Dark Humor vs. Darth Vader

It’s overcast and gloomy today in the middle of Mexico, so my thoughts have naturally turned to dark humor, aka black humor, even though, like for Annie, the sun will come out tomorrow (if not later today) because, let’s face it, I live in sunny San Miguel de Allende, the City of Eternal Spring. Btw, Star Wars geeks please chill. Darth Vader will not appear in this post. I just like how the words “Dark Humor” and “Darth Vader” look when appearing together on the same line.

Speaking of lines, here’s the official party line on dark humor: “Often considered perverted and morbid, dark or black comedy depicts situations normally thought of as tragic or grave as humorous. Specifically, it displays marked disillusionment and depicts humans without convictions and with little hope. The term is also used to describe theater dealing with sinister or disturbing subjects handled lightly in an attempt to offend and shock, as is common in Theater of the Absurd.” That definition is from eNotes Guide to Literary Terms.

Kyle Kaser, a very talented cartoonist friend of mine from my Portland days, drew and gave me the drawing you see in this post. I was reminded of Kyle’s cartoon when I visited the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in NYC last year and saw a show of Edvard Munch’s work, including the iconic “The Scream.” Several of Munch’s paintings and etchings carried the word “Melancholy” in its title. If you’re ever asked which person—dead or living—you’d like to invite to a dinner party, you probably don’t want to suggest Munch. But if you do, remember to hide your kitchen knives and sit with your back to the wall.


The mother was pregnant again, the children were starving, and Mr. Death was visiting.
It was little Timmy who noticed the toilet paper stuck to Mr. Death’s foot. What a good laugh for everyone.


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