The “little man” has bumbled through the 20th century, but his female counterpart has not. The decline of gentility meant that women essayists no longer needed to worry quite so much about being decorous. As Victorian proprieties eroded, female essayists could be more unabashed. Virginia Woolf and Dorothy Parker wrote wickedly funny essays— though this activity did not allow them to escape all the restrictions on their gender in their societies. Parker, in particular, should be regarded as a 20th-century woman, not a 19th-century lady. Woolf was cleverer than most men, Parker was quicker, and both were funnier. Among contemporary female practitioners of the humorous essay, some, such as Nora Ephron, Molly Ivins, and Fran Lebowitz, find their subjects in the (still) masculine public sphere, while others, such as Jean Kerr, Shirley Jackson, Peg Bracken, and Erma Bombeck, focus on domestic life; but all feel free to be both clever and incisive.
It was not until the 20th century that the United States developed its own type of the humorous essay. The rustics and cracker-barrel philosophers of 19th-century America, from Sut Lovingood to Artemus Ward to Mr. Dooley, were fictional characters whose humor was mainly dialect humor. Even reallife figures such as Davy Crockett, Mike Fink, and Jim Bridger were turned into tall tales. Mark Twain used the essay form to pillory James Fenimore Cooper, but was himself primarily a fiction writer, as the title of perhaps his best-known essay, “How to Tell a Story” (1895), indicates.
Humor Essays | Walk a mile in my underpants
Within the essay tradition Montaigne’s anecdotal humor was offset from the start by Bacon’s more serious, instructive, and epigrammatic approach. If humor is broader, slower, and more open, while wit is more incisive, rapid, and neat, then the tradition of the humorous essay can be traced to Montaigne and the witty essay to Bacon. During the 17th century, La Rochefoucauld explored a sort of middle ground. His maxims were aphoristic and instructive in the manner of Bacon, but retained Montaigne’s skepticism and ironic self-deprecation.
As a matter of fact, humorous essays are synonyms to funny essay. The key goal here is to impress readers and make them laugh or at least smile. It should be noted that any essay type (except for scientific research) can be funny. Of course, personal essays as a rule contain jokes and funny description of different situations, facts and experience. Even admission essay can be funny. This will help you make admission committee appreciate your sense of humor, knowledge and the ability to express own thoughts.During the 18th century, the character evolved into the periodical essay, which was brief, gossipy, and topical. Richard Steele developed this type of humorous essay in his Tatler (1709–11) and joined with Joseph Addison to refine it in the Spectator (1711–12, 1714). Samuel Johnson’s Rambler (1750–52) and Idler (1758–60) followed, as did variations by Jonathan Swift, Alexander Pope, the Earl of Chesterfield (Philip Dormer Stanhope), Horace Walpole, Oliver Goldsmith, and George Colman and Bonnell Thornton. Henry Fielding folded similar kinds of essays into his novel Tom Jones (1749). The periodical essayists were also popular in America, spawning imitators such as John Trumbull, Joseph Dennie, Charles Brockden Brown, and William Wirt.