Timeless humour? or reinventing a classic

I saw that the most followed Tiktok star is now Khaby Lame, he has 142.9 million followers and what's so interesting about his comedy videos is, it's the same humour from early film era.

Khaby doesn't talk, he has quick sketches that are expressive in showing a situation.

His face/reactions have been used in memes beyond his videos. I find it fascinating that a 22 year old (and originally from Senegal, grew up in Italy) has become so popular using a style of comedy so dated but also central to Hollywood western history, I could see this being the modern Charlie Chaplin or Laurel and Hardy.

It's interesting the reason why this comedy approach has organically formed, the fact there are so many different languages on one platform means that non localised speech allows for a higher chance of interaction across different areas, not of course because of the lack of sound recording like it's historical counterparts.

Does this humour only work for a specific type of humour? We don't only split off from people because of language barriers, different comedy styles also go along with that. The shorts are very "everyone relatable" or based on silly facial expressions. I would love to know the age and areas of his followers.


Language and geography are still the largest barrier when it comes to online cultural divides, but I think you are right to consider senses of humour along the same lines. It seems plausible that the more traditional (not the same thing as "relatable", but there's a lot of overlap) styles of humour would also be more versatile, since they're more likely to be understood across linguistic, geographic, and cultural barriers. Far more people will be familiar with the tropes and comedic idioms (?) of Chaplin compared to the subtle nuances of post-ironically low production value vlogging that's growing in popularity in much smaller niches.


Physical comedy is eternal, so there is nothing dated about this sort of humor. I saw a clown show not too long ago, and I recall in the interview with them afterwards that they stated the reason they chose clowning is because they perform internationally and it's the one sort of sketch that works anywhere - no need for translation. This is the same sort of thing, it's just recorded and in short-form. What I think is fascinating is that there isn't MORE memes like this.

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