Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Monday Roundup

Some favorites? Maybe? And maybe some duds . . . yeah . . . I think duds, too . . . from today's commenting.

Before we get to all that, let's talk Kinja.

So, it seems perfectly possible to continue to be funny and make jokes on Deadspin. That's good! There were plenty of funny jokes today. But, look, Kinja needs some work. It seems to be a vast improvement over earlier, scarier versions of Powwow, but it has some obvious problems. Nothing solves problems quite like a big stupid list of the problems, so let's get right to it, shall we?

1. Boy is it cumbersome. Lets use a hypothetical early afternoon post on Deadspin that generates an average number of original comments. And lets pretend for a moment that the average number of original comments is something like 30. And lets say that, of those 30 original comments, 8 are interesting enough to generate some reply, and 3 are great enough to generate a haul of +1s. Ideally, a commenting system would allow a reader to view the 30 original comments as quickly and easily as possible, without a lot of navigation - after all, each of those original comments is a potential conversation starter or a terrific joke, and you want easy access to stuff that might drive readership. In my ideal set-up, no navigation whatsoever would be required to view those 30 original comments. With Kinja, I have to click my mouse and navigate no fewer than 30 times. With the avatar set-up and the side arrow for . . . um . . . lesser comments (?), we're actually talking about probably 40 or more clicks, because I'll have to click the arrow and scroll each time I want to view the next lesser comment in the list. That's awfully unwieldy. Add in the extra clicks to view those replies, and it starts to get ridiculous.

2. It doesn't seem to like jokes very much. Kinja makes a lot of sense in an environment where discussion is common. In such a place, one might not need more than the nine available avatar placements, as presumably each comment is an invitation to a conversation, and the bulk of traffic will take place within those conversations. However, on Deadspin, we've long made jokes, and jokes do not invite discussion. Moreover, because it is virtually impossible to understand the nature of a reply without actually clicking on the avatar linked to the reply, one can't know whether a conversation has actually begun anywhere in a reply thread without clicking on each individual avatar. Got 30 +1s? I will probably not know that, as I am not likely to click on 30 different avatars in a single thread. In fact, I kinda like when the +1 chain overflows the avatar limit, so I can just glance at the arrow bar and verify that, yes, this thread is mostly +1s. Got a serious reply somewhere in that reply thread? I'll never find it. Never. The likelihood that I'll find a serious reply in any given post is next to nil. Just play the numbers - as it stands, I have not yet had the energy to pay attention to all the comments in a given post, much less peruse the replies. So, anyway, there's an uncomfortable disconnect between what we do on Deadspin and what Kinja is designed to do.

Plus, this is the scariest thing I've read all day (from Gawker-Tech guy Greg in Tommy's Kinja post):

This is one way we're encouraging conversation as opposed to stand-alone posts. Quite simply, we'd like people to reply to one another.


3. It rather strongly discourages new or late comments. This is the worst, by far. There's a long, very busy conversation taking place in Tommy's Kinja post, and that would seem an ideal place to post some of my concerns about Kinja, but look, there's absolutely no way anyone would ever see any of them. In the previous set-up, even in a super-long thread of jokes and comments, I could still barge in and lay down my kick-ass knock-knock joke and be reasonably confident it'd take home its all-but-guaranteed haul of 30 +1s. Why? Because new comments went at the top. If your comment came early and didn't start a conversation, it was a miss and you moved on. Now? Why comment at all if you're not one of the first few people to a post or haven't juked the algorithm into giving you prime position? This is a problem, no doubt about it.

4. It makes the busy part of the day downright frantic and unmanageable. Because it takes a lot longer to navigate individual comments in a post, I have not been able to keep up at all with the flow of posts. And I'm just reading the comments, I'm not even making comments. If you get involved in a conversation in one post, the amount of activity required to follow that conversation and all the various off-shoots makes moving on to the next post and keeping up with all the new comments virtually impossible. Unlike in the previous set-up, where a simple refresh of the story would tell you whether any new comments had been made anywhere in any part of the comment thread, this system so far requires an outrageous, hilariously repetitive sequence of clicks and clicks and clicks to see whether someone responded to the good point Steve_U made in response to a reply Bevraj of Choice made to a comment made by BronzeHammer that is now hiding behind the arrow to the right of the avatars. And while I execute the necessary click sequence to refresh the story, navigate through the comments, locate the original comment, scroll through the replies, locate the appropriate comment, and scroll through its replies to see if anyone had anything to say about it, already two new stories have gone up and there's just no way I can stay current.

5. When I said before how it "makes a lot of sense in an environment where discussion is common"? Yeah, that wasn't totally true. It makes sense if your goal is to bottleneck commenter traffic into a few designated discussion threads, but even once you're in those threads, navigating the conversation is . . . well, it's tough. Body by Bacardi starts a conversation and generates 15 original replies. 9 of those replies are represented by avatars in a line within his original comment. 6 are hidden behind an arrow. The first reply gets 6 replies of its own, which are visible under the first comment. The second reply, by Mantis Toboggan, M.D., generates 4 replies of its own, which are represented by a series of avatars in a line within his comment, all hidden behind his avatar.  Each of the next 3 replies to Body by Bacardi's original comment also generated 2 replies each, which are shown via avatars in a line within the field of those comments. Body by Bacardi's original comment was something sharp and thoughtful and witty, like, "Jerry Sandusky is a homo butt-pirate LOL!!!1!", to which Mantis Toboggan, M.D. replied with something politely contradictory like, "Youre mom, douche!FIGHTME". In response to Mantis Toboggan, M.D.'s, well thought out and articulated counterpoint, Norm_de_Plume replied, "dont be a hater, biotch". However, because Norm_de_Plume's game-changer of a reply is hidden behind an avatar off of Mantis Toboggan, M.D.'s reply (itself hidden behind his avatar), how am I to know that the point has already been made in this discussion that people who don't call Jerry Sandusky a homo butt-pirate are, in fact, haters, unless I read all the replies in Mantis Toboggan, M.D.'s off-shoot of a conversation thread before joining in the original conversation with Body by Bacardi to expressly make the point that anyone who disagrees with his excellent thought-exercise is a straight-up buster-ass hater? That's a hell of a lot of work. It is not unreasonable to expect that the same point could be made several times within the same discussion without anyone actually knowing about it. Why? Because instead of fostering one big conversation between multiple participants, it breaks conversations down into mostly invisible tangents.

And who's to say how many of those replies-to-replies are just "good point" or "nice one" or "go fist a dead monkey's ass"? Yes, the algorithm is supposed to know the difference between a useful, intelligent response and the monosyllabic grunting of the average Gawker commenter a brain-dead moron, but this example needn't include all those preposterous examples above. Whether the algorithm likes the conversation or not, it still will not be possible for me, the reader, to have any idea whether the list of replies to the replies is worth going through to make sure no one has already explained the importance of the trajectory of Comet WhatTheFuck to understanding the tidal shifts of Lake MumbleGrumble in Krzkrszrstiusjkszstan. When I comment, I'm explaining that fucking shit in full detail. No way I'm bothering to sift through a confusing maze of arrows and avatars to make sure the point hasn't already been made. Now, instead of engaging someone in the exact topic at hand, I'm just rehashing it. Instead of conversation, you've got a pointless, disorienting echo chamber. And all you need to do to confirm this will happen is look at Tommy's Kinja post - the same point is made over and over and over again, sometimes within the same discussion thread, because no regular sane adult has the time to navigate through the whole mess before posting their own thought.

So, yeah. It's not perfect. I'm sure there will be improvements as Kinja is battle-tested, and I trust the editors and moderators and commenters of Deadspin (among all Gawker sites) to have the intellect, wisdom, patience, and creativity to make this thing work one way or another. It needs tweaking, and it sounds like the folks in charge know about it.

Favorites, in no particular order:

Here's a great reference from UweBollocks in the Daily Screencap post. I laughed pretty hard at this.

All Over But The Sharting had two funny comments today: first, this over-the-top dig at Josh Beckett in the Daily Screencap post, and an unexpected Olive Garden joke in Tommy's Kinja post.

I laughed out loud at this contribution from Bevraj of Choice in the Saudi Women post. So good.

Here's a dig at Jim Gray from Same Sad Echo in the Saudi Women post. This joke is funny the whole way, from beginning to end, and the Jim Gray bit is just a nice finish.

DubaiAtNight cracked me up with this joke in the Saudi Women post, which has a lot in common with Same Sad Echo's effort above, with a different kicker at the end. It's tricky to know which came first, but they obviously rely on different punchlines altogether. 

I really love this gotcha set-up from [person's] [thing] in the Prison Rape Jokes post. If there were stars, this guy would be well on his way to another one.

Total Fucking Duds

Obviously, this is a horrible piece of shit from Triumph of the Will Clark in the Sandusky Complaining post, and look, he really ought to know better. Not much more needs to be said about it than that. 

Sorry if I missed anything special today. It really is a huge pain in the ass finding comments in Kinja so far. I'm sure I'll get used to it over time. In the meantime, if there's a great joke in there and you want it in the Roundup, post it in the comments.

Have a great night!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Friday Roundup

A bunch of favorites and a smattering of duds from today's commenting.

Favorites, in no particular order:

Here's a damn funny riff on one of the letters in the Sandusky Love Letters post from unstarred commenter [person's] [thing]. That's great work. For his efforts, the comment was promoted and applauded.

Gamboa Constrictor dropped this insensitive one-liner in the J.R. Smith post, and later contributed an equally successful one-liner to the Yankee Brow post. Gamboa Constrictor can do all kinds of jokes, but I think of this kind of stuff as being in his wheelhouse. He's definitely one of Deadspin's great one-liner artists.

Same Sad Echo cracked me up with "[long stare]" in this quick dialogue joke in the Stern & Murdoch post. It's those little touches - the non-dialogue in this comment imparts personality by way of awkwardness and also establishes timing, which is difficult to do in a written joke. Later, I chuckled at this very silly rewrite in the SI Layoffs post. Jesus, look at that pink reply. That might be the most dense person on earth.

Unstarred guy Derrick_Roses_Are_Free earned a promotion for this excellent riff in the Tickle Monster T-Shirt post. We talk a lot about brevity, and other times we celebrate language and set-up and personality, and the job of the commenter is to decide what kind of approach to take with each new offering. In this case, virtually no set-up was used and none was required. Nice job.

Also in the Tickle Monster T-Shirt post, Sponsored by V8 brought the house down with this simple nod at a funny quirk from the post's accompanying photograph. This is really great. It's just a beautiful plain-language approach that imparts just the right amount of story, letting the reader connect the dots in more ways than one.

Lionel Osbourne had it going today, cracking me up twice in the same post: this is a hilarious glimpse into the future, and this is a successfully dark dig at Frank Deford, and they're both from the SI Layoffs post. That's great hustle. I actually laughed more at the Deford joke, though the later joke received more attention. Later, in the Yankee Brow post, his one-liner was among the very best of what was an especially strong comments section.

I really enjoyed this dialogue joke from Raysism in the SI Layoffs post. I'm still chuckling. In the Big Collision post, I suppose I'm the only person who laughed at this simple fat joke. There's an argument to be made that fat jokes are every bit as insensitive and inappropriate as race jokes, but I'm ashamed to say I am a total sucker for fat jokes. Like North Korea jokes, they rely upon that kick-em-when-they're-down characteristic that, for whatever reason, is irresistible to me (and apparently at least a few others). I am ten times more likely to laugh at a mean joke aimed at a vulnerable target, which makes me a fucking scumbag.

Here's another fat joke, this one from Mantis Toboggan, M.D., also from the Big Collision post. Though it's a short caption, it still has the element of surprise - nothing in the post or the picture hints at this joke, and even though it relies upon a familiar saying, Mantis Toboggan, M.D. still brought that familiar saying into the joke from somewhere totally outside the material in the post. Sometimes, that's enough to create just enough lag in the reader's comprehension that the punchline gets on them before they see it coming, and that usually makes for a funnier joke.

UweBollocks got in on the fat jokes with this outstanding wordplay joke, also in the Big Collision post. See how the mechanics of this joke are opposite those of the previous one? Upon reading the word "vegetable", you're immediately on the path to the punchline, and some of the joy you get in finishing the joke is the fun of getting there with the joke, sort of like singing along at a concert or grinning like a jerk after shouting "OH!" during the Star-Spangled Banner. Sometimes it feels good to go there together, and that's never more true than when "there" is the punchline of a great joke.

This is virtually the same action as that Mantis Toboggan, M.D. joke above, from the same post, only this one is from taco_mailman. There's no reason two people can't both go with the exact same format in the same post, so long as both of them have strong, original material to fill in the template. This is how comedy pyramids are built. When it happens outside of an obvious pyramid, we sometimes mistake it for a hack-job, but it's totally not. Anyway, this joke came first, and they're both damn funny.

And finally, Norm_De_Plume stopped by to contribute this terrific one-liner in the Yankee Brow post. Stay a while, won't you? This post was ripe for puns and wordplay jokes, and the commentariat really delivered.

Total Fucking Duds

You wouldn't believe the shit I had to deal with in assembling this godforsaken Roundup tonight. The obvious workaround for the problem of hidden URLs was unavailable to me on this stupid Mac laptop, so my eventual solution involved Word, Excel, and teaching myself Visual Basic coding. I wish I were kidding. Then, then, Blogger decided it would be a good idea to white out 95% of the text of this stupid thing. Did I have to go back and re-write whole sections of it in HTML? Did that involve having to teach myself HTML? You really have to love Blogger - it's not enough that I have to look at those stupid and totally random double-spaces between paragraphs, now it's decided to randomly code in a background color of white for whole sections of text. Fuck you, Blogger. Okay? Fuck. You. 

Three duds today, all from the unstarred crowd. Sadly, this will be the last Roundup in which there will be any distinction between featured and unstarred commenters. As of Monday, all you rotten fucks will be thrown into the same heap, and there'll be nothing but the strength of your comments to separate you. I, for one, will miss the bling.

Before I get on with the duds, on a serious note, I'd just like to say that the featured commenters on Deadspin have been the funniest, most impressive group of jokers and, in fact, sayers-of-things anywhere on the internet, and I feel incredibly flattered that I'm losing the same badge of excellence that has been hard-earned by so many amazingly talented people. Deadspin is just a goofball website, I suppose, but the fact is, whatever it is right now, at its very best, it is because of a succession of wonderful writers and editors, an under-appreciated crop of razor-sharp ninjas who amassed an almost impeccable record of moderating the conversation, and the most magnificent blend of brilliant, evil, brilliant, totally evil and depraved commenters ever known to mankind. I have every confidence this group can keep it going come Monday, and I hope you will, because if it stops here, it doesn't exist anywhere else. Take a bow, you sons of bitches - that silly little star meant you were the tits. And you really were.

Now, about those duds:

I'm actually chuckling at this awkward, unwelcome blurt from unstarred commenter toiletting in the Sportscentre post. One of my saddest regrets about the era of commenting stars is that no one seemed to take the challenge of creating a "so bad he's good" account and steering it to stardom. The closest we ever got was Stev D, who genuinely did pull off an incredible number of "it's funny because he's so dense" jokes over a long period of time, but never went so far as actually dressing up his comments with disastrous grammar and spelling.

Jesus Christ, will people shut the fuck up about the "melons" or "jugs" or "rack" in the fucking Cigar Guy post from earlier this week? You people need to get laid, seriously. Unstarred degenerate Jame Gumb has been beating the drum on tracking down this pair of anonymous breasts for consecutive days now. And his commenting history is embarrassingly full of this kind of coarse-in-a-bad-way stuff. I'd like to know who approved this schmuck, and I'd like fart on that person's breakfast plate.

And finally, what would a week of Roundups be without an example of a brutally clumsy, utterly butchered video joke. I'd like to thank unstarred guy revolverx in the Bogus Lawsuit post for giving us the worst comment of the day. Seriously, what the fuck is that?

Hey guys, have the weekend of your lives. Take the time to give a shout out to the ninjas tonight in DUAN - from the look of things, they're about to go underground, big time. I know I'll miss 'em - the Charlie Weis Fupa incident was one of the greatest moments in Deadspin history.


Friday, June 22, 2012

Thursday Roundup

A few favorites and a dud or two from today's commenting.

Favorites, in no particular order:

Here's a great dig at Bleacher Report from Eddie Murray Sparkles in the, um, Bleacher Report post. Sometimes, a commenter will create a false premise for their joke and wind up with something annoying and forced. Other times, the whole thing comes together, and the set-up is stronger for introducing a circumstance that both leads us to and obscures the punchline at the same time.

Gamboa Constrictor went deadpan for this wordplay joke in the Aroldis Chapman post, and it worked. It's also no surprise the next commenter was the first to praise it, because . . .

This is apparently what newly starred commenter John Owens does, as with this evil reference in the Aroldis Chapman post. In no time flat, John Owens has established his wheelhouse, and it is the goofy plain-language wordplay joke. Congratulations on that star, and keep 'em coming. Do you.

Boy, this is just terrific, from Sponsored by V8 in the Amendola's Plates post. This is something completely different. Right now, today, Sponsored by V8 could sell a million bumper stickers and a million t-shirts with that joke right there. That's the kind of thing that slays the audience on The Tonight Show. Bravo.

Along those same lines, here's a humdinger from Blast it, Biggs, also in the Amendola's Plates post. This was the post that got everyone going today. There were any number of solid, funny jokes in there, plus more than a few stand-outs. This joke lacks the visual element of the one above, but it relies upon the same device, and is every bit as funny.

Raysism killed me with this (also in the Amendola's Plates post), a joke that benefits from the frequently-mentioned cognitive blip, that briefest of delays when our brain reassembles the working parts of the joke. That delay can be a powerful accelerant for a great punchline, like the backdraft before the explosion. Great, great joke. Later, in the Juwan Howard post, he dropped this brutally gruesome misunderstanding gag, causing me to create quite a scene at my computer this afternoon. Not yet finished, he turned a bad wordplay joke into a winner by handing it over to an easy target in the Craig James post. Any number of gray commenters would have made that line their own, and it would have been goofy, but by putting those goofy words in the mouth of a readily available target and repurposing them as an utterance of flagrant stupidity, he put the joke on the speaker and not on the words themselves. That all makes perfect sense in my head.

Here's a simple, silly, and effective satire of Joe Amendola's ineptitude from Orange and Palindromic in the Amendola's Plates post. One of the very best things about Deadspin's commentariat is how many different angles to the same theme can be found within a single post or on a single day. A topic is tapped at the point when we start to see just the same angles over and over again. Obviously, Joe Amendola-is-a-hopeless-doofus still has a ways to go.

And finally, there's just no way I can wrap up the favorites without highlighting this appearance by our guy Sean Newell in the Amendola's Plates post. My friends are getting tired of hearing about how a writer on Deadspin once wrote for Mad Bastards All, but I still remind them every time they come in to tighten my straight-jacket.

Total Fucking Duds

I've been going round and round with this joke from snoop-a-loop in the Aroldis Chapman post. I can't make sense of it as a pun, and I'm pretty sure "fidel" is not a word, just a name. If that's the joke, or if I'm totally missing it, please, someone let me know in the comments. When I read it, and when I take into account the fact that "fidel" is not the root word of "fidelity" (which seems to be what this joke is going for), I gain the impression of a desperately flimsy pun based on a made-up word, and I cringe. I hope I'm wrong.

And here's something totally useless and inane from unstarred guy thedavidmurray in the Craig James post. I don't know what that is. A conversation starter? Internal monologue? It's very clearly neither joking nor commentary. Would that be considered anything close to funny or sharp or poignant or even particularly interesting in any room of people anywhere in the world? God, I hope not.

Alrighty, folks! Sleep well and wake ready to make funny. Nighty-night (something about DUAN).

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Wednesday Roundup

Some favorites and maybe a handful of duds from today's commenting.

Favorites, in no particular order:

Steve U cracked me up with this awesome little screenplay joke in the Pedobear post. The Ursa Minor punchline is gold, but there's obviously quite a bit of humor packed in things like the imagery in the set-up and the line "[ears prick up]". Later, here's a seemingly more straightforward dig at Dan Marino in the Golfin' Dolphin post. Even this joke, though, reflects that savvy little instinct to impart a specific voice to the idea, to resist the urge to spell out the reference too explicitly, to elevate it beyond just the idea for the joke into, well, a successful joke. This is how the big kids do it.

Similarly, Same Sad Echo uses minimal set-up and still manages to turn a simple reference/dig into a funny joke with genuine personality, also in the Pedobear post. How many grey commenters would have gone with something totally flat like "I haven't seen someone shuffle around pretending to be a bear this much since Jay Cutler's last game!!1!1"? Many. And then it would have just been a solid pull hidden in a clumsy, overcooked set-up. Again, this is how you become featured.

Unstarred (for now) guy Southern Dandy dropped this outstanding gag in the Holley Mangold post, earning a promotion and a huge round of applause. I laughed aloud at this. So good.

Another day, another brutally insensitive recontextualization from IronMikeGallego, this one in the Holley Mangold post. What the hell's wrong with this guy? HAVE YOU NO SENSE OF DECENCY, SIR? No, seriously, I had quite the laugh at this one. Keep 'em coming.

Madoffs Mets contributed this humdinger in the Sandusky Testimony post, earning a whopping mega-haul of +1s.  Once a day I come thisclose to putting something from Madoffs Mets in the duds, but there is no question the guy is capable of downright sensational jokes. This was one of today's very best.

For my money, this is the comment of the day, from BronzeHammer in the Sandusky Testimony post. It's a wordplay joke, yes, but it has a downright AzureTexan-ian juxtaposition of language and tone versus punchline. I love, love, love that delivery. There's so much to like about this joke: the tone successfully obscures the nature of the joke, creating that always-wonderful cognitive delay as the reader discovers that it is, in fact, essentially a pun. I could go on and on. Great joke. Also today, BronzeHammer did this, which is outstanding. Some days, it all comes together, and when that happens, it feels wonderful. BronzeHammer had that day today. Congratulations.

Here's something wonderfully silly and out-there from The Amazing Sneijderman in the Sandusky Testimony post. The great thing about the dialogue- and screenplay-style jokes is they allow you to really get in there and work on an idea, to take something whacky and daring and creative, or something flimsy and fragile but promising, and apply your craft and work at it and massage it into something great. There's simply no way to make this joke as a one-liner or a recontextualization or anything elegant or austere. It needs a big play area, if you will, and The Amazing Sneijderman gave it that and made it work.

None of this should in any way discourage any of you from making the very straightforward puns and quips and references that power Deadspin's commentary on a daily basis - here's a great little one-liner from  Pornstars-for-Wilbon in the Tyler Hansbrough post. I had a chuckle at this one. Simple, unembellished, effective.

I love this comment, from unstarred guy John Owens in the Colorado Springs post. Charming and silly and reserved - this is a terrific, terrific joke, a keep-an-eye-on-this-guy quality joke. Look how beautifully identifiable the pieces of this joke are, laid out in perfect order and with perfect timing - premise, then a rapid set-up, followed immediately by a confidently delivered knockdown. Beautiful. For a relatively lukewarm idea, I laughed quite a bit at the end product. Really great job.

Total Fucking Duds

One dud today, and I hate only going with one dud, because it's got to be embarrassing as shit for the poor sonofabitch who made the cut, in the alternate universe where this nightly Roundup is anything but masturbation-fodder for roughly forty staggeringly lonely goofballs in an embarrassingly obscure corner of the internet. Still, this one dud is a good lesson for everyone about knowing when to say when and understanding that making cheap cosmetic changes to a desperately flimsy joke will not hide or really in any way obscure its fundamental suckitude.

And so, in service to that lesson, I offer this godawful effort from cobra, brah! in the Pedobear post. Rewriting "that's a clown question, bro" into "a question to be posed to clowns" is the equivalent of attempting to obscure that your 1981 Volvo wagon with a hand-crank sunroof is a piece of shit by driving it around in reverse. No, what you've done, in fact, is make it an even more glaring eyesore, which is bad. And, anyway, aren't we all mostly sick of the "clown question" variations at this point? It hasn't yet become the Andy Kaufman skit, either, where the long-dead joke rounds the bend from being unbearable in its monotony to funny because, hey look, he's still doing it, by God. Right now, it's just annoying and played out. I wouldn't aspire to be the next guy to break that thing out.

And with that, I'm out. Have a great night. DUAN's probably mostly asleep by now. Catch you crazy cats on the flip side.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Tuesday Roundup

A selection of favorites and duds from today's commenting.

Favorites, in no particular order:

Here's a successful straightforward pun from Gamboa Constrictor in the Phil Jackson post. It is not the official position of Mad Bastards All that puns = bad, only that bad or easy or cheap puns = bad.

Also in the Phil Jackson post, here's something unexpected and funny from All Over But The Sharting. Later, his outrageous quote in the Mitch Albom post was one of today's funniest comments. Nice work.

Steve U cracked me up with this sharp dig in the Mitch Albom post. Sometimes, this type of humor is almost too available - everyone goes for the "short" joke or the "fat" joke and most of the time the attempts fall flat. After all, how many different jokes along those simple lines have we already processed? But when done right (as with anything), it can still be terrific.

David Hume took the Mitch-Albom-is-a-goofy-shrimp angle and drove it way out to left field for this short dialogue in the Mitch Albom post. I laughed at this.

So, I laughed at this awful recontextualization from IronMikeGallego in the Mitch Albom post. Couldn't help it. There was a conversation today about whether and/or where the line is drawn for what is appropriate fodder for jokes. Are kids off-limit? Tragic death? The tragic death of kids? Meh. I say it's all in-bounds. What is the effect of a joke about dead kids? Where's the damage? I submit, by way of defending jokes about Conor Clapton, the case of one Bernie Carbomb, who famously edited a flat-out hysterical recontextualization because of concerns over the tastefulness of the topic. The joke was wonderful. Wonderful. I do think it's important to tread carefully when handling potentially touchy topics, but if you've got something strong and it so happens to rely upon the shock factor of quoting a dying Pat Tillman, do it, if for no other reason than I will laugh at it.

Here's something funny from Mantis Toboggan, M.D. in the Dave Barnett post. As I've said before, I'm a big fan of this kind of set-up. The obvious cadence of it primes you for the punchline so effectively, you're just waiting to laugh by the time you get there. I am especially fond of this sort of thing, jokes that do more than hand over a punchline - the set-up actively positions both the punchline and the reader so the two will meet with maximum impact.

Now, the funniest comment of the day came from unstarred guy daze in the Dave Barnett post, and it is hilarious. It's such a bizarre, disturbing, and surprisingly specific description. The more I scroll between the comment and the picture, the funnier it gets. Great job on this one.

And finally, I was reminded today that I'm a total sucker for Tony LaRussa jokes, and so I laughed at this simple dig from Raysism in the Secretariat post. You know what I like about Raysism? For the most part, his comments are breezy and uncomplicated, with a reliable tone that resonates even in his simplest, most elegant jokes. From time to time, he seems to settle into grinding, and that's bad, but even then, his batting average is admirable.

Hey, no Total Fucking Duds tonight. There were some shitty jokes around Deadspin today, but nothing that rose to the level of exceptionally awful. Or, anyway, nothing that inspired me to compose paragraphs in anger.

Enjoy your evening, everyone. See you over in DUAN.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Monday Roundup

Favorites and maybe some duds from Monday's commenting.

Favorites, in no particular order: 

Here's something from way out in left field, from Universal Enveloping Algebra in the Daily Screencap post. Lately, for whatever reason, jokes and funny comments that are not puns have been especially attractive to me. I think we've reached the point of saturation with puns. This kind of thing is a welcome departure.

IronMikeGallego earned a handful of +1s for this clever pull in the Olympics Racket post. Later, in the Fort Tebow post, he too went with something spectacularly different, dropping this funny preview transcript. I'm sure we've all grimaced at similar efforts that missed their mark - it can be pretty excruciating. Still, I'd rather read a day's worth of outrageous haymaker-type jokes than one uninspired pun after another. Today was a pretty good day for outside-the-box humor.

Unstarred commenter UnknownEric earned a promotion for this bonehead question in the Bisexual Buckeyes post. I love this stuff. Because I'm a moron, anthropomorphism jokes make me giggle, virtually every time. It's shameful. What can I say? But it's obviously not just the notion of a tree pretending to be bisexual for attention that's funny - it's also the idea that anyone is dumb enough to ask the question. Jokes with multiple angles to humor? Love those.

Choose-your-own-adventure jokes? Oh hell yes. Unstarred commenter Dusty Finish earned a promotion and a handful of +1s for that very thing in the Devils Takeover post. I also really enjoyed the abruptness of the "narrative", if you will, and of course the choice of chapter numbers. Great stuff.

Here's another funny joke from an unstarred commenter, this time in the Anonymous Bullshit Artist post. JonerBaloner went with that old standby, the recontextualization, but thankfully had enough juice in his punchline to pull it off. The simple idea of this joke is funny, and JonerBaloner does just enough to package it without getting in the way. Nice work. 

Is there a theme to today's Roundup? No. It so happens that many of the best jokes of the day came from unstarred commenters and/or used non-traditional structure to deliver the funny. Clever Hans earned a promotion for this go-for-it family lineage joke in the Dan Snyder post. I have a hunch most people missed this one. The names alone are funny enough to earn a laugh.

What did I say about anthropomorphism jokes? I can't help it! They fucking make me laugh! I laughed aloud at David Hume's ridiculous aside in the Clemens Verdict post. To be honest, this was probably the joke at which I laughed the most today. Yes, okay, I'm an ass. Later, his clever dig in the Fort Tebow post earned a huge round of applause.

And finally, if you're going to do puns, do them like this. From our guy Eddie Murray Sparkles in the Fort Tebow post. Clever, sure, but at its core this is a silly joke.

Total Fucking Duds

Here's a real fucking train-wreck from unstarred commenter CongoJack in the Devils Takeover post. Jesus, just look at that thing. I think my favorite thing about this comment is the exclamation point. In an odd way, it turns the whole thing into a masterpiece.

Unstarred commenter lanboyo really, really sucks. First, he did this, in the Charlie Pierce post. So lazy. That is possibly the least original comment in weeks and weeks. Later, he contributed this embarrassingly unwelcome, hopelessly tone-deaf eyesore in the Anonymous Bullshit Artist post. It was at this point that I decided to cap lanboyo's Roundup presence at two comments. I could have gone on. It was not a good day for this doofus.

Unstarred commenter M-Dizzle farted out this bitter bluff in the Clemens Verdict post. Hey, jackass, no one cares.

And finally, interestingly-named unstarred commenter Carrie Hunt and the Spoonerisms dusted off ye olde I-haven't-seen-a-[blank]-since-[blank] format for this utterly hopeless reference in the Balotelli's Goal post. I'm really not much a fan of this structure at all. I realize this structure can neither make nor break a joke on its own, but I also happen to feel like a mostly tame punchline is rendered 100x more annoying by this worn out presentation. In this case, the laborious set-up mostly put me to sleep before I even got to the punchline. That's what happens when you torture the hell out of your joke.

So . . . yeah. About that Friday Roundup. I intended to get to it. Really. For what it's worth, this joke made the Favorites. This and this made the duds. If there were any groundbreaking pieces of once-in-a-generation humor on Friday, well, there'll be no record of them on this a-here blog. My normal finish-the-Roundup time was taken up by a lot of gluttonous eating and even more gluttonous drinking.

Hey, you guys are the best. Really. The funniest group of sons-of-promiscuous-she-elk the internet has ever known. Keep making jokes, for the love of God. And have a great night.

Goooooooo DUAN!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Thursday Roundup

Favorites and duds from Thursday's commenting.

Favorites, in no particular order:

Steve U had it going today. First this, in the Jetpack Fan post, then this (which is hilarious) in the Beacher's Madhouse post, and finally this, in the 38 Studios post. Two wordplay-plus-dialogue jokes and a terrific one-liner. Nice work.

Eddie Murray Sparkles dropped one of the day's funniest comments in the Jetpack Fan post, earning a huge round of applause. I laughed aloud at this one.

Here's a sharp one-liner from Gamboa Constrictor in the Beacher's Madhouse post. Excellent.

Pornstars-for-Wilbon took a funny shot at the obnoxious people of New Jersey in the Beacher's Madhouse post, drawing a haul of +1s. It's a bit staccato in presentation, but the idea is very, very funny.

I thought this was one of the day's best jokes, from Orange and Palindromic in the Dave Winfield post. I'm surprised it didn't get a little more attention. It's one of those excellent hiding-in-plain-sight jokes that always make me shake my head.

Here's a damn funny quote from RMJ=H in the 38 Studios post. It's just a silly and out-of-left-field use of the word "frozen", and it works.

And finally, this awesome dig at Curt Shilling from BronzeHammer in the 38 Studios post was good for a chuckle. There's a certain callback quality to this kind of joke, where anyone reading it understands that everything in the set-up takes place before the comma. It's such a familiar structure for Deadspin readers, but that's not necessarily a negative. After all, expectation is half of every joke - with this kind of set-up, it's not just the content of the joke that creates expectation, but the actual structure itself.

Total Fucking Duds

There were an awful lot of bad comments today, most, as you'd expect, coming from the unstarred pack. Tonight I elected to eschew the unstarred duds and focus on two crappy comments from featured guys. Sorry, fellas.

You may remember that fat-leaveher has long been something of a guilty pleasure for MBA. His jokes aren't always sophisticated or even especially clever, but from time to time he strikes a specific tone that is uniquely his and actually pretty damn funny. I don't mind saying he hasn't seemed to have his best stuff lately. This comment, in the Jetpack Fan post, seems like a fairly desperate grab at a mostly wrung-out meme. The structure is brutal and the punchline is uncertain and, anyway, I'm not sure forcing another mostly-random fetish into the Rex Ryan mythology is ever really going to get a laugh. Featured guys shouldn't ever settle for that kind of thing. 

Similarly, here's a brutally bad effort from Madoffs Mets in the Littering Sanders post. Another mostly-dead meme being used in a totally uninspired manner for a joke that definitely should have been left on the cutting room floor. When you go back to one of these memes, I think it's a good idea to remind yourself that most people, once they get a sniff of the meme, are going to groan pretty much right away. That's why you really need something spectacular - you have to overcome that groan, and it's not easy. I doubt even Madoffs Mets would argue this particular iteration of the Roethlisberger-the-rapist joke is anything like spectacular.

Enjoy your evening. Don't forget about DUAN!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wednesday Roundup

A bunch of Favorites and maybe a few Duds from today's commenting.

Favorites, in no particular order:

Here's a by-the-numbers recontextualization from Sponsored by V8 in the Daily Screencap post. Good recontextualizations still happen all over the place. It doesn't always come down to the strength of the reference, but when the structure is this straightforward, it better be a funny-ass reference. This was. Also, Sponsored by V8 dropped this elegant one-liner in the Softball Email post, earning a big round of applause. I mentioned once that Sponsored by V8 seems to have made the leap, and this stuff backs me up. He's getting stronger and stronger. 

Many jokes were made in this same vein in the Clown Questions post, but Gamboa Constrictor's was one of the very best. Instead of just typing out the question, as many other commenters did, he framed his "clown question" as an observation, creating that delicious little cognitive beat where the reader's brain works to assemble all the pieces. Nice work.

Clinton Portishead dropped my other favorite joke in the Clown Questions post. After this comment, it seemed like everyone went with the direct quote style in similar comments, but this was the best of the bunch.

FEAST stopped in and left this hilarious missing line in the Arkansas Sonnet post. That's so fucking funny. The Arkansas Sonnet post was today's best, by far. Many, many excellent comments were dropped in there.

Here's a funny little poem from sweatingmullets in the Arkansas Sonnet post. These are tricky to pull off - a less-than-spectacular poem or song joke can be brutally awkward and turns the comment section into an echo chamber. I laughed at this one.

This is maybe the funniest Deadspin comment I've read in months and months, from Steve U, also in the Arkansas Sonnet post. I laughed and laughed at that. I went so far as to email it to a friend, who will probably not take the time to read it at all. There's your comment of the day.

The Amazing Sneijderman took a different angle to the Arkansas Sonnet post, contributing this sharp observation and earning a few +1s. Often, a single great comment in a post will turn the whole thing into a comedy pyramid. That can be great, but it's always a lot of fun to see commenters approach things from different angles altogether.

And here's another angle, this one from All Over But The Sharting, also in the Arkansas Sonnet post. The guy does silly.

Here's a damn funny dig at Bleacher Report from Billy Clyde Puckett in the Dumb Jeter Story post. I didn't expect any jokes in there, and I certainly didn't expect any good ones. The piece itself is so creative and funny, normally Deadspin commenters just congratulate the author for that kind of thing. This joke was good for a laugh.

And finally, sometimes the brutally awkward personal confessions are great, and here's a hilarious one from unstarred guy WhatAbout_GaryReason...? in the Worst Boxing Decision Ever post. I was happy to see this get promoted. Nice job.

Total Fucking Duds

And, of course, sometimes the brutally awkward personal confessions are just brutally awkward, as demonstrated by unstarred commenter monkeybusiness in the Milking Johan post. Seriously, guy? Your grandmother never got to see a Mets no-hitter? This crap sounds like it was written by Mitch Albom, and I can't possibly say anything worse about it than that.

Freeman McNeil is a good commenter, but this was not his best work, in the Clubbing Devils post. That's pretty fucking flat, a pretty fucking bare-bones presentation for a pretty fucking thin reference. Everyone lays a turd now and again. Antonio Cromartie jokes aren't quite as worn out as Jerry Sandusky or John Amaechi jokes, but you've still got to put a little more seasoning on 'em than that.

Unstarred guy pribian shamefully hacked Gamboa Constrictor's joke in the Clown Questions post. Folks, how hard is it to scan through the comments before you submit? How hard is it to redact your comment after the fact? Don't step on someone's joke like that.

Finally, what the fuck is this thing, from unstarred commenter bartolo'sfrostedmuffintops!, in the Arkansas Sonnet post? Oof. That is fucking dreadful. Taint tag? Take that humor back to seventh grade, mister.

Alrighty, folks. That's all for tonight. Looks like DUAN's a-cookin'. Have yourselves a great evening.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tuesday Roundup

Favorites and duds from Tuesday's commenting.

Favorites, in no particular order:

Here's an actual comment from All Over But The Sharting in the Kickball Drama post. Not only is it funny, it's not actually a joke at all. I think, once upon a time, when the Commentist Manifesto was first written, it probably had this kind of thing in mind more than your standard premise/set-up/punchline joke. Nice job.

Steve U drew quite the response from the pink crowd with this classic misdirection in the Kickball Drama post. Obviously, we all assume this joke is going one way, and then it kind of peters out . . . and somehow it winds up being funny for the way the air just evaporates out of the balloon.

I suppose I'm the only person who laughed at this pro-tip from CaptainInsensible in the Kickball Drama post. It makes use of the same attitude towards adult kickball as the above comments, but applies it to a clever spin on a familiar plot.

Here's a characteristically sharp pun from Gamboa Constrictor in the Sandusky's Secret File post. The key word of the punchline is right at the end, right where it belongs. Later, this gentle ribbing of the author of the Pacquiao-Bradley Probability post was good for a laugh. I'm surprised this one didn't get a bit more attention. I enjoyed it. 

Eddie Murray Sparkles had a few terrific comments today; first, in the Kenyan World Series post, this funny Oil Can Boyd joke took a few +1s, and later, the crowd loved this one-liner in the Tony Romo post. Finally, this goofy quote in the Lil Wayne post was good for a hearty chuckle. Excellent work.

Unstarred guy WhatAbout_GaryReason...? cracked me up with this outstanding screenplay joke in the Drug Horses post. So silly. I really loved this comment. For his efforts, a promotion and a round of +1s.

It's impossible to not chuckle at this ridiculous joke from Sponsored by V8 in the Pacquiao-Bradley post. Every time I look at it, I chuckle. I'm not even sure it's the punchline, now that I think about it. Every time people throw in actions, like [looks over left shoulder] or [blinks] or [licks lips] or whatever, I wind up giggling. This joke has a funny punchline, but there's no question the punchline benefits from a wonderfully funny set-up. By the time you get there, you're just primed to laugh.

Here's another silly quote, this one from Madoffs Mets in the Gronkowski post. This is a great comment - a creative recontextualization that makes terrific use of Gronkowski's reputation. Nice job.

UweBollocks dropped this letter-perfect dig at Tony Romo in the Sponsored Baby post, earning a huge round of applause. That's such a Deadspin joke. Excellent. 

Theodore Donald Kerabatsos took the time to decode a confusing array of face tattoos in the Lil Wayne post. You know, I think he's right!

And finally, here's a typically charming bit of dialogue from one of Deadspin's masters of the form, Same Sad Echo, in the Thunder/Heat post. I've said it before, but there are a few guys on Deadspin who really make these dialogue or screenplay jokes sing, and Same Sad Echo is one of them.

Hey, no Total Fucking Duds tonight. Enjoy yourselves! See you in DUAN.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Monday Roundup

A few favorites and a handful of duds from Monday's commenting.

Favorites, in no particular order:

David Hume dropped this hilarious comment in the T-Bone Racing post, earning a big round of applause. I chuckled at this. 

Here's a similarly longish paragraph joke from BronzeHammer in the First Take Ratings post. Also today, I chuckled at this very silly contribution to the Gronkowski post. I loved that second one. 

Unstarred guy Lamont Sanford, III earned a promotion for this terrific one-liner in the Gronkowski post. Great stuff.

This is so stupid and so silly and so, so funny, from Universal Enveloping Algebra in the Dumb Jeter Story post.

I needed time with this comment, from Steve U in the Defending Sandusky post, but I got there. That's excellent.

And finally, I really enjoyed this random turn of events from unstarred guy Southern Dandy in the Defending Sandusky post. That's a well-earned promotion.

Total Fucking Duds

One dud today, not counting the Total Fucking Dud that is the general attitude of Deadspin's commentariat these days. I look forward to the day, coming soon (I hope), when all your menstrual cycles come to an end. 

Unstarred guy parkrndl somehow slid by the #yousawamovieonce monitor with this lazy pile of crap in the T-Bone Racing post. The all-seeing MBA eye sees all! 

I have no energy at all for this stuff when there are snotty inside baseball comments all over the place, when every fifth comment is one of you guys sniping at Deadspin's content, and when your presence away from Deadspin is so full of shit. Predictably, MBA and the various other Deadspin-focused blogs have turned enough of you into self-important Deadspin antagonists that it's sometimes a real pain in the ass paying any attention to your routine. I don't know exactly what to think about that. 

Have a great night. Here's to a happy DUAN.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Friday Roundup

Some favorites and a few duds from today's commenting. (Pretty sure the links work everywhere.)

Favorites, in no particular order:

Here's a damn funny wordplay joke from The Amazing Sneijderman in this morning's Daily Screencap post. It seems like every Deadspin post lends itself to at least on great pun or wordplay joke, doesn't it? Like you could just scan down the comments for "the pun". The problem is, it's gotten to the point where everyone is racing to get to "the pun" first, and so we wind up with a lot of bad puns and one-liners. This is a great joke, but in general, wordplay jokes and puns might be a bit over-represented these days.

I say that, and then I chuckle at another wordplay joke in the same post, this one from unstarred guy Lamont Sanford, III. For his efforts, his comment was promoted and earned a handful of +1s. Nice work.

Here's a gut-punch paragraph from President Camacho in the Fun With Graphics post. Eat it, Dan Gilbert.

Unstarred guy RonZookonRedBull dropped this terrific one-liner in the Fun With Graphics post, earning a promotion and a huge round of applause. That's a hell of a comment. 

Here's a classic its-funny-because-it's-stupid joke from BronzeHammer in the Silverback Williams Update post. This is pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey commenting; the rate of success for this kind of joke is ridiculously low. Sometimes, it's charming and goofy and endearing and everyone chuckles, and sometimes you just come across as a lazy moron. Nice job on this one.

Theodore Donald Kerabatsos dropped this evil set-up joke in the Silverback Williams Update post, earning a round of applause. In an effort to make sure I fully understood this joke, I got so far as typing "goatse" into the search bar on Google. Rest assured, there's no way this joke would be in the Favorites right now had I pressed "enter". We don't see too many practical jokes on Deadspin.

DJ Jazzy Jeff Weaver made an appearance today with this breezy deadpan comment in the School or Modeling post. I chuckled at this one. Boy was that post a fucking trainwreck, though. Friday felt like the Deadspin staff was making a concerted effort to bring in as many disastrous pink commenters as possible. One dummy-magnet post after another.

Here's a fantastic, savage dig at Brent Barry from Madoffs Mets in the Starfuckers post. I laughed aloud at this one. I'm still laughing about it.

Eddie Murray Sparkles earned a laugh with this elegant word-association joke in the Starfuckers post. For those of you who are able, check out that pink comment in the replies. That's rude? Rude? If there is a common distinguishing characteristic of Deadspin's pink commenters, it's not that their jokes fail or they can't spell (although those traits are represented in spades), it's that they are the most thick-skulled dimwits on the internet. I have never seen so many people miss the point. From the Naughty NL Matchup post to the Starfuckers post to every goddamn LeBron James post, they just don't get it. They miss the sarcasm or the gist or the punchline at an outrageous rate. Rude is the very last word in the English language I would use to describe this joke. It's more banana-like than it is rude, and it is not at all banana-like.

When PowWow comes, it will be incredibly important that those of you who do get it do not engage the ones who do not. If some schmuck mouths off about how stupid and wrong a post is, if some Jezebel interloper takes umbrage with the tone of a piece, if a knucklehead misses the sarcasm or punchline altogether, for the love of God, ignore it with all your might. Shut your eyes, Marion. Don't look at it no matter what happens.

Finally, a last-minute entry from All Over But The Sharting in the Heart Attack post. The timeline in this joke might be a bit off, but All Over But The Sharting has a really funny habit of airing out his personal grievances in these unexpected digs. It cracks me up. He took a seemingly-random shot at Henry Abbott earlier this week, and I laughed at that one, too. It's one of his moves, if you will, and like the established moves of other great Deadspin commenters, it gets funnier over time.

Total Fucking Duds 

Jesus fucking Christ. Today was a constant onslaught, a virtual deluge of duds. I picked one, and I'm not sure it's the worst comment of the day, nor is it really illustrative of one particular type of bad comment or another. It's just the one I picked, the dud that made the list before it became apparent the list would not be manageable if I kept at it. So, to the poor schmuck singled-out below, hey, today just wasn't your day. Go get 'em next time.

This is a clumsy and particularly ugly stereotype joke from unstarred guy American Magpie in the Daily Screencap post. It has a few things in it I hate: bad, hastily assembled structure, words like "fat" and "chick" used without irony, and a lazy stereotype. I don't have any problem with jokes that make use of this tone, but the punchline of the joke has to be the tone itself. In other words, fat white chicks aren't funny. Lazy stereotypes aren't funny. But jokes that make fun of the kind of low-life sacks of shit who say things like "fat white chick" and subscribe to such stereotypes can be funny. UweBollocks cracked me up this week with a quick parody of hipster style that accomplished exactly the feat of using the tone of a moron to expose the moron's stupidity. That was funny. This? Ugly.

Hey, you silly, silly sons of bitches, have a great weekend. Sleep late, cook and eat outside, and wear t-shirts and flip-flops and nothing else. It's your birthright.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Thursday Roundup

Some favorites and very few duds from Thursday's commenting. (All links work in Firefox and Chrome.)

Favorites, in no particular order:

Here's a funny little history joke from unstarred guy TwoGasolsOneCup in this morning's Daily Screencap post. I chuckled at this.

Steve U kicked ass with this picture-perfect one-liner in the Metta World Peace post. This is Deadspin humor exemplified.

RMJ=H had two winners today, the first coming in the Jeff Mansxcr post with this recontextualization/dig at Mark Sanchez all-in-one. Later, in the 38 Studios post, it was another dig, this one right at Curt Shilling. I laughed aloud at that second one. Nice job today.

Here's something simple and crude and goofy from Sonar Jose in the KJ & Hondo post. Yeah, I laughed at it. So what? It's got the right timing for a one-liner and a silly, funny punchline.

This is an outrageous, over-the-top screenplay-style joke from Talib's Rap Sheet in the Piss Cannons post. My dead grandfather is deeply troubled by your Polish jokes, buddy.

Here's your comment of the day, from Lionel Osbourne in the Bad Writing post. The joy of this joke comes from that brief cognitive delay before the punchline sinks in - that moment when you look back at his name and the light comes on. Delicious. Later, in the Silverback Williams post, I chuckled at this excellent reference. Those are two great, great comments.

IronMikeGallego earned a big round of applause for his contribution to the Silverback Williams post. This is one of those misdirection jokes that I love: by giving multiple examples, he's able to use repetition to create a certain expectation, and then uses the punchline to defy that expectation. He further supports the expectation by using clean, straightforward language, suggesting that he actually is educating us about a trend, all the while setting us up for a big swerve at the end. 

But I really want to draw your attention to the reply by A Pimp Named DaveR. Is that not the worst possible reply? What the fuck is that? I hesitate to invoke the unspoken rule against shifting directions with a non-pyramid joke in another person's reply thread, but this is absolutely stepping on a joke and befouling the thread. What an awful, abominable eyesore that reply is.

And finally, I really enjoyed this outrageous recontextualization from UweBollocks in the No-No Tickets post. Random and gross and terrific.

Total Fucking Duds

Lots of bad comments today. Lots. The fucking Naughty Pitching Matchup post was a total clusterfuck, as was the Mark Reynolds post. I elected to take it easy. Here are a few comments that caught my eye:

Unstarred commenter iknowsoftware is terrible. Here's a pile of crap comment from him in the Piss Cannons post. I suppose this is an attempt at humor, but I have no idea where the punchline is. If this is a sophisticated joke and I'm just missing it, someone please let me know. From here, it looks like iknowsoftware is doing the "I'm a bro who slays dogs and pounds beers" thing, which is nothing if not boring as hell. Later in the day, he had another comment shipped off to some island or another. Tighten up, guy.

Unstarred commenter Nashional Team couldn't resist making a flimsy-as-hell, pancake-flat Pitino joke in the Mark Reynolds post. Boy is that weak. If you're going to go to one of these troughs - Rick Pitino's premature ejaculation, John Amaechi's homosexuality, Jerry Sandusky's pedophila - you'd better fucking bring it. There's very little juice left in those kinds of topics, so it's gonna take a special effort to wring something out.

And finally, because he obviously wasn't finished crapping all over the Silverback Williams post, A Pimp Named DaveR left this mind-bogglingly terrible . . . know what? The less said about that, the better. If that kind of joke does it for you, if you're laughing at that, we don't really have much else to talk about.

Hey, have a great night everyone. Pop into DUAN and share a little after-hours time with your comrades, won't you?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wednesday Roundup

Some favorites and very few duds from Wednesday's commenting. (All links work in Firefox.)

Favorites, in no particular order:

Here's a funny joke from DubaiAtNight in this morning's Daily Screencap post. Simple one-liner, nice wordplay, classic structure. Good job.

IronMikeGallego dropped this awesome re-mix in the Yankee Tickets post, earning a round of applause. These jokes are deceptively tricky to pull off - commenters try them several times a week on Deadspin, but they usually don't rise to the level of funny. Most of them are, at best, clever or cute, and it's hard to know what makes the difference. Or, anyway, I can't explain it.

Mantis Toboggan, M.D. contributed this funny dig at Vin Baker in Drew's Wade Specs post. I like this kind of joke because it works like a one-liner, in that it has a quick premise/set-up/punchline structure, but it also uses tone (right from the beginning, with "Ugh") to impart personality on the joke. That's a quick, crafty little way of accentuating the humor in a simple joke, and when it's done well it really works. Hume's a master of this trick, for those looking for other examples.

Here's a more straightforward one-liner from Poignant Theater, also in Drew's Wade Specs post. Sometimes, when your punchline is strong enough, the most elegant possible delivery is best. In this case, even adding the word "it" to the front of this joke makes it a bit more forced, a bit staccato, and probably just a bit less successful. The instincts required to make these kinds of style choices on the fly are what separate the featured guys from the gray guys, but it can be picked up over time.

Newly starred guy Madoffs Mets earned a big round of applause for this script-style dig at LeBron James and Chris Bosh, also in Drew's Wade Specs post. I'm happy for Madoffs Mets, who clearly has the ability to make excellent jokes, but this is also somebody with a penchant for taking the low-hanging fruit. That's perfectly common when you're an unstarred guy, but developing the discipline to stay away from the easy stuff is what ought to come next. I spared Madoffs Mets a trip to the duds for a crappy, lazy-as-hell joke today in honor of his achievement.

Here's a devastating knockout one-liner from Steve U, yet another gem from Drew's Wade Specs post. There's your comment of the day. 

This is just so, so funny, from UweBollocks, our final entry from Drew's Wade Specs post. I love this - love it. No reference, no pun, no wordplay, no recontextualization, nothing forced about it at all. It's just a wonderful condensation of an idea that made the author laugh. So breezy and charming - terrific. 

Eddie Murray Sparkles cracked me up with this naughty bit of dressed-up goofiness in the Competitive Shin-Kicking post. Most of the time, we associate Eddie Murray Sparkles with ultra-clever hiding-in-plain-site type jokes, but he can do silly as well as anyone when he's so inclined. 

And finally, SponsoredbyV8 used a confidently subtle little rewrite to great effect in the Crazy-Ass Adrian Peterson post. This one went over my head several times, but I got there. It turns out, I'm pretty fucking slow.

Total Fucking Duds

Here's something totally pointless from unstarred loser GiovanniJahoovafat in the Bristolmetrics post. Hey, dipshit, that you got the joke isn't interesting to anyone in the world. The worst part about this goddamn shit is this: when I was putting together this Roundup, somehow this link is the only one that copied and pasted. So, for every goddamn Favorite up there, the URL of this joke was attached. I feel like I've been reading this joke over and over again for the last several hours. Which, you know, sucks.

And here's a flimsy-as-hell, shamefully lazy Jerry Sandusky joke from Hit Bull Win Steak in the Absurd Relief post. On a day when some other prick got shipped off to some place or another for, of all things, a John Amaechi joke, this one managed to slip under the radar. Come on, guy - featured commenters should be able to do better than this.

I have nothing to say about the Angry Madden Asshole post that hasn't already been said. Dude's a fucking scumbag and his behavior is nothing to be even remotely proud of. Reading that post was more than a little disorienting - I'm not used to feeling that horrified and disappointed by something I read on Deadspin. I've read a lot of what's been said about it, and I agree with those of you who pointed out that the real issue is the style of presentation, the tone that suggests we have any amount of empathy for this Peter King fella. Clearly, we all agree he's a contemptible little shit who needs a violent ass-kicking as soon as possible. Let's not give him any more energy or attention than he's already gotten.

Hey, have a happy DUAN.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tuesday Roundup

Some favorites and very few duds from Tuesday's commenting. (All links work in Firefox.)

Favorites, in no particular order:

Here's some funny #insidebaseball from IronMikeGallego in the Daily Screencap post from this morning. I wouldn't normally include something this far inside, except it's actually pretty damn creative. It's a photo joke, it uses the reply system to hide and deliver the punchline, and it's clever. It took me a minute, but I got there. Nice work. Later, in the Virgil Update post, he dropped this magnificent, meandering personal story, earning a round of applause. That there's a great, great comment.

Our guy All Over But The Sharting had quite a few humdingers today. First, in the Dismembering Pornstar post, he dropped another excellent Olive Garden joke. In the Timothy Burke NWO post, he took a clever, way-out-there look at the intersection of the referenced event and a curious choice of language. I'll admit, I initially thought he was taking a brutal shot at Tim Burke, but no. Just a really creative joke, very well done. And finally, here's a hilarious shot at a totally deserving target in the Math! post. Nice work today.

Steve U first cracked me up in the Timothy Burke NWO post with another #insidebaseball joke, this one taking the form of a funny series of cable commercials. Again, there's no way this kind of thing makes the favorites if it isn't packaged as creatively and carefully as it was. Later, in the Lax Bros post, I chuckled at this well set-up dig at the Boston Globe's reporter. Clever, silly, efficient, lovely.

Unstarred guy Bourbon_Meyer earned a promotion for this funny one-liner in Barry's LOLMets No-Hitter post. I'm a bit surprised this comment didn't get a bit more attention, although it's easy to miss it among all the shit that was thrown around in that post. Jesus. 

Here's a hilarious shot at Sid Fernandez in Barry's LOLMets No-Hitter post from Walk Off HBP. I laughed aloud at this one. That post was mostly a fucking train-wreck - this was the best comment in there.

Here's another hilarious shot, this one at Jay Bilas via Dick Vitale in the Al Qaeda post, from Clinton Portishead. I don't always love the comments that use the Twitter format to deliver the punchline, but in this case, obviously it's called for and it works. 

Lionel Osbourne earned a round of applause for this totally silly one-liner in the Dead Masseuse post. It's charming and funny and perfectly cooked. Nice job.  

And finally, also in the Dead Masseuse post, it took me a minute, but I really enjoyed this ruthless dig at Kobe Bryant from Rare Endangered Vuvuzela. That's a nice pull.

Total Fucking Duds

Lots of bullshit commentary today, most of it in Barry's Mets post and Drew's stuff. That's to be expected. I ignored the Funbag altogether, as is my prerogative. Several of you suggested I skip the duds altogether, and that may happen, but I'll stick with it in the meantime. Realistically, I'm going to have to limit the duds to only a few per Roundup.

Here goes:

Unstarred guy JSDorn6's utterly useless contribution to Barry's LOLMets No-Hitter post is pretty indicative of the kind of shit that mostly defined the comment section of that post. I'm legitimately worried that PowWow will remove whatever barrier now exists between this kind of inane and totally boring commentary and the hordes of assholes just waiting to call this guy a homo and threaten to kick his ass. It'll be up to those of you who give a damn to resist the urge to interact with this bullshit at all costs. That's the only way. Regulars have to give this crap the cold shoulder, or it will spread like fungus.

And on that note, here's a worse-than-dismal featured commenter with his head desperately far up his own ass: Tyreeeeeli just couldn't resist approving a pink commenter for the exact kind of commentary you can find all over every other sports site in the universe. Great job, dick. Later, in the Virgil Update post, he used all his brain-power to think up this wonderful comment, which should be sufficient to get him jettisoned into the vacuum of space. Seriously, guy?

Unstarred guy Lenny Dykstra's Roadbeef dumped this #yousawamovieonce garbage in the Virgil Update post. I have a feeling the Comment Ninja Squadron had moved on from that post by the time this came in. Be original, commenters. Nobody cares that you remember the details of a movie you once saw.

And finally, unstarred commenter Mike Vogts stopped by with this blah-blah-blah yadda yadda wall o' text in the Unstoppable Spurs post. This is exactly the kind of snarky, combative bullshit that defines Gawker commentary. Nobody wants to read your snotty sarcasm, asshole.

Alright, folks, that's all for tonight. When I say "keep doing your damn thing", man, I mean it more than ever. Keep doing your damn thing. Keep on keep keepin' on. You do you. Go on and do it, do it, do it until I am satisfied (which is probably never).

DUAN it up!

God Fucking Dammit

So, here's the deal, guys: our world is about to change in a small way that, despite its smallness, is going to cause our asses to chap and our huge cocks to become less huge and will introduce a small, dense nugget of sadness into the internet-hearts of our internet-selves. PowWow is going to take our beautiful garden and turn it into an asphalt parking lot. Or not. But anyway, the change is going to be difficult. Change fucking always is.

I'm bringing back the fucking Roundups, God help me.

On the internet, this goddamn hell-hole of a time-and-energy-pit blog is nothing. Not even a grain of sand. Not even a small part of the subatomic makeup of a grain of sand. Even in the rough orbit of Gawker, even in the rough orbit of Deadspin, this place is a janitor's closet and nothing more. It rode the wave of Deadspin repopulation after the redesign and that's it. Was it fun? Sure. Fun, and that's it.

But, in a funny way, this sonofabitch fucking fucking fucking blog, like Rudolph the Red-Nosed But In All Other Ways Useless and Unremarkable Reindeer, may finally have a purpose in the world, and that purpose might just be to encourage a handful of insanely talented commenters to keep bringing the funny, every goddamn day, to the same godforsaken place. This should not be important to me or anyone else, but for whatever reason, it sort of is. God help me, I don't want Deadspin to turn into Gawker.

So, what. These Roundups won't give a shit about smart-but-not-funny comments. These Roundups will be exactly what the earlier ones were, which is a collection of the best and funniest jokes from a given day of Deadspin commentary. Yes, there will be duds. In the end, it's the fucking duds that make me crazy, that suck the energy out of me and virtually double the amount of time it takes to produce one of these things. And since there will no longer be any such thing as a pink commenter, there will be a fucking ton of duds every day. And, what's more, since the PowWow format makes scrolling through all the comments in a post a total pain in the ass, culling the duds is going to be ten times more frustrating.

So, yes, there will be duds. But there probably won't be many (I say that now as if I have any self-control whatsoever. It's a fucking joke. I am doomed.).

I'm going to start the Roundups as soon as possible and continue them as often as possible for as long as possible. They won't go on forever. I mean to shutter this fucking blog at some point in my life - I make no money from this thing and maintaining it is a huge, huge commitment. You can't imagine. For reference, IronMikeGallego bailed on his blog after a nice long run, and homeboy was just posting a single paragraph and a YouTube video every day.

Stick with it, guys. Seriously. Make fucking jokes. If PowWow frustrates you, if you can't find the best and funniest jokes, if the process makes you crazy, come on down to Mad Bastards All - I'll have a tidy little list of everything you missed, plus a little unqualified analysis. And if someone wants to, I don't know, mail me a fucking dollar or something . . . well, I'd sure appreciate it.

Now go fuck yourselves. Right in the eye socket.