SASL Newsletter - Summer 2018 Issue Issue 10 - Summer 2018 - Page 3

Deaf King Kong: Jay Harris (2014) Deaf King Kong: (Signed by five Communications) Deaf King Kong: CJ Jones (2016) different storytellers) (2015) (Produced by Sorenson While the works by Bienvenu and De Rose are about a giant, the protagonist in other versions is King Kong. An English translation of the joke is below: A huge giant is stalking through a small village of tiny people, who are scattering throughout the streets, trying to escape the ugly creature. The giant notices one particularly beautiful blond- haired girl scampering down the cobblestone street. He stretches out his clumsy arm and sweeps up the girl, then stares with wonder at the sight of the shivering figure in his palm. ‘You are so beautiful,’ he exclaims. The young woman looks up in fear. ‘I would never hurt you,’ he signs. ‘I love you. I think we should get MARRIED.’ With the production of the sign MARRY the beautiful young woman is crushed. (Recall that to produce MARRY the speaker claps the cupped hands together.) (Lane, Hoffmeister, & Bahan, 1996, pp. 122 – 123) While the plot of these versions is basically similar with some variations, all of them have the same punchline. Because the ASL sign MARRY involves clasping the hands together, the woman is unintentionally crushed (see below for Bienvenu's 1980 rendition). The versions “ta ke the form of high expectations comically transformed into disappointments” (Tanner, 1996, p. 54). Interestingly, Bienvenu and De Rose go beyond the punchline. The former ends the joke with a lamentation, “See, oralism is better!” The latter ends with a question, “Is ASL dangerous?” Both are good examples of self-defeating humor. Baker-Shenk, C., & Cokely, D. (1980, 1981, 2007). American Sign Language: Tales from the green books [DVD]. Burtonsville, MD: Sign Media, Inc. Used by permission from Sign Media, Inc. Known as one of the oldest jokes in ASL literature, Please But is frequently the first one told when deaf people are asked for an instance of a deaf joke (Rutherford, 1993). As with the King Kong renditions, the joke will fail if translated into English for someone who knows no ASL. To date, there are three videotaped versions. (Continue on the next page) The Power of ASL 3 Summer 2018 – Issue 10