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Old 10-31-2019, 05:28 PM
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Who invented this comedic trope?


The stand up comedian starts with a short joke that ends in some sort of catch phrase like say: "...And the clowns in the car".

The comedian then goes into a long 10 or so minute long monologue that is seemingly unrelated to "The clowns in the car". But at the end of the monologue the comedian ties it all in ending the monologue with "The clowns in the car".

The audience then laughs because the comedian referenced that thing he said 10 minutes ago.

Seems like every comedian does this. I'm wondering who started it?
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Old 10-31-2019, 05:32 PM
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It's like foreshadowing, but in comedy it's considered a callback. You set up something early on and later call back to it. It could be older than recorded history.

Last edited by TriPolar; 10-31-2019 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 10-31-2019, 05:34 PM
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You're talking about the Brick Joke.
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Old 10-31-2019, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alessan View Post
You're talking about the Brick Joke.
Similar. In a brick joke the brick may be just a brick (literally or figuratively) that comes back to highlight a spoken line. Other times it is the joke like the boomerang in your link.
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Old 10-31-2019, 05:47 PM
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Isn't it just a variant of the callback?
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Old 10-31-2019, 05:56 PM
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I can think of a few callbacks in Shakespeare just off the top of my head - I'm sure someone who knows ancient Greek comedy better than me could come up with examples there...
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Old 10-31-2019, 06:01 PM
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I learned about 'callbacks' in a prose writing class. I assumed, at the time, it was a very old story telling trick.
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Old 10-31-2019, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
Similar. In a brick joke the brick may be just a brick (literally or figuratively) that comes back to highlight a spoken line. Other times it is the joke like the boomerang in your link.
That was pretty clumsy. Let me try again.

The classic Brick Joke comes from the Krazy Kat comic strip. Bricks were used in various ways but I look at the Brick Joke as the case where there's a set up line followed by a brick being thrown up in the air. Later on there is a callback to that setup, essentially a punchline, followed by someone getting hit in the head with the brick.

The boomerang comic in Alessan's link is something different, where the boomerang returning is the joke itself, not just a prop. (although maybe there's something else in the unshown panels, if they exist).
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Old 11-01-2019, 07:43 AM
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A friend and I used to put a further twist on the brick joke: when we were in a group of friends telling jokes, one of us would tell the setup joke that falls flat. Some time later, after several other people had told their jokes, the other one of us would tell the second joke with the callback to the first. The effect, as people realized the connection, was incredible!
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Old 11-01-2019, 10:25 AM
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Once I was with a group of strangers. I told part one of the brick joke. A couple jokes later a stranger told the second part. It made it better because it wasn't planned.
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Old 11-01-2019, 11:30 AM
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Steven Wright, the stand-up who does oddball deadpan gags, is a good example:

"I play the harmonica by driving my car really fast and holding my harmonica out the window. I've been arrested three times for practicing."

Minutes later:

"Yesterday I put another engine in my car, without taking the first one out. Now my car goes three hundred mile an hour!" [Pause] "The harmonica sounds amazing!"
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