen Pace Nilsen
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Association of Applied and
Therapeutic Humor
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Avery Nilsen, Our Grandson
At the 2014 AATH Convention
(Association of Applied and Therapeutic Humor)
Red Skelton Museum in Vincennes, Indiana
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AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE
• Contrast sign language and finger
spelling.
• Iconic Sign Language: Male-Female,
Past-Future, Hand shape, Location,
Movement, Palm Orientation, Finger
Spelling
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American Sign Language:
Finger Spelling vs. Signing
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Arizona Politics
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Justin Timberlake and Santa Claus: “Cup O’ Soup”:
http://www.wat.tv/video/justin-timberlake-cup-soup-d1y0_2ftur_.html
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In Flags: The Peace Symbol
Nuclear Disarmament (N & D)
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FACE
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Frown
Giggle
Grimace
Grin
Guffaw
Laugh
Scowl
Smile
Smirk
Snarl
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THE BABY’S EVIL EYE:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBSYD0dQCAw
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Doppelgangers: The Evil Eye
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Red Skelton
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HEAD
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Flutter eyelashes
Grit teeth
Hold nose
Nod head (yes)
Raise eyebrows
Shake head (no)
Stick out tongue
Wink
Wrinkle nose
Yawn
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LIE TO ME:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgRJ7-s0u7c
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Curiosity and Exuberance
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Sadness and Surprise
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SHOULDERS
• Rolling shoulder
suggestively
• Shrugging
shoulders in
disbelief or
wonderment
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The Juggling Politician
https://www.youtube.com/embed/n6mbW-jMtrY?rel=0
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HANDS, FINGERS & THUMB
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Applauding
Extending pinkey
Crossing fingers (to lie)
Giving the finger
Holding hands
Pointing
Shaking hands (note
gender & ethnic
differences)
• Thumbing a ride
• Thumbs up
• Twiddling thumbs
American Sign Language
Applauding
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Louis (Sachmo) Armstrong: “What a Wonderful World!”:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZ5MJqB9myA
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Sun Devils and Nerd Fighters
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Uncle Sam Recruitment Poster
• Here is Uncle Sam’s
pointing finger.
• This is a rude
gesture in some
cultures.
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DAVE CHAPPELLE’S THUMB
• Chappelle tells about a high-jacked airplane
in which he sees another Black male and
they do a thumbs up to each other.
• “We were just communicating that we
understood the situation. We were both
seeing the same thing. What we understood
was simply—terrorists don’t take black
hostages.
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The Thumbs-Up Strawberry
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ARMS
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Limp wrist
Raise hand in class
Sign of the cross
Waving hand (note
gender differences)
• Sports Signals (See
the next slide)
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SPORTS BODY LANGUAGE
•
BASEBALL: Fair Ball, Foul Ball, Home Run, Out, Strike
– Plus Signals from the Catcher to the Pitcher, to the Infield, and to
the Outfield
– Plus Coach Signals for the Batter, from the First-Base Coach, and
from the Third-Base Coach
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BASKETBALL: Basket Counts, Basket Doesn’t Count, Blocking Foul,
Held Ball, In Bounce, Moving Screen, Offensive Fowl, Out of Bounce,
Time Out
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FOOTBALL: Clipping, Face Mask, Illegal Celebration, Illegal
Procedure, Late Hit, Offside, Pass Interference, Roughing the Kicker,
Roughing the Passer, Safety, Touchdown, Unnecessary Roughness
– Plus Metaphors related to most of these expressions like hardball
softball and ballpark figure.
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LEGS & FEET
• Crossing legs (note
gender & ethnic
differences)
• Sitting on a park
bench
• Sitting on a bus seat
• Slapping knee while
laughing
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MINISTRY OF SILLY WALKS:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqhlQfXUk7w
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SPACE BUBBLES:
• Asian vs. Latin
American
The University of Texas Shooter
had the space bubble of
a paranoid.
• Doorway, Subway,
Elevator
• University of Texas:
Texas Tower Sniper
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TIME EXPECTATIONS
• Latin American vs. Mormon
• Cocktail Party vs. Dinner vs. Class
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UNINTENTIONAL BODY LANGUAGE
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blinking
blushing
cowering
cringing
shuddering
trembling
twisting hair
weeping
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Tim Conway as a Dentist:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfTyEtVIe84
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BODY METAPHORS:
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To be on your toes
To be stuck up
To be up in arms
To break a leg
To count noses
To foot the bill
To have your tongue in your
cheek
To keep a stiff upper lip
To keep your chin up
To play it by ear
To put your foot in your mouth
To see eye to eye
To shake a leg
To throw in the towel
Total Relaxation
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Mr. Bean Getting Up Late for the Dentist:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VumrpkL6RS0
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Exuberance and Sadness:
First Day of School
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Doppelgangers and Body Doubles
Richard Nixon
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James Carville
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John McCain
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Hillary Clinton
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Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin
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Sarah Palin and Tina Fey
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Tina Fey as Sarah Palin:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tr0_x2lxRdc
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Tina Fey as Sarah Palin
Amy Poehler as Hillary Clinton
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Tina Fey as Sarah Palin and Amy Poehler as Hillary Clinton:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ul-3JDAnqjI
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Body Language Plus Intonation
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Use only the words “John” and
“Marsha” to indicate the
following:
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Anger vs. Fear
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Resignation vs. Exuberance
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Sadness vs. Surprise
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Pretentiousness vs. Aloofness
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Hate vs. Passion
Desire
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Happiness
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Friendship
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Love
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Full-Body Language
3-YEAR-OLD CONDUCTING BEETHOVEN’S 5th SYMPHONY:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0REJ-lCGiKU
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Amusement and Antipathy
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Enthusiasm vs. Arrogance
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Total Involvement
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Narcisism
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EGG TRICK: Tom DeLuise and Johnny Carson:
http://www.milkandcookies.com/link/138148
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Android Emotions
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PARALANGUAGE
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Giddyup (plus lateral click)
Hiss
Huh?
Raspberry (Bronx Cheer)
Shush
Swearing (*&#@+&%$@~*)
Tsk tsk
Uchhhhh
Uh huh (yes & no)
Wolf whistle
Yuchhhh
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SLAPSTICK ON “CHEERS”:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1kbn-LOpes
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EXPLAIN HOW THE FOLLOWING GESTURES ARE INTERPRETED
DIFFERENTLY IN DIFFERENT COUNTRIES
• Biting your thumbnail
• Kissing someone on
the cheeks
• Putting your hands on
your hips
• Using arm gestures
• Using eye gestures
• Using finger gestures
• Using hand gestures
• Using lip gestures
Age Differences
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Social In-Bonding
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SILENT MONKS SINGING “HALLELUIA CHORUS”:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCFCeJTEzNU&feature=related
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Social Out-Bonding
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Point of View
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Physical Workout Dance Humor:
http://cdnapi.kaltura.com/index.php/extwidget/openGraph/wid/0_u0r71mg5
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Parody
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Photobombing
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SEND IN THE CLOWNS! (Frank Sinatra, et. al.):
http://www.yourememberthat.com/media/10939/Send_In_The_Clowns/#.V
BdREfnIY9Y
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Four Really Talented Ladies:
http://www.reshareworthy.com/amazing-quartet-blew-audience-away/#HlDc3TMGOGULZGi4.01
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BODY LANGUAGE - Arizona State University