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.


  1. 29. Tough work. That was the best day of commenting I've ever seen. And you caused the resurgence.

    1. Gotta agree with fat; like I said on the Twitter, I don't know how the hell you manage this, but we are all richer for it (I can only imagine that you are poorer, but damn to hell the notion of us paying you).

      I will say that I probably wouldn't be commenting were it not for this site. For whatever reason, the thought that a person whom I do not know might credit my anonymous online identity for entertaining a group of other people I don't know gives me an enormous funny-boner.