Self-deprecation  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Many comedians use self-deprecating humor to avoid seeming arrogant or pompous, and to help the audience identify with them. A number of comics, including Chris Farley, Richard Lewis, Conan O'Brien, Phyllis Diller, Jim Norton, Adam Carolla, Jon Stewart, Artie Lange, Rodney Dangerfield, Dave Attell, Larry the Cable Guy, Woody Allen, David Letterman, Sean Rouse, Larry David, Ricky Gervais, Jim Gaffigan, Dave Hughes, Brian Regan and, later in his career, George Burns - built much of their acts around their own perceived unattractiveness, weight, age and/or lack of appeal to the opposite sex.

Self-deprecation is key to the comedy style of Dana Jay Bein, a stand-up comedian with over 10 years of experience who also teaches a comedy class. Regarding the concept, he stated:

"I was introverted as a child, so self-deprecation became my defense mechanism in middle school and high school. . . Self-deprecation is rooted in people making fun of you. The only way to really defeat other people making fun of you is to get on the board and start to make fun of yourself, kind of show them that it doesn't bother you. . . Then, self-deprecation comes to the next level when you find your own voice in that self-deprecation. . . I make fun of myself and not only does it make the audience comfortable of who I am as a performer but it also gives me the green light to make fun of other things as well."

Self-deprecation can also be used to better oneself in social situations.

Self-deprecation also refers to making negative statements regarding one's own appearance or abilities, such as saying "I'm so fat" or "I'm such an idiot", often with the intended result that their friends will tell them that they really aren't. Statements and patterns of behavior such as these may indicate self image or self esteem problems.

See also

self-hatred




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Self-deprecation" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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