Summary Observations

Our investigation leads to five summary observations:
1. Poe's humor was not the lighthearted kind of banter or physical comedy experiences most often on television or in comedy clubs.
2. The tone of Poe's humor in which he laughs at or fools his characters or his audience is more like that of Allen Funt with his Candid Camera than that of the standups. It is more laughing at people than leading them to laugh along with him.
3. The humor in Poe's work is not wholly or even primarily the work of inventive twentieth century critics. Poe himself and those who read his work noticed the satire and the biting nature of his reviews.
4. What critics have done is begin to trace the threads of humor in Poe's works so that students can examine them more closely.
5. Through psychological work, commentators have also begun to examine the readers' reaction to Poe's writing, revealing a potent mixture of horror and humor which keeps drawing new readership in every generation.