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Black Comedy / Real Life

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  • There's a yarn that a unit of Gurkhas were being shelled. One shell hit the man who was always giving The Captain a headache. Whereupon someone said, "If the sahibs couldn't deal with him when he was in one piece, how will the gods deal with him when he is in six?"
  • Harold Holt, Prime Minister of Australia in 1966-7, went on an ill-advised swimming trip at Cheviot Beach (notorious for its riptides and strong currents) to impress his mistress. They Never Found the Body, but it's probable that he drowned (although the history books simply say "disappeared"). The Melbourne suburb of Glen Iris decided to honour his memory by naming a municipal swimming pool after him.
    • Paul McDermott of Good News Week had some suggestions for other tributes: The Lindy Chamberlain note  daycare centre, and the Ivan Milat note  backpacker hostel.
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    • On a similar note, students at the University of Colorado at Boulder, in 1968, named their cafeteria grill in honor of alleged cannibal Alferd Packer, with the slogan, "Have a friend for lunch!"
  • The traditional tales told about Saint Lawrence of Rome provide great examples of both this trope and Gallows Humor. According to legend, Saint Lawrence was martyred by being roasted to death on a gridiron. Supposedly, after roasting over a hot fire for a while, he said to his tormentors, "I am done on this side; you may turn me over now". That's the Gallows humour. The Black Comedy is what happened afterward - the Church decided he would make an excellent patron saint of cooks and chefs! And comedians.
    • There's a streak of black comedy running through the patronage of saints. St. Sebastian - martyred by being shot full of arrows - is the patron of archers. Thomas More - executed for not supporting Henry VIII's divorce and subsequent split from Rome - is the patron of difficult marriages (as well as lawyers and statesmen, which More was). Teresa of Avila - known for her overwhelming ecstatic visions - is the patron of headaches.
      • St. Sebastian is also the patron of laceworkers.
      • Saint Joseph, most famous for not being Jesus' real daddy despite being married to his mother, is the patron saint of fathers.
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  • Tim Horton, famous hockey player for the Toronto Maple Leafs, and founder of the wildly famous donut and coffee store; Tim Hortons. One day he was driving through the streets of St. Catharines Ontario extremly drunk. He went under the lake St. Overpass at around 150Kmh in his car and hit a support column. He and his car were obliterated. To this day, you can still find Tim-Bits everywhere.
  • After his drunk driving-related death, in which he crashed into a tree near his house on an icy Christmas night, it was said of on-and-off Yankees manager Billy Martin that "he was the only baseball player who ever died sliding into home."
  • On the death of Margaret Thatcher, former PM, her former opponents started a campaign to purchase a large number of copies of "Ding Dong, The Witch Is Dead", in an attempt to put it on the top of the charts and force the BBC to air it days before her funeral.
    • The BBC did end up airing it, but only about a seven-second clip.
    • Similarly, the eternally-repurposed Nietzche joke:
      "There's no such thing as society," - Margaret Thatcher, 1987
      "There's no such thing as Margaret Thatcher," - Society, 2013
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    • Due to the hatred of her, especially in the north, there were multiple street parties across the country, bottles of milk were left at the door of her hotel, in reference to her cancellation of school milk programs for primary-school age children, and, after serious opposition was raised to giving her a state funeral, Frankie Boyle, a master of this trope, commented that they could have saved the money by giving every person in Scotland a shovel and having them dig deep enough to hand her over to Satan.
    • Britain tends to be this way about death often, a news report in November 2014 reported that a poll in Great Britain that the most popular song at British funerals is Monty Python's "Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life".
    • Not just death, Brits like to bring up "Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life" whenever disaster or adversity strike. In 1982, during the Falklands War, the HMS Sheffield destroyer was struck and sunk by a missile. While her crew awaited rescue, they all sang about looking on the bright side. Reportedly, they found the verse "Worse things happen at sea, you know" particularly funny.
  • Christopher Hitchens combined this with a Take That! at Princess Diana:
    Hitchens: The thing about mine fields is that they're very easy to lay, but they're very difficult and dangerous, and even expensive to get rid of - the perfect description of Prince Charles's first wife.
    • In turn, a joke circulated about Hitchens immediately after his death by those less than fond of him went as such:
      “God is Dead.” — Christopher Hitchens, 2007
      “Christopher Hitchens is Dead.” — God, 2011
  • The kids' song "Baby Bumblebee", that got featured on "Wee Sing Silly Songs" as well as other silly song lists. It starts off tame... but gradually gets more and more disgusting as the song goes on.
    "I'm bringing home my baby bumble bee Won't my Mommy be so proud of me I'm bringing home my baby bumble bee -OUCH!! It stung me!!"
    "I'm squishin' up my baby bumble bee Won't my Mommy be so proud of me I'm squishin' up my baby bumble bee -EW!! What a mess!!"
    • In at least one Dublin incarnation, the end result is licking the bee... gunk... from your arms, puking it up then sweeping it away, "Like a good Brownie should".
  • There is a Japanese dish called oyako don, which is chicken and egg served on rice. The humor comes from its name: the character for oya means "parent" and the character for ko means "child". In other words, you're eating a "parent-and-child" bowl.
    • Then there's tanin don, which replaces the chicken with beef. The title means "stranger bowl".
    • Paul Simon named a song "Mother and Child Reunion" after a chicken and egg dish he saw on a Chinese restaurant's menu.
    • Paul Simon, being Ambiguously Jewish, is aware that such reunions by mammals are strictly forbidden in kashrut rules. Exodus 34:26 prohibits boiling a kid in its mother’s milk. This is understood that eating simultaneously milk and meat is prohibited for not reuniting mother and child in death.
  • During the Cold War, Strategic Air Command bomber crews would spend their time on Ready Alert, which meant sitting for your entire shift at your station in a B-52 that was fully fueled and armed with nuclear weapons. The theory was that if the Russians ever launched an attack, there would be no time to get the crews to the planes and transport the bombs from the storage facilities before too late arrived, so let's remove that from the equation by having the plane, the crew, and the bombs always ready to go. Decades of this led to extremely dark humor among everyone working in SAC, who knew they were the tip of the spear and they might not have a country to come back to after the mission was over. SAC Pilot to his bombardier: "See all that land down there? Fuck everybody on it."
  • Many military songs tend to be dark satires of the current war, including from Vietnam the VERY dark American song "Napalm Sticks to Kids:"
    Cobras flying in the sun,
    Killing gooks is lots of fun,
    Get one pregnant and it's two for one,
    Napalm sticks to kids.
  • Blue Stahli's sense of humor is darker than the void of space is empty. He'll joke about anything. Kidnapping, stalking, insomnia, anything.
  • Some years back there used to be a sign on the Tribourough Bridge in New York City that helpfully informed drivers: "In event of attack, drive off bridge." An unintentional case, as the message the sign meant to convey was "Don't leave your cars on the bridge, but rather continue driving normally until you exit the bridge so that military or emergency services are free to use it" — good luck fitting that on a highway sign, though.
  • Bill Bryson recounts in "The Lost Continent" a joke about the infamous R. Budd Dwyer suicide which took place on live television, created by a few teenagers who saw it on TV to cope with the horror. The joke goes like this:
    What's the difference between Budd Dwyer and Bud Light?
    Bud Light has a head on it.
  • Mickey Leland, a politician from Houston died in a plane crash in Fugnido, Ethiopia in 1989. The international terminal (Terminal D) at the Houston Intercontinental Airport was opened in 1990 and named for Leland.
    • Similarly, Atlanta politician Maynard Jackson, who died of a heart attack he suffered at Washington, D.C.'s Reagan International Airport, is the namesake for the international terminal at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (though in all fairness, he did help push through the expansion of said airport).
  • Oklahoma City has airports named for Wiley Post and Will Rogers, who both died in an airplane crash.
  • Aviators are especially fond of black humour. One of the corners of Utti aerodrome (ICAO: EFUT) in Finland is named Mersukulma (Messerschmitt Corner) after the nickname Mersu for Messerschmitt Bf 109G in the Finnish Air Force. Utti aerodrome was a Finnish Air Force base in WWII and Bf 109 G was well liked, but had dangerous ground handling properties. If an inexperienced pilot did rev its engine too quickly, the torque of the propeller would crank the taking-off plane to port with fatal results. At least four Bf 109s have been crashed into that corner.
  • Disliked aircraft are very likely to gain Black Comedy nicknames. Perhaps the most famous are Bundesluftwaffe nicknames for Lockheed F-104 Starfighter: Sargfighter (coffin fighter), Selbstmordrohr (suicide tube), Witwenmacher (widow maker) ja Erdnagel (tent peg). Likewise jokes: How do you acquire yourself a Starfighter? Purchase a hectare of land and wait until one crashes into it. Bundesluftwaffe lost 298 of her 918 Starfighters on accidents.
  • Very common in the state of Michigan.
    • Q- What's in fashion in Detroit right now? A- Kevlar
    • Q- How far can your average Detroit kid count? A- 32. After that, he says "belt-fed".
    • Michigan- The only state where the best weapon to hunt deer is a Chevy Pickup. (Michigan has the highest deer/accident rate for cars in America.)
  • Look up "justgirlythings gross" on Google Images. Instead of that sappy, saccharine crap you get from the existing serious accounts, you instead get something like, "Sacrificing your boyfriend to Satan and using his skull as a cereal bowl."
  • In Northern Ireland during the The Troubles, jokes about the IRA and the general situation did and still do abound, in both Protestant and Catholic communities, with some of the better-known ones being:
    • Five British soldiers were killed today when a tree fell on their convoy... the IRA planted it.
    • Scribbled on "Free Bobby Sands" posters: ...with every packet of cornflakes.
    • Raffle's on Tuesday... first prize is a week in Belfast, second prize is two weeks in Belfast.
  • Four months after Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared mid-flight, Dutch passenger Cor Pan took a picture of the Malaysia Airlines plane he was boarding, posting it to social media "in case it went missing." This was Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was shot down over Ukraine by a Russian missile.


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