Jeffrey Dahmer Jokes: Why We Laugh at Dark Humor

In this post, we’ll take a look at why we laugh at dark humor, with a focus on the jokes made about Jeffrey Dahmer.

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It’s been more than 25 years since Jeffrey Dahmer was arrested and sentenced to life in prison for the murders of 17 men and boys. But the fascination with the Milwaukee Cannibal endures.

There are dozens of books, movies and documentaries about Dahmer, and he continues to be a staple of late-night comedy. Jay Leno, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Fallon have all made jokes about Dahmer over the years.

So why do we find humor in such a dark subject?

Humor is often used as a way to deal with painful or difficult subjects. It can be a way to release tension or anxiety. And in the case of Dahmer jokes, it can also be a way to confront our fears head-on.

Some experts believe that laughter is actually beneficial for our health. It can boost our immune system, relieve stress and even help us to bond with others.

So next time you hear a Jeffrey Dahmer joke, don’t be offended. Just appreciate the fact that we can laugh at something so dark and disturbing—it’s a sign of our strength, not our weakness.

What is Dark Humor?

Most people are familiar with dark humor, even if they don’t know it by that name. Dark humor is defined as “humor that deal with topics that are usually considered taboo, such as death, disease, violence, and sex.” It often has a shocking or disturbing element to it, which is why it can be so difficult for some people to understand why others find it funny.

There are a few theories about why we laugh at dark humor. One is that it allows us to confront our fears in a safe way. By laughing at something that scares us, we can diffused the fear and make it more manageable. This can be helpful in situations where we feel powerless or trapped, such as when someone we love is seriously ill.

Another theory is that dark humor helps us to bond with others. When we share a dark joke with someone, we are establishing a connection with them based on our shared sense of humor. This can be beneficial in situations where we need to build trust or create a rapport quickly, such as in the workplace or with new friends.

dark humor can also be seen as a way to cope with difficult or stressful situations. By making light of a situation, we can make it feel less threatening or overwhelming. This can help us to better deal with challenging situations in our own lives or in the world around us.

Of course, not everyone finds dark humor funny. Some people find it offensive or distasteful, and there is nothing wrong with that. We all have different senses of humor and what one person finds hilarious another person may find completely distasteful. The important thing is to be aware of your own reaction to dark humor and to respect the reactions of others.

Theories on Why We Laugh at Dark Humor

Jokes about Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, and other famous serial killers are a staple of dark humor. But why do we find them funny? There are a few theories on why we laugh at dark humor. One theory is that it helps us cope with fears and anxieties. Another theory is that it makes us feel better about ourselves. Let’s take a look at the theories on why we laugh at dark humor.

Relief Theory

The Relief Theory suggests that we laugh in response to things that are disturbing or stressful in order to release built up tension. This theory is supported by the fact that we often laugh at things that are not actually funny, but which we find uncomfortable or stressful. For example, many people laughed at the jokes made about Jeffrey Dahmer after he was arrested for murder, even though there was nothing actually funny about his crimes.

Superiority Theory

Superiority theory suggests that we laugh at dark humor because it makes us feel better about ourselves. By laughing at the misfortune of others, we can feel superior to them and their situation. This theory is often used to explain why we laugh at jokes about death, disaster, and other dark topics. While there may be some truth to this theory, it does not explain why we find dark humor funny in all situations.

Incongruity Theory

The Incongruity Theory posits that we laugh at things that are unexpected, or incongruous. This theory is supported by the fact that many dark humor jokes are based on surprise, or on two seemingly contrasting concepts being combined. For example, a joke about a serial killer might be funny because it is unexpected, or because it combines the usually mundane act of killing with something that is typically considered taboo.

Case Study: Jeffrey Dahmer Jokes

On July 22, 1991, Jeffrey Dahmer was arrested for the murder of eleven men and boys. Over the next two years, as he awaited trial, the public became fascinated with Dahmer – not only with the gruesome details of his crimes, but also with his personality. Dahmer was quiet, shy, and awkward; he didn’t seem to fit the profile of a serial killer. And yet, he had committed horrific acts of violence.

In the months leading up to his trial, Dahmer became a cultural punchline. To many people, he was a joke – a ridiculous, absurd figure who had somehow turned murder into comedy. Jokes about Dahmer circulated widely; at one point, “Jeffrey Dahmer” was even trending on Twitter.

Why did people find Dahmer so funny? In this paper, I will argue that Dahmer jokes functioned as a way for people to process their fears and anxieties about him. By making light of Dahmer’s crimes, people were able to distance themselves from the horror of what he had done. In essence, they laughed in order not to scream.

At the same time, however, I will also argue that there was something dark and disturbing about the way people joked about Dahmer. By laughing at him, we denied his victims their humanity and dignity. We treated them as objects to be joked about, rather than as real people who had been through a terrible ordeal. In doing so, we participated in their dehumanization – and in some small way, we became like Dahmer ourselves.


Some people may find it difficult to understand why anyone would laugh at Jeffrey Dahmer jokes, given the horrific nature of his crimes. However, there is a reason why dark humor can be so funny – it allows us to laugh in the face of death and destruction, and gives us a way to cope with the darkest aspects of life.

While Dahmer jokes may not be everyone’s cup of tea, they serve an important purpose in our society. They help us to deal with the darkness that surrounds us, and remind us that even in the darkest moments, we can still find something to laugh about.

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