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Self-deprecation is the act of reprimanding oneself by belittling, undervaluing, or disparaging oneself,[1] or being excessively modest.[2][3] It can be used in humor and tension release.[4]


Self-deprecation is often perceived as being a characteristic of certain nations, such as in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, where "blowing one's own trumpet" is frowned upon.[5] Famous examples include English comedian David Mitchell.[according to whom?] It is also seen as a major component of the comedy of North American comedians such as Rodney Dangerfield, Phyllis Diller, Joan Rivers,[6] Louis C.K., Doug Stanhope, Don Knotts,[7] Woody Allen,[8] Tina Fey, Zach Galifianakis, Mike Birbiglia, Hannibal Buress, Nathan Fielder,[9] Carrot Top, Jon Stewart, Larry David, David Letterman, Conan O'Brien, Leslie Jones, Bernie Mac, Amy Schumer, Jim Gaffigan, Bo Burnham, and Jim Norton.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Self-deprecation". The Free Dictionary. Farlex. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 
  2. ^ Self-Deprecation - Personality & Spirituality
  3. ^ Self-deprecation | Define Self-deprecation at
  4. ^ Hill, Matthew. "The Funny Thing About Work". Society for Intercultural Training and Research. Retrieved 2011-05-04. 
  5. ^ "Self-Deprecation". Debrett's. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  6. ^ Morris, Wesley (2010-06-20). "The many faces of Joan Rivers". The Boston Globe. 
  7. ^ "Don Knotts Obituary: View Don Knotts's Obituary by The Washington Post". 2006-02-25. Retrieved 2013-07-01. 
  8. ^ Forward, The (2009-06-10). "Is self-deprecation killing Jewish comedy? - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper". Retrieved 2013-07-01. 
  9. ^ Sarah, Osman. "CHATTING WITH: "NATHAN FOR YOU" CREATOR NATHAN FIELDER". Young Hollywood. Retrieved November 20, 2016.