The Pull-Back and Other Comedic Forms
The Telegraph has a nice piece dissecting comedy, one of the funniest parts of which is this Emo Philips gag, which illustrates a technique called the pull-back or reveal:
My sister had a baby. We could have company over and she’ll be there with her breast out, feeding him… cereal, or whatever. The other day she took me aside and said, Emo, can you babysit little Derek while I go to the carnival… and look for the father? I said, OK. So I’m pushing him through the park, and he’s crying… because I forgot the stroller. I take him home and I’m trying to rinse out his diaper in the toilet – you ever rinse out a baby’s diaper in the toilet? Yuck. Anyway… I accidentally let go of his foot. And he’s spinning around, crying, and I’m trying to get him out with the plunger… because you can’t use Drano, that HURTS a kid!