Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tuesday Roundup

Some favorites and very few duds from Tuesday's commenting, the day Paolo.Lex was finally drop-kicked into a blazing coal furnace.

Favorites, in no particular order:

MarkKelsosMigraine offered a few winners on what was a fairly quiet day in Deadspin commenting. In the Wake Up Deadspin post, I enjoyed this very straightforward one-liner aimed at, of all people, Pat Nixon. Hilarious. Later, in the Overzealous Ball Boy post, he went back to the Republican politicians theme with another one-liner, earning a round of applause. Nice work.

Gamboa Constrictor showed up again today, offering this deliciously cringe-inducing one-liner in the Rampage Jackson post. Man, that's terrific.

Raysism had a very good day today, leaving first this funny one-liner in the Seattle Streakers post, and later contributing this very sharp one-liner to the Jimmer Fredette post. Raysism hasn't been featured for very long, but he has an obvious talent for one-liners and recontextualizations. These were just two of his many solid offerings from Tuesday.

Also in the Jimmer Fredette post, Hatey McLife cracked me up with this clever wordplay joke. I'm surprised this comment didn't earn a little more attention from the crowd. I thought it was hilarious.

In the MLB Video post, I appreciated this joke, from fat-leaveher, for its heretofore unused structure and successful punchline. That's thinking outside the box. Great job.

I fought my way through the Funbag and came away with this gem from Eddie Murray Sparkles. I don't really bother looking for duds any longer in Drew's posts - mostly, I scan for any truly disgraceful approvals and for the odd masterpiece. I'm so glad I bothered today, because this is just another amazingly sharp comment from one of our favorite guys. Great, great work.

Same Sad Echo struck again today with another silly and (yes) charming dialogue joke in the Thrashers Tickets post. I loved this. When I see a joke like this from one of a few guys (Same Sad Echo, Vodkanaut, All Over But The Sharting, etc.), I get genuinely excited. They're not all home runs, but when they are, they really crack me up, and even when they come up short, I always appreciate the effort.

And finally, I have learned that there's at least one guy on Deadspin for whom one should always make the effort to look up an obscure reference: MattinglysSideburns. This one, in the Thrashers Tickets post, didn't necessarily require a trip to Wikipedia, but it was nonetheless somewhat obscure and was certainly presented without any explanation. But that quote, when tied to that reference, is fucking outstanding. I laughed and laughed at this. I generally caution against too much obscurity, but for whatever reason, MattinglysSideburns gets a pass. Obscure away.

Total Fucking Duds

Two duds today, both from unstarred commenters. As I noted above, I didn't bother combing Drew's Funbag post for duds - there are just too many. But for the most part, there weren't a whole lot of egregiously awful comments today. Paolo.Lex was banned this afternoon, but that hardly warrants a recap. He's been terrible as long as he's been commenting. I would wager something significant (billikenmetz's head, for example) that the bulk of the consistently, noticeably bad commenters on Deadspin are approved in a Funbag or a Jamboroo or a Drunken Hookup Failure; if featured commenters could all agree to follow Deadspin's standards of commenting when distributing approvals, even in Drew's Wild-Wild-West-style comments sections, man would I be out of a gig in no time.

Let us never speak of that again.

In the Rampage Jackson post, unstarred commenter Karen Owen's Proud Father obviously didn't work real hard on this lame contribution. There is absolutely a joke to be made from the Joe Namath comparison, but just making the comparison isn't enough. The comparison itself isn't funny - even a room full of drunk revelers wouldn't laugh at that. For new commenters, it's important to learn to distinguish between the idea behind your joke, and the joke itself. That Rampage Jackson's behavior was substantially similar to Joe Namath's famously inappropriate conduct towards Suzy Kolber is an observation - it's the idea. Now, your job as a commenter is to build that idea into a joke, a witty presentation of that idea that delivers it in the form of a punchline. And even then, you really need to ask yourself if the finished product is funny. Would you actually laugh at it? Believe me, you should be tossing aside a lot of jokes, especially if your idea of a comment often boils down to "this is like Joe Namath". If that seems tedious or like an unjustifiably high standard, you're probably commenting on the wrong website.

The other dud comes from 214w, and it's awful, but what else do we expect from this guy? He makes no effort to be funny and never has. If Paolo.Lex can be suspended and banned, surely a guy whose most consistent contribution to Deadspin commenting is the same hostile, tone-deaf, semi-literate pro-LeBron rant can be summarily executed, right? This guy makes no effort to be funny. He is not a Deadspin commenter. He is a troll, plain and simple.

Hey, I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend. I obviously took Memorial Day off myself, but we're back in gear at Mad Bastards All, so here's to another excellent DUAN.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Stop the Press

If you're reading this, stop immediately and go to this thread in tonight's DUAN. I am fucking dying over here.

This is why Deadspin is the greatest thing ever.

Friday Roundup

Some favorites and a few duds from Friday's commenting.

, in no particular order:

In the Wake Up Deadspin post, I giggled at this John Elway dig from Body By Bacardi. The more I think about it, the funnier it gets. Deadspin is the likeliest place on earth to look for a hysterical Mister Ed reference. Nice job.

Steve_U was in some kind of trance today. This Stevie Wonder joke in the Double Play post was good for a laugh. Next, he left this wonderfully silly joke in the Scottie Pippen post, drawing another round of applause. And finally, he contributed this nice-and-subtle song reference in the Cheerleader Hazing post, earning yet another ovation. This is just a selection of the very best of Steve_U's stuff from Friday - everything he submitted today was excellent.

Also in the Scottie Pippen post, dont-forget-where-you-came-from-cheese-mac delivered this fantastic use of the word "title", earning a big round of applause. He's another guy who's been less active these days, and that just won't do. More, I say!

Malik Sealy Dirt Mattress cracked me up with this disgusting Jason Whitlock joke in the Cheerleader Hazing post. Awful and terrific.

Same Sad Echo contributed one of the day's funniest comments with this hysterical testimonial in the Horse Herpes post. He's just so damn good at this. This is a special skill.

Also in the Horse Herpes post, I guffawed loudly at this one-liner from UweBollocks. Later, his was one of the few transcendent offerings in the Bob Costas Blurb post. The whole comments section was a riot, but this one stood out for me.

Gamboa Constrictor checked back in today with another sizzling one-liner in the Charles Barkley post, earning a round of +1s. What can I say? He crushes these.

I have to mention the case of Bernie Carbomb, who dropped a deliciously insensitive recontextualization in the Charles Barkley post, a comment that was just waiting to be showered in +1s. I suppose his conscience got the better of him, because he edited it into something else, something perfectly fine but significantly less successful. The original joke is at the bottom of the thread, and it was hilarious.

The other Bob Costas joke that really stood out to me came from our guy Phintastic, earning a huge ovation from the crowd. As I said, this was a good section overall, with a lot of funny, thoughtful contributions. I can't possibly include all the good ones. This and Uwe's offering were my two favorites, and the crowd seemed to agree.

SavetoFavorites cracked me up with this long, outrageous series of quotes in the Pete Rose post. By the time I got to the word "feller", I was already laughing. In that same post, he and Rare Endangered Vuvuzela combined for a very funny back and forth. If it were up to me, that list would have gone on and on. Nice work. Special respect goes to SavetoFavorites for recognizing an opportunity to riff on a comment without stepping on it, and significantly enhancing the joke.

And finally, Eddie Murray Sparkles dropped the first of two nearly back-to-back Charlie Hustle jokes in the Pete Rose post, earning applause from the crowd. Excellent pull.

Total Fucking Duds

Unstarred commenter WTFisJuice made some fair points about MLB rule changes in a place where such arguments have absolutely no business (the Wake Up Deadspin post). Save it for DUAN, homes.

Also in the Wake Up Deadspin post, unstarred commenter Skillet left this thing, which just has zero punchline. He wasn't the only commenter whose mind went naughty at the word "flopping", but this attempt at humor has no payoff. I'm not sure there's a real strong joke to be made with the whole "'flopping' is funny tee hee" idea, but you've got to do more with it than this.

As far as I can tell this comment, from Brando, in the Double Play post, boils down to "The Naked Gun is funny". This is one of those irritating common starting points for lazy reference jokes, like The Simpsons. It leaves me feeling totally flat, and when I break it down a little, I wonder if the offending commenter really thought the reader would laugh at simply understanding the reference. There's nothing particularly witty about drawing a line from the video in the post to The Naked Gun, and I suppose ultimately that's what's missing. That and any amount of interesting set-up.

I can't even begin to imagine what unstarred commenter frrost was thinking when he submitted this comment in the Scottie Pippen post. Am I missing something? Does this video in any way reflect any amount of originality or thought by frrost? For the umpteenth time, I'll offer this advice: make jokes. Be funny. Don't be a courier of funny. Make your own funny.

Also in the Scottie Pippen post, unstarred commenter BoonesFarmHand submitted this, which is not a fucking joke. I refuse to get all worked up tonight about this. New guys - make jokes. Be funny.

Unstarred commenter SuramaAte also failed to make a joke in the Joakim Noah post. Nobody cares how you feel about the "Hollywood as hell" line. Do you hear me? Nobody on earth.

This is at least an attempt at humor, from unstarred commenter Tanfastic, in the Dumb Mets post. It's a horrible joke, though. Porn jokes usually are. When I sit around wondering why a given recontextualization joke has failed miserably, I think about what effect, if any, the punchline has on the italicized section of text. The role of the punchline is to relocate the text, infusing it with fresh humor and a new meaning. When I hate a recontextualization, it's usually because the italicized text is revealed to be just a flimsy excuse for one kind of joke or another or a loosely relevant, tortured reference. This is the former. I know recontextualizations are currently the predominant form of joke on Deadspin, but always remind yourself that the template itself is not funny. The act of recontextualizing something is not inherently funny, nor is porn or sex or poop. A recontextualization joke works when you look back at the italicized text (if the commenter used that particular template), process its new meaning, and suddenly find humor in both that new assembly and the cleverness of the effort.

Unstarred commenter Zapp.Brannigan offered his opinion of Miami in the Miami Fans Video post. I'm sure I don't need to point out why this comment is so out of place. Make jokes, guy.

I'm not trying to be a jerk, but I really wonder about the intelligence of unstarred commenter phoenix6666 after reading this comment, in the FIFA Guy post. Obviously this comment falls well short of the standards of Deadspin commenting, but beyond that, there's something troubling about the failure to comprehend the post. At any rate, if you're that confused about a post, it's better to just walk away.

I'm not yet a fan of this kind of humor, as demonstrated by unstarred commenter Tark's Towel in the Horse Herpes post. I mean, I suppose it functions as maybe not a joke, but something that at least indicates a kind of humor. At any rate, before I buy into the whole "what if" kind of joke, I'd need to see someone do something really special with it. That might be a fun little challenge for anyone who doesn't mind being featured in the duds section of a third-party blog on a regular basis.

No, probably not.

And finally, unstarred commenter sir_pantsless contributed this one-liner to the Baseball Highlight Video post. It's just a crotchety, cantankerous little quip. It's not a joke, nor is it funny. For a guy who used to be featured, this is pretty fucking poor.

And now, for a quick couple of programming notes:

We've got a Guest Lecture in Commenting coming down the pike pretty soon. Actually, it's been mostly ready for days and days, I just haven't gotten around to putting the finishing touches on it. It's great; you will love it. This particular Guest Lecture deals with a topic I've addressed ad nauseum in our roundups, so I'm looking forward to getting it out there.

Secondly, IronMikeGallego left an idea in a comment over here at MBA not too long ago, and it took hold in my brain. If I learned anything from watching Inception, it's that ideas are like viruses - resilient, highly something-something, and Ellen Page is a distractingly bad actress. At any rate, here it is: I don't do roundups that include weekend comments, pre-Wake Up Deadspin comments, post 5pm-ish comments, and any number of your personal favorite comments. If you feel I've missed a particular humdinger, either yours or something you loved from someone else, shoot it along to me at madbastardsall@gmail.com, and I will put together semi-regular weekend run-downs of all your favorite shit I missed. I think for now it makes sense to leave out the name of the submitting commenter, so you can all load up your own comments like the fragile-ego'ed, attention-starved crybabies I'm not actually saying you are (yes I am). Look for these lists at least once a month, cobbled together and submitted over the weekend.

Hey, enjoy your holiday weekend, kiss a U.S. soldier, and here's to another joyous DUAN.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thursday Roundup

A hearty helping of favorites and an awful lot of duds from Thursday's commenting.

Favorites, in no particular order:

I really enjoyed this unexpected dig at the Rolling Stones from Delonte, Interrupted from this morning's Wake Up Deadspin post. The reference surprises the reader, but when you go back and read the italicized text, it comes together beautifully. Nice job.

MarkKelsosMigraine had the day's very first comment, in the Wake Up Deadspin post, and it was a winner, displaying his characteristic flair for the out-of-left-field. I laughed out loud at this.

I'll admit: when I scrolled down and saw a photo of Bill Cosby in a the Wunderkind post (which referenced Temple), my heart sank. But SavetoFavorites's totally fucking hilarious Cosby impersonation was, in fact, complemented well by the photo. Sometimes, it can work!

Also in the Wunderkind post, I enjoyed this pitch-perfect pun from Raysism. From time to time, the commentariat will get a little carried away with the puns, and in general, I'm not a huge pun fan, but this was a very good example of the brand, and the crowd loved it.

Steve_U's terrific comment in the Mets Owner post is not just a wonderfully sharp, witty approach to the post, it's also an example of restraint. There are a hundred ways this joke could have been overcooked, but Steve_U followed the instinct to let the very strong angle of this joke do its own work and kept his delivery out of the way. He merely points the reader in a direction and lets them come upon the punchline themselves. Delicious. Outstanding comment.

IronMikeGallego continued his hot streak today, delivering one winner after another. I really enjoyed his razor-sharp offering in the Cadillac post - that's just a very clever comparison. In the Lombardi Grave post, his Matt Dodge/coffin corner joke was similarly witty and smart. And finally, his best comment of the day came in the Jerkoff Softball Coach post, a hilarious dig at Tim Raines. Excellent work.

Also in the Cadillac post, norbizness contributed this outstanding, elegant Ron Washington joke, earning a big ovation. Quite a few commenters made attempts at this joke, but norbizness got there first and with by far the most success. It's sharp and silly and packaged with tremendous confidence. Nice job.

Gamboa Constrictor popped in again today with this brilliant contribution to the Lombardi Grave post. Wherefor art thou, Gamboa Constrictor? Your mastery of one-liners is sorely missed, chief.

All Over But The Sharting made a similar cameo, offering this outrageous dialogue joke in the Jerkoff Softball Coach post. Goddammit. A funny thing has happened with my approach to All Over But The Sharting's jokes; there's such a specific cadence to his humor, and the set-up is so meticulous, that I've become certain of the placement of the punchline in each joke. In other words, as soon as I see his avatar, I'm waiting for a beautifully weighted punchline at the exact end of his comment. In a funny way, that expectation, which exists entirely outside the make-up of any one particular comment, lends added tension to each of his jokes. His jokes are funnier for being his jokes. Crazy, right?

Also in the Jerkoff Softball Post, I laughed at this awesome comment from Vodkanaut, who is himself master of a developed commenting voice. This comment doesn't rely on that voice, though; it's just a very funny, very clever use of capitals, both to mock the coach and for a little word-search puzzle. Great job.

This comment, from David Hume, in the Grunting Sharapova post, was probably my favorite of the day. It's just so, so clever. It's one of those comments where you read it and you mostly get it, and you think, "oh no, he didn't . . . did he just . . . wait a minute," so you read it again, and you laugh your ass off, and you read it a third time and shake your head. This is why folks love Deadspin.

And finally, from our guy dont-forget-where-you-came-from-cheese-mac, this awesome one-liner, also in the Grunting Sharapova post. I chuckled at this. He's obviously one of Deadspin's real masters at crafting one-liners. I'm also a sucker for a well-placed shot at the French. Bravo.

Total Fucking Duds

Man, there are a lot of duds today. The unstarred crowd was pretty fucking awful on Thursday. Once again, I was forced to give up on sorting out the duds from a post by Drew. The thing that annoys the shit out of me about those comments sections is the way irresponsible featured commenters predictably approve a handful of pink commenters who don't seem to grasp any part of the be funny rule (terribly convoluted and difficult to understand though it may be). Honestly, it makes me crazy. And I feel like you can start to sort out a group of featured guys who mostly just lurk around Drew posts, engaging in inane conversation threads and pooping out half-formed opinions, who almost never contribute to a non-Drew post, where legitimate joke-makers are doing the heavy lifting of the commentariat. I say thee nay!

Moving quickly now . . .

Unstarred commenter BeerbogganingGoldMedalist would like to point out that the other half of K-Ci and JoJo is, in fact, named JoJo. This reality had already been used in a very good joke by Gamboa Constrictor down-thread. Offering up an album cover as a joke is not original or creative or funny at all.

Also in the Jo-Jo Reyes post (which seemed to draw out a shit-load of bad comments), unstarred commenter CleverName chose to express his opinion of the W/L statistic in baseball. Hey, guy, make jokes. That's what we do around here.

Right below CleverName in the Jo-Jo Reyes post, unstarred commenter DaneIorgy left ye olde no-good photo joke. I can't stress this to new commenters enough (apparently): be original, be creative, be funny, make jokes. Before you get around to writing screenplays or hijacking threads or learning to post photos, spend some time making actual jokes. The vast, overwhelming majority of commenters, featured or otherwise, will not be able to make something truly funny and original with a photo comment. It's just this way. The standards of success for commenting on Deadspin are very high - learn to nail an honest-to-God joke before you move on to the higher-degree-of-difficulty stuff.

And immediately below DaneIorgy in the Jo-Jo Reyes post, unstarred commenter Brotherford B. Hayes bothered to use italics to offer a totally flat, humorless disagreement with a section of text. That's not even remotely ambitious enough. Don't be lazy - take pride in your comments.

Of course, unstarred commenters would be far less likely to drop lazy photo and video jokes if not for the incredibly brain-dead actions of otherwise solid featured commenters like Armen Tamzarian. What the fuck. The Simpsons were plenty funny. Did you write the fucking show? Then why in God's name are you offering what was funny on The Simpsons as your comment? This drives me fucking crazy. I'm literally getting hot and bothered sitting here at my desk. If I could, I would reach through my computer and slap the hand of the next person to attempt this kind of joke on Deadspin. I would wave my hand around in front of their keyboard and knock their mouse onto the floor. When they would finally relent and push away from the desk, I'd flip them the bird, over and over and over again, long into the night, in front of their friends and family until, overcome with shame and humiliation, they would jump into a river and drown.

In the Buster Posey post, unstarred commenter brian6string went on and on about blocking the plate and the path of the runner and blah blah blah blah blah. Call you insensitive? Call you a MORON. Make jokes, or so help me, I will find you and punch you in the mouth.

Also in the Buster Posey post, unstarred commenter Bs Baldwin used fewer words to express something equally useless. I'll be honest; at about this point, I was pretty ready to toss my computer through a wall. When I sit down to round-up a Roundup, goddammit, I want to celebrate good jokes and talk about why they work, and criticize bad jokes and talk about why they don't. The last thing in the whole goddamn world I want to do is write down the handle of some brain-dead fart-sniffing caveman who can't seem to process the easiest fucking rule in the history of rules: be funny. Deadspin ought to be just about the safest place in the universe for rounding up exemplars of why some jokes work and why others do not - the entire fucking premise of the comments section revolves around that one so-easy-even-a-fucking-Geico-advertising-executive-can-understand-it rule. Under no circumstances should one ever ever ever come across this, this pile-of-shit armchair sports-schmuck expertise, in a Deadspin comments section. There's ONE FUCKING RULE. You can't comprehend one rule? One rule made up of two words? One two-word rule with three syllables? Dude, get lost.

In the Mets Owner post, unstarred commenter Dan Daoust did this, causing my head to shoot up through the roof and land somewhere on Jupiter's third-largest moon. Someone please explain this to me, because I'm going to start crying any second now.

This comment, from Maymar, in the Cadillac post, is something remotely like a joke. It doesn't work because most people don't know and don't care that a Cadillac Cimarron is a piece of crap and is comparable to another piece of crap car. You're not exactly gunning for glory with a comment like this.

Jobu81 dropped the laziest possible version of the "Ron Washington used to do drugs" joke in the Cadillac post, causing me to once again wonder how and when this guy became a featured commenter. I'm not trying to beat up the guy, but I can't remember ever seeing Jobu81 contribute a worthwhile joke anywhere on Deadspin.

Unstarred commenter waitscale has an opinion of the car in the Cadillac post. Take that crap over to Jalopnik. This is Deadspin; make jokes, sonny.

Unstarred commenter Buford Justice made ye olde consolidate-the-caps joke in the Jerkoff Softball Coach post. This kind of comment fails because, very much like a photo-joke, it doesn't require much original thought by the commenter. Why would someone laugh at that? Ask yourself that question before you embark on something that is only clever, because the rule is definitely not be clever.

And finally, unstarred commenter The Norv Face had his wall-of-text softball story inexplicably promoted by alftime in the Jerkoff Softball Coach post. "Are we allowed to bitch about our co-ed softball experiences here?" NO. No you absolutely are not. That is a total fucking DUAN post, why in God's name was it promoted? I could see promoting it to make a bitchin' joke of your own, but that obviously did not happen here. This makes me crazy. I'm going to go lie in bed for a while.

Okay! Support DUAN with your enthusiastic participation - it's where commenting voices are birthed and nurtured.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wednesday Roundup

A goddamn shitload of favorites and a nearly-equally-robust helping of duds from Wednesday's commenting.

, in no particular order:

In the Wake Up Deadspin post, bigredgambler used a feature from the post's photo as the basis for what amounts to a funny caption. He was not the only person to go with the "that guy looks like a zombie" theme, but his comment was nonetheless successful. Nice work.

Newly starred commenter Rare Endangered Vuvuzela contributed a pair of winners today. His recontextualization joke in the Wake Up Deadspin post is charming and silly and earned a pair of +1s. Later, in the Kris Humphries post, his nicely-built wordplay joke earned a round of applause. Congratulations, and good luck.

Also in the Wake Up Deadspin post, Hit Bull Win Steak took the first crack at the "that guy looks like a zombie" joke, and with significantly less subtlety, but sometimes that kind of thing works. Finding that right balance of subtlety in delivery is so tricky. In this particular comment, Hit Bull Win Steak used caps and punctuation as a way of imparting a specific voice to his comment. This is a technique I would caution against getting carried away with, but here it really works. Reading it as an exclamation is important to appreciating its sense of humor.

This comment, in the Willie Mays post, encapsulates everything we love about Eddie Murray Sparkles. So confidently delivered, and such a simple premise, and he's the single person who saw that angle on this post. Look, Eddie Murray Sparkles is one of the commentariat's standard-bearers when it comes to structuring comments, but what really makes my head spin around is his ability to find totally unique sources of humor within pretty much every post in which he comments. It's pretty amazing. This comment knocked me over, and was one of the day's very best.

IronMikeGallego had a couple of winners on Wednesday. His Willie Mays comment was right up there with Eddie Murray Sparkles' in terms of ingenuity and strong delivery. I looked at it, processed it, then sat back and said, "God damn." Later, he left an outstanding take on a nickname in the Bernard Hopkins post, cracking me up in the process. So good.

The final jaw-dropper from the Willie Mays post comes from unstarred commenter Achiever. This is a glimpse at why Achiever was once a featured commenter: this was the very first comment in the Willie Mays post, and it's the kind of comment that's so good it's intimidating. That is a hell of a comment.

The Drinking post brought out a lot of crap, but this enormous thread made it all worthwhile. +1s to Tulos_Mullet, In Re Hightower, Steve_U, Same Sad Echo, UweBollocks, unstarred commenter Stads_NC, DJ Jazzy Jeff Weaver, Phintastic, IronMikeGallego, Fendi Hotdogbun, Walk Off HBP, Landycakeboss, and SavetoFavorites for their excellent contributions.

I laughed aloud at this simple offering from Carmen McFanzone in the Bernard Hopkins post. There's no careful structure here, it's just a hilarious observation.

SavetoFavorites didn't stop with contributing to the aforementioned thread; I giggled at his dig at Victoria Beckham in the David Beckham post, and guffawed loudly at this quote joke in the Bryan Stow Lawsuit post. That second comment destroyed me; I was already enjoying it, and then I read "deceased" and nearly died. Excellent job.

OnTheTwelfthNightOfLloydChristmas was yet another guy who had it going on Wednesday. This comment, in the Tornado Video post, is an outstanding pull. It took me a minute, but that was part of the beauty of the joke. So fucking fantastic. And later, this joke in the Kris Humphries post took a little more set-up, but boy does it pay off. Excellent, excellent work.

Same Sad Echo also contributed a pair of winners outside of the Drinking post thread: this wonderfully silly (and gross) dig at Kirstie Alley came from way out of left field, and that's a big part of why it works so well. Later, I chuckled at another out-of-nowhere punchlines, this time in his contribution to the Mitch Albom post. Hilarious.

All Over But The Sharting returned from the ether today and contributed this hilarious and long dialogue joke to the Mitch Albom post. Again, the punchline of this joke is perfectly placed, but even more impressive is this; unbelievably, this is a recontextualization. It has all the mechanics of a recontextualization joke; the punchline fundamentally relocates an important idea from the post and infuses it with all new meaning and humor. The joke is not in the punchline, it's in the way the punchline alters everything before it. Simply sublime. No hiding, you. The crowd demands more, and this is exactly the kind of thing I want to be talking about over here on Mad Bastards All: new and wholly different ways of maximizing the impact of a joke idea.

ClueHeywood was in a groove today, first offering up my favorite of the "Mitch Albom is short" jokes in the Mitch Albom post, and later shocking and delighting the crowd with a stunningly raunchy priest joke in the Directional Wiping post. Holy hell. That second one is awful in the best possible way.

Unstarred commenter FutbolGenius earned a promotion and a round of applause for this very sharp dig in the Mitch Albom post. That's a terrific pull and an excellent comment. Great job.

Our guy Steve_U cracked me up with this straightforward contribution to the Bryan Stow Lawsuit post. I'm a big fan of this kind of joke, where a key word or rephrasing early in the set-up creates anticipation in the reader, so the punchline carries a sense of satisfaction in addition to the actual humor. You see this kind of joke a lot on Deadspin, usually in the I haven't seen a [whatever] that [whatever] since [whenever] template. It won't always work, but this particular version was a smashing success.

MarkKelsosMigraine dropped this obvious winner in the LeBron James/Drake post, earning a pair of +1s. The humor is not just in the wit of the comparisons themselves; this is also one of those "only MKM" types of jokes, where names like Wacka Flocka Flame and Lloyd Blankfein are used unapologetically and with virtually no overt tether to their reference. Furthermore, the enthusiasm of the comment is part of MarkKelsosMigraine's commenting voice.

This comment, from MattinglysSideburns, in the Kris Humphries post, is obscure. This is one of those times, though, where it can't be anything but obscure, because the obscurity is absolutely part of the joke. Obscurity for the sake of obscurity can be hugely annoying, but the joke here is not just "this is obscure"; this comment actually supplies a laugh from at least three different directions. First, there's the obscurity, the what-the-hell-is-he-talking-about, out-of-left-field humor. Second, the reference itself (which I won't explain but is absolutely worth looking up) is impressively sharp. And finally, there's the idea that someone would start an extensive tome on succession with a disturbing description . . . involving horses. This last one doesn't necessarily require any notion of what the hell he's referring to; the incongruity is funny, and it piques the reader's interest. At any rate, I laughed, then I looked it up, then I laughed hard, then I sat back and thought, "Jesus, that's something." Nice work.

And finally, here's a +1 for comment_ninja, for his hysterical take-down of unstarred commenter Tressels_Sweater_Vest in the Kris Humphries post. It really is the use of the word wee-wee to really hammer home his point that takes this from being a funny slap to an outrageously funny slap. Nice work.

Total Fucking Duds

Big haul today. Let's get right to it.

I'm not sure what unstarred commeneter FedorovsGoldenMane was thinking with this mess in the Willie Mays post, but that should have been redacted. It's not just the joke, which is bad, but the serious-tone follow-up that kills this comment. Don't do that. It ruins whatever impact your joke may have made. And in this case, the joke was obnoxious at best.

This comment, from unstarred commenter NobodysFault, in the Drinking post, is nothing but a flimsy excuse for a screen-cap. I hate that. It just couldn't be more plain that homeboy saw the word drinking and thought, "Hey, that's as good an excuse as any to drop a screen-cap in there!" Gah.

It's bad enough that schmendo decided to drop an unrevised, unadorned Homer Simpson quote in the Drinking post, but the fact that this same uber-lame concept had already been tried by some unapproved schmuck down-thread reveals the true depravity of this comment. Make jokes. It would be one thing if some unstarred commenter made this mistake, without the benefit of being able to see pink comments, but for a featured guy? Incredibly, indescribably lazy.

Unstarred commenter The Return of FiddlingWhileJimRomeBurns posted a link to a YouTube video in the Rangers Evacuation post without supplying any amount of original humor. That would make a perfectly fine DUAN thread, but it's a lousy comment.

Unstarred worthless sack of crap billikenmetz continued to troll Deadspin's comments today, first starting a short-lived meme with this clueless, tone-deaf "take-down" of Steve_U in the Rangers Evacuation post, and then, in the same post, offered this wholly worthless summary of his experience of the Texas storm. Let's be clear: this guy is a troll. He makes virtually no effort to be funny or offer anything even remotely interesting to Deadspin's commenting. The comment_ninja had his foot on this guy's throat today and let him up off the mat. I predict billikenmetz will not be long for the commenting world.

Unstarred commenter Balls State Explorer contributed this strange little nugget to the Bernard Hopkins post, to my utter confusion. Seriously? How in God's name could anyone have any amount of exposure to Deadspin's commenting and come away thinking that's an appropriate offering?

Similarly, what the hell was unstarred commenter Andrew Bates thinking with this comment in the David Beckham post? Dude, make jokes. For crying out loud. I can handle someone swinging and missing with an attempt at a joke, even a lame joke, but this kind of comment plainly does not belong, even without a Commentist Manifesto. Look around you! Is anyone else commenting in this way? That should be a huge, glaring clue.

And again, in the Kobe Bryant post, from unstarred guy elhebrewhammer. Nothing to see here, just a long admonition of Deadspin for their "misleading" header. Jokes on you, dummy - Deadspin has no integrity! Get it?! [dies laughing]

Horrible unstarred commenter EsotericPopCultureReference is a Lakers fan, apparently has no gripe with the next Lakers head coach being characterized as a "sideline prop", but wants everyone to know he thinks Kobe has a right to be involved in the search for said empty suit. Yep.

And finally, an honest entry in the So-Bad-It's-Almost-Good category, from unstarred commener poppanegyric, in the LeBron James/Drake post. Ooof. That is brutal. To be fair, this is an honest-to-God joke and required a fair bit of effort, but boy oh boy is it misguided. In general, I'd advise new commenters to start simply and work their way up to long-form, dramatic screenplay-type jokes. The effort to be funny is appreciated, but that thing's painful to read.

Hey, have a great night, stay safe from tornadoes (unless you're billikenmetz), and go lend your good cheer to tonight's DUAN.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tuesday Roundup

Some favorites and a few duds from Tuesday's commenting.

, in no particular order:

David Hume's long, silly advertisement in the Shitty MLB Drawing post earned a round of applause. This joke works for obvious reasons: it takes a funny turn of phrase and hits it from multiple angles, building the laugh through repetition.

UweBollocks left this winning photo caption in the Lenny Dykstra post, dazzling the crowd with a terrific pull. That's a fantastic job.

Tulos_Mullet had a pair of winners on Tuesday. I enjoyed his silly contribution to the Ja'Juan Story post, a rare dialogue + wordplay joke. Later, this joke, in the Chris Berman post, was one of the day's very best. Nice work.

Also in the Ja'Juan Story post, I really loved this outstanding pull from IronMikeGallego. That's as tightly packaged as that joke can be. Confident delivery stands out and elevates a joke's basic parts. This particular comment struck me for the perfect elegance of its structure. Great job.

In the Everyone Hates Baseball post, Eddie Murray Sparkles left another letter-perfect one-liner, this one using the post's content and the player's number to make the kind of hidden-in-plain-sight, how-in-the-hell-did-he-do-that joke for which he's now famous. It sickens me.

Steve_U contributed this awesome one-liner to the Gnomehoarding post, drawing a round of applause. His comment was very nearly stepped on; I was glad to see the offending party edit their reply into another +1. Sooner or later, we'll get around to articulating some of the nuances of replying to a comment and riffing on a joke. In the meantime, the general rule is this: tread carefully. If you're not sure whether your comment will be a welcome addition to another's joke, leave it out. It's fascinating how quickly and completely a bad follow-up can poison a thread.

This is a sharp comment, from Stev D, in the Bad Beats post. The idea behind the joke isn't necessarily mind-blowing, but it utilizes a clever structure not often seen among Deadspin jokes: the punchline is revealed gradually and increasingly. Folks, there are so many different ways to create the tension/release dynamic in your humor, so many fascinating, creative ways to hide or obscure or set-up your punchline. Jokes needn't follow too closely any familiar narrative format - there are whole untapped volumes of tension/release structure that are almost never explored beyond their use within a specific medium. Your job, as the joke-maker, is to pack your punchline full of oomph. Start there, and go crazy.

And finally, this comment, from WhatWouldTebowDo?, in the Chris Berman post, slayed me. I roared with laughter. It's not enough to just call Sarah Palin a retard; it's the specific set-up and the very specific visual that makes this a show-stopper. Great, great job.

Total Fucking Duds

starts us off with this, which is just a cheap movie reference without any real punchline or relevance, in the Shitty MLB Drawing post. SimuLord is a fine commenter, but this is not one of his better efforts. A version of this topic of course came up with ClueHeywood's takedown of dondi203 and the latter's subsequent retirement from Deadspin commenting; in that case, it was a line-for-line rip of a lyric dropped lazily in a post without any real care. This is obviously not that; SimuLord definitely did not just rip a line from a movie. Still, when you reach outside your own creativity for a common reference point in art, your joke really needs to need to exist. The reader needs to absorb it and sense its witty, inherent congruity to the subject. In other words, if the link from your reference to the post at hand is flimsy, the joke will fall flat, and that's what happened here.

Unstarred commenter whiskerbrisket failed to make a joke with this contribution to the Ja'Juan Story post. Or maybe that's supposed to be a joke. That's an important little observation to make before you submit your joke, especially if it's formed as a question: is this recognizably a joke, or will it be read as a legitimate question? For the reader, the distinction is irrelevant - that it can be read as an actual question renders any humor in it invisible. I'm not saying whiskerbrisket submitted a question, nor am I saying there is not a funny joke at this comment's center; I'm saying this comment needed a little more care to accentuate whatever attempt at humor it makes, plain and simple. Or if it's a question, hey, stop that.

In the Bad Beats post, unstarred commenter DraftKing failed to make either a joke or an interesting observation. That comment simply has no business whatsoever being submitted to Deadspin. Make jokes, and fast, ding-bat.

This is a fine bit of wisdom, from unstarred commenter user_21938, in the Chris Berman post, but it's not a joke, and therefore does not belong among Deadspin comments. Package that thing in an email and fire it off to Drew if you're genuinely concerned about his emotional well-being.

Unstarred commenter Johnny Bench Called got absolutely nothing from a well-worn meme in the Chris Berman post. I was recently solicited to pronounce the O AN HE meme dead, and though I'm flattered by the request and tempted by the opportunity to wield such power, I'm pretty sure I can't do such a thing, and should be disinclined to do so anyway. Why should I be disinclined? Because no avenue to humor is or should be closed off so long as there are funny, creative people out there who can use it to our mutual enjoyment. From time to time, out of sheer irritation, we all feel the impulse to say, "NOT ONE FUCKING MORE JOHN AMAECHI JOKE!!!!" But look, if someone drops a singularly fantastic John-Amaechi-is-totally-fucking-gay joke tomorrow, I'd be the guy enthusiastically including it in the Favorites, and I'd prefer to not be a hypocrite in so doing. I may have declared memes dead in this very blog, but I was wrong. Make jokes. Be funny.

As for this particular comment, it just doesn't do anything with the O AN HE setup. Elsewhere on Tuesday, someone actually did make a O AN HE joke that is not being included in the duds. I have no doubt someone will make something legitimately funny from this meme again this year and we will all laugh. But it can't just be used as a dumping ground for whatever one-word description you think fits the subject, which is what Johnny Bench Called did here.

And finally, unstarred commenter Tyler Bray's Back Tattoo went back to the Michael Vick trough for a flat, worthless reference. Think bigger with this kind of stuff. Michael Vick has been used for an outrageous number of jokes on Deadspin, just another he hates dogs joke won't get much notice, and isn't exactly shooting for the stars.

Alrighty. Some days, doing a Roundup is brutal. Days like today. I'm tired, my head hurts, pollen is kicking my ass, and the last thing in the world I want to do is comb through 300 comments and spend 90 minutes trying to think up a dozen new ways to say "that was good" and a half-dozen ways to say "that was bad". I'm going to go eat sushi and drink Sapporo. You have yourselves a wonderful DUAN.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Monday Roundup

Many favorites and very few duds from Monday's commenting.

, in no particular order:

Eddie Murray Sparkles had it going today. This comment, in the Wake Up Deadspin post, is about as clever as they come. In the Mets post, this awesome dig at Al Davis earned a round of applause. And finally, this Daryl Strawberry joke in the Boxing Circus post was his funniest of the day. Heckuva job.

Steve_U also killed it today. His one-liner in the Wake Up Deadspin post was the first comment of the day and possibly the best, starting the week off on a very high note. Later, this sharp contribution to the Ray Lewis post earned a pair of +1s. These were just a pair of the many excellent offerings from Steve_U today.

Phintastic's stabbing joke in the Ray Lewis post made me chuckle and earned a round of applause. Nice work.

The Marathon Dog post brought out any number of terrific comments this afternoon. This comment is just another spot-on one-liner from David Hume, master architect of this kind of elegant joke.

Also from the Marathon Dog post, I enjoyed this goofy conversation joke from Bevraj of Choice. The crowd went wild over this.

My favorite comment from Monday (and the most celebrated, by far) came from infrequent commenter Lt. Mark Rumsfield, also in the Marathon Dog post. That's wonderful. As I've said many times, I'm crazy about these super-simple wordplay jokes. Such elegant presentation, so much humor packed into such a tight package. That's a great, great job.

Hate McLife dropped our final winner from the Marathon Dog post with this gruesome food joke. That's so damn funny. I laughed aloud at this.

In the Ryan Giggs post, I really enjoyed this recontextualization from DJ Jazzy Jeff Weaver. I'm becoming less and less a fan of the recontextualization format in general, especially when it relies on the immediately recognizable line-of-italics-followed-by-explanation template. Nevertheless, this was a truly funny joke and more-or-less required the use of the template. Nice job.

OnTheTwelfthNightOfLloydChristmas earned a round of applause for this fantastic pull, also in the Ryan Giggs post. Boy, that's terrific. Not only is it an excellent reference, but he really packaged it well in his delivery. Take note, kids.

And finally, newly featured commenter Raysism cracked me up with this very simple offering in the Oddibe McDowell post. There's nothing sophisticated about this joke, but how could there be? It's a simple, funny, absurd little idea, and he stayed out of the way. Great job.

Total Fucking Duds

Unstarred commenter Preopsician will probably get the hang of Deadspin commenting, but obviously this offering, in the Blackjack Superhero post, is way off base. It's just not what's done in Deadspin commenting. Be funny, guy. There's absolutely no reason you can't start that conversation in a DUAN thread and actually have a full conversation. Dropping that in a Deadspin post is asking for it to be ignored.

The difference between this comment, from unstarred commenter NettiByNature, and the aforementioned winner from David Hume, is all in the details. But with Deadspin commenting, the details are everything. Hume's comment works not because it says Lance Armstrong used PEDs; it works because the wordplay itself is so clever, the reader laughs at the specific use of language to build the joke. NettiByNature's joke falls flat for being blunt to the point of idiocy. There's a fine line between finessing a joke and overcooking it, but by and large, it's always way better to overcook a joke than just dump it out there unfinished. There's a decent joke to be made from the raw materials behind NettiByNature's comment. You've just got to spend the extra minute or two working it into something that maximizes the impact of the punchline.

Here's another example of that same lesson, from unstarred commenter MorelOrelHirshiser, although I'm not sure an arrow-straight comparison of the subject of a story to a character in a movie is ever going to be funny. That said, boy, this is the laziest, cheapest possible version of that concept, and the fact that an edit was apparently done to this comment is mind-boggling. I can't imagine this being funny to anyone.

And finally, I don't know, I just hated this, from unstarred commenter Lonny Baxter's Delivery Service, in the Charles Barkley post. Maybe I'm just bored to death with Delonte West/Gloria James jokes. Or maybe the "crude for the sake of being crude" thing is irritating me. Or all of the above. Whatever. I hate this joke. It's not funny. It's lewd, crude, rude . . . not especially shrewd . . . . perhaps I just have a bad attitude . . . or am in a bad mood . . . that explanation seems to have greater verisimilitude.

Hey, welcome back, everyone. Have a great week. Let's keep DUAN going strong.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Roundup

Some favorites and a few duds from the waning moments of existence as we know it.

, in no particular order:

Steve_U dropped the day's first winner in the Thrashers to Winnipeg post, earning a round of applause. Nice work.

I enjoyed this thread, featuring dont-forget-where-you-came-from-cheese-mac, Tulos_Mullet, snoop-a-loop, unstarred commenter Rare Endangered Vuvuzela, Eddie Murray Sparkles, and Body By Bacardi. The excellent original comment from dont-forget-where-you-came-from-cheese-mac worked because of its self-aware use of the Emmitt Smith meme. The silly thread that followed expanded upon that characteristic, including a couple of tongue-in-cheek bare-bones iterations of other popular memes. At any rate, I chuckled at this. Nice work.

Hatey McLife's Iron Sheik joke in the Macho Man post rendered me disabled for several minutes this afternoon. I laughed and laughed at this. I'm still laughing.

DJ Jazzy Jeff Weaver's comment in the same post also killed me. That's just ridiculously funny. Excellent work.

Not to be outdone, Eddie Murray Sparkles dropped this outrageously funny joke in the same post. I'm not kidding here - I laughed until it hurt while reading these three comments today. I mean I was dying. I can't tell you how many times I scrolled back and forth between this comment and the photo at the top of the post. At a certain point, laughing became crying. It was embarrassing.

And finally, in the Jared Max post, President Camacho showed the commentariat how to kill with a photo-joke. That's a job well done. The photo is not the joke, it's a reference for the joke. It accompanies the joke. Nice work.

Total Fucking Duds

Our first dud comes from unstarred commenter 1jaxstate1, whom I suspect has no future as a Deadspin commenter. One of these days, I'll abandon all dignity and start investigating in even greater detail the commenting histories of people like 1jaxstate1. I will unearth the identity of the featured commenters behind these approvals, and I will publicly shame them. It's either that or be disemboweled during tomorrow's Rapture.

Unstarred commenter Paolo.Lex returned from the void today and left this pile in the Thrashers to Winnipeg post. I suppose absolutely nothing was learned during the exile. Ah well. And to unstarred commenter CarlCarlerson, I'd be real careful about calling out another commenter like that. The same rule that makes Paolo.Lex's comment inappropriate applies to any replies as well: make sure you're being funny. I would take it a step further, even - if you're calling out another commenter for not being funny, be damn funny. Extra super-duper funny.

I was disappointed to see Hit Bull Win Steak leave this unadorned clip from The Simpsons in the Thrashers to Winnipeg post. I probably don't need to rehash my issue with this kind of comment. It boils down to the difference between being funny and observing funny, and the rule is be funny.

Unstarred commenter dondi203 apparently gave up on commenting for good after being slapped by ClueHeywood for this mostly terrible offering in the Thrashers to Winnipeg post. It's a bad comment. But I have to say, it's a bit of a shame to see a commenter more or less jettisoned from the commentariat, and in the case of dondi203, he actually seemed to be improving as a commenter. I'm not saying he was on the bullet train to Featured Town, but he'd started regularly submitting halfway decent comments of late. This joke, from Thursday, while certainly not groundbreaking and having been denied a promotion or any feedback (until now), at least reflects an honest-to-God sense of humor. I'm not saying ClueHeywood's assessment was wrong, but herein lies the danger of sniping another commenter's work in this way; it would be a shame if the commentariat took to actively cannibalizing itself in full view of readers. I say, if you don't have a kick-ass joke to use as your snarky reply to a bad comment, and without the benefit of personal messages, use the time-tested method of going way back to a DUAN comment from the person's history to give them this kind of feedback. You save them the humiliation and keep this kind of incident out of view (says the guy who routinely refers to people as morons and degenerates from the safety of his blog).

As for dondi203, this was a bad comment. But I disagree with the overall assessment of Deadspin's commentariat; for the most part, Deadspin's commenters are a goofy, gregarious group of solid people, and I think time and exposure would lead one to agree. I'd recommend a return to commenting, albeit much more conscientiously.

In the Rotationplasty post, unstarred commenter BeerbogganingGoldMedalist left ye olde The Simpsons clip with the flimsiest of captions. I'm going to assume BGM is a new commenter, and I'll use that assumption as an excuse to point out that it often takes new commenters a while to figure out that there's more to commenting than searching YouTube for an appropriate The Family Guy or The Simpsons clip. Of course, it would help if featured commenters like Hit Bull Win Steak would stop reinforcing this behavior.

And finally, we can thank unstarred commenter FutbolGenius for filling our quota of lame, worthless porn jokes with this uninspired offering in the Bear Tennis post. Think bigger!

Hey, in case I never see you again because the world is coming to an end ohmyGodohmyGodohmyGod, you magnificent sonsofbitches crack me up, keep doin' what you're doin'.

Enjoy your last DUAN ever, and have a great weekend.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thursday Roundup

Some favorites and a selection of duds from Thursday's commenting.

, in no particular order:

I was surprised this comment, from Eddie Murray Sparkles, in the Ben Eager post, didn't draw any attention. That's pretty clever, if you ask me. A simple switcheroo of two letters, and voila, you've got yourself a goddamn winner. Nice job.

I really enjoyed UweBollocks's contribution to the ASU Undie Run post, and from the looks of it, so did the crowd. That's good work.

WhoDoYouKnowHere contributed this very clever joke to the Hockey Abuse post, earning applause. That's a nice pull.

Our guy Phintastic offered another great pull in the Soccer Set Piece post. It's maybe on the obscure side, but is a pretty strong comment nonetheless. Comments can be obscure, but they can't be just obscure. This comment works because it's not just some random recontextualization - the actual content of the joke is funny, it just requires that you either understand the reference or look it up.

In the Jim Tressel post, snoop-a-loop's funny dig at Bleacher Report earned a nice round of applause. Good stuff.

I chuckled quite a bit at this offering from Vodkanaut in the John Sterling post. It's sharp and silly and I loved it.

And finally, unstarred commenter Raysism earned a promotion and a +1 for this excellent pull in the Weak Draft Class post. That's a terrific comment.

Total Fucking Duds

The ASU Undie Run accounted for a pretty hefty chunk of today's duds, for whatever reason. Unstarred commenter Asitwere contributed this head-scratcher, and I really have no idea what's going on there. If it can be explained, feel free to do so in my comments. At any rate, I feel like I'm a fairly intelligent person, and this seemed completely empty to me.

In the same post, unstarred commenter RiddlerStrikesAgain offered this two-part mess, which is ultimately just a goofy rent-a-joke. I think. I don't know, maybe it's the peyote, but there seemed to be a lot of nonsensical offerings in today's commenting.

Down thread, unstarred commenter The Norv Face contributed this, which I believe is meant to lampoon the jocks in the video. If that's the case, I think it's just too lukewarm. I can't see anyone laughing at that. There's probably a good joke to be made from lampooning the bro-ness of the bros in the video, but it would require somewhat more ambition that this offering.

Speaking of a total lack of ambition, this comment, from unstarred guy Ram Sacked, also failed to impress. Again, there's probably a good joke to be made from that idea, but this comment is just the idea without the joke. Finesse that thing a little bit next time. Think bigger.

This is a common theme today, it turns out. In the Hockey Abuse post, unstarred commenter Big Jim Slade drew a line from Nikolay Zherdev to Brett Myers and stopped there. That's not enough. These commenters all had the makings of solid jokes, and then they wasted their own good ideas by not taking them far enough. Spend the extra couple of minutes and shine that fucker up.

This is in a whole different category, from unstarred commenter VicViper, in the Dick Ebersol Classic post. There's no way to cook that thing and make it delicious. That one person looks like another person is not funny unless you happen to be 11 years old.

Along those same lines, this offering in the Soccer Set Piece post from unstarred commenter Tea_For_Dong should have been scrapped altogether. Where's the joke? Is the picture supposed to make it funny? What about the slashie? Tighten up your comments and focus on delivering a punchline.

And finally, I'm not sure what got into Armen Tamzarian's head, but I'm certain he can do better than this thing, from the Jim Tressel post. Look, I agree that The Simpsons were funny, but the fact that The Simpsons exist as a common cultural reference is not. And offering a reference to The Simpsons is not you being funny. Furthermore, a zillion Jim Tressel vest jokes have come and gone on Deadspin - surely there's something fresh and new in this particular Jim Tressel post that can be turned into a good joke beyond just another vest thing.

Alrighty, hombres. Have a great night, and support your local DUAN.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wednesday Roundup

Some favorites and a selection of duds from Wednesday's commenting.

, in no particular order:

I chuckled at this sharp one-liner from the recently M.I.A. Gamboa Constrictor in the Wake Up Deadspin post. Thought you could just walk away, did you? Thought maybe I wouldn't stalk you to the ends of the earth? Think again.

IronMikeGallego's contribution to the Wake Up Deadspin post was one of the day's very best comments. That's good hustle. Sooner or later, we'll talk more about the way a commenter's particular knowledge and interests can and should color their commentary. This comment is a good example; boxing, as a topic, is right in IronMikeGallego's wheelhouse, and he blasted it into the cheap seats. Nice work.

Same Sad Echo cracked me up a few times on Wednesday. I really enjoyed this comment in the Former President post, in no small part because it thinks way outside the box of standard joke templates while still loading up the punchline for maximum effect. That's a terrific comment. Later, I chuckled quite a bit at this joke, in the Dirk Nowitzki post. It's witty and funny, but the word that really jumps to mind here is charming. It just oozes cheer and personality, and I loved it.

Delonte, Interrupted also dropped a few winners today. This contribution to the Dirk Nowitzki post earned a round of applause, and deservedly so. That's either a deliciously elegant recontextualization, or something I like to call a "re-imagining" and am utterly unable to define. Either way, it's a spot-on one-liner and a great joke. Later, his reference to the ESPN wastebasket-crapping lawsuit cracked me up. Frankly, I'm shocked this didn't get more love, especially as the first comment on the page.

A tip of the hat goes to Eddie Murray Sparkles, snoop-a-loop, UweBollocks, unstarred commenter Bo Diaz's Satellite Dish, Landycakeboss, unstarred commenter Bring Back Anthony Mason, unstarred commenter dondi203, Bullfights on Acid, and Eli Cash McMogulson for their contributions to a funny thread in the Dirk Nowitzki post. Nice work.

This comment, in the Erin Andrews/Michelle Beadle post, from MattinglysSideburns, is a tremendous pull. Terrific job. It's almost impossible to believe how well that line of text fits with the recontextualization.

And finally, what would a Roundup be without a contribution from Hatey McLife? This outrageously insensitive John Walsh joke cracked me up and pretty well defines Hatey McLife's vein of humor on Deadspin. I felt guilty as all hell laughing, but I laughed and laughed.

Total Fucking Duds

I don't want to pick on unstarred commenter Shot_From_The_Musket, mostly because he seems to spend his time on Deadspin making what seem like genuine attempts at jokes. And I have a hunch this guy actually has a sense of humor. Unlike shuttledik or priestinacloset1, I wouldn't want to see Shot_From_The_Musket drop-kicked into the Sun. But he's got to spend a little more time working on his jokes. This comment, in the Facekicker post, is a totally unadorned quote from Jerry McGuire. I have said this over and over again - be funny. Being funny is different from sharing a laugh. Your comments should be jokes, original jokes that you thought up yourself. Later, in the Former President post, this effort falls well short of even being a joke. Despite there being no indication of this, I do suspect this was an attempt at humor, but it's not a joke and there's just no way a person who spends any amount of time reading Deadspin comments would think that thing meets any standard of commenting. And finally, this comment in the Kareem Abdul Jabbar post is mind-bogglingly misguided. What on earth is going on there? At a certain point, a commenter's cluelessness rounds the corner and becomes hostility towards the standards of commenting, and the offending commenter becomes a troll. Trolls can only hide in the crowd for so long (see dik, shuttle and .Lex, Paolo).

Unstarred commenter jello_nurse dropped this lazy thing in the Facekicker post. I can't even tell if that's a joke, but I suspect it's not. Working under that assumption, I'm going to give the standard advice: make jokes. We make jokes around here. Make jokes.

This comment, from unstarred commenter Gord. and also in the Facekicker post, reflects what I suspect is just a total lack of confidence as a commenter and a general misunderstanding of the mores of commenting. I'd like to think that, given enough time, the instincts to a) use stolen lines or unrefined memes and b) stomp all over one's jokes will fade and be replaced by a knack for crafting sharp, streamlined punchline delivery devices. One can only hope.

Unstarred commenter EsotericPopCultureReference had to have known this thing was not appropriate for Deadspin commenting. Be careful there - this is not ESPN.com. There is no place whatsoever for that kind of comment on Deadspin outside of DUAN.

Unstarred commenter sacoplenty, going about his business as Confirmed Moron, did this in the David Kahn's Joke post. Please, please, nobody do this. It's basically an obnoxious, inaccessible inside joke you're hoping to get in on, and the only possible way it could be interesting at all (let alone funny) is in the "isn't it cool we both know about this thing other people don't know about?" kinda way. This is the last time I'm going to include in a Roundup this inside joke, and this time only so I can reiterate that it has no value whatsoever as a Deadspin comment.

This, from unstarred commenter gs6456, in the Dirk Nowitzki post, is simply not a joke. It's a perfectly interesting topic of conversation and exactly the kind of thing people like to kick around in DUAN or open threads. Why not just save it, rather than trounce all over the whole "be funny" rule?

In the Erin Andrews/Michelle Beadle post, unstarred commenter Young contributed this lazy thing. I get the sense that the whole [structured as question?] [structured as declaration!] thing is a headline of last resort when used by Deadspin. The format can be used in mildly funny ways, but in this case, it's just a boring, lazy excuse to hit the submit button. You can do better.

And finally, I have the sense that unstarred commenter VanExelfor3 is both trying harder and doing better as a Deadspin commenter of late, but this offering, in the Bill Simmons post, uses a line of text as an utterly flimsy excuse for a lame, overreaching porn joke. Porn as a topic is not inherently funny unless you're 11 years old. Disabuse yourself of the notion that "naughty" topics make for automatic winners. Look around at other, better comments on Deadspin, and you'll notice that great comments that feature touchy topics (like porn or John Walsh) are some of the most carefully constructed comments on the entire site. In the absence of deliberate and excellent set-up, the humor comes across as juvenile. There are dozens of porn jokes scattered throughout a given day's content on Deadspin, and the vast, overwhelming majority of those jokes are made by unstarred commenters, fall completely flat, and fail to get any kind of positive feedback. Don't think of porn jokes as easy money, think of them as the hardest possible path to a +1.

Okay folks. Enjoy a happy DUAN.