“The Egg” by Sherwood Anderson is a short story with many comedic elements to it. A lot of the humor is derived from the narrator’s somewhat elevated tone while describing his childhood plight with the chicken farm and, later, the family restaurant. The ridiculousness of the parents, as perceived by the narrator, is also used for laughs. Take, for example, when the narrator’s father comes up with the “idea that both he and mother should try to entertain the people who came to eat at our restaurant.” As a means to this end, the narrator’s father tries to spread a feeling of comfort within the household:
For two or three weeks this notion of father's invaded our house. We did not talk much but in our daily lives tried earnestly to make smiles take the place of glum looks. Mother smiled at the boarders and I, catching the infection, smiled at our cat.
The notion of a family practicing to be naturally agreeable is a silly idea. The stoic narrator being affected by the practice, and smiling at the cat, is so far removed from helping the restaurant become successful that it is certainly comedic. Another moment of comedy in “The Egg” occurs when the narrator’s father finally gets to put his new philosophy of entertainment into practice:
Father grinned and winked at his visitor. Joe Kane decided that the man who confronted him was mildly insane but harmless.
The cluelessness of the narrator’s father is the joke here. His idea to improve his restaurant and make his younger customers feel at ease has had the opposite effect. Doubly humorous, his endeavors do not even phase the customer one way or another, who decides after all that he is harmless.