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.