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!


  1. Ok so I'm going to ask it- how the FUCK did Choire get starred this morning? Is this an old commenter just returning or is it someone that Barry invited? Can someone explain it to me, because right now, I'm having a hard time valuing a star ever the same again...

  2. I couldn't believe that Choire shit. A similar thing happen sometime last year/early this year with Lauren_Jo. She made some kind of comment about Arizona State which Barry promoted and she was starred. Strange.

  3. He's been a guest editor before on weekends and writes over at The Awl, I believe.

  4. Choire edited Gawker for two stints during the middle of the decade. He now runs the Awl. And he's also BFFs with new managing editor Tom Scocca.

  5. Great work MBA and to all the commenters out there. I sucked some serious dick today, regretting every comment I made but one.

    Let this be a lesson to those newer commenters and their hopes of the much sought after star; hit cancel unless you're completely certain it will be a banger.

    Keep up the fine work MBA.

    - cobra

  6. Also, at some point, and maybe still now, there was some kind of glitch that if a comment was promoted in a certain way by the editors, the commenter was automatically starred.

    Many got their stars in Drew stories that way.

    Could be what happened there, or maybe Barry just felt like starring him. I wouldn't be too worried about it, though.

  7. I'm glad the starred commenters have been killing it for the past couple months, but honestly, the commentariat is starting to look like the Heat's roster. Sure, the Big Three (starred commenters) are performing up to par, but the bench (unstarred commenters) is kind of sucky. It's a bit unbalanced.

    I mean, I know I've had my fair share of clunkers (and I've never, not even accidentally, been starred, probably with good reason) but at least I - and a few others - try to be funny. It's frustrating when your comment gets lost in the shuffle because some jackass wants to shit out an ESPN-style comment, and then everybody's focused on that and waiting for a reaction.

    I've said my piece. I doubt the shuttlediks of the world will ever read this, but it was cathartic nonetheless.

  8. Choire is a great writer and can be funny as hell. He also won't comment again for like a year. Nothing to worry about. The bigger concern is why Stev D isn't around more.


  9. DJ Jazzy Jeff WeaverJune 29, 2011 at 12:57 PM

    When I posted the Dominick Dunne joke, I said to myself, "If MarkKelsosMigraine doesn't like this, I'm calling it quits."

  10. What MKM said.

    Vuvuzuela's having a great week so far.

  11. @DJJJW

    That Dominic Dunne joke was hysterical.