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Why Are Chickens Funny?

Do you find chickens inherently funny?

  • Certainly yes, I do

    Votes: 14 63.6%
  • Definitely not

    Votes: 3 13.6%
  • It depends..

    Votes: 5 22.7%

  • Total voters
    22
  • This poll will close: .

AnonyJ

Captainess Sensible
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A strange question - but they seem to be regarded as funny all around the world.

Is it their long history of domestication - but we don't seem to imbue ducks, geese, doves or pigeons with quite the same mirth-index.

Could it be their appearance or demeanour? But turkeys are far odder looking, guinea fowl are often escape artistes.

Could it be we eat the eggs that pop out of their rear end - but we also eat eggs from ducks, geese, quails and more species.

I'd like to eggxamine the reason(s) why chickens are funny, in depth, and with Fortean reasoning please!

We can add a poll here if you lovely people can suggest appropriate options wording.


My own favourite visual chicken joke:

the-far-side-chicken-of-depression - Copy (Copy).jpg


Image - Gary Larson
 
I was going to suggest Gary Larson :)

Is it something to do with the chicken/road joke being heard early and often?

I'd go for a poll Do you find chickens inherently funny? You and me knowing they are may not be universal :rollingw:
 
They are, by a long way, the most familiar domestic bird though, and have been for many hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

Yes, we have kept geese and ducks and other birds, but not as ubiquitously as the chicken.
 
Why Are Chickens Funny?

It is in the nature of capitalism to foster an atmosphere of 'winners' and 'losers', and this attitude is so insidious, so persuasive that even the victims soon adopt it. Therefore, chickens - just as benighted, skint, tatty and oppressed as the mass of people - are not only consumed (in a literal parallel to the.metaphorical fate of our fellows) but also mocked to boot, by both the oppressors and the oppressed. I believe it was Trotsky who wrote, in the final moments of his life: 'Red in tooth and claw, the farmer essentially feeds his children to his children. Be assured that where chickens go, we the people will be next i.e. eventually down the toilet. Also...ow."

Besides, they have a funny walk.
 
@Cloudbusting I think you may have some questions to answer:

1. Where were you on the night of the 26th?
2. Why are chickens funny?

IMHO Feathers McGraw is one of the greatest villains ever, I was so pleased to see his cameo in Chicken Run 2. :D My favourite part of The Wrong Trousers is when he takes off his rubber glove hat and Wallace says "good grief it's you!"

To answer the question on why chickens are funny, I offer these thoughts:
1) They are not particularly intelligent and they are not very threatening either.
2) The look a bit unusual with all their various facial appendages.
3) Their movements, again, are a bit odd and vaguely comical. I'd argue that physical comedy is the most translatable and in a way, most basic form of comedy (I'm thinking about how children tend to grasp physical comedy well before wit and sarcasm etc.)
4) Everyone knows what a chicken is. They are, as odd as it may sound, a common cultural touch point. So any comedy/humour centered around them translates pretty effortlessly.
 
We had a small flock but one in particular named Alma (from The Ghost and Mr. Chicken movie) was the coop clown. She somehow repeatedly got her foot stuck in the mesh of the coop about 10 inches off the ground. We’d come out in the morning and there she’d be hanging upside down with a “Sorry, I’ve done it again” look on her face. It never seemed to harm her and however she’d gotten herself in that predicament she never learned.
 
Feathers McGraw

That poster is chickenism at its worst. As well as a dig at those of Celtic descent.

Oh hang on - it's not actually a chicken, is it? In which case, forget everything I wrote.

Signed,

Sherlock Steve

UPDATE: I'm still a twit. :D
 
I think a lot of it is the way that we've bred chickens. So they are quite big for their legs, like a proper bird that's been inflated. And they do that stupid 'broken knicker elastic' run, they fly like bricks and they don't display anything like the intelligence of corvids. Come on, admit it, they are laughable examples of the avian species.
 
I think a lot of it is the way that we've bred chickens. So they are quite big for their legs, like a proper bird that's been inflated. And they do that stupid 'broken knicker elastic' run, they fly like bricks and they don't display anything like the intelligence of corvids. Come on, admit it, they are laughable examples of the avian species.
...Who one day, may develop a nasty 'ol virus that jumps species and wipes us cocky primates off our 'perch'...;)
 
I think a lot of it is the way that we've bred chickens. So they are quite big for their legs, like a proper bird that's been inflated. And they do that stupid 'broken knicker elastic' run, they fly like bricks and they don't display anything like the intelligence of corvids. Come on, admit it, they are laughable examples of the avian species.

Interesting!

Original 'wild' chickens are like the Asian jungle fowl:


Red jungle fowl
Subramanya C K, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

My husband describes going wild hen egg-hunting in the wooded areas in the Himalayan foothills as a child - they always cracked an egg first before cooking to check they weren't totally off/fertilised.
 
And then there is Foghorn Leghorn

Probably the least popular of the Looney Tunes pantheon and weighing against the notion that chickens (including roosters) are intrinsically funny. Ducks, from Donald to Daffy and down to Howard seem to have been more mainstream cartoon icons. I don't know how many of them would be recognized by today's audiences. Donald, on account of the Disney Empire?

Roosters, as comic characters, have a long pedigree. There are probably earlier, classical fables but the one that springs to my mind is the mock-heroic Nun's Priest's Tale in Chaucer, where a cunning fox tricks Chauntecleer by encouraging his vanity. :pipe:
 
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