“Over the piano was printed a notice. It was funny. But it didn't show that it thought it was funny. Which made the whole thing even funnier.”
“I pity the foo' who laughs because of his own joke!”
Deadpan humour is an increasingly popular branch of humour in Europe, especially in the UK. It consists of telling a joke, but not showing any emotion change at all. While this may seem like an oxymoron, especially to people from the US, deadpan humour is possible, actually easy when you do a little practice.
The word is believed to have originated from the Greek god Pan. Pan was walking down the street (yes, they did have streets back then), when he met with a certain fellow named Scott. Scott, having learnt in school about the Greek gods, immediately greeted Pan, and proceeded to tell Pan a good joke. Pan laughed so hard (Scott could tell pretty good jokes, mind you) that he couldn't breathe any longer, and dropped down dead. Which created a "dead Pan".
Also, a "pan" may be used to refer to a human's face. When a human is dead, he won't show any change in emotion, and so a deadpan user's face will resemble that of a dead person's. Really, try it. Kill some noob and look at his face for a few hours. Don't worry about the consequences. You'd probably just get a medal or something.
Deadpan humour was invented a year later, by the same Scott we previously mentioned. He vowed never to let a tragedy like this happen again (I mean, he killed a god, and that's pretty bad). And to prevent it from happening, he trained himself, so he could always keep a straight face. All the Americans he lived with didn't understand his jokes, and so they didn't laugh.
Wait a minute... He was in Greece! Why is he living with Americans!?
Who said anything about Greece? Pan was a god. Don't you think gods could easily get to America if they'd want to? Dumbass.
Anyway. One day, a British tourist visited the USA. He met one of the many descendants of Scott, to whom the skill to keep a straight face was passed on and on. Scott's descendant told the tourist a joke, all the while keeping a straight face. The Brit, having a brain and all, did get the joke, and was also amused by the young boy's ability not to even show a mere smile. The Brit started practicing this skill as well, and took it home with him. From Britain, it was soon passed through all of Europe (which is obvious, seeing how small it really is) and evolved into a new branch of humour.
When can you use deadpan humour?
There are basically three situations in which you can use deadpan humour. When you are European, when you are a descendant of Scott, and when you do not understand your own joke (this seems to be the most common). Note that the third option is extremely embarresing, and that it's not recommended.
While it is possible to purposely use deadpan humour outside of Europe, it is rare. You are most likely to find it in Antarctica. Everybody knows that penguins don't laugh. Not even when they say something really funny.
It's possible to combine deadpan humour with other styles of humour. The most widely used for this seems to be sarcasm, but it's also possible to combine it with penis jokes. Another possible combination is to combine it with funny things about Chuck Norris. Chuck Norris, being an American, won't notice something funny has been said, and as such you won't get in trouble for it. Unless you fail at the deadpan humour bit, in which case you will be dead within seconds.
As a spin-off from deadpan humour, the legendary Steve Irwin developed the non-humourous discipline of deadpan as a part of his reverse deadpan sarcasm technique to subdue Grues. In addition to combating Grues, who became terribly confused by the the sarcasm that is literally true and masked behind deadpan so that they couldn't tell Steve was being sarcastic in the first place, Irwin also found that reverse deadpan sarcasm was extremely entertaining to Americans.
As a general rule of thumb, reverse deadpan sarcasm cannot be administered underwater. Not that it matters, as no-one left on earth is capable of reproducing Steve Irwin's legacy.
Reverse deadpan sarcasm, as demonstrated by Steve, will not work against stingrays. Steve did try to use it in order to confuse the stingray, but he only aggravated it and the stingray proceeded to attack Steve with its pointy tail.
Currently, there are three students trying to learn reverse deadpan sarcasm. None of them have succeeded yet, and they likely won't in the future. Scientists believe the ability to perform reverse deadpan sarcasm is a recessive gene, only passed through in the Irwin family.
Deadpan humour is obviously best used in the desert. The rainforest, on the other hand, is a terrible place to practice deadpan humour. Areas like the Netherlands, where the weather is constantly different, are not too great either, because you never know when you may or may not be able to use deadpan humour. This is because deadpan is a form of dry humour, and dry humour simply can't get wet (it wouldn't be dry anymore). This is also why deadpan humour cannot be used underwater. The large amounts of wetness will ruin your deadpan. Not to mention the fact that you can't speak underwater.