Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wednesday Roundup

Favorites and duds from Wednesday's commenting.

, in no particular order:

SavetoFavorites cracked me up with this wacky comment in the Wake Up Deadspin post. I'm laughing even as I read it again. Nice work.

Also in the Wake Up Deadspin post, I really enjoyed this dialogue-form take on the "walk out with your chicken and dignity intact" line from Same Sad Echo. It's another subtle, to-hell-with-the-template recontextualization. Dig it, man.

This funny Olsen twins joke from Tulos_Mullet in the Wake Up Deadspin post earned a nice round of applause. For me, the laugh in this joke comes in rereading and reprocessing the line of italicized text the second time through. Not all recontextualizations work in that order. At any rate, I loved this.

In the Grantland Odds post, I laughed at this joke from Sheed's Bald Spot, which chose to ignore the odds-making theme and instead zeroed in on something funny in the post's accompanying photo, resulting in a hilarious John Candy joke. Loved it.

Most other jokes in the Grantland Odds post took this format, but nowhere near as successfully, which is why Eddie Murray Sparkles is one of our most shameless crushes. So, so good.

The other winner from the Grantland Odds post came from Bernie Carbomb, and it's another excellent pull. This guy's been killing lately.

cracked me up with this dialogue joke in the Robert Lipsyte post. There's not a line in this joke that isn't funny. To hell with punchlines!

IronMikeGallego's Koi joke in the Rick Carlisle/Jason Whitlock post was good for a chuckle. There were a few "coy" puns in this post, and this was my favorite. Nice job.

I was surprised this joke, from Steve_U, didn't get any attention in the Terrelle Prior post. I know a lot of Catholic church jokes are thrown around Deadspin, but I thought this was a particularly clever one.

Gamboa Constrictor brought the house down with this excellent, excellent pun in the Deadspin I-Team post. He's just so, so good at this kind of joke. And you know a pun is next-level when, instead of a thread of similar puns, it inspires a cascade of +1s.

Our guy All Over But The Sharting took the kick-em-while-they're-down approach to this surprise-ending dig at Detroit in the Isiah Thomas post, earning a round of applause. That's awesome. Immanuel Kant said that laughter "is an effect that arises if a tense expectation is transformed into nothing." Now, I'm not saying Immanuel Kant stole that idea from a blog that came into existence 207 years after his death - no, I'm just writing it. (See what I did there? I converted tension into nothing. AND I ORIGINATED THE CONCEPT.) But this particular joke is a good example of that dynamic: expectation is established with straightforward language and a hidden framework of logic, and then converted wildly and suddenly at the last moment, when the reader's understanding of the circumstances of the joke is rapidly shifted. Misdirection. Delicious.

Hey, wake up! I'm still going here!

Unstarred commenter Robot Jerry Rice offered this sharp reuse of the term "short list" in the Isiah Thomas post, earning a promotion for his comment and a round of applause. Explain that one without our help, Mr. Kant-do-it-alone. But you see, this joke does create expectation - the obvious joke set-up creates anticipation of a punchline, which finishes the circuit with a witty connection. And in our understanding of joke mechanics, the unifying characteristic of things-that-rely-on-tension-and-its-conversion is that the tension is . . . ummm . . . converted. In this case, into a laugh. The nothing here is just our expectation of nothing. Anticipation = tension. Punchline = release. So there. Eat it, legendary philosopher. [touchdown dance] [sprains ankle]

In the Patrick Kane post, dont-forget-where-you-came-from-cheese-mac contributed this characteristically tight one-liner, earning an ovation from the crowd. Everyone on Deadspin submits one-liners - Deadspin is the Twitter of written humor. But few ever do it as well as dont-forget-where-you-came-from-cheese-mac does it every day, and of course, you know who those other magnificent sons-of-bitches are. It's a remarkable skill.

And finally, I giggled at this (ahem) video game joke from Rare Endangered Vuvuzela in the Stumbling Drunk Video post. It's a pretty damn clever pull, and I'm a confessed sucker for this kind of joke.

Total Fucking Duds

Unstarred commenter Now imma throw my gyroball missed the mark with this recontextualization joke in the Wake Up Deadspin post. Honestly, I really have no idea what's going on in this joke. If you lose? Is routine sex with Jenna Jamison a contest? A race? Or was the word "chicken" the entire impetus for this joke? Maybe I'm just a moron.

In the Grantland Odds post, unstarred commenter Jersey's Finest did something remarkably similar, using a very flimsy excuse to pull out a porn joke. Gay porn is not inherently funny. Bill Simmons and Chuck Klosterman having sex with LeBron James and/or fantasizing about it is also not inherently funny. That's the idea for your joke - now you have to actually construct a joke out of that idea. Something as flimsy and bone-headed as "gay porn is a funny idea" will get you nowhere, so in this case, it's better to let that particular idea go and work on something a little more sophisticated.

In the Robert Lipsyte post, unstarred commenter delta490 submitted ye olde wall of text. Consider that a representative entry in the "failed to be funny" category, and let's move right along.

Also in the Robert Lipsyte post, unstarred commenter Tebow2007 tried to get anywhere with a "Bob Costas looks like Michael J. Fox in that there photo up there, y'all" comment. Actually, his effort was somehow less interesting than what I just typed. For this kind of thing, I can't stress enough the importance of recognizing the difference between the idea of a joke and the joke itself. When you look at a photo and see something like this in it, just pointing it out will not do. The mechanics of humor are inviolable. Craft a joke. Create tension, release said tension. Find a witty way of saying, "hey, that dude looks like that one dude."

It was disappointing to see unstarred commenter Telemundo take multiple cracks at submitting a fucking YouTube video in the Columbus Goes Boom! post. That's not original humor, friend. That's you hopping up on stage at the Improv and turning on The Family Guy. Be funny.

Unstarred commenter BuDaMan has no qualms whatsoever with announcing to Deadspin's readers that he doesn't like reading things that are a couple of pages long, which is basically what this comment does in the Grantland Footnote post. Every time something longer than a few paragraphs is linked or posted on Deadspin, there are always a few dummies who feel the need to point out how long it is. Long things can also be good. [insert Brett Favre/Greg Oden joke]

Voyou_Charmant apparently dislikes both Terrelle Pryor and Arena Football, and decided to say so in a decidedly not-very-funny-at-all way in the Terrelle Pryor post. While everyone else was crafting jokes, this guy was just angry. That kind of anger can't be healthy. Fuck Arena football? That's a hell of a thing to feel strongly about.

And finally, unstarred commenter Wolfsheim gave back some of his recent momentum with this utterly tone-deaf non-joke in the Student Announcer post. What a disappointment. The guy cranks one earlier in the week and then turns around and demonstrates a total disregard for the mores of commenting today. Gah.

Hey, remember to send any deserving comments I missed to, and have a fantastic DUAN.

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