Home / AMERICAN NEWS / Why Do Guys Laugh At Death Jokes? — ‘The Why’

Why Do Guys Laugh At Death Jokes? — ‘The Why’

Welcome to the newest edition of The Why. “Why do guys laugh at death jokes?” you ask? Seriously? (Well, OK, we have a list of questions regarding why guys laugh at stuff. In this edition of the series, we will cover yet another one of them.)


Why do guys laugh at death jokes?/Image: Original Owner

Why do guys laugh at death jokes or “gallows humor”? It’s funny. Yeah, sometimes we might groan and say it’s “too soon” or something but we still laugh because it’s funny. Plus as we have said before: it’s “a guy thing.”

But again, if that doesn’t suit you then let’s check in again with our buddy Aaron Traister. He’s an online columnist for Redbook.

Traister has dealt with the whole issue of gender differences and sense of humor. (After all, he’s a guy writing for a women’s magazine, mmmkay?)


Why do guys laugh at death jokes?/Image: DarkLimkGirl

Traister has the answer. He explains: “I don’t know if you’ve ever hung out with EMTs, cops, doctors, or soldiers, but the jokes can get pretty dark pretty quickly, and maybe that’s not such a bad thing. Humor is a defense mechanism that allows those people to do those hard, dangerous jobs.”

He continues: “Death, trauma, illness–they touch us all eventually. Some guys just can’t begin the healing process (or, in some cases, even comprehend what’s happened) until they can laugh about whatever tragedy has taken place. If you can make a joke about something bad, then you can survive that something.”


Why do guys laugh at death jokes?/Image: ThisGirlIsOne

Joachim Vogt Isaksen, contributor to PopularSocialScience confirms that humor has healing powers . . . even when it is dark humor. It is not always so much a case of what is or is not funny at the moment but more of a therapeutic, coping and healing device.   Specifically, in this case, we “use dark humor to distance ourselves from horrifying images and stories of war and human atrocities.”

Why do guys laugh at death jokes? Now you know.

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About Will Phoenix

W. Scott Phoenix, B.A., B.S. was born in Hawaii, raised in Pennsylvania and resides in California. He has been a published writer since 1978. His work has appeared (under various names) in numerous places in print and online including Examiner.com. He is a single parent of three children and has also worked as an actor, singer and teacher. He has been employed by such publications as the Daily Collegian and the Los Angeles Times.