Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thursday Roundup

Favorites and duds from Thursday's commenting.

, in no particular order:

AzureTexan cracked me up a number of times on Thursday, but never more so than with this delightful contribution to the Equatorial Guinea post. Jason Whitlock jokes aren't nearly as worn out as, say, John Amaechi jokes, but it nonetheless takes special care and creativity to pull something this hilarious from that trough.

This might have been the comment of the day, from Theodore Donald Kerabatsos in the T.J. Fredette post. The line Mom and Dad are Awesome made me choke with laughter. Outstanding.

Unstarred and unapproved commenter Poignant Theater hit a homerun with this outstanding comment in the Manhunt post. What an introduction! For his efforts, he was approved, his comment was promoted, and he received a handful of +1s. Keep it up!

Raysism slayed me with this Mork and Mindy joke in the Manhunt post. The line assfucking of a lifetime is devastating. I'm laughing as I read it again. So, so good.

Here's your other comment of the day candidate, from Clue Heywood in the Manhunt post. This one brought the house down. Great comment.

Okay, goddammit, here's another one, from Steve_U in the Manhunt post. Man, this one really killed me, too. It's a meta-comment, but it is fucking hysterical. Today included a lot of awkward, tortured commenting, but the comments that were good were really good. When I laughed, I laughed my ass off.

It wasn't until the very end that I laughed at this one, from SavetoFavorites in the Bob Hope Classic, but that last line destroyed me. I like to think that was kinda the idea: silly but mild tone setting up an uproariously funny ending. In that way, it has the set-up/knockdown effect, but in tone, not in content. Or am I overthinking this. At any rate, the sort of casual way it's thrown on there at the end, as if to suggest it just rounds out the picture, really cracked me up.

And finally, here's a sharp, funny little one-liner from Mantis Toboggan, M.D. in the Charlie Sheen post. Actually, Mantis Toboggan, M.D. had a few funny, successful comments on Thursday, but this was my favorite. Nice work.

Total Fucking Duds

Unstarred commenter LBabe aimed way too low with this effort in the Chinese Cheerleader post. I'm not entirely sure why that's supposed to be funny, and I'm only giving it the benefit of the doubt that it is, in fact, supposed to be funny because LBabe generally does attempt humor. From time to time, we've talked about grinding over here on Mad Bastards All, and I offer this unsolicited advice to featured and unstarred commenters alike; a single A+ comment a day will make a much stronger impression than a dozen or more C+ comments. Sometimes, as a commenter, you want to be involved, you want to engage the group and join in the fun. Sometimes, you want affirmation and approval. But believe me, the more you casually drop unambitious, uninspired comments in Deadspin, the more other commenters will start to scan right over your offerings and ignore you. Resist the urge to engage Deadspin commenting as if it's a big party. Save your submissions for those moments when you really have something special to offer.

Similarly, this offering from Helena Handbasket in the Equatorial Guinea post amounts to nothing. It lacks any amount of vision. I assume people are commenting on Deadspin because they like the emphasis on humor and the high standards of commenter approval. This kind of totally boring, indefensibly lazy stuff just doesn't measure up. Try harder.

Okay, so, this was a shorter roundup. The commentariat was not at all bad on Thursday, but there weren't as many knockout comments. There just weren't. I have my theories on why, but mostly, hey, keep going for greatness. As I said, the comments that were great were pretty fucking great.

Happy DUAN, sillies.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wednesday Roundup

Favorites and duds from Wednesday's commenting.

, in no particular order:

MarkKelsosMigraine took any number of shots at Kirstie Alley on Wednesday, and this was my favorite, in the Tulowitzki/Tejada post. I chuckled aloud at this.

This masterpiece from vodkanaut in the Hair Extensions post really cracked me up. The line [eyes dart from side to side] is just so damn funny. I'm laughing even as I type this. Really great comment.

Here's a masterful pun from our guy dont-forget-where-you-came-from-cheese-mac in the Hair Extensions post. So, so many ho-hum puns are made every day on Deadspin, so it's nice to see a truly special one. Often, puns seem to be thrown up just to start another pun thread (which is fine); you know you've got a good one when folks skip right to the +1.

Unstarred commenter Buck Nasty earned a laugh with this excellent recontextualization in the Sean Burroughs post, and hey, look who promoted it! Awesome. For his efforts, his promoted comment received a pair of +1s. I'll say this for Buck Nasty: through all the hazing, he pretty consistently stuck to making jokes and trying to be funny. His stuff needs some work, but this comment was a clear winner.

Raysism earned a big ovation with this wordplay joke in the Sean Burroughs post. It's a well-made and confidently delivered shot at Staten Island, and the crowd really enjoyed it.

I laughed aloud at this plot summary from All Over But The Sharting in the ESPN: The Movie post. The whole thing's funny, but that final line is really hilarious. Nice work.

Bevraj of Choice dropped one of the day's very best comments with this fantastic wordplay joke in the ESPN: The Movie post. You don't often see a +1 from the comment_ninja. Take a bow!

UweBollocks earned a round of applause for a terrific shot at (of all people) Juliette Lewis in the Planking Slideshow post. I can't link to it, so you'll have to find it yourselves. It's worth the 8 seconds you'll spend looking for it.

I laughed very hard at two nearly identical jokes in the Intel Stupidity post. The first came from Theodore Donald Kerabatsos with this funny paragraph, featuring an actual punchline at the end in addition to all the humorous misspellings.

The second came from SavetoFavorites, and the humor here comes almost entirely from the misspellings, but that's okay because SavetoFavorites was good enough to squeeze the maximum amount of fun out of that concept. Great job.

And finally, here's something hysterical from Steve_U in the Mardy Fish post. The reference is funny and clever, but there's no question the structure of this comment significantly boosts its impact. I laughed aloud at this one.

Total Fucking Duds

Unstarred commenter LBabe went self-referential in the Wily Mo Pena post, to my great annoyance. We don't talk about this kind of thing a lot because it doesn't usually happen very often, but in general, jokes and comments and threads that seem too desperate for personal attention annoy the shit out of me. LBabe is a fun, active, outgoing, somewhat chat-room-y commenter, which makes her dynamic in DUAN but occasionally sort of nettlesome in Deadspin. It's helpful, sometimes, to remind yourself that the vast majority of Deadspin's readers are not regular commenters, and so comments that point inward at the commenter are mostly inaccessible to them.

Unstarred commenter Lars makes a pretty fair argument in this wall-of-text in the Sabermetrics post. Simply put, Deadspin commenting is not the place to make a fair argument. That would probably be a pretty great thread-starter in DUAN, but it has no business in a Deadspin post.

Ooof. This is a brutally conspicuous trip-and-fall from SponsoredbyV8 in the ESPN: The Movie post. The "can't be redacted" part confuses me. Why couldn't it be redacted? Is that a functionality issue, or was it a case of bone-headed commitment? At any rate, I have absolutely no idea what about any part of that post or thread is supposed to be funny. EDIT: I'm told it is, in fact, a functionality issue. Ah well. Sure makes the case for being more selective in the pre-submit stage, doesn't it?

And finally, Hit Bull Win Steak disappointed with that stupid fucking "what's the over/under"' set-up in this comment in the Intel Stupidity post. I'm not saying it can't be done, but in this and every other case where it's been tried, the over/under line has sucked all the humor right out of the joke. There was probably a solid idea behind that thing. Maybe not.

Hey, let's have a fun-filled DUAN.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tuesday Roundup

Favorites and duds from Tuesday's commenting.

, in no particular order:

This is a hilarious caption-style comment from Raysism in the Wake Up Deadspin post. I suspect this was missed by some folks. There are none who would disagree that it is excellent.

Also in the Wake Up Deadspin post, SavetoFavorites cracked me up with this scouting report template. For whatever reason, I started laughing at the word "scrutable". At any rate, that's a welcome deviation from the normal, recognizable joke-styles seen on Deadspin. Points for creativity. Later, I enjoyed a hearty laugh at this silly offering in the Channing Crowder post. SavetoFavorites does silly about as well as anyone.

Here's an excellent wordplay joke in the Kawhi Leonard post by David Hume. It's interesting (to me) how something as simple as "Psssh" can add tone and personality and humor to a joke. David Hume is a master of this. And if I may depart from this analysis for just a moment to address something David Hume brought up in last night's DUAN: I, too, sometimes consider the increase in set-up/knockdown jokes versus a seeming decline in just funny commentary. Strictly speaking, commentary is different from joking. A joke that completely recontextualizes something from a post is not, strictly speaking, commentary on the post if it in no way reflects upon the content of the post. That's why it's important that jokes on Deadspin reflect the highest standards of joke-making, and it's why laziness is so appalling. And frankly, it's harder to make a funny comment than it is to make a successful joke. Jokes have structure and mechanics, comments have wit and tone. You can teach structure and mechanics, whereas wit and tone are organic. This is why I can use big words to blow hot air about jokes, whereas I only marvel at tone and brevity and haven't been a regular contributor on Deadspin in some time. Here's something I will attempt, in the interests of hopefully pushing the needle back toward equilibrium in the apparently zero-sum ratio of comments to jokes; I'm going to try to take it a bit easier on commentary than I might otherwise. Frankly, the degree of difficulty is higher and people who make genuine attempts at this kind of humor deserve a little latitude. So there. And in addition to causing a minor existential quandary, David Hume was good enough to drop a second winner on Tuesday with this fantastic shot at Jezebel commenters in the Jezebel Crosspost.

I laughed quite a bit at this contribution from Bernie Carbomb in the Sad Pittsburgh Headlines post. I'm still laughing at it. I found myself laughing at any number of mostly uncelebrated comments on Tuesday. I think Hatey scared everyone away from the +1. I mean, the guy's a fucking grizzly bear.

DJ Jazzy Jeff Weaver's hilarious effort in the John Salley post did earn a couple of +1s, and with good reason; it's awesome. I'm not sure I can define silliness, but I feel like I know it (and love it) when I see it. I laugh and I picture the author laughing. I loved this comment.

Rare Endangered Vuvuzela
also had one of today's uncelebrated winners with this Antonin Scalia/Jeopardy joke in the Supreme Court post. I needed a second read on this one, but it was worth it. Sometimes the jokes that require that pause are more successful for it. In the Pisswater post, this re-working of a popular commercial was one of the day's very best comments. It doesn't follow any traditional premise/set-up/punchline format - it's just a series of funny lines made funnier by their particular context and the strength of the reference. I particularly enjoyed the Rome, New York bit. Heckuva job.

MarkKelsosMigraine slayed me with this recontextualization in the Rex Ryan post. The very notion of a My Dinner With Andre video game is funny, and the way it's worked into this recontextualization is fantastic. Good joke-makers layer humor in this way; the recontextualization isn't just used to target a common cultural reference point - instead, it's used to bring in an even funnier original idea, one that subtly references MarkKelsosMigraine's particular oeuvre. I laughed aloud at this joke. Nice job.

All Over But The Sharting cracked me up with this offering in the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar post. This joke is silly (which I love), but it's also successful for the clever way it flips the content of the post on its head. This kind of joke interests me for the way the punchline is telegraphed early in the delivery; once you read "Garry Kasparov", you have a sense of where the joke is headed, and then the joy is in having that expectation of wit and silliness satisfied. It has a set-up/knockdown effect, but without any misdirection. Different avenues to humor . . . delicious.

Goddammit, I roared with laughter at this one-liner from MattinglysSideburns in the Jack McKeon vs. Twitter post. I'm still laughing, I really am. Here's a very special +1. Excellent comment.

And finally, here's a wonderful, wonderful recontextualization from Eddie Murray Sparkles in the Face Kick post. This is one of those 'atta boy comments, where in addition to laughing heartily, you want to pat the author on the back for having the stones to go with tone and character over a staccato, mechanical, textbook delivery. It would have been okay if he'd said something like "This was an early marketing slogan for Sudden Death 2" or whatever, but obviously the use of conversational style makes it exponentially funnier. That other option is safe and standard and joyless and obligatory; his chosen delivery is fun and open and downright audible. Great, great job.

Total Fucking Duds

Unstarred commenter THEaquino stuck his head in the lion's mouth with this lazy, utterly unoriginal offering in the Kawhi Leonard post. That he survived is plain luck; other commenters in that same post were roughed up by a righteous comment_ninja. Do better, homes.

Here's a clumsy, scattered half-effort from unstarred commenter BruteSquad in the Supreme Court post. Who in the world cares what anyone thinks about the affiliation of a minor league outfit? Tighten up your contributions, friend. Kudos to LBabe for trying to turn that thing into lemonade.

Oh boy. What the hell is this, from unstarred commenter Return_of_Kevin_Mack in the Pisswater post? I have a feeling this thing might be funny (in an awkward, sledgehammer kind of way) if delivered in person under the influence of drugs right circumstances. It obviously fails miserably as a Deadspin comment. Again, tighten up your contributions. This thing is all over the place.

This is a horrible, shamefully unoriginal pun made worse by a dreaded self-aware-slashie from unstarred commenter CardinalDevil in the Rex Ryan post. Please, folks, if you think it's bad, just don't submit it. There's no rule that says you have to comment. I know it's hard to resist sometimes (boy do I know), but you're not doing yourself any favors by submitting a bad comment you're already ashamed of.

And finally, unstarred commenter whiskerbrisket submitted ye olde video comment in the North Korean Lightning post. Gah. This is a losing battle. I wish people would never do this.

Alrighty folks. Have a great night. Goooooooo DUAN!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Monday Roundup

Favorites and duds in no particular order.

, in no particular order:

I'm convinced nobody else saw this comment from Gamboa Constrictor in the Wake Up Deadspin post. That's the only possible explanation. Because I roared with laughter when I read it. It is hysterical. I will accept your thanks in advance.

David Hume's offering in the Play of the Year post also cracked me up. For whatever reason, food jokes work. I have the hardest time describing this particular kind of humor, so I'm going to waste use a lot of words and hopefully it'll amount to something: it is funnier (it just is) to take a target with an obvious vulnerability and savage that vulnerability. It's not something to be proud of, but look: a joke that cleverly asserts that a $900 meal at el bulli is actually comprised of sawdust and coyote-meat could be funny, but a joke that rather bluntly asserts that they serve garbage at an obvious hole like Applebees is somehow funnier. I suppose it's the added characteristic of cruelty, but that doesn't sound very nice, does it? It's funny because it's cruel. Is it inherently funny to strip something miserable of its flimsy remnants of dignity? Jesus, I'm laughing even as I think about it. But there's this: asserting that something grand is shabby rings hollow and even bitter, and lacks the wit that usually powers a punchline - it's not true. Brutalizing something for an obvious vulnerability is witty for the simple truth of the connection it makes between target and reference, and allows for the kind of outlandish comparisons that can, themselves, be funny, while apparently carrying the humor-booster of, well, cruelty.

So there.

Here's something daring and creative from our guy dont-forget-where-you-came-from-cheese-mac in the T.O. Injury post. Okay, so the first part of this joke establishes something: surgery is taking place (premise), doc calls for item, item is handed back(set-up and rhythm). Rhythm is important because it reinforces the premise and therefore our expectations with each repetition. Expectation here is twofold - surgery entails certain specific events x the sequence seems to include those events in a specific rhythm. As is the case in all good jokes, that reinforced tension is commuted, in this case immediately after [stitches up wound] when the scalpel is again requested. But unlike most other jokes, the punchline doesn't hit at that point - in fact, the betrayal of expectation creates more tension in this joke, as we wonder where the hell it's going. The punchline comes at the very end, where it belongs, but that dynamic - where the punchline does not, itself, reverse our expectations - is interesting. Nice job.

Hatey McLife deserved a little more love for this comment in the Marv Albert Recap post. There's an interesting mechanic at work in this joke, too: the punchline exists throughout the entire joke, but Hatey McLife was good enough to put a heavier line there at the end, the finishing touch to the punchline that makes the reader go back and reconsider and discover the punchline from the beginning. These happen from time to time on Deadspin - vodkanaut does the occasional subliminal message joke - and they're usually a delight. This, from Hatey McLife, is a great example of this kind of humor at its best.

Here's another joke I suspect most people missed: an especially creative Olive Garden joke from All Over But The Sharting in the NHL Draft post. I have obviously become a big fan of these, and this one is especially funny for transplanting the format to a different circumstance and then imparting it with characteristics ostensibly unique to that circumstance.

UweBollocks does this kind of joke very well, as seen here in the Bunny Man post: one of his particular commenting strengths is cultural reference points, be they music or movies or books or celebrities, and the particular use of them as something like puns or wordplay jokes. That, and murdering transients. And this is obviously a fucking fantastic example of that style. Excellent job.

And finally, here's another example of Eddie Murray Sparkles's mind-boggling how-did-he-catch-that jokes in the One-Armed Man post. I needed a minute with this one, but it's just astonishing. And seriously, it would take me a fucking year to come up with this: one-armed . . . one hand to type with! Ummm . . . left handed! So . . . what worthy, remotely sexual words can be assembled entirely from the left hand position of a typist? I'd have to leave this task to the next generation, like the fucking Sagrada Familia or something. Eddie Murray Sparkles makes me feel dumb, and yet, I love him. Strange.

Total Fucking Duds

Today's one of those days when I'd rather think about winners than losers. What follows may be a bit underwhelming. We'll see.

Unstarred commenter CornWhole contributed absolutely nothing to the T.O. Injury post with this snotty quip. Nobody needs that sarcastic stuff. Think bigger.

Unstarred commenter Preopsician satisfied our be funny quota with this perfectly harmless offering in the Marv Albert Recap post. Be funny.

Unstarred commenter Mopy had a funny idea here (in the Bunny Man post), and this is one of those times when more is needed in terms of delivery. I talked about this on Friday (this morning): when the idea behind your joke is straightforward and simple, the delivery itself absolutely must be funny. With this comment, it would be funnier if Mopy simply went with something like "what kind of a creep announces his fandom by cramming his hand up a poor rabbit's ass?" (which is an awful joke and would be met with a large chorus of crickets). Something is better than nothing. That's not always the case, and you'll have to follow your instincts in making the distinction, but the sophistication required in set-up seems to be inversely proportional to the sophistication of the joke's idea. Or not.

Phintastic. Phintastic, Phintastic, Phintastic. Tsk, tsk. It's been quite a while since Phintastic's been on this end of a Roundup, but this lazy comment, from the Stylish Hat Trick post, is bad. In many ways, it's like Mopy's comment above. It's a super-simple, rather punchless punchline, and so it needs any amount of effort in set-up. Any amount of set-up. And there's not enough of a connection here to make that line, alone, worth submitting.

Here's something useless and pointless from unstarred commenter gs6456 in the Man vs. Lion post. Make jokes. Be funny. Not one person anywhere cares that you don't want to watch the video. I support your right to not watch the video, but do so quietly. No announcements are required.

This is a big disappointment, from unstarred commenter Freeman McNeil in the Deleted Scenes post. The lewd pun isn't so bad, but does it have to be framed as an inside joke? Does this joke in any way benefit from the use of the name Uwe? To me, it comes across as an excuse or cover for the pun, as if Freeman McNeil understood that a particularly lewd joke might not be received very well, and threw in an inside reference to soften the landing. Don't do that. Inside jokes are bad. Bad bad bad. If your joke needs cover, dump it.

And finally, here's a totally horrible, brain-dead comment from unstarred commenter twinturbo2 in the Charles Barkley post. What possible value does that comment have? What conversation could it start? Would anyone anywhere laugh at it? These are questions you shouldn't even have to ask yourself before submitting a comment. If this is the kind of thing you're inclined to submit on Deadspin, you have no business whatsoever being a Deadspin commenter.

Hey, have an excellent evening. Take some time and engage your fellow commenters over in DUAN.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday Roundup

Favorites and duds from Friday's commenting.

, in no particular order:

Cyrus_the_virus starts us off with this timely dig at Andy Roddick in the Wake Up Deadspin post. Extra points for the rare comment that operates in real time.

Bernie Carbomb cracked me up with this fantastic Möbius strip joke in the Jim Riggleman post. If there's one place on earth where you'd look for a great joke involving Möbius strips, it's Deadspin. Outstanding comment.

IronMikeGallego's first winner from Friday came in the Dead Wrestler of the Week post with this funny recontextualization. Taking a step away from the common template of this joke needn't be a big dramatic adjustment; in this case, IronMikeGallego more or less uses that template, but works it into the form of a sentence, so the joke flows a little better and has the impact of a one-liner. In the Haunted Hotel post, this offering was one of the funniest of the day. Möbius strips and gibbons: only on Deadspin.

Also in the Dead Wrestler of the Week post, I laughed at this recontextualization from MarkKelsosMigraine, which earned a nice ovation. Again, this joke steps away from the line-of-italics template. In my opinion, the joke flows a bit better and the punchline is therefore
a bit stronger than it might be if it followed the template. I mean, it's a funny reference anyway, but a great jokester doesn't let the reference stand alone.

Hatey McLife earned a huge round of applause for this magnificent one-liner in the Dead Wrestler of the Week post. Holy hell. No explanation required.

I giggled at this recontextualization from Raysism in the Dead Wrestler of the Week post. I realize I may be the only person who, as a rule, finds this kind of humor irresistible. Still, I thought this was funny and clever and it effectively darkened something inherently innocent. Great job.

Sheed's Bald Spot cracked me up with this Mariotti joke in the Haunted Hotel joke. Here the caps at the end obviously impart tone (if not volume) to the joke, which accentuates the humor of the reference.

Steve_U had a few humdingers on Friday. In the NBA Draft Kiss post, this super-clever one-liner earned a round of applause. This is a joke that gets better the more you consider it from various angles. In the Butchered Pronunciation post, this was one of the day's very best comments, and the crowd loved it. And finally, in the Outfield Fly Rule post, how about a funny, straightforward Menendez brothers joke? Excellent.

Here's Eddie Murray Sparkles's daily offering: a hilariously vicious shot at the hosts in the Butchered Pronunciation post. The lack of subtlety here is wonderful, in no small part because of the way it betrays our expectations of Eddie Murray Sparkles's commentary. Nice job.

This is a really creative, deliciously unpleasant contribution from dont-forget-where-you-came-from-cheese-mac in the Goofy Knicks Fan Video post. We're seeing more and more of this lately; folks taking wholly original angles at humor with great success. There's no template for what dont-forget-where-you-came-from-cheese-mac did here.

I'm still chuckling at this Margot Kidder joke in the Drunken Hookup Failures post from DJ Jazzy Jeff Weaver. So we've done Möbius strips, gibbons, and Margot Kidder in a single day. This is why I love Deadspin.

And finally, here's a letter-perfect pun from Theodore Donald Kerabatsos in the Lleyton Hewitt post. Sublime.

Total Fucking Duds

Here's an utterly useless contribution from chakrabs in the NBA Draft Kiss post. What possible value does that observation have? Is that comment even remotely consistent with the standards of Deadspin commenting? Or am I missing something? I wish I could say that this kind of lazy commenting is unique to unstarred (or better yet, pink) commenters.

Unstarred commenter ColHapablap missed the mark with this goofy, juvenile offering in the NBA Draft Kiss post. Hey, at least it's an attempt at humor. And worse jokes have been submitted as Deadspin comments. But there's a fairly excruciating lack of subtlety in this comment. If the joke boils down to Jan Vesely had an erection after kissing his bombshell girlfriend, the structure of the joke needs to be something significantly more sophisticated than Jan Vesely had an erection after kissing his bombshell girlfriend.

Unstarred commenter En Vague submitted this needless, lazy quip in the Vancouver Riots post. Is there a joke there and I'm missing it? Assuming there is, this is maybe an example of an undercooked joke, which is something we talk an awful lot about. It's a fine line to walk between subtlety and schtick, but a good general rule is this: if your joke boils down to something really, really simple, the set-up and delivery have to be part of the humor, in which case you need a little more substance. Conversely, the more complex the idea, the more you probably want to stay out of the way of your punchline. As the obscurity of your reference goes up, the complexity of your delivery should go down, otherwise you're going to confuse and ultimately alienate the reader. Or not.

And finally, from unstarred commenter David Oliver comes ye olde video comment in the Vancouver Riots post. That's just never gonna cut the mustard, guy. Think bigger.

Okay. I realize it is now Monday. A quick peek behind the green curtain will tell you that I'm currently moving from one residence to another for reasons involving a vagina. Internet service is dicey at best. Lots of work is being done, and trying to sneak away for a Roundup, especially during crazy-ass balls-to-the-wall weekend moving time, is like trying to tiptoe past a shark when you and he are both submerged in a 15 square foot tank. I love women, and this living arrangement will surely be an adventure, but you'll have to bear with me during this transition.
Or not.

At any rate, hey, I hope your weekend was as wonderful as mine was exhausting. Soon, very soon, we'll be back on schedule.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thursday Roundup

Favorites and duds from Thursday's commenting.

, in no particular order:

All Over But The Sharting cracked me up with this effort in the Wake Up Deadspin post, proving that there's still plenty of juice in the "Jason Whitlock is fat" meme. Later, in the Dirk Tattoo post, this dig at Jim Gray showcases All Over But The Sharting's gift for patient, effective set-up. There are a million ways to short this joke ("Similarly, a Jim Gray homage tattoo features Lebron James's balls on your forehead", etc.), but a good joke-maker takes the time to build a set-up that allows that punchline to hit with maximum oomph. Nice job.

I really enjoyed this offering from Bernie Carbomb in the Unusual Red Card post, and was surprised it didn't get any attention. It's a different angle to the joke, it's an excellent pun, it has character and a nicely weighted punchline, and it got an honest-to-God chuckle out of me. Have a +1.

This is an excellent comment from unstarred commenter in the Broken Trophy post. The recontextualization is hilarious, and he also had the good sense of humor to throw in a pretty damn funny end title for the memoir there at the end. There's a lesson here: take the extra minute or two and fully flesh out your joke before you submit it. Obviously, could have stopped at making Trophy With a Broken Stick a working title for Heather Mills's memoirs and it would have been a worthy comment, but that little extra touch makes it all the funnier. Nice job.

Here's a giant, mostly terrific thread featuring AzureTexan, Steve_U, Eddie Murray Sparkles, Bevraj of Choice, All Over But The Sharting, Same Sad Echo, OnTheTwelfthNightOfLloydChristmas, MattinglysSideburns, Nine Bill Muellers, and unstarred commenters WhoWantsaWanstacheRide, Red Ned, and MaxErnstMankini in the O.J. Confession post. There are some seriously hysterical contributions in this thread. +1s all around.

This is just pure funny from DJ Jazzy Jeff Weaver in the Great-Grandmother post. It's also a startlingly clear example of premise-setup-punchline joke-making, albeit in the form of dialogue. Excellent job. Later, in the Kyrie Irving post, DJ Jazzy Jeff Weaver was good enough to demonstrate that there is, in fact, still juice to be squeezed from the "Brett Favre has a small penis" meme. One of my favorite all-time DUAN threads was 160-some comments long and ran the full gamut of roadkill memes, but the fact is, a good joke-maker can find an angle to humor in all the old, boring standbys. Today was a great example of that.

In the Great Grandmother post, sweatingmullets earned a round of +1s for spotting an excellent reference and packaging it confidently. On the rare occassions when sweatingmullets ventures outside of DUAN, he demonstrates some serious game.

Theodore Donald Kerabatsos dropped what I thought was the funniest comment of the day in the Phille Phanatic post. There's no part of this joke that isn't hilarious, but the specific use of expert language at the end really sends this joke over the top. I'm still laughing about this one.

Steve_U's Bein' Green joke in the Phillie Phanatic post really killed me. For whatever reason, it's these jokes that reference things from my childhood that I just can't get enough of. I think there's some broader uniformity to that sentiment, though: we all seem to respond with particular joy to jokes that skew or otherwise subtly darken subjects that seem inherently innocent. Turning Kermit the Frog's sweetly melancholy song into a genuine reference to pain or injury is just really fucking funny. Later, in the Nyjer Morgan post, this danger-of-taking-things-literally joke earned another round of applause. That's awesome.

And finally, here's (of all things) another Heather Mills joke, this time from Fendi Hotdogbun in the Nyjer Morgan post. Terrific. He took a unique angle on this one and courageously let the audience do some of the work. Robert Altman would be proud.

Total Fucking Duds

Unstarred commenter bofie stopped well short of submitting anything of value at all with this comment in the Softball Email post. I'm hesitant to say "this thing isn't even worth a discussion", but the simple fact is this: if you pay any attention at all to what goes on in Deadspin's comments section, you can't possibly think this kind of thing is appropriate. It doesn't at all rise to the level of being a joke. Maybe, maybe in a room full of friends you could deliver this line with a look on your face and a tone of voice and wild, crazy jazz hands and get a response. Crafting sophisticated jokes with language in writing takes a hell of a lot more effort and intelligence and nuance. This stuff will not do.

Unstarred commenter VanExelfor3 disappointed with this comment in the Softball Email post. It's not a bad idea at all, but the problem is, Steve_U had already made a nearly identical joke down thread, one that had been met with deserved praise. It's frustrating because Steve_U deserves that anyone reading the post will see his well-made joke fresh and enjoy it and appreciate his clever commenting. I can sometimes forgive a commenter stepping all over another commenter's work if they genuinely think they have a significantly better, more original take on the same or a similar angle, but obviously that's not what happened here. VanExelfor3 got lazy, probably didn't check to see if his comment had already been made, and then never scrolled down thread to even read the other comments. In fact, he submitted another comment in that same post only moments later, and still hadn't traveled down thread to see what other comments were made. It's just courtesy - someone gets there first and nails it, you leave it alone or redact.

This comment was also disappointing, from J. Henry Waugh in the Great-Grandmother post. Yes, that scene in The Big Lebowski is funny. Copying the line, while changing two whole letters, falls pretty well short of being original humor. It's not even really relevant, is it? Copied lines of dialogue and lyrics and unadorned photos or videos make me a little crazy. This joke boils down to nothing but "I have seen The Big Lebowski, and it is funny."

And finally, just what the hell's going on with this thing, from unstarred commenter MaxErnstMankini in the Great-Grandmother post? Truly, I have no idea what the hell's going on there. I click the link and I get the same photo. That's just an astonishingly long way from funny. As I mentioned above, unadorned photos almost never amount to a good comment.

You know, I've meant to say for a while now that the commentariat is looking really fucking formidable these days. Months ago, I was pretty down on Deadspin's commenting: things had gone the way of quotes from The Simpsons and half-assed puns and ubiquitous Brett Favre dick jokes. Shortly after the redesign, we published a piece about the apparent exodus of the most inspired commenters around and the general sorry state of affairs. I'm so, so glad that early dread turned out to be unnecessary. These past few weeks, it's been downright difficult to keep up with all the terrific commenting going on in virtually every thread literally every day. Even the gray guys seem to be making genuine efforts toward sophisticated joke-making, and I see half a dozen or more perfectly solid gray comments a day go unpromoted.

So, to all you magnificent mad-man (and women): bravo. Truly. I first came to Deadspin because of the magnetic, seemingly-impossible genius of the best of the commentariat, and I think we've got a present crop of commenters who will make that same impression on new readers every day. Keep it up, you wonderful sons of bitches.

And go do DUAN.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wednesday Roundup

Favorites and duds from Wednesday's commenting.

, in no particular order:

In the Wake Up Deadspin post, tastes like burning earned a big round of applause for this creative spin on a tidbit from the content of the post. Nice work.

Eddie Murray Sparkles cracked me up with this nonlinear, Christopher Nolan-esque contribution to the Mark Cuban Lawsuit post. That's just so wonderfully creative. Great job.

Mantis Toboggan, M.D. rang up a pair of winners on Wednesday. I chuckled at this recontextualization in the Mark Cuban post, which forced ClintonPortishead to remake his own joke. That alone is something. Later, in the Passive-Aggressive Scouting post, this Brady Bunch joke was one of the day's very funniest comments. So, so good.

David Hume earned a huge ovation for this outstanding one-liner in the Mark Cuban post. That's probably your comment of the day.

I laughed quite a bit at this dialogue joke from Fendi Hotdogbun in the Jack McKeon post. It's one of those jokes that gets funnier the second and third time you process it.

DJ Jazzy Jeff Weaver slayed me and everyone else with this beautifully simple re-use of the theme of the Passive-Aggressive Scouting post. That's a great comment.

Hatey McLife earned a round of applause with this fantastic Salvador Dali reference in the Dwight Howard post. There's really not much to say about this; it's a great comment, Hatey McLife is a master.

I laughed aloud at this hysterical dig at Rihanna from Tulos_Mullet in the Dwight Howard post. The tone of this comment is downright hostile, and that's a major part of the joke.

I was surprised this long, damn funny joke from SavetoFavorites in the Mark Cuban's Lawyer post didn't get any attention. It's a little bit of a reach, sure, but once he got the premise out of the way, I thought the progressively less subtle iterations of the joke were pretty damn hilarious.

Gamboa Constrictor's contribution to the Mark Cuban's Lawyer post was good for a chuckle. And really, who doesn't love a good Top Gun joke?

And finally, Bevraj of Choice did an impressive job constructing this excellent Tiki Barber joke in the Football Cops post, and earned a round of +1s for his efforts. Later, in the Jennie Finch post, he landed this delicious wordplay joke, bringing the crowd to their feet. Two great comments there.

Total Fucking Duds

Unstarred commenter DonCherry'sHockeySchtick brutalized his own [very poor] Emmitt Smith joke in the Mets Sketchbook post. This comment didn't fail because the Emmitt Smith meme is dead - many good jokes are made from this meme every week. No, this jokes fails because it's weak, DonCherry'sHockeySchtick knew it was weak, he submitted it anyway, and then used a slashie to back away from it. Don't do that. Seriously, take pride in your contributions. If you think it's weak before you submit it, don't submit it. If you think it's weak after you submit it, redact it and go with something else. That's always preferable to shaming your own comment with a slashie.

I'm not really sure what unstarred commenter istealllamas was going for with this offering in the Dick Enberg post. I get the sense that's maybe the sort of casual humor that might fly in a room among friends, but even then, I have no idea where the center of this joke is. I say this so much, but take pride in your contributions. Try a little bit harder. The whole idea of this comment lacks any amount of ambition.

Unstarred commenter sir_pantsless satisfies our be funny quota for today with this effort in the Mark Cuban post. Be funny. The guy was once a featured commenter, for crying out loud.

Okay! Look at that! A roundup in the bag and it's not midnight! Wonderful!

Hey, have a great night, and here's to a joyous DUAN.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tuesday Roundup

Favorites and duds from Tuesday's commenting.

, in no particular order:

Hatey McLife went on an absolute tear on Tuesday. What follows is a sampling, my two favorite comments among many great ones: this creative, clever scouting report in the Thomas Brothers post, and this offering in the West Virginia Bars post, which earned a pair of +1s. This seems like as good a time as any to remind everyone that many, many very good comments don't get +1s, don't get promoted, and/or don't make the Favorites. Hatey McLife dropped one terrific comment after another today, but I can't feature them all.

IronMikeGallego similarly had it going today. In the Thomas Brothers post, his "brownies" joke was the best of several attempts at that angle. In the Kevin Durant post, I laughed quite a bit at this one-liner, which earned a huge round of applause. And finally, in the Miss USA post, this is one of those sharp, elegant little comments that I absolutely love. Great job.

Gamboa Constrictor got in on the act with a pair of winners, first cracking me up with this Roberto Alomar joke in the Chicken Hat post, and later causing a ripple with this wonderfully daring contribution to the Ryan Dunn Update post. That second one took some serious guts. Great job.

I enjoyed this impressively clever offering from Steve_U in the Ryan Dunn Update post. Later, in the West Virginia Bars post, this was another great pull and the crowd loved it.

MarkKelsosMigraine earned a huge ovation for this awesome, personality-packed effort in the Ryan Dunn Update post. In the West Virginia Bars post, this comment was, if possible, even funnier. I giggled on and on at this joke. I'm still chuckling.

AzureTexan cracked me up with this re-use of the title of the West Virginia Bars post. It's actually a damn strong reference. Later, in the Phony Scouting post, this clever wordplay joke earned a round of applause from the crowd. That second one in particular again illustrates AzureTexan's talent for infusing his comments with personality and charm.

The last sentence of this contribution from SavetoFavorites in the Kevin Durant post slayed me. I mean, the whole thing's funny, but that finish is spectacular. So good. I have a giant crush on SavetoFavorites. That's not gay, right?

David Hume
showed that a great joke can be made using an unedited photo with this effort in the 80s Sports Posters post. So funny. This joke in no way relies upon the humor of the photo itself; taken apart from David Hume's contribution, the photo has no real humor at all. The strength of this joke is the author's ability to make a funny reference to the photo, to use it to construct a creative, original comment.

UweBollocks really cracked me up with this excellent comment in the 80s Sports Posters post. I'm still surprised this joke didn't get a little more attention; I thought it was one of the day's very best.

And finally, this is a tremendous comment from Bevraj of Choice in the Miss USA post. This joke has it all; a great angle, specific, skillfully executed tone, perfect structure, tons of personality. Great, great job.

Total Fucking Duds

Unstarred commenter Johnny Gomas went with ye olde YouTube clip for his contribution to the Wake Up Deadspin post. Observe the obvious differences between this effort and David Hume's offering in the 80s Sports Posters post; this comment has no punchline, no creativity, and no originality whatsoever. It's just lazy and boring.

Unstarred commenter Professor Mean missed badly with this desperate reach in the Chicken Hat post. It rather clumsily reworks something from the video into an excuse for a ho-hum Kardashian joke. This comment doesn't lack for effort, but it's obviously hugely misguided.

And finally, unstarred commenter Candy Bacon also opted against creating something original in favor of dropping a screen grab from his favorite show, in the 80s Sports Posters post. Be original, be creative, be funny, make jokes. This kind of stuff is never going to get much attention.

I imagine DUAN is winding down by now. At any rate, thanks for reading. Hopefully we'll be back on schedule sometime soon.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday Roundup

Favorites and duds from Monday's commenting.

, in no particular order:

In the Wake Up Deadspin post, I enjoyed norbizness's simple dig at Chad Pennington's legendarily weak throwing arm. Nicely done.

ScientificMapp cracked me up with this simple spelling joke in the Gladiator post. This is another of those awesome comments that can only exist in written form.

All Over But The Sharting had a couple of winners today; this unexpected shot at Andy Reid in the Gladiator post, and this silly dig at John Daly in the Rory McIlroy post. Nice work.

PolkPanther's contribution to the Gladiator post was this spin on Tim Donaghy's Deadspin pieces, and it earned a nice ovation. Another commenter took the same angle in that same post, providing an illuminating look at the difference a little extra effort and creativity can make.

In the Kevin Durant post, Hatey McLife cracked me up with this clever, characteristically minimalist recontextualization. I laughed aloud at this.

AzureTexan earned a round of applause for this excellent, similarly disguised recontextualization in the Clint Dempsey post. By going away from the template and starting the comment with the conversational "by coincidence", AzureTexan adds a layer of personality to the joke that, to me, adds to the humor. And that can also be a little trick a joke-maker can use to build a voice - get away from templates and craft a more stylized presentation.

Norm_De_Plume received an ovation for this Ireland joke in the Rory McIlroy post. It's a terrific way of bringing in that reference, and he, too, went with a conversational style over a more direct presentation. Why is that important? Well, check out the incredibly stupid reply from pink commenter D_McCourt, as well as a puzzlingly dense reply from unstarred commenter njndirish. What they missed is that, by writing it as an utterance and not as a zinger, Norm_De_Plume made a joke out of the wrongheadedness of the fear expressed in the comment, not out of an actual link to the IRA. The punchline is turned cleverly inward, towards the deliver, and not outward, at the subject. I loved this comment. (EDIT: I stupidly included Nine Bill Muellers' contribution among the dumb replies without taking the time to fully consider it. What can I say. Add me to the duds.)

SavetoFavorites dropped this magnificent one-liner in the 360 Riot post, earning a round of applause. This constitutes something of a departure from what we've seen lately from SavetoFavorites; his commenting style has moved steadily in the direction of whimsy and abstract (to my great enjoyment), and perhaps away from this kind of straightforward wordplay. Still, it doesn't surprise me at all to find he can rip off a winner in this kind of format.

Steve_U earned an ovation with this, his second math joke of the day, in the 360 Riot post. That's flexing the old noodle.

Eddie Murray Sparkles cracked me up with this staccato tattoo joke in the DeShawn Stevenson post, and later again had me guffawing over this hysterical re-imagining of the contents of the photo in the second Godless NBC post. Excellent work.

Doug Dascenzo's Only Fan had one of the very best comments in the DeShawn Stephenson post with this clever pull, which earned a round of +1s.

I enjoyed this unexpected dig at Jezebel from dont-forget-where-you-came-from-cheese-mac in the Dilbert post. To tell the truth, I almost always laugh at a Jezebel joke - it touches that "brutalizing an easy target" button that, for whatever reason, reliably cracks me up.

And finally, UweBollocks slayed me with this reply to Steve_U's temporary redaction in the Geriatric Mets Fans post. I don't usually pick replies for either the favorites or duds, but this is just so fucking hilarious. Great job.

Total Fucking Duds

Unstarred commenter Wolfsheim continued his recent backslide with this unnecessary and not-funny offering in the Wake Up Deadspin post. It's a shame, because he looked for the briefest of moments like he might have flipped the switch.

Unstarred commenter FreemanMcNiel also disappointed with this lifeless, lazy Brett Favre joke, also in the Wake Up Deadspin post. The meme is most certainly not dead, but this is obviously a very poor, very lame representation.

Unstarred commenter phillyguy83 couldn't help but do this in the Grantland post. Dude, make jokes. There's no room or need for this crap on Deadspin.

Unstarred commenter damicojw left this in the Jack McKeon post. The original comment is bad - it's not a joke, and it's obviously incorrect. But the follow-up reply is interesting for what it reveals about damicojw's (and probably a great many others') notion of what makes a commenter "star-worthy". It has absolutely nothing to do with a commenter's research or their ability to make cogent arguments or analyses in their comments. The failure of this comment is not that it's incorrect, but rather, that it isn't funny. Featured commenters are those commenters who demonstrate a consistent ability to be funny in their contributions, plain and simple. Rather than worry about the details of your argument or point, skip the argument or point altogether and make everyone laugh. That's the entire ball-game.

Unstarred commenter anomnomnom missed horribly with this cringe-worthy, brutally overcooked Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles joke in the Clint Dempsey post. And again, something is revealed at the end about the commenter's generally off-the-mark sense of what makes a good Deadspin comment. It's not (just) that someone else beat him to the idea, it's that anomnomnom's approach to the idea was so incredibly clumsy and heavy-handed and unrefined. Streamline your comments - is this a joke, or is it just me being goofy? Jokes play better. Structure and delivery are important parts of your contributions - don't just settle for the funny idea. Work it into a tight punchline delivery device.

Kid Canada foresook the opportunity to make any comment at all with this lazy offering in the second Godless NBC post. How boring. How totally lazy and uninteresting.

And last but not least, unstarred commenter Its_Jetertastic did this in the second Godless NBC post, which is a common mistake made by new commenters. Obviously there's a big difference between being funny and delivering funny. The line from Futurama is funny, but the comment is not funny - the comment is the courier who dropped off the line on your doorstep. On Deadspin, you don't ever want your comments to just be the courier. Work at crafting your own original material.

Alrighty. It's 11:15pm and I am dead tired. We're having a significant, ongoing technical issue over here at Mad Bastards All. I hate to keep punching out holes in the fourth wall, but the fact is, you'll probably notice a few things going haywire for a little while, none more-so than the timing of the daily roundups. As soon as things get back into a dependable rhythm around here, the roundups will resume in something like their regular time slot. I do enjoy maintaining this blog and hope you'll all bear with me.

For those who are interested, what follows is the unlinked content of Friday's never-completed roundup. Friday was a great day for commenting, and it was a real shame to have to give up on publishing a list of favorites. Here's the best I can do for now.

Thanks, and have a great DUAN.

Friday's Favorites, in no particular order:

Hatey McLife (Wake Up Deadspin & Steel Apron)

ToddReesingsTurfFacial (Scott Kazmir) (Soccer Uniform)

Steve_U (Soccer Uniform)

dont-forget-where-you-came-from-cheese-mac (Vancouver Couple)

David Hume (Vancouver Couple)

Rare Endangered Vuvuzela (Foulmouthed MLB)

SavetoFavorites (Foulmouthed MLB)

All Over But The Sharting (Foulmouthed MLB)

Fendi Hotdogbun (Foulmouthed MLB)

Tulos_Mullet (Foulmouthed MLB)

MarkKelsosMigraine (Regis)

Bernie Carbomb (Masked Man)

Mantis Toboggan, M.D. (Drunken Hookup Failure)

Azure Texan (Steel Apron)

Total Fucking Duds

Unstarred commenter Senior-Spielbergo (Foulmouthed MLB)

Unstarred commenter Duck With a Lisp (Foulmouthed MLB)

Unstarred commenter BigPhillyMan (Luongo)

Unstarred commenter triple (Luongo)

Unstarred commenter elhebrewhammer (Mayweather)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thursday Roundup

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

, in no particular order:

In the Wake Up Deadspin post, I chuckled quite a bit at this contribution from Vodkanaut. It's a funny characterization of Bostonians, delivered beautifully.

Also in the Wake Up Deadspin post, Sonar Jose's one-liner was one of the very best comments from Thursday, and the crowd showered it with +1s. Nice job.

Our guy Gamboa Constrictor cracked me up with this rendition of O Canada, also in the Wake Up Deadspin post. Simple and effective.

Gourmet Spud brought the house down with a terrific little exchange in the Nike Swoosh post. It's an excellent angle that he alone took, and the dialogue-style delivery really maximizes the effect.

There were many winners in the Vancouver Nerd post. I laughed at this dialogue/caption joke from Rare Endangered Vuvuzela, and it earned a little love from the crowd. The picture is made funnier by the unique set up of the caption.

Also in the Vancouver Nerd post, MattinglysSideburns earned a round of applause for this hilarious one-liner. This post was popular for all the possible angles to humor it offered, and of course MattinglysSideburns took his particular idea and cranked it into the cheap seats.

Same Sad Echo had a pair of winners on Thursday. His first came in the Vancouver Nerd post with this wonderfully silly offering. This is Same Sad Echo at his best; taking a unique, silly, unexpected angle and delivering it in a grinning, unpretentious way. Later, he did it again with this contribution to the Reactionary Rent-A-Cop post. It's a similar comment, not just in content but in possessing that funny little roundabout that makes the reader giggle.

The crowd went nuts over this contribution from Eddie Murray Sparkles in the Vancouver Nerd post. You'll see that another commenter pretty shamelessly stole this concept later in the post, and it's a good chance to observe the way taking an original angle and demonstrating creativity make all the difference. Eddie Murray Sparkles didn't stop at spotting the reference; he loaded up the reference with original humor, turning a simple association into a fantastic joke. Take notes.

Steve_U got in on the act in the Vancouver Nerd post, dropping his own excellent reference and earning a round of applause. Later, in the Dick Vitale post, he took a fantastic shot at M. Night Shyamalan and earned another ovation. That second comment killed me. Steve_U doesn't do this kind of commenting very often, where he uses language to impart personality into his comments. His average comment has a strong angle or reference and crisp, elegant structure. Lately, though, it seems like maybe he's had a little more fun with style in his jokes, and man, he's damn good at it.

In the Dick Vitale post, SponsoredbyV8 left this deeply unpleasant comment, earning a huge ovation from the crowd. Boy, that's gross. Excellent, excellent job.

Bevraj of Choice cracked me up with this dig at Michael Strahan in the David Tyree post. It's another example of a commenter taking a fresh angle on a post and packaging the comment perfectly. Nice job.

For whatever reason, I died laughing at this absurd screenplay from SavetoFavorites in the Rotten Crotch post. Where the hell did that come from? So, so funny. It's possible no one saw this, because I suspect it would have gotten a lot of love otherwise.

And finally, unstarred commenter Mantis Toboggan, M.D. had another solid day on Thursday. This effort, in Barry's fantastic Riot Guy post, was his best of the day. That's a stand-out recontextualization joke. Nice work.

Total Fucking Duds

Unstarred commenter Bubbleman! Don't Metalblade me, bro! doesn't seem to understand what's going on in the Deadspin comments section at all. This offering in the Wake Up Deadspin post is obviously not a joke. I think it's the kind of thing that might make people laugh when shouted with conviction in a bar after many beers, but it won't fly on Deadspin. Later, his was just one of many terrible comments in the David Tyree post. Unfortunately, his brain-dead rambling was promoted by Rare Endangered Vuvuzela, which of course spawned a bitter conversation. Even though Rare Endangered Vuvuzela promoted it in the interests of making a fairly funny dig at the author, it would be far better to leave this kind of crap alone.

In the Vancouver Nerd post, unstarred commenter drblair did this, which I find just astonishing. Look, it goes without saying there's just no way someone could pay any attention to Deadspin comments and come away thinking this is acceptable, but beyond that, it amazes me endlessly that anyone would under any circumstances find this funny. This is the laziest possible kind of humor, and I hate it.

Also in the Vancouver Nerd post, sharkmcduff did just about the same thing. Unstarred commenters will never stop resorting to lazy, unoriginal stuff like this while featured commenters are guilty of the same thing. Drives me nuts.

Unstarred commenter gawkatrich was guilty of stepping all over Eddie Murray Sparkles's joke in the Vancouver Nerd post, as I mentioned above, with this cheap version. God, just imagine if this boring thing had come before the better version; would it have been acceptable for Eddie Murray Sparkles to leave his version? I say yes, unequivocally. In general, I'm against that kind of thing, but damn it, he had a really great joke, and it would be a shame to throw it on the heap because some lazy sack of crap took a totally unfunny shortcut to the same reference.

And finally, I feel like I have to include this awful rant from unstarred moron saxgod in the David Tyree post. Dude, it's extraordinarily unlikely that David Tyree is going to read your angry insults. Be funny to the rest of us. Not one single person on earth is interested in reading you taunting David fucking Tyree. Make jokes and be funny, and fast.

Okay! That's it! Sorry it's late - I felt like playing video games this afternoon.

Seriously, go join in DUAN. It's fun.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wednesday Roundup

Quite a few favorites and only a few duds from Wednesday's commenting.

, in no particular order:

I laughed at this helpful rhyming from norbizness in the Wake Up Deadspin post. I may have been the only one, though. I thought the rhyming was pretty damn funny.

I really enjoyed this offering from All Over But The Sharting in the Nationals post, and it inspired a pretty damn funny reply, too. I love the format here. This joke could easily have gone "only a moron makes a 75 minute commute and pays $50 for a crappy seat at a baseball game and then raves about the food" only that's not funny or impactful. All Over But The Sharting found a hugely creative way of repackaging that idea into an interesting comment. I have this thing about media - different forms of communication; movies, music, sculpture, writing, etc. I'm always fascinated by a statement or idea expressed using a specific medium in a way that is entirely unique to that medium. For example, expressing sadness in music without language (language being something that exists across most media), or expressing a specific idealism in a movie exclusively through mise en scene. This joke (and quite a few on Deadspin) must be presented as text. To read it aloud or show it visually would diminish it. It requires text. The specific layout of text is the joke. Extra points for that.

Also in the Nationals post, this is a very clever joke by David Hume, and the crowd clearly enjoyed it. Now, some jokes benefit from tone, which, in jokes, is most often perceived audibly. With written jokes, language has to do what inflection and facial expression and body language can't. This joke uses "huh, I assumed . . ." to indicate a specific tone, which layers humor on top of the clever wordplay that forms the punchline. It would still be a good joke even if it just said "The defining element of most ballpark's foodcourts is sodium." David Hume just happens to be a confident enough joke-maker that he is able to boost that joke with language that makes it seem like a clumsy, goofball misunderstanding. Nice job.

MattinglysSideburns had another series of winners on Wednesday. My favorites were this, in the Nationals post, which I had to look up but is nonetheless an astonishing reference, and this, in the first Roberto Luongo post, which is hysterical and did not require an internet search (for readers of a certain age). I'm close to saying that MattinglysSideburns has cornered the market on obscure references. The thing is, I would never ever ever recommend this style of commenting to a brand new commenter: frankly, it's annoying having to look up references, so the reference has to be a fucking grand-slam. MattinglysSideburns has proven to be a master at this, and so it's a privilege to track this stuff down. But a lot of the obscure stuff I look up on a daily basis comes from unstarred types, and most of it is tortured and flimsy and just annoying.

Hard-charging unstarred guy Mantis Toboggan, M.D. left this winner in the Nationals post, earning a promotion and a +1. This guy's terrific. He has the batting average of a featured commenter. Sometimes, with an unstarred commenter, you know they won't just be starred, they'll be a stand-out featured commenter. Mantis Toboggan, M.D. has that look. Really impressive commenting.

At work in this joke, from AzureTexan, in the Historical Mediocrity post, is tone, wordplay, and the inherent humor of the unexpected selection of David Gates and Bread as the target of the dig. This joke would be solid with any reference, but significantly less funny (to me) if it had targeted a more contemporary or culturally relevant band. This is one of my favorite characteristics of AzureTexan: that instinct for unexpected silliness.

Raysism dropped perhaps the day's best comment in the 75-cent Store post. No explanation required; that's fucking hilarious.

MarkKelsosMigraine cracked me up with this contribution to the Soft Dirk post. It turns out, MarkKelsosMigraine has a talent for deeply unpleasant humor. This isn't nearly as disturbing as the Emmett Till joke, but the cringe is definitely part of the success of the comment.

IronMikeGallego had a pair of winners on Wednesday. The crowd enjoyed this wordplay joke in the Bryce Harper post (and a hilarious reply), and later, this hilarious offering in the LeBron post was similarly celebrated. You don't see many P-Funk mythology references these days. Nice job.

I was surprised this comment from Hatey McLife in the first Roberto Luongo post didn't get any attention. So sharp. I loved it. Have a +1.

Also in the Roberto Luongo post, I laughed at this offering from Bevraj of Choice. I know virtually nothing about hockey, but I'm so glad I was able to grasp this one. That's very clever.

In the LeBron post, I really enjoyed this contribution from DJ Jazzy Jeff Weaver. It combines an absurd idea with sharp language and an increasingly poetic delivery - smooth and delicious. To hell with punchlines!

I laughed very hard at this jack-in-the-box style comment from Theodore Donald Kerabatsos in the LeBron post. You know, there's a way to slow cook this joke that might also be funny, where a lot of elaborate set-up leads the reader away from the bitter, hostile punchline, but this condensed version of it is really fucking funny. The abruptness of the comment somehow makes it all the more wonderful. I can try to break down jokes and structure and why certain things work and certain other things don't, but there's no accounting for instincts. I can't predict when or why or how this specific kind of tone and/or delivery will work - trust your joke-making instincts. This comment slayed me.

And finally, also from the LeBron post, ScientificMapp's dig at silly Cavs fans was good for a chuckle and a round of applause. Nice job.

Total Fucking Duds

I took it easy on the duds today. Here are three:

Unstarred commenter I Dream of Jeannie Zelasko made a mistake of youth[ful commenting] with ye olde video-joke in the Nationals post. IDoJZ has been around for a long time but is an especially infrequent commenter on Deadspin. I'm going to choose to believe that he'd move past this crap with a little more practice.

Also in the Nationals post, unstarred commenter Mr. Met's Morphine rambled on about something no one else on earth could possibly care about; his opinion of menu items at select establishments. My God, what was he thinking? That's not even remotely appropriate for Deadspin commenting.

In the 75-cent Store post, unstarred commenter Don't Bring That Kool-Aid To This Gin Party totally missed the mark with this rambling nonsense. I'm not trying to be a jerk or elitist when I say that the kinds of comments and jokes that are perfectly fine and humorous among friends or at a party simply will not work on Deadspin. The humor is completely lost. And beyond that, you're not putting a whole lot of effort into your contributions if you're settling for the kind of conversational humor that works with your family - we can't see your face or hear your voice or see your wild, waving hands. The best commenters on Deadspin are crafting sophisticated jokes with ingenious punchlines; suggesting that Mark Cuban sleeps with the Larry O'Brien trophy just won't stand out. There's nothing wrong with this brand of humor, it just falls well short of the standards of Deadspin commenting.

And finally, a short eulogy for The_International_Poise_Conspiracy, who was never much of a commenter and got away with a ton of snarking and meta-commenting: The_International_Poise_Conspiracy was the kind of commenter who curiously +1'ed a lot of forgettable comments and seemed to be mostly tone-deaf when it came to building his own jokes. That doesn't necessarily distinguish him from a great many unstarred commenters, but then there was the meta-commenting: no matter how many times he'd been warned away from it, he just couldn't seem to reign it in. Ah well. He finally got the chop for an unnecessarily hostile and totally inappropriate reply in the Soft Dirk post. So long, TIPC. I'm not sure you will be missed, except by the real victim of your banning: Gamboa Constrictor's edge.

Hey, go make something of tonight's DUAN.