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.



  1. Great piece.

    So it being mid-year and the eve of big change, this would be a logical time for you to run that best of year compilation you've been working on, no?

    Just a thought. And a request. Been looking forward to it.