Thursday, January 31, 2013

Wednesday Roundup

Favorites and duds from today's commenting.

Favorites, in no particular order:

This is getting ridiculous.

Here's a wacky, bizarre sequence from SavetoFavorites in the Daily Screencap post. Later, in the Dr. Phil post, SavetoFavorites dropped this funny personal moment. Just two examples of SavetoFavorites being his wonderful, silly self.

Here's an embarrassing sequence from Madoffs Mets in the Daily Screencap post. It's interesting how different dialogue jokes operate in different ways. The SavetoFavorites joke above is just an upward vector of silliness, whereas this joke is a setup in service of a very specific punchline. You can really tinker around with different deliveries in a narrative structure that features different characters and more room to play. Later, Madoffs Mets delivered this evil one-liner in the WCBA Ref Beating post. Interestingly, I think this joke works just as well - or maybe better - without the italicized text, but I imagine Madoffs Mets wanted to make sure readers were primed for a joke that referenced Moore's performance. It's a calculated move, one that's sometimes necessary if your joke pivots on a secondary bit of information from a post.

Steve U had himself quite the day on Wednesday. We'll start with the Comment of the Day, this hysterical sequence in the Dr. Phil post. Oh my God that's funny. Later, he dropped this excruciating news item in the Thuzio post. Even later, I laughed at this patient Ray Lewis joke in the God's Will post. And, finally, here's a very silly sequence with an unexpected finish in the Nerlens Noel post. Look at the variety in those jokes! Steve U's a goddamn hero.

Here's a good catch from fatleaveher in the Dr. Phil post. This is a solid pull with a good-enough delivery, a worthy Favorite. I don't hold it against fatleaveher that so many people did the whole COTY!!1! thing in the replies, but that shit seriously makes me crazy. It's not even fatleaveher's best joke of the day, let alone the best joke in that post. This is a much better joke, in the Nerlens Noel post: it's silly, it's creative, it has much more interesting wordplay, and the setup is genuinely important to the punchline. It's a very good joke. That first joke is just an example of one commenter being the first to notice something and then pointing it out - he deserves credit for the catch. But a work of genuine creativity is funnier and better and more worthy of praise every time.

Hard not to laugh at this completely absurd dialogue joke from Bring Back Anthony Mason in the Dr. Phil post. It's an extended fat joke that sort of makes fun of itself for being an extended fat joke. Great stuff.

This is one of the day's very best jokes, from Bevraj of Choice in the Dr. Phil post. If not for the unbelievable Steve U joke, this might have been the Comment of the Day. It takes an outstanding stab at Dr. Phil using familiar action, but doesn't just rely on the action for the humor. It positions the action within a verbal exchange and delivers the punchline in a hilarious quote. Great, great joke.

Here's a hilarious one-liner from RMJ=H in the Thuzio post. And now I have that goddamn song stuck in my head. This is essentially a really silly pull positioned for maximum ridiculousness. Later, I laughed at this half-quote in the Devil's Work post. By just supplying the finish, RMJ=H gets a laugh out of what might have come before his comment, without having to actually come up with anything. In this way, he and we acknowledge how completely indefensible any argument would be that would end with his joke. And, finally, I needed a little outside help to get this joke in the Qatar Bribery post, but that's okay. There was a time when I gleefully tracked down every reference in every MattinglysSideburns joke. It's worth it when it's worth it, which is to say you'd better have something great to say if you're sending me to Wikipedia. And this is great.

Here's a funny one-liner from DougExeter in the Thuzio post. This is a pretty straightforward joke, but that's actually sort of why it's funny. And here's another funny one-liner, this time in the Chris Culliver post. DougExeter leaves the punchline outside the actual text of the joke, creating the cognitive delay. Good stuff.

Here's a terrific little reuse from someone called JudgeHaller in the Devil's Work post. This is definitely one of the day's funniest comments. The very idea of the Office Assistant paperclip guy being the Devil is hilarious, and JudgeHaller has the good sense to just let that idea do the work. Good stuff.

Here's a big dramatic head-fake from All Over But The Sharting in the Devil's Work post. Two kinds of funny at work here: the head-fake itself, and the idea that Ray Lewis is definitively worse than the Devil. Excellent.

Here's a characteristically strong one-liner from Gamboa Constrictor in the Devil's Work post. A strong pull packaged tightly in an efficient delivery, with a nice steep arc at the punchline. Gamboa Constrictor is one of the masters of the one-liner (in addition to being Deadspin's Idiot Laureate).

Here's another one of the day's very best, from Bring Back BJ in the Devil's Work post. This is a really sharp, funny way of making a pretty strong, perceptive observation about Lewis's behavior. And it's got a great setup/knockdown structure, too. Terrific.

Here's a smart, funny sequence from Raysism in the Devil's Work post. This joke turns on a bit of wordplay right near the beginning, but obscures it somewhat in the interest of working in a secondary bit of humor at the end. And later, here's an uncomfortably astute one-liner in the God's Will post. I'm frankly shocked this comment didn't draw out the burner antagonists. Or were there dismissals? At any rate, that's very funny.

Here's a great Michael J. Fox joke from Body By Bacardi in the Qatar Bribery post. Michael J. Fox has become the stand-in for all shaky-hands jokes, in the way that John Amaechi used to be the stand-in for all gay-athlete jokes. The key is finding new ways of using that stand-in. What you're doing is making a joke about the condition. Michael J. Fox becomes sort of a standard, a flag you hold up in your joke that says, "hey guys, this joke is about physical infirmity," and then what we're all doing collectively is sort of writing a long, funny episodic story about the day-to-day misery of living with Parkinsons, and Michael J. Fox becomes a character with a face and a voice to act out all our absurd sequences.

Here's Stev D being kinda un-Stev D-like with a more traditional one-liner in the Qatar Bribery post. Still, it's a pretty damn funny out-of-left-field suggestion, and I laughed at it.

Check out this funny thread in the God's Will post, featuring BronzeHammer, SavetoFavorites, Universal Enveloping Algebra, Raysism, and others. Definitely a few chuckles to be had.

Here's a smart paragraph from David Hume in the God's Will post. Nothing absurd in there, but by accumulation a picture is painted of a superstitious spaz, and a clever observation is made about some dubious common behaviors.

Here's a terrific math joke from Eddie Murray Sparkles in the God's Will post. That's an insanely sharp pull. This is another joke I needed help with, but like I said before that's not always a bad thing. I reject the notion that jokes that require a Google or Wikipedia search are somehow less great than jokes that do not, if only because that line of thinking ignores the fact that most people are a lot smarter than I am, and my limited knowledge of things should not be any kind of criteria for judging the success of a joke. Anyway, this is a great joke, and I needed help with it, and once I got there, I marveled at both the humor of the joke and the incredible intellect required to snag that reference.

And finally, here's a terrific catch from someone called CallMeRabies in the Chris Culliver post. It's got a great delivery, too. It's one of those jokes where every additional word that wasn't used would have significantly impeded the humor. CallMeRabies made a smart connection, one that's plenty strong enough to carry a joke, and just let the connection do all the work.

Total Fucking Duds

No fucking way. 29 Favorites! 29!

Keep it up! I might have to get even more selective about Favorites going forward. As it stands, I still left out more than a few strong jokes that would absolutely have made the Favorites a few months ago.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tuesday Roundup

Favorites and duds from today's commenting.

Favorites, in no particular order:

IronMikeGallego dropped the Comment of the Day in the PED Report post. I'll admit, I needed a minute with this one, but it was well worth it. It's so good, I'm honestly astonished it hasn't been made already.

Here's a funny list from Sgt. Hammerclaw in the PED Report post. This is sort of a funny-by-accumulation joke, with some inside baseball thrown in at the end.

Here's a hilarious glance behind the curtain from Universal Enveloping Algebra in the Duke Fan Letter post. This is great. It's essentially self-deprecating humor rendered absurd. Good stuff.

Raysism had several winners today. First came this dig in the Duke Fan Letter post, poking fun at both the writer and the school, and (I suspect) trolling the burner crowd. Later, I enjoyed this stupid Dolly Parton joke in the NCAA Gigantism post. It's actually a pretty solid reference, and I laughed at it. And finally, here's a terrific visual joke in the Facebook Fan Map post. Raysism is good for one or two of these every few weeks, and I love 'em.

Here's a funny insert from BronzeHammer in the Duke Fan Letter post. A couple of funny ideas there, finished with a solid punchline. Nice job.

Here's a fantastic dig from DougExeter in the Rob Ryan post. It took a slight edit of the italicized text to pull it off, but I'll forgive it. The end result is a smart, funny shot at a genuine dick. Later, DougExeter contributed this evil one-liner in the ESPN Blunder post, apparently redeeming all of Deadspin's "awful" one-liners. Thanks!

I laughed heartily at this silly fat joke from SavetoFavorites in the Glen Davis Exclamation post, and it looks like I was mostly alone. Ah well. I think it's hilarious. A series of funny images made funnier by their grouping.

Here's a bizarre, unexpected wordplay joke from cobra, brah! in the NCAA Gigantism post. The sheer randomness of this comment is most of what makes it funny. It's damn near an Idiot joke, the punchline is so thin. And? I chuckled. Good shit.

There are two very funny disintegrating poems from David Hume here in the Rigged Super Bowl Refs post, but I genuinely thought either one was funny enough alone to make its way into the Favorites. Enjoy!

Here's a strong dialogue joke from some guy called Soulpatch in the Ray Lewis post. One of the replies makes me wonder if it's structurally some kind of rip-off, but anyway, surely this exact joke has never been made before and, anyway, it brought out a chuckle. Keep it up, guy.

And finally, here's an excellent contribution from Theodore Donald Kerabatsos in the Facebook Fan Map post. Just a funny observation about Facebook behavior packaged inside a breezy one-liner. Awesome.

Total Fucking Duds

Not tonight, gentlemen. Nothing stood out as especially awful.

Sleep tight! Have wonderful dreams of warm air and cool breeze and soft grass and flying and flying and flying and flying. Nighty-night.

Monday Roundup

Favorites and duds from today's commenting.

Favorites, in no particular order:

Here's ye olde such-and-such-former-famous-person-is-poor joke from Madoffs Mets in the Daily Screencap post. I like these for obvious reasons: they usually involve a quick-moving bit of misdirection and they poke fun at vulnerable targets. Later, he apparently ended the internet with this well-made one-liner in the Pro Bowl Fan Brawl post. That's a terrific joke, the kind of thing that could easily show up in a late night talk show opening monologue.

Bevraj of Choice dropped one of my favorite jokes from Monday in the Charles Barkley post. I'm surprised this one didn't get a bit more attention. It's got all the right pieces: it's quick, it's elegant, it's smart, it's silly . . . great joke.

Here's an excellent riff on a well-known title from Same Sad Echo in the Charles Barkley post. I love the funny-by-accumulation jokes. No punchline required. Good stuff. Later, Same Sad Echo dropped this wordplay dig in the Louie Armstrong  Anderson post, and even later, he cracked me up with this short and sweet Phil Mickelson joke in the Effort Bowl post. This guy!

Here's another funny-by-accumulation joke, this time from Raysism in the Unkillable Trent Williams post. Okay, well, this one does supply something like a punchline at the end, but you're already laughing by then. Later, Raysism brought the house down with the best use of the mistake in the Louie Armstrong Anderson post. Really either of these comments could have been Comment of the Day, but I'm giving it to this second one. Hilarious. This joke will not be very accessible now that the mistake has been corrected, but that's just the way that goes.

Here's a terrific dialogue joke from Steve U in the Unkillable Trent Williams post. Apparently this is a COTY!!1!1 nominee. All that aside, it's hilarious. I love the jokes that find an original and absurd way of filling in the blanks in a particular news story. And later, here's a dynamite joke in the Louie Armstrong Anderson post. Holy smokes, that's great. This could very easily have been Comment of the Day, too.

Here's a fun thread in the Lance Armstrong's "Creep" post, featuring FreemanMcNeil, Same Sad Echo, Bring Back Anthony Mason, Raysism, SavetoFavorites, and others. Definitely worth checking out.

BlairWalshProject is back for more with this excellent extended quote in the Dull Joe Flacco post. This is very encouraging. Keep it up!

Here's a characteristically thoughtful and well-crafted dig from All Over But The Sharting in the Dull Joe Flacco post. I like about this joke that it doesn't give any sort of head-fake or indication in any direction with the opening line. It takes its time getting to the reveal and then packages 100% of its action in the final 17 syllables. The opening line is almost its reason for being, and then comes the joke. Excellent.

Here's a wonderful catch from RMJ=H in the Dull Joe Flacco post. It's funny sometimes what you don't notice in a given post's accompanying art, but the joke fits the photo so explicitly I had a bizarre moment when I wondered if RMJ=H had somehow shopped it. That's a hell of a pull. Great joke.

BronzeHammer cracked me up with this abrupt glance into the future in the Sob Story post. I just love how to-the-point this joke is. I feel like every word that wasn't put between the italicized line and the "we're both hacks" line would have significantly diminished the potency of the joke. And that kind of thing all comes down to the talent of the joke-maker and that sense of how to maximize the impact of your punchline. This is a fantastic joke.

If this kind of comment, from David Hume in the Sob Story post, doesn't make you sort of sit back and shake your head and smile and think about all the wide world of humor and storytelling out there for the taking, well, you're probably not nearly as lost down this miserable rabbit hole as I am. No set-up, no knockout punchline, no schtick, just a calm, thoughtful, breezy, beautifully confident version of the same angle BronzeHammer took in the same post. I love this stuff, if for no other reason than it reminds me that all that blabbering I do about condensing your idea into a tight punchline and positioning it carefully and yadda yadda is mostly just a boring by-the-numbers way of being funny. Be funny! Burn this blog! Be funny.

Bring Back Anthony Mason invoked Goatse with this awesome one-liner in the Chris Kluwe post, to the delight of the crowd. This is a crowd pleaser, a clever and savage dig at a hugely unpopular public figure. Sometimes you just have to know your audience. Also, am I the only person who sort of thinks Chris Kluwe is annoying and less than a tenth as funny/interesting/intelligent/clever as he thinks he is? I'm probably the only one. Nevermind.

DougExeter squeezed some juice out of a well-worn angle with this recontextualization in the Japanese Bat Flipping post. This joke hits the bullseye, which is fortunate, because I have a feeling it wouldn't have taken much for it to land with an echoing thud. DougExeter is a talented enough commenter to pick just the right way to work that reference into a winner. Good stuff.

I laughed at this wordplay joke from TheCarlosRuizSpanishEnglishDictionary in the Ravens Cheerleader Petition post. It takes two separate bits of information from the post and finds a clever way to draw them together into a tight little one-liner. That's a sharp bit of humor, there.

Here's IronMikeGallego hopping on the silly train in the Kwame Harris post. That's great. This joke has so many working parts. It offers a few lukewarm little pun-like jokes-within-a-joke in the opening, and then throws in a huge curveball at the end, turning absurd at just the right moment. And it gives us Kwame Harris as a . . . err . . . straight man along the way. Excellent.

And finally, here's Tulos Mullet (Tom Ley) being a wise guy in the Marshall Henderson post. Impossible to not laugh at this. Boy would this guy ever be welcome back at the commenting table.

Total Fucking Duds

Skipping the duds today. Thanks for understanding.

So, clearly we're still not back on schedule. I went to a basketball game last night and got home late and punished myself by eating leftover pasta and a bowl of granola with approximately half a gallon of honey poured over the top. Also, man, that's a lot of fucking Favorites. At any rate, forgive me.

Keep an eye out for Tuesday's Roundup tonight. So help me God.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Week In Review And Then Some

First with the awards.

Last Week's Swinging Dicks

In a massive six-way tie for third place, co-winners of a collection of armed and loaded mousetraps from my freezing cold basement: StuartScottsEye, Gamboa Constrictor, Bring Back Anthony Mason, Madoffs Mets, Theodore Donald Kerabatsos, and The Amazing Sneijderman, with 2 Favorites each in the past five days.

Here's my favorite comment from StuartScottsEye from last week. Such a complete joke. Great job.

Here's my favorite comment from Gamboa Constrictor from last week. It's a great Idiot joke.

Here's my favorite comment from Bring Back Anthony Mason from last week. Really, either of his jokes from Wednesday could be here. They were both spectacular.

Here's my favorite comment from Madoffs Mets from last week. Silly goose.

Here's my favorite comment from Theodore Donald Kerabatsos from last week. This guy's unbelievable.

Here's my favorite comment from The Amazing Sneijderman from last week. That's a great one-liner.

In an only slightly less annoying five-way tie for second place, co-winners of a collection of sprung mousetraps from my freezing cold basement: Eddie Murray Sparkles, Raysism, Steve U, RMJ=H, and IronMikeGallego, with 3 Favorites each in the past five days.

Here's my favorite comment from Eddie Murray Sparkles from last week. Smart and goofy and great.

Here's my favorite comment from Raysism from last week. A perfectly executed dig.

Here's my favorite comment from Steve U from last week. This joke has a really funny payoff.

Here's my favorite comment from RMJ=H from last week. This one killed the crowd.

Here's my favorite comment from IronMikeGallego from last week. It's like a pump fake that sends half the defense scrambling 30 yards in the wrong direction.

And alone in first place, proud winner of a collection of brutally mangled and mostly frozen mouse bodies from my freezing cold basement: DougExeter with 4 Favorites in the past five days.

Here's my favorite comment from DougExeter from last week. Another excellent one-liner.


But there's more!

The Monday Comment of the Day from StuartScottsEye.

The Tuesday Comment of the Day from Theodore Donald Kerabatsos.

The Wednesday Comment of the Day from SavetoFavorites.

The Thursday Comment of the Day from Madoffs Mets.

The Friday Comment of the Day from Theodore Donald Kerabatsos.

Congratulations, all.

The Unwelcome Lesson of the Week

So, many ages ago, Earless and I spent some time talking about joke-making, and out of this conversation emerged an approach to jokes that essentially treats a punchline like a hunk of beef. And, because Earless is smart and articulate and also a great joke-maker, he did most of the talking and I did the oohing and ahhing. But I have the blog and the rest is history. So, forget everything in this first paragraph and continue reading below.

The general idea is that there are two basic ways of cooking a hunk of beef: hot and fast, and low and slow. And, because I was just watching Alton Brown on television, I feel qualified to talk about why you might want to cook one hunk of beef hot and fast and another low and slow.

Hot and fast cooking is for those very tender, very tasty cuts of meat that could be eaten raw - really, you're cooking the meat at all because you, Manly Master of Nature, believe you can improve upon its God-and-cow-given deliciousness. But really, a nice thick cut of grass-fed beef tenderloin requires the briefest touch of a smoking-hot pan or grill for a good sear, and you're letting the fresh, blood-red interior carry the meal. That's where the action is. Minimal seasoning, minimal cook-time, just a quick application of high heat to give the outside a nice crunch and seal in the juices. Delicious.

Then there's low and slow, and low and slow cooking is for tough, fibrous, somewhat less delicious parts of the cow: the ribs, the shoulder, the butt, the parts of the cow certain fancy types might otherwise toss to the dogs. Barbecue is brined and rubbed and cooked over low heat for half a day and then served with spicy, vinegary sauce because, hey, it's not exactly made from the most wonderful part of the pig. Beef brisket - same deal. Low and slow is all about the untapped and deeply hidden potential of an otherwise forgettable hunk of meat.

When you or I look at a cow, we see a big loud smelly animal chewing cud. When I look at a dead skinned cow, I see a room spinning round and round and then blackness and then my wife standing over me with a look of grim resignation and a nice man holding smelling salts. When a butcher looks at a dead skinned cow, he sees opportunities. A relatively inert hunk of muscle hidden in the most docile part of a docile animal? Top dollar. A big strong hunk of thickly fibered muscle from the animal's powerful hindquarters? Barbecue. Brisket. One way or another, he sees potential, a way to turn that part of that animal into something delicious, and therefore something worth trading for money.

The Deadspin commenter is not so unlike the butcher. Each post is a slaughtered cow, freshly skinned and cleaned and oh God where's the bucket [blacks out]

. . . hanging there . . . wwwrrrrviscera exposed . . . oh God . . .

[smelling salts]


Each post requires that you, the butcher/joke-maker, have the creativity and wisdom to see, within the content, avenues to humor, opportunities, potential. And each avenue, each angle, will require an application of language that falls somewhere between hot and fast and low and slow. And you will generally know the difference via your own honed sense of how funny an idea is all on its own. But, as we all know from watching Steve U and SavetoFavorites and Gamboa Constrictor and Theodore Donald Kerabatsos, there's potential everywhere in that post. Every cut of meat can be salvaged by the right application of heat, and every angle in the post can be salvaged with the right application of language. Maybe your limp pun isn't ready to carry the plate in a one-liner, maybe it needs dialogue or a big long paragraph, or maybe it needs to be an Idiot joke. Apply words and creativity as a chef would apply heat, and you're on your way.

Hey, enjoy the Pro Bowl, eat well, and be rested and ready tomorrow for another full week of kickass jokes.

Friday Roundup

Favorites and duds from today's commenting.

Favorites, in no particular order:

Here's something ridiculous and silly from RMJ=H in the Tino Tuiasosopo post. This joke is about misdirection and really demonstrates the letting-the-air-out-of-the-balloon mechanic with the way it turns something weighty and personal into the absurd. Good stuff.

Here's an awkward unintended consequence joke from David Hume in the Twitter Ban post. No punchline, just an evocative description of the moment after the ban goes into effect. That's terrific.

BlairWalshProject earned a round of applause for this creative rewrite in the Carl Pavano post. All BlairWalshProject did was change the name and a single word. Interestingly enough, most of the time these jokes rise or fall based upon how little editing is done to the original title. It's sort of a high-wire act, with the author getting credit for spotting a nuanced change that has a major impact. Generally, the more you twist and alter the title, the more desperate and uninspired the joke seems. Anyway, good shit. Stick around and make some jokes.

Here's a dynamite comment from All Over But The Sharting in the Marlins Park post. Incredible. This may not be today's Comment of the Day, but it really could be. It's such a perfect combination of funny and smart and relevant. Holy smokes.

Here's a smart, funny wordplay joke from IronMikeGallego in the Marlins Park post. This is a big huge head-fake, and I love it. This joke has the unique characteristic of seeming to have something to say, such that you can almost trace the phantom continuation of the head-fake arc. He really sets it up - IronMikeGallego's going to make a joke having to do with abandoned loans and bankruptcy and Jeffrey Loria . . . oh wait, oh man what the fuck. Later, he went with a sharp one-liner-ish joke in the Texas Sexual Assault post. This joke pivots on a pretty incredible reuse of the phrase "miscarriage[s] of justice". That's a hell of a joke.

Here's a savage dig at the Marlins from The Amazing Sneijderman in the Marlins Park post. Several commenters went with the whole "the Marlins suck" idea in this post, but this was by far the best. Not just the specific angle, but the sharp, pared down delivery. Great comment.

This is a great, great comment, from StuartScottsEye in the Texas Sexual Assault post. This also could have been the Comment of the Day. It amounts to a misunderstanding, with the result revealing an unflattering stereotype of Texans. What doesn't matter is whether or not the characterization of Texans is true. The only thing that matters is that it makes use of a known stereotype in a funny, original way. In that way, we're laughing more at the perception of Texans than at their redneckedness (<-- real word? No.). And the specific pull here is just so good. I loved this joke.

Here's a funny comment from DougExeter in the Cedric Benson's Dogs post. So, this joke doesn't have misdirection, it obscures the reference. And I love that. As the goofball who praised the joke in the replies while simultaneously stepping all over it pointed out, DougExeter did a great job of making the reference without spelling it out. What does that do? That's right, the cognitive delay. And, holy smokes, look at that reply from dailylama. What a fucking idiot. I would love to shove that guy down an open manhole.

This is such a smart little joke, which is interesting, because it's also so, so stupid, from Eddie Murray Sparkles in the Cedric Benson's Dogs post. So stupid. This is sort of part of what is great about Eddie Murray Sparkles, that sense that an intensely powerful intellect is being wasted on some incredibly stupid, silly, off-the-wall references. The whole idea of the proposed Celebrity Kickboxing match is just so absurd and ridiculous, it's hard not to laugh. But then you're also doing the whole "whoa, how the hell did he pull that together?" thing. Later, Eddie Murray Sparkles took a good natured shot at Deadspin's staff with this simple, funny one-liner in the Dead Letters post. That's great.

There's something wonderfully charming about the ridiculous excessiveness of this joke from Same Sad Echo in the Inside The NBA post. Same Sad Echo is one of the very best at packing personality into his jokes, and this is just another great example.

Here's your Comment of the Day, from Theodore Donald Kerabatsos in the Dead Letters post. On a day that featured several outstanding comments, this is far and away the best. It takes advantage of some of what we know or have been told about AJ Daulerio, the legend of Daulerio. In that way, it's not so different from StuartScottsEye's joke about Texans. But unlike a one-liner, this comment uses the format of the post as an opportunity to pour amazing details into the joke until, by accumulation, it has become a deadly-hysterical masterpiece. No text is wasted, from the opening Subject line on. Deadspin regulars will remember this joke forever.

Here's some inside baseball from Poignant Theater in the Dead Letters post. No matter, it's hilarious. The idea that Gamboa's Idiot sense of humor is a hereditary trait is just fantastic. I laughed aloud at this.

Total Fucking Duds

I think we've reached the point where this joke, from iknowsoftware in the Texas Sexual Assault post, and all its buddies have become boring and unoriginal. I don't doubt that there are still funny comments to be made about Manti Te'o and the imaginary girlfriend, but the time has come where some originality and creativity in the delivery and a fresh angle or two will be required. This kind of joke has been made and made and made.

Some heavy hitters up in the Favorites, eh? A nice mix of regulars, newbies, and old-timers today. Great to see cameos from David Hume, All Over But The Sharting, and Theodore Donald Kerabatsos on the same day, as well as the continued resurgence of IronMikeGallego and Eddie Murray Sparkles. Let's hope it continues!

Hey, that's it. Look out for a Week in Review sometime later today. Here's hoping you're having the best weekend yet.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Thursday Roundup

Favorites and duds from today's commenting.

Favorites, in no particular order:

I suppose it's worth wondering at this point whether Gamboa Constrictor is the master of my heart Idiot jokes. I mean, just look at this thing, from the Daily Screencap post. Ridiculous. And every time I see one of these, it gets juuust a little bit funnier.

I really enjoyed this awkward sequence from Madoffs Mets in the Ronaiah Tuiasosopo post. So silly. There's your Comment of the Day for Thursday.

Here's something stupid and funny from RMJ=H in the Ronaiah Tuiasosopo post. This is almost a practical joke - the joke is on you, the reader, like the chicken crossing the road to get to the other side. It's all about the misdirection, the misdirection is the punchline. I love it.

Here's another goofy wordplay joke, this time from Raysism in the Lou Holtz post. Methicans . . . seems like everyone brought their silly hats today. Speaking of which, look at this fucking thing in the Manti Te'o Interview Live Blog post. Goofball. Good stuff.

Hey, whaddya know, another supremely silly joke, this time from The Amazing Sneijderman in the Lou Holtz post. I laughed.

And here's a great wordplay joke utilizing a familiar structure from IronMikeGallego in the Rachel Nichols Twitter post. That's very sharp. It's great to see IronMikeGallego back in the mix.

Total Fucking Duds

No duds.

Friday's coming soon. I hate to be so late on these and to bang them out with so little content, but shit's crazy around the Shitehawk residence these days. Look for a Week In Review sometime on Sunday, and we'll try to get back on schedule next week. Thanks for your patience and for your wonderful, wonderful jokes.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Wednesday Roundup

Favorites and duds from today's commenting.

Favorites, in no particular order:

Here's a really terrific one-liner from Bring Back Anthony Mason in the Katie Couric Interview post. So creative. The meat of the joke is the unit of measurement, and Bring Back Anthony Mason gives us all the information about it before giving us its name, and he does it all in one tightly constructed sentence. That's perfect delivery. Obviously this stuff is sort of old hat for Deadspin regulars, but it's really impressive when measured against all the other, less successful ways this joke can be made. Later, Bring Back Anthony Mason delivered this amazing noir-ish joke in the Jim Irsay post. Most days, either of those jokes could be Comment of the Day. Just two spectacular comments.

Here's a great one-line dig from Raysism in the Katie Couric Interview post. I like the dry, bare-bones delivery on this one. In a way, it finds the middle ground between asserting the punchline as fact and just ripping the guy's style choices. I hope that makes sense. In other words, you could call the sweater ugly by just saying, "damn that's one ugly sweater", or you could create a fictional scenario to literally explain the choice of clothing. Raysism's joke reads like a dig, the kind of thing you might say to a coworker wearing a terrible sweater - it supposes how he came to be wearing it and uses the absurdity of the guess as an indicator of the ugliness of the clothing. I swear this all makes sense to me.  Later, Raysism earned a huge round of applause for this killer photoshop joke in the Redskins Catfish post. No analysis required - just look at that fucking thing. Good stuff.

Here's a charming reference from ScientificMapp in the Redskins Catfish post. It's hard not to love this. It's a clever enough pull, but the joke is funny for using a spot-on characterization of the Cathy comic strip as its conflict. It's sort of adorable, actually. Anyway, great joke.

Steve U was on fire today. Here's a dynamite one-liner in the Redskins Catfish post. I marvel at this. I have no idea where the inspiration for this angle came from. It would take me a week to come up with this joke. And here's another unexpected reference, this time in the Phone Log Spreadsheet post. This one might be a little easier to trace back to the words "area code". Still, the thought process here has to be something like area code to vast mental catalogue of songs and song lyrics to songs with area code or something that sounds like it to words and phrases in these songs that can be manipulated in one way or another to how to package this into a one-liner that doesn't waste all the mental gymnastics I just did in assembling the component parts. Incredible. And finally, Steve U used his most straightforward delivery for his easiest-to-follow punchline in this outstanding one-liner in the Eden Hazard post. Such a pro. Great job.

Sgt. Hammerclaw earned a huge ovation for this silly multimedia joke in the Phone Log Spreadsheet post. So, the whole idea of Manti Te'o passing off a handwritten document as an official Verizon phone record is funny enough, but the joke might be a bit dry if it isn't dressed up with little touches here and there. And the actual visual handwritten document is such fertile territory for adding one's own humor, anyway. I think this joke probably gets a handful of appreciative +1s even without the (wink wink) stuff and the scratched out lines and the exclamation points, but it's that stuff that takes it from being clever to something at which a person will genuinely laugh aloud.

Here's something silly and stupid and hilarious from RMJ=H in the Scarves post. That's a really goofy premise for a joke, and it could probably be delivered a few different ways, but I think ultimately it was important that RMJ=H kept it short. If he'd wanted to really go the Idiot route, he could have done the whole "Funny, I always thought the 'masque' . . . " thing, and that would have also worked. Still, the effect is similar: we're laughing at least a little bit at how completely ridiculous the suggestion is, and some of that laughter is pointed back at the author. When you make a joke like this, you do it knowing that people will be laughing at how stupid it is.

So, I guess I'm with the burners on this one, but I thought this long joke from burner VampireWeekendatBernies in the Manti Te'o Has Got Goodness post was pretty fucking funny. It's the collapsing-into-absurdity thing that shows up in a lot of funny long-ish jokes from time to time. I think there's sort of a subliminal trick to these, because, when you think about it, the collapsing-into-absurdity joke, when done well, follows almost exactly the standard narrative arc. I remember someone once suggested to me that the narrative arc is such an effective storytelling device because it follows the arc of . . . wait for it . . . an orgasm. Crazy, right? Whoa, we've just moved into our own bit of absurdity. Jesus. I have no idea where I was going with that. Oh, right, the idea that the narrative arc is something that we process subconsciously. Deep, man. Way deep. Ever notice how much easier it is to listen to a song written in 4/4 time than a song written in, say, 7/8? Takes a moment to get used to the awkward time, right? WE ARE INFECTED WITH STRANGE ALIEN PREFERENCES THAT WE DO NOT CONTROL.

There is no way this is not the Comment of the Day, from SavetoFavorites in the Super Bowl Tickets For HJ/BJ/etc. post. I fucking died when I read this. The balls section is maybe one of the two or three funniest things I have ever read. There's really nothing more to say about it.

This is pretty damn funny, from a burner called BreastonLargements in the Super Bowl Tickets For HJ/BJ/etc. post. Like the famous "banana wrapped in elbow skin" blurt from however long ago, this is just something someone says. And it is funny.

And finally, here's a clever one-liner from BronzeHammer in the Super Bowl Tickets For HJ/BJ/etc. post. It just sort of repurposes the content of the post into a different circumstance altogether, and both the new circumstance and the potential misunderstanding are really funny. And, for a cherry on top, it goes coarse at the end, using much more explicit language to deliver its punchline. There's no way that doesn't boost the humor of the joke. Good shit.

Total Fucking Duds

So, maybe the general wisdom these days is that I should cut it out with the duds. And I'm okay with that, I guess. I haven't decided one way or another, but for now I think it's probably safe to assume that most days there won't be duds. I don't want to remove the section altogether, and I doubt I ever will, but I have come to think that those of you who suggest that there are just too many horrible comments floating around each day to bother isolating a few are probably right. We'll see how it goes. For Wednesday, I skipped the duds. We'll see what happens with Thursday.

Keep doin' your damn thing. The comments have been great lately. You guys are the best.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Tuesday Roundup

Favorites and duds from today's commenting.

Favorites, in no particular order (moving quickly):

Here's a humdinger from Eddie Murray Sparkles in the Bishop O'Connell post. On most days, this is your Comment of the Day.

Here's a familiar angle from DougExeter in the Bishop O'Connell post. Subtle and effective. Also, here's a great Dick Cheney joke in the Celtic Manager post. Good stuff. And later, here's a kickass dig at the Lions in the Abandoned Silverdome post. This guy's great.

This is sharp and funny and beautifully delivered from Sponsored by V8 in the Terrible Lakers post. Great joke.

Here's a hysterical sequence from Gamboa Constrictor in the Ice Ice Baby post. I laughed aloud at this.

Here's a gruesome reference from Post ApocalypticRecSpecs in the Abandoned Silverdome post. Yeesh.

Here's a terrific crack from Bring Back Anthony Mason in the Phil Mickelson post. Excellent.

I enjoyed this wordplay caption joke from Madoffs Mets in the Phil Mickelson post. Very clever.

And finally, here's a rare post-DUAN Favorite, and it is today's Comment of the Day, from Theodore Donald Kerabatsos in the ESPN Wasted Tip post. That's wonderful.

Total Fucking Duds

This is pretty shocking. You're capable of so much more!

Thanks for reading. I'm desperately trying to catch up. Have a great night.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Monday Roundup

Favorites and duds from today's commenting.

Favorites, in no particular order:

I enjoyed this wordplay gag from StuartScottsEye in the Free Food post. The format of this joke - cleverly worded summary of the post's content, followed by a redirected punchline - has become so familiar that it almost functions as a knock knock joke. You could almost stop after the first part and have fun trying to get ahead of the punchline, to guess your way to the finish. Because most of the work that goes into this thing is in trying to reword and repurpose the content for the setup, and that's really where the humor exists in the joke. And because there are no other options, this is the Comment of the Day.

Total Fucking Duds

Yeah, like I'm going to spend time chasing down shitty jokes on a day when there was a single Favorite.

Look for a Tuesday Roundup sometime tonight.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Week in Review, But That's Not All

Boys, step forward to claim your prizes.

Last Week's Swinging Dicks

In a tie for 3rd place, co-winners of a real, live donkey (every other week and alternating weekends): Same Sad Echo and Raysism, with 4 favorites each.

I'm in agreement with Shitehawk. This, from Same Sad Echo, is maybe the funniest reply ever and so is definitely his best comment of the week. "Bookmark that shit," is an incredible payoff.

And this, from Friday, is my favorite Raysism comment from the past five days. Absurd.

In 2nd place, the sole winner of a shovel and a brown paper bag and the address where I'm dropping off the donkey: Bevraj of Choice, with 5 favorites.

This is his finest effort of the week, I think. What a gross gag. Funny, too.

Finally, in 1st place, the winner of whatever fits in the brown paper bag after I take a knife and scrape/flatten off the top: DougExeter, with 6 Favorites this week. Wow, DougExeter taking the comment section by storm! Kudos.

This is my favorite DougExeter comment from the week. In general, I like an unconventional joke so much more. And that one works. Great job.

I hope you guys have a rip-roaring good time with that donkey. You've earned it.

Let's not forget!

The Monday Comment of the Day, from Bring Back Anthony Mason.

The Tuesday Comment of the Day, from Same Sad Echo.

The Wednesday Comment of the Day, from RMJ=H.

The Thursday Comment of the Day, from RMJ=H.

The Friday Comment of the Day, from Steve U.

The Unwelcome Lesson of the Week

Have you ever had a couple of drinks on a night when your old lady decided to stay sober? Sometimes that happens around here. How'd you like it? Me, I like it just fine most times. But see if this sounds familiar.

First couple rounds, you might as well be drinking iced tea. Nothing new. You're just bored and no longer thirsty. No problems.

Second batch, things are getting good. Whatever you're watching on TV is better, unless it's sports, in which case it's appreciably worse but you don't care. The wife is giving you sideways glances, and it's up to you whether or not you keep going. You keep going.

Next time around, you're getting a little sauced and very conversational. The discussion drifts, and you realize you're being set up for a good joke. Sure, it's at your wife's expense, or it's about an attractive woman, or something you're aware will be equally unpopular. But you're a funny guy -- go look at MadBastardsAll! You were on there 3 times this week! You can definitely pull it off. No. No, you can't. You're starting to fear that you can't actually pull it off, because you're fucking drunk. You can see where this is going, but your mouth is already fucking open. You'd be cringing in anticipation if your reflexes weren't so goddamn slow. The joke earwigged its way into your head, and by god it was coming out. So it did.

Well, that's what I think this idea for The Unwelcome Lesson of the Week is like. I'll explain.

Deadspin Commenter Shit List

An excoriation of Deadspin's most consistently useless and intentionally awful commenters. Total Fuckin' Duds with less encouragement.

Nobody with the sense and good fortune to navigate to this webpage should expect to find his name on the DCSL. It's a dark and squalid place, full of fear and regret, but it's not for us, though we are its keepers. It's for the men who screech and claw to escape their fate, which is to be eternally "below the fold", in the Kinja dungeon, loathed if not forgotten. They want attention, and so giving it to them while bemoaning their presence might seem counterintuitive. But this won't be attention; it will be vigilance. These commenters are here for a reason: to notify you that their presence is to be ignored at all times, and that screaming "Boooooooo!" at your laptop should suffice as your only interactions with them. Ready the tomatoes.

joe675 - A contemptible troll whose post count over the last 72 hours would make even the most obsessive commenters' eyes roll back in their heads. Upon first glance (and a dozen others, of necessity), joe's sole objective appears to be to gain employment at whichever PR firm is foolish enough to next undertake a defense of Manti T'eo. One's natural assumption, especially when stumbling upon his activity in a USC thread weeks ago, is that he's a T'eo relative (or ND psychopathic obsessive) who also happened to be an on/of Deadspin reader. But look further. There are comments ranging from Anne Hathaway threads to disgusting pseudo-liberal Randian tirades to Pok√©mon hating (???). One of the greatest threats facing the comment section today.

FuckFuck - This person, "Aaron Rupar" perhaps, is a shill for a blog. Mostly blogs written by Aaron Rupar. Blogs are the absolute lowest form of the written word, and should never be tolerated under any circumstances.

LOUD-NOISES - Anyone who posts things like this or this or [deep breath] this was not ever funny, under this name or any other. The idea that someone familiar with Deadspin and its commenting would actively try to undermine it, and with such little creativity or success, is not a credit to our fraternity. The fact that nothing can ever be done to obscure or discourage the obnoxious, destructive nonsense this person is determined to pollute our comment section with is, however, a credit to Nick Denton. A hearty "Fuck off" to both fine gentlemen.

texasgunowner - A commenter for whom much beyond "This is his name" perhaps need not be said. Reading his comments and linking them here, for you, is akin to (and as enjoyable as) handing a megaphone to Big Fucking Idiot Jones and taking notes. He is pedantic, banal, and distressingly misinformed. That was in the last 48 hours, folks. I don't know whether his account was newly minted circa Sandy Hook because I threw my computer down a deep hole after reading his comments and can do no more research. He is execrable. I doubt it, Big Tex.

superpooperfart - As you could probably guess, superpooperfart was the inspiration for this list. Congratulations, superpooperfart, you've managed to engage the ignorant tourists wandering through Deadspin for the first and last time. You've proved no point about Kinja or Deadspin or anything else, except how much time you'll devote to making sure you capitalized all the letters in every possible epithet. The crudeness of the work is blatant, but the trite unoriginality is the real offense. Get the fuck out, superpooperfart.

Fittingly, superpooperfart and joe675 have actually crossed paths, which is very upsetting.

This was horrible to write, and I'm sure it was worse to read. I'm never doing Duds again.

DUAN is looking besieged. Enjoy your weekend, folks.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday Roundup

Favorites and duds from today's commenting.

Favorites, in no particular order:

Here's a funny, silly one-liner from Lionel Osbourne in the Puck-In-The-Crate Competition post. I like this joke - it just kind of lays itself out there without any special (or obvious, anyway) structure. We use the word "breezy" from time to time to describe jokes that have a certain simple, uncomplicated style. Unbelievably, appearing relaxed, informal, and cheerily brisk actually is a definition of the word, and to bring that characteristic to your one-liner, you want to work on translating that definition, piece by piece, into practical terms: go for a plain, conversational tone, and pare it down as much as possible into something short and efficient. What's the easiest, most natural way I can make this joke? Some people have a genuine knack for it, and I've always felt like Lionel Osbourne is one of them. It's a style that almost always plays well when coupled with a solid angle.

Here's a very good Manti Te'o joke from Bevraj of Choice in the Airballed Free Throw post. This joke predictably earned a huge number of +1s, and that's okay. Get those Manti Te'o jokes in now while the audience is swollen with tourists and the angles haven't yet been picked clean and sucked dry. This stuff is still fresh and still very, very funny. Also, and I say this to everyone here: I really think you should be dismissing trash talk and heckling. There's an argument to be made that good commenters don't need that shit and shouldn't have to put up with it. More importantly, if you give a shit about exerting control over the comments as we once could with the approval system, use the dismiss button to discourage this crap. If heckling shows up prominently among the 26 replies of the most popular comment in a post, every idiot tourist and uninitiated newbie is going to assume that's just something that happens on Deadspin, and then everyone will be dealing with it all the time. This is already happening, but I swear to God if every Deadspin commenter deleted all trash talk immediately after reading it, it would all be gone within a month. Also, later, this hilarious joke in the Sandusky Homeowners Insurance post is so much better than its five +1s would seem to indicate. I suppose many commenters skip right past these posts. Great joke.

Here's a terrific screenplay joke from RMJ=H in the Eagles/Browns Cat Fight post. The name Banner would not be enough to make a Hulk joke in this post without layering on silly details like this. This is almost exactly the whole difference between the great Deadspin joke-makers and the horde of randos, that ability to sense how much and what kind of setup a particular angle will need in order to go from an idea to a complete joke. All the time we see jokes based around this kind of, well, flimsy reference - a name or circumstance or even a single word that reminds someone of something else. 90% of these jokes are made by burners and idiots and amount to this reminds me of that, and we all groan when we see them. It's not enough to say this thing is like that thing, and this joke is an example of just how much more can be done with a reference. He didn't stop there, and he didn't even stop with a line from one of the Hulk movies or having his character execute an action or recite something recognizable to Hulk fans. This joke makes use of the reference as a vehicle for the author's own totally original creation, and that's the whole idea.

Ah, the cognitive delay. Here's a pitch-perfect one-liner from DougExeter, also in the Eagles/Browns Cat Fight post. Your average set-up/knockdown joke has the whole setup, premise, punchline thing going on, where a premise is presented as part of a carefully constructed setup that primes the listener/reader/viewer for the fall, the punchline, that moment when the air is let out of the balloon. Some of my favorite jokes incorporate, as part of the setup, that extra step when the final assembly of all the component parts requires that glance back at the source. You read the post from start to finish and retain, for the most part, the post's meaning, the general idea. Then you read the joke, and in this case, the joke deals in specifics. So you gathered the meaning from the post but can't quite apply it to the joke, and theres a moment when you reference the post for the specifics, for the key that will decode the joke. In the best cases, that moment is just a flash and does not require a full rereading of the post, just the briefest hurried mental shuffling through the details that stuck in the background of the meaning you gathered moments earlier. The whole thing slides into place, and the laugh is yanked out of you. It takes a certain amount of chutzpah to leave the reference out, to rely upon the reader to complete the assembly by incorporating language from outside your joke. Good shit. And later, here's a real Idiot joke in the Manti Te'o' Photo post. Very funny. I love this stuff.

Here's a hilarious dig at Darryl Strawberry from Eddie Murray Sparkles in the (excellent) Crazy Half-Inning post. This joke earned the coveted Idiot +1. I think that's appropriate, because the joke does seem to derive some of its humor from the observation that, yes, it's a goofy idea. I also think it's a pretty damn funny shot at Darryl Strawberry. The joke is not about how goofy it is, it's about Darryl Strawberry at rock bottom. In other words, Idiot jokes need not derive all their humor from pointing inward at their own goofiness, but that is usually a characteristic. I laughed at the idea of Darryl Strawberry "scoring" a Nutella cardboard house at Costco, at the specificity of the joke, and at the creative (and, yeah, goofy) use of the phrase "box score". Going for the Idiot thing is tricky, because you don't want to undercut your joke by winking too obviously at its inherent goofiness. On the other hand, sometimes your joke's angle is silly and out there, so you incorporate a tone or presentation that highlights that characteristic, and everyone laughs and calls you an idiot and it's great.

And here's a characteristically bizarre and wonderful dialogue joke from SavetoFavorites, also in the Crazy Half-Inning post. Dialogue jokes are great, and they've become almost as common a joke type on Deadspin as the one-liner, and I still happen to think SavetoFavorites is the very best at making them. You can use a dialogue joke to tease out a thin angle, or you can use it to express a vague idea or a funny mood, or you can even use it to position a knockout reference, and in almost all of those cases, the reason you'd go there is for the opportunity to impart personality (sometimes literally). The commenters who feel comfortable with silliness and tend to lean towards the less obvious angles generally tend to do well with this kind of presentation, and SavetoFavorites is the silliest of all geese and seems to conjure his bizarre angles out of thin air.

Have a look at this mostly funny pyramid in the I Know A Liar post, featuring DougExeter, SavetoFavorites, Steve U, TomSpanks12, and others. There are one or two brutal entries in there among the funny ones.

Oh, this is so fucking funny, from Raysism in the I Know A Liar post. All parts of this joke are funny. The stat is funny for likely being bullshit. Raysism's really silly way of poking fun at the tricky names in the Manti Te'o story is funny. Even (and especially) the super-straightforward delivery is funny. It's a great joke, very simple and totally ridiculous. Awesome job. And later, here's a clever wordplay joke in the Flattened Coach post. So, here's how this joke goes: Raysism watches the video and thinks up basketball terms that would seem to apply. Charge seems appropriate enough, but it would clearly not be enough on its own: dur hur Jackson was also called for a charge or dur hur Jackson should have been called for a charge, etc. That's the joke every burner would make. How to work the charge in there? Look for an alternate meaning, and then find a way to present the alternate meaning in such a way that you have actually obscured the basketball term. And so when we say that a wordplay joke is clever, we're not just talking about the pun, we're talking about how the pun is positioned, how the dual meanings are obscured until the last possible moment. Puns are cute, but a pun is elevated by the reveal, and this is a great fucking reveal. The charge/charge thing is almost the smallest part of this joke. It's all about the presentation. Also, I predict we are mere hours away from all the juice being gone from this kind of joke, in the Vince Young post. It worked this time, but I do not think it will work by Monday. Still, I did laugh. And finally, this is definitely the best Samoa/Samoa joke to surface in the Manti Te'o story, from the Ronaiah Tuisasopo post. This is a terrific joke, one of the day's very best.

This got almost no love, from Same Sad Echo in the Flattened Coach post, but it is hysterical. It's very much like a Far Side cartoon, and I love it. And I know I've covered this before, but I absolutely love the little non-dialogue parts of dialogue jokes, like [averts eyes]. Not only do they give the joke a visual, they also give the author a fun and productive way of imparting timing on the joke. Same Sad Echo could have gone with something like 11 Players: [avert eyes], but by using three (or however many) names, he controls how quickly you progress through the joke, and that's something to consider once you remember that virtually all spoken jokes rely heavily upon the actual literal timing and rhythm of their delivery. When you can find little tricks that allow you to impart timing and rhythm into your written jokes, you've given them yet another avenue to humor.

I needed a moment with this joke from The Amazing Sneijderman in the Flattened Coach post, but I got there eventually. Again, the guts to leave the reference outside the actual joke, to let it float out there and let the reader work their way to it via their own intuition. I love it. In this case, the reference might be just a bit unavailable to the casual reader, but that's okay. The payoff for those who have access is probably worth sacrificing the experience of casual readers. Maybe the "ball don't lie" thing could be positioned a little bit more explicitly, maybe not, but there's definitely something gratifying about figuring it out with little evidence, and anyone could forgive The Amazing Sneijderman for preserving that dynamic instead of opening up the joke a bit.

Nothing made me laugh quite as much as this outrageous lyrical joke from Steve U in the Baltimore PD Hype Video post, and so it is your Comment of the Day. First of all, it's hilarious. Second of all, the balls-to-the-walls-iness of it is thrilling. And it somehow genuinely captures the awkwardness of the hype video, which is perhaps its best characteristic. It's amazing how much mileage you can get out of a simple word choice, like shuffle instead of step. Shuffle can be understood to indicate uncertainty, and even if that's not what Steve U had in mind, that's what is accomplished, and it really adds a lot to the joke. I like a daring joke - even bad ones are unlikely to end up in the Duds out of respect for their author's ambition. I also like to think I am laughing along with the author, and it's hard to imagine Steve U not laughing his ass off as he imagined this thing up and put it together. Great joke. And here's a fairly ingenious dig in the Vince Young post. So sad and so, so good. This could have also been the Comment of the Day. Wonderful.

And finally, here's a funny and yucky quote from Madoffs Mets in the . . . umm, the Manti Te'o post from 3:45pm today (there are so fucking many). I like the simple presentation, presenting only the quote and keeping it as direct as possible. It's a bold, funny, and easily understood idea, so let the idea do the work. It takes confidence, because you don't want to leave your joke short of the mark, but that's a pretty decent rule of thumb, one we've covered before: the stronger and more directly related your joke idea, the less you want to clutter it up with setup and presentation. Good job.

Total Fucking Duds

This is today's lone dud, from some dingus called ChrisBlank in the Ronaiah Tuisosopo post, and it's here because it's boring and uninspired and I really don't care at all that a bunch of bonehead randos yucked it up. BOOOOOOOOO! Boring boring boring.

Okay! That's it! Have a great weekend, and keep an eye out for a Week in Review thinger either tomorrow or Sunday. We're back at it next week.

Thanks for reading. How about a Friday DUAN?

Thursday Roundup

Favorites and duds from today's commenting.

Favorites, in no particular order:

Lets start right off with the Comment of the Day, from RMJ=H in the Reagan Maui'a post. COTY!!1! In all seriousness, this is an instant classic. I'll remember the Gary Coleman Coffin Cooler joke forever, and I'll probably never forget this one either. Put that one on your resume, RMJ=H. Also, it's worth opening up all replies to see the one brutal intrusion from some burner idiot called HeyGoalieGoalie. Hey moron, way to step on the joke. Christ.

I enjoyed this dig from Bevraj of Choice in the Donald Trump Tweet post. It's a simple wordplay gag used to comment both on Trump's values and on his stupidity, and it's smart and tightly packaged and great.

Also in the Donald Trump post, I got a kick out of this unexpected note from The Amazing Sneijderman. While most commenters took the opportunity to needle Trump in one way or another, The Amazing Sneijderman found an entirely different angle and then managed to work it into an interesting delivery. Good shit.

And finally, here's a devastating one-liner from Post ApocalypticRecSpecs in the Bloody Sock post. Oof. Most days, this a-here comment is the Comment of the Day. It's fucking hysterical. Great stuff.

Total Fucking Duds

CheckYoPrivilege brought the stupid with this boring, brainless offering in the Bloody Sock post. Do durdy dur dur durdy dur? Ass. It will come as no surprise to anyone that there was apparently at least one other person out there who thinks the words "bloody tampons" are, all by themselves, funny. "It make me laugh" indeed.

The best thing about this bumbling mess from ichelleray in the Darnell Dockett post is the "if you know what I mean" line. Real subtle, dummy.

Oh boy. Running a bit behind here. Look for Friday's Roundup . . . umm . . . tonight? Tomorrow? At some point there will be a Friday Roundup.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Wednesday Roundup (The Day Deadspin Went BOOM!!)

Favorites and duds from today's commenting.

Favorites, in no particular order:

I chuckled at this simple one-word gag from Gamboa Constrictor in the Marshall Henderson post. I love the simplicity - it's right there for the taking! This is one of those jokes that simultaneously makes you laugh and makes you wish you'd been quick-witted enough to get there yourself. And there's really no way I could get away with leaving this goddamn thing off the Favorites for today. Jesus. At what point does Gamboa start wishing he hadn't made the comment? He'll still be getting hits in his reply box a week from now off this thing. I like to think that's the deal with the devil that was made here. Still, it's funny. In an IDIOT IDIOT IDIOT IDIOT IDIOT kind of way. Also, special props to Same Sad Echo for maybe the funniest reply I've ever read. The reply is the runner-up for Comment of the Day.

Here's a somewhat goofy wordplay joke from DougExeter in the Doug Johnson post. I'm not knocking it - we do goofy around here. It's not an Idiot joke, but it's not far off, and it inspires the same slow head shake. Anyway, I certainly thought it was funny. Later, he dropped this creative offering in the Chip Kelly post, earning a round of applause. And still later, he dropped this perfectly fine comment in the USC Post-Game Brawl post, earning all manner of YOU WIN THE INTERNETZ!!1!eleven! and COTY!1! replies. It's a very good joke, and it plays perfectly among the tourists. Good work today.

I'm a bit surprised this one-liner from Eddie Murray Sparkles didn't get a little more attention. I think it's great. Deadspin commenters have a tradition of cracking jokes at the expense of broke and/or destitute celebrities and athletes, and this joke takes that angle while also reframing the content of the post. It's well-constructed and the notion that Brad Johnson pulls a rickshaw, pulls the rickshaw from the story . . . it's funny, dammit! Here's another +1.

How about this humdinger from Bring Back Anthony Mason in the ***** Van ***** post? Yowza! That's a great, great joke. I'm dumb enough that I needed a minute alone with this one, but it's a terrific pull packaged inside a hilarious delivery. Great joke. Also, my God, this is fucking hysterical. It absolutely killed me. What a day for Bring Back Anthony Mason. Two fucking killer jokes.

I almost have no choice but to make this the Comment of the Day, from RMJ=H in the Chip Kelly post. Strictly speaking, it's not really one comment. But the original "read-optional" comment and the subsequent takedown of the idiot burner are, together, instant classics. I'm really not a fan of funny, talented commenters trolling the burners, but I'm not sure that's what happened here. It looks to me like RMJ=H made a solid if unspectacular comment and had the agile wit to come right back with a hilarious follow-up when an incredibly dense person totally missed the punchline. The whole thing is a goddamn hoot. Take a bow.

Total Fucking Duds

No Duds. Well, actually, plenty of duds. But none here.

Have a great, um, day. I'll be back later with a Thursday Roundup. Thanks for your patience.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tuesday Roundup

Favorites and duds from today's commenting.

Favorites, in no particular order:

Here's a terrific joke from DougExeter in the Kevin Durant Cheat Code post. It takes a literal slant on the post's headline and cranks out an absurd little sequence. I'm still chuckling at this one.

This is about what we've come to expect from SavetoFavorites in the Lance Armstrong, Snitch post. So rich and gutsy. That is a hell of a comment.

Impossible to not laugh at this comment from Same Sad Echo in the Stuart Scott P90X post. Impossible. This is your Comment of the Day. Later, the son-of-a-bitch contributed this sendup in the Andray Blatche Shit List post. Ass.

So, yeah, this is pretty silly, from TheCarlosRuizSpanishEnglishDictionary in the Misidentified Kings post, but I laughed. What the hell. It's really the "Dumas" that drives home the humor, and perhaps only because it really does work well as a caricature of internet idiots.

Here's an excellent pull from ReverseApeChemist in the Kobe Bryant, Defensive Specialist post. I especially like this joke because it sort of wrings everything possible out of its particular angle. Maybe the draw pun just can't deliver a COTY!!1! joke, but I'm not sure it can be done better than this. Efficient and in perfect order.

EDIT: I'm not sure how I fucked this up, but these next two jokes belong to Poignant TheaterHere's a funny shot at Mark Wohlers (of all people) in the John Rocker post. It's another very strong reference. And finally, here's a funny stereotyping of a few Gawker sites and their commenters in the Emma for Scocca post. Good stuff. Sorry for the confusion.

Check out this excellent thread in the Used Rugs post, featuring The Amazing Sneijderman, Malik Sealy Dirt Mattress, and especially Body By Bacardi. Jesus! Look at that entry from Body By Bacardi. That's a humdinger right there. Also, holy shit are the jokes in the Used Rugs post fucking awful. Scroll down a bit and be hammered by depression.

And finally, oh man, this is fucking hysterical, from The Amazing Sneijderman in the Terry Francona post. This was a very close contender for Comment of the Day. Holy moly.

Total Fucking Duds

I know LOUD-NOISES is a burner account run by a regular commenter. I know it. And I hate it all the more because of it. May whoever is behind this thing be dropped from an airplane into a volcano. This stuff makes me absolutely nuts.

Here's a dreadful, beneath-terrible combination of clumsy, tone-deaf stupidity and the lowest of low-hanging fruit, from some hopeless reject called Destro2112 in the Lance Armstrong, Snitch post. There's a comment that is even too stupid for YouTube.

I suppose this ought to get some credit for at least being an attempt at humor . . . wait, no, never mind. It's a fucking train-wreck. Perhaps the worst comment of the day, from some poor lost soul called ryanjm58.

Oh Christ fucking kill me.

Hey, thanks for reading. And let's all thank our guy GerryDuty for stepping in and doing a jobby job job yesterday. And, hey, also, fuck Andray Blatche.


Monday, January 14, 2013

Monday Roundup

Favorites and duds from today's commenting.

Favorites, in no particular order:

This, I thought, was a clever gag by SavetoFavorites in the Daily Screencap post. I know it was a big, intimidating block of italic text, and it was the first post of the day, but it should have gotten a little more attention. StF can do it all, jokewise, but his most effective method is this sort -- a nontraditional, breathless barrage of humorous ideas burying the reader like a damn dump truck. There's no punchline here, just the expectation that, "Surely he can't find any more parallels between a gunman on the loose and Peyton Manning!" followed by the realization that, "By God, he did it again!" (As I type, I'm recalling StF's rare ability to pull off the picture joke style, which I may prefer in general. Look, suffice to say, he's good.)

Alright, I'll admit it, I had to circle back to this so-stupid-it's-great Rob Gronkowski insult joke in the Brendon Ayanbadejo post by Bring Back Anthony Mason. It was worth the effort, though. Who doesn't love a good forehead-slapper? The neat thing about jokes like these is that they're more or less designed to be read multiple times. The first run through, if you're anything like me, was a little rushed and ended with a head scratch. Still, you see what the punchline is, and you try to piece it together. Once you do that, (and laugh, of course, because it's a damned funny joke) you get to read the setup all over again. Only this time, you know what's coming, so now you get to laugh at all the juicy narrative bits you breezed through the first time. Now the punchline is the setup. It's like turning a sock inside out. Great sock, BBAM. That's the Comment of the Day.

Not totally sure I should be laughing at this poop joke from NoirJuggling in the Ravens-Broncos ratings post, but, truthfully, I did. I don't feel too badly, though, because it's not really low-hanging fruit. While the image on the story might evoke "woman taking a doody" to a lot of folks, putting it together with a pun about stools, standing up, and a laxative requires a certain amount of ingenuity. As it happens, it's more than enough ingenuity to elicit a chortle from me. But those replies, in particular the one that got dismissed, are ghastly.

Even if it's rarer than I'd like, it's so damn good to see Steve U back in the fold, doing Steve U things. The list setup is perfect for a Deadspin type of joke, because it can really be anything. SavetoFavorites, for instance, might use it as an opportunity to make 5 disparate mini-jokes. I can see AllOverButTheSharting using a list as part of an over-arching, absurdist narrative. But Steve U keeps it simple here, and to great effect. With each passing actual hackneyed Australian phrase, the tension builds in anticipation of the monkey wrench. I know the gag's coming when I hit no. 5, but I'm powerless to stop the....the prestige, I guess, to borrow a term. And Russell Crowe is such a worthy punching bag. Good work.

In the same post, here's a cute snag from Bevraj of Choice. Really, really silly. Later, in the James Dolan Is a Creepy Weirdo post, more silliness.

Total Fucking Duds

Some of the worst comments we see now are mind-numbingly base "sports talk radio" sentiments and the execrable "discussions" they spawn. Imagine raytheater, the dolt, patting himself on the back after submitting that gem denigrating the contributions of a spectacularly talented professional athlete, and accidentally herniating a damn disc. As for AllOverButThePaulBlarting: yuck.

Speaking of joke styles, BillyClydePuckett has evidently used the post-Kinja transition to roll out his "inane sports takes" style, forsaking all others. This guy was starred once upon a time. Pull it together, BCP.

Meanwhile, LOUD-NOISES is doing a great job showing you the class and dignity that commenters who come to Deadspin exclusively for Drew's pieces are capable of. I'll just link to his profile page, since picking a single example would be excruciatingly difficult, and the trend of him spewing awful garbage out of his mouth to no one in particular shows no signs of abating.

Don't do this anymore, EricBerrysHorse.

Come on. COME ON. This is meta-awful. 1. It stinks. 2. People take it seriously, and argue. 3. Others defend it as a joke. 4. Someone posts a Jpeg meme with 'butthurt' in it. No one is right here. Fuck this.

Don't worry, folks. Shitehawk'll be back before you know it. To DUAN!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Friday Roundup

Favorites and duds from today's commenting.

Favorites, in no particular order:

I chuckled at this clever pull from RMJ=H in the Count the Slurs post. I really like the direction recontextualizations have gone on Deadspin lately. You almost never see the straight-ahead ripoff recontextualization anymore, where an italicized line of text is redefined or awkwardly repurporsed to fit with a given reference. This joke isn't strictly a recontextualization, but it references an italicized line of text and brings in a reference that turns a portion of the line on its head. And, well, it made me reflect upon the recontextualizations. Hey, leave me alone, will ya?

And here's a great epilogue/post-script type joke from DubaiAtNight in the Count the Slurs post. This is a terrific idea, and I'm not sure there's a way it can be fumbled. The idea that Colin Cowherd sent the letter is funny enough that it could be packaged really any way you can imagine. DubaiAtNight gave it a little extra juice by putting some distance between the top of the joke and the name "Colin", but I imagine this joke would work just as well if he'd just gone with any number of different deliveries. I could be wrong about that, but anyway, it's a very, very good joke based upon a very strong angle.

I enjoyed this creative dig from Bring Back Anthony Mason in the Giancarlo Stanton Trade Proposals post. There could be other targets for the whole "Bad GM makes Nonsensical Trade Proposal" angle, but by picking this particular target, Bring Back Anthony Mason is able to accomplish a couple of things: if he'd picked a baseball GM (and therefore a less obvious target) it wouldn't be as accessible to a broad audience, he wouldn't have been able to take the joke as far afield, and the joke would be missing that piling-on vibe. Good stuff. Later, I laughed at this odd contribution in the Donte Stallworth post. That's very funny.

As much as I love the setup/knockdown stuff (and oh how I love it), there's a special place in my heart for the funny-from-start-to-finish comments, like this one from SavetoFavorites in the Cancer Conspiracy post. Man oh man, that's good. There's your Comment of the Day.

Here's a wonderful one-liner from burner jrmcaps in the Asante Samuel post. For whatever reason, the question mark makes it funnier. Good stuff.

There were a few really terrific entries in the Asante Samuel post. Here's a great in-kind offering from Same Sad Echo. The post wound up working more-or-less like a comedy pyramid, but one or two of these stood out from the rest, and this was one of them. The whole thing is worth a peek, though.

Here's another one, this time from our guy Gamboa Constrictor. That's hysterical. Who cares if he made up the headline? It's fucking great.

And here's a final one, from BronzeHammer. This one is perhaps more relevant than those last two. Either way, they're all great. +1s all around.

Finally, here's a characteristically clever bit of wordplay from Eddie Murray Sparkles in the Oddibe McDowell Deadspin HOF post. For what it's worth, I voted no.

Total Fucking Duds

My God this is boring.

Oh my God.

Lord, Lord.

Fucking REALLY?! This is unbelievable. May each of you be devoured by coyotes.

I'd be fine with AllOverButThePaulBlarting being devoured by coyotes, too. Jackass.

Have the weekendiest of all weekends, folks. Enjoy your football. LET'S GO DUAN! LET'S GO DUAN! LET'S GO DUAN!