Jason Zinoman on the ties between comedy and horror:
...the line between horror and comedy has long been blurry. Alfred Hitchcock called “Psycho” a comedy. Tobe Hooper expected people to laugh at “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” In a similar fashion, comedians are famously dark and obsessed with death.
This is a tie that I’ve been wondering about for a long time. Why do we laugh (after jumping) when the little girl comes out of the TV in the Ring? Why do we cover our eyes when Michael Scott gives one of his cringeworthy speeches in the Office?
My guess is because fear and finding something funny come from the same place: the unexpected.