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.


  1. Only you can truly understand and appreciate me.
    Keep this up, and I may begin to think about pondering the consideration of debating the lifting of the restraining order.


  2. +1. Awesome stuff. I was away from my computer most of the day, so that's my excuse for missing so many excellent comments.

  3. Really nice round-up. You put a lot of thought into every single one of these you posted, which has to be tough right now given your current schedule. Much appreciated by all of us. Keep up the great work.