The Landlord, a Funny or Die exclusive video, is a comedy that makes people laugh until they tear up. The video shows two lethargic, aged men, Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, who are suddenly interrupted by the presence of their raging landlord because the rent is late1. Surprisingly, the landlord is a drunken baby, who yells and laughs at the pathetic older men. As Will Ferrell continuously defends himself, Pearl, the baby landlord, responds with ominous threats. She yells, "You will be evicted!" 1 Satiated with making Ferrell cry, Pearl stumbles away drunkenly.
[...] and white text The sudden appearance of the text portrays Pearl as larger than life. For the second expectation, as Ferrell converses with Pearl, he initially maintains his composure. As Pearl demands for the rent money, Ferrell responds, “Don't talk to me like that” and need to relax” Therefore, the statements reflecting control and self-confidence convince the viewers to believe that Ferrell will address the situation maturely. Consequently, since Ferrell displays proactive behavior in pacifying Pearl, one would expect Pearl, the baby, to show some type of willingness to cooperate. [...]
[...] Instead of leaving peacefully, she orders, mommy!” 1 Since Pearl's entire characterization would lead one to think that she had no elder authoritative figures in her life, the viewer finds it absurd when they realize not only does she have a mother in her life, but that Pearl is in control of her mother as well. Unexpectedness makes us laugh, but why? An expectation is a strong belief that something will happen; in other words, an expectation represents the standard for what a viewer believes will occur. [...]
[...] The play on expectations leads to the viewers' surprise; the presence of surprise allows the viewer to appreciate the cleverness in the absurdity and twist of circumstances. Additionally, the unexpectedness is effective because the content takes place in an impersonal online setting, rather than in the personal life of the viewer. Therefore, as long as the unexpectedness presents no immediate, negative and tangible effect on the viewer, the break from the expectation provides a sense of amusement. My analysis of The Landlord has taught us that the viewer finds amusement in moments of unexpectedness presented under certain circumstances. [...]
[...] The moments of surprise tend to be absurd since they are contrary to all reason, and expectation.2 The absurdity of the unexpectedness provides a further criterion, or qualification. In the beginning, while the viewer expects a fearful, tantalizing landlord, they are shocked by the presence of an innocent, vulnerable baby in a floral dress. As the camera looks down at Pearl, she yells, “Where's the 1 The landlord is a baby! Pearl's hand motions and tone of voice exaggerate the irony and absurdity of the situation. [...]
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