"I'm a Photographer, Not a..." - a joke, + some comedic theory

First, let's hear the joke before we talk about the theory...

I'm a Photographer, Not a...

A photographer for a national magazine was assigned to take pictures of a great forest fire. He was advised that a small plane would be waiting to fly him over the fire.

The photographer arrived at the airstrip just an hour before sundown. Sure enough, a small Cessna airplane was waiting. He jumped in with his equipment and shouted, "Let's go!" The tense man sitting in the pilot's seat swung the plane into the wind and soon they were in the air, though flying erratically.

"Fly over the north side of the fire," said the photographer, "And make several low-level passes."

"Why?" asked the nervous pilot.

"Because I'm going to take pictures!" yelled the photographer. "I'm a photographer, and photographers take pictures!"

The pilot replied, "You mean you're not the flight instructor?"

OK, leaving the obvious credibility problem in the joke aside (yes, I'm sorry - I'm asking you to suspend your disbelief here!!! you would think that you would recognize that a professional photographer [with all his gear and getup] when you see one....), this does serve to illustrate one common (and another perhaps not so obvious) device in comedy.

Everybody (and anybody) who's really into the "standup" of comedy will be able to know what that is - the surprise.... The problem here is, that audiences are probably so used to the regular comedy right now, that they will come to expect the usage of the "surprise" device. In fact, this device is probably so widely (cheaply??? "debased-ly"???) used nowadays that once you start telling a joke, people will come to expect it already. It's only the cleverness, (or "the twist") of the surprise that will get your audience nowdays...

Which brings us to the not so common point. Here we see the photographer getting onto the wrong plane (we sort of half expect this already - the setup is done waay ahead for us already with "He was advised that a small plane would be waiting to fly him over the fire"....). What we may (and I use "may" here with a little bit of caution!!!) not come to expect is that in addition to the "surprise" that we expected, there is an extra little surprise in store for us as well - while the photographer may not have been expecting to get onto the wrong plane, the "pilot" may not have been "your all-time regular pilot" as well.... Call it what you will (is there a name for it????), but, this is the "extra twist" in the "surprise" there that will be needed in order to get your more jaded (or "sophisticated") audiences to laugh more readily....

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