At first, when we started to watch and analyze video clips from "The Simpsons," I thought the analysis would destroy the enjoyment. I have always followed the comedic law: "A punchline explained is a punchline butchered." In dissecting this frog, I was sure we would kill it.
Much to my surprise however, this analysis actually lead to a hieghtened enjoyment and understanding. When I was analyzing the jokes for types of satire, I enjoyed them more. I began to notice details that would have forever gone unnoticed. I began to realize the subtlety and complexity that is wrapped into what seems to be pretty straight forward humor.
Comedy, like music or painting, is an art. It its hieghtened form, analysis can actually lead to greater enjoyment and understanding. Just in the way that analyzing the chord changes in Verdi's Gloria makes me appreciate his brilliance and complexity and hieghtens my concious awareness of the music, so does analyzing the humor of the Simpsons.
What's seems even more fascinating to me is the reason we take these subtle complexities for granted. It feels, to me, that some of the complexity lies in the subconcious not just for the observer of the art, but the creator.
For instance, when I tell a funny joke, or write a beautiful choral line, I am not always 100% aware of what makes that joke funny and what makes the choral line pleasing to the ears. I know that it is funny. I know that it is beautiful. But I'm not always sure as to why. When I do conciously know, it is either from examining my work in retrospect, or putting an extraordinary amount of work in conciously planning the art. If I'm able to both create and appreciate, than that implies that somewhere in my brain lies an understanding of this complexity and subtlety, just out of reach of my conciousness.
Well, I've certainly gone off on a tangent, but art really makes you appreciate the intricacy and computing power of the human brian.