Humorous Takes on Marriage in the uae Digital Comics, Social Media Comedy and Short Films

Doris Hambuch, Sarah Nesti Willard, Urwa Tariq, Al Anood Alboainain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article investigates humorous representations of marriage in digital comics, standup comedy and short films created by Emirati artists and content creators who primarily rely on social media as their most effective form of distribution. Studied against theories of humor in the Western and the Arabic traditions, selected examples demonstrate that the story-based genre appears less light-hearted in its combination of comic with tragic plot turns, while the snapshot characteristic of graphic art allows comics and social media skits to focus on the joke. The latter is thus more appealing to larger audiences, especially via electronic media. Depending on whether the image is accompanied by text in either Arabic or English, the content targets specific viewer groups. Relying on content analysis and audience reception, this study demonstrates that the relief regarding marital dilemmas provided through humor, particularly satire, is greater in the less text-based presentations. Generally, humor is a preferred mode by artists and content creators in the uae to represent marriage because it can take the edge off sensitive topics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-194
Number of pages20
JournalMiddle East Journal of Culture and Communication
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • digital comic
  • humor
  • satire
  • short film
  • social media
  • uae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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