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Tongue-in-cheek

Related: humour - mock - fiction

Definitions

Meant or expressed ironically or facetiously. --[AHD 2004]

The term tongue-in-cheek refers to a style of humour in which things are said only half seriously, or in a subtly mocking way. To say something in a tongue-in-cheek way is to speak with irony.

The term first appeared in print in the book The Ingoldsby Legends by Richard Harris Barham, published in 1845. The author uses the term describing a Frenchman.

Tongue-in-cheek humour in fiction often takes the form of gentle parodies, in stories that use the conventions of an established serious genre while gently poking fun at some aspects of that genre. A tongue-in-cheek work still relies on these conventions and is not the same as a farce. Good examples of films that are made in a tongue-in-cheek way are An American Werewolf in London, Scream, or True Lies. Note that these films are still faithful to their genre (horror and spy, respectively) and are not out-and-out parodies such as Airplane!. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tongue-in-cheek [Dec 2005]

Facetious

1592, from Fr. facÚtieux, from facÚtie "a joke," from L. facetia, from facetus "witty, elegant," of unknown origin, perhaps related to facis "torch." It implies a desire to be amusing, often intrusive or ill-timed. " in booksellers' catalogues, is, like curious, a euphemism for erotica." [Fowler] --http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=erotica [May 2005]

Facetious
Intended to excite laughter or amusement: comedic, funny, humorous, jocose, jocular, witty. --Roget's II: The New Thesaurus, Third Edition

Nederlands: geestig

Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde, the flamboyant Irishman, self-proclaimed genius, rage of London, master of the facetious, and champion of the aesthetic movement. --Don Swaim [May 2005]

Tongue-In-Cheek Movies

  • Piranha (1978) - Joe Dante [Amazon.com]
    Roger Corman produced this shameless Jaws rip-off at the height of the "nature gone wild" boom of American cinema and struck B-movie gold. Scripted by John Sayles and directed by Joe Dante, this tongue-in-cheek thriller stars Bradford Dillman (doing his best Rip Torn impression) as an antisocial mountain man and Heather Menzies as a rookie detective who race a school of mutant piranha downriver. Dante and Sayles provide the requisite blood and gore for this drive-in meat market: a kids' summer camp and a waterfront amusement park await the little beasties. Along the way, riverside retiree Keenan Wynn gets his ankles stripped clean, camp counselor Paul Bartel is chomped on the cheek by a hungry little bugger who takes to the air, and hordes of unlucky bathers are caught in the center of a feeding frenzy. What differentiates this little gem from the legion of similar knockoffs are the satirical swipes at military arrogance and crass commercialism, Dante's energetic enthusiasm, and the bursts of black humor: "Lost River Lake: Terror, horror, death. Film at 11." The culty cast also includes Invasion of the Body Snatchers's Kevin McCarthy as the hysterical scientist guarding the creatures, horror diva Barbara Steele as a devious government researcher, and longtime Corman regular Dick Miller as an unscrupulous entrepreneur ("Sir, the piranha are eating the guests"). The DVD features good-humored commentary by director Joe Dante and producer Jon Davison, who also narrate the 10 minutes of good-quality home-movie footage shot by Davison. There are also six minutes of outtakes. --Sean Axmaker

  • Rock 'n' Roll High School (1979) - Joe Dante, Allan Arkush [Amazon.com]
    "Do your parents know you're Ramones?" With those withering words, Miss Togar (Mary Woronov), the uptight neofascist principal of Vince Lombardi High School, addresses the four mop-haired, leather-jacketed members of America's first and most famous punk band. And you know it won't be long before the Ramones's jackhammer riffs are blaring through the public address system at maximum volume, the kids are running--not walking--wild in the hallways (without passes!), and Miss Togar's gulag is re-christened "Rock 'n' Roll High School." Then, in keeping with the outrageously nihilistic animus of punk, the high school students and the Ramones just blow the place to smithereens. It's a crowd- pleasing, fantasy-fulfillment climax that combines the apocalyptic finale of Michelangelo Antonioni's Zabriskie Point with the explosive conclusion of Alice Cooper's "School's Out." Rock 'n' Roll High School is a blast, a goofy and liberating salute to the rebel spirit behind the teen rock & roll movies of the 1950s, which always pitted the kids' insatiable appetite for fun against the adults' fear-based authoritarianism. The film is emblematic of the disarmingly silly, tongue-in-cheek humor of the youth-oriented B-pictures cranked out in the '50s and '60s by renowned low-budget exploitation mogul Roger Corman (who gave many a hungry young filmmaker, including the creators of this film, their start in the biz), and of the noisy, anarchic energy of '70s punk rock, as personified by the inimitable Ramones. In the words of the maestros' beach-blanket-buzz-saw title anthem, this movie is "Fun, fun, oh baby, fun, fun..." --Jim Emerson for amazon.com [...]

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