Last Week's Swinging Dicks
In third place, winner of two long screws meant for use in the mounting of Pottery Barn's Rustic Wine Glass Ledge in my dining room: Steve U, with 7 Favorites in the last five days.
Here's my favorite comment from Steve U from last week. This was one of last week's very best comments.
In a tie for second place, proud co-winners of a pair of "toggles", meant to anchor two long screws in the mounting of Pottery Barn's Rustic Wine Glass Ledge in my dining room: RMJ=H and Doug Exeter, with 8 Favorites each in the last five days.
Unbelievably, this is my favorite comment from RMJ=H from last week. RMJ=H had a lot of funny comments last week, but as I go back through them, I find myself really laughing a lot at this one.
This is far and away my favorite comment from DougExeter from last week. I know it's dark and some people are doing the whole "too soon" thing, but this joke absolutely killed me.
And in first place, winner of Pottery Barn's irredeemably awful Rustic Wine Glass Ledge, for which one will need neither the long screws nor the toggles because it is completely stupid and dysfunctional and is surely meant as some kind of malicious eff-you to anyone unfortunate enough to purchase it, but should do just fine as fuel for the fireplace: Raysism, with 9 Favorites (!) in the last five days.
Here's my favorite comment from Raysism from last week. So simple and so funny.
This fucking crap is yours if you want it. If anyone wants to putty up and repaint my goddamn wall while you're here, well, I sure wouldn't complain about it.
Wait, there's more!
The Monday Comment of the Day, from Raysism.
The Tuesday Comment of the Day, from IronMikeGallego.
The Wednesday Comment of the Day, from Steve U.
The Thursday Comment of the Day, from DougExeter.
The Friday Comment of the Day, from RMJ=H.
Congratulations, funny types.
The Unwelcome Lesson of the Week
So, I'm going to use someone's joke here, and I'm going to do it entirely without permission, and I'm going to beg that person's forgiveness, but, anyway, I think we can use it to work something out.
Here's the joke. Sorry, boss.
So, this is a dialogue joke. It has a couple of things going on:
1. It references the picture at the top of the post.
2. It appears to suggest something about Adam Morrison's personality.
3. It appears to suggest something about Luke Walton's personality.
4. It appears to suggest something about Ron Artest's personality.
5. It uses repetition, presumably to develop rhythm and timing.
6. It seems to be taking a shot at Adam Morrison's clothing.
7. It seems to pivot at the end, redirecting the dig at Lamar Odom.
I'm using this joke because I had a chance to learn what it is about: Lamar Odom is known among some people for having questionable taste in clothing.
Or . . . hang on a second, is that really what this joke is about?
For people who know a thing or two about Lamar Odom, his consistent choice of strange-looking jackets probably has a little bit of juice in it as a joke angle. For the rest of us, we might be able to divine from the content of this or another, similar joke that it reveals this particular truth about Lamar Odom, but that's not likely to be a very funny realization. And the author of the joke was smart enough to realize that Lamar Odom's poor taste in jackets was not, alone, enough to carry a joke. He packaged it, intuitively enough, inside a dialogue set-up, giving himself plenty of room to tease out this angle and supplement it with other funny little touches. That's the right move.
But let's look at the joke again: what is it about? I ask this because you've got to do an accounting of your joke, and in that accounting, the question must be asked: what's really funny about this joke? What's funnier: that Lamar Odom is known by some to wear ugly jackets? Or that a group of NBA players is sitting on the sideline of a game playing broken telephone? For my money, the broken telephone angle is the far funnier of the two. Think of all the room you're given to play around within that premise! Think of how perfectly absurd that idea is, before you even start dumping in the outrageous details! That's a fine starting point for a great joke, and if you want to punch it up with a silly, over-the-top criticism of Adam Morrison's clothing or, by extension, Lamar Odom's clothing, by all means, go nuts.
When I think of this joke, it brings to mind this joke, from a few months ago. Both jokes start with something known (or supposed) about a marginal NBA player. Both jokes use an absurd circumstance as a way of making use of what is known (or supposed) about that player. But the first joke fails to realize that what it is about is the silly circumstance, whereas the second joke packs all of its humor inside the circumstance. In other words, the punchline of the first joke shouldn't be that Lamar Odom wears crappy clothing - there's just not much there. When you've incorporated a circumstance that is all alone a lot funnier than that idea that spawned the joke, stick to the circumstance, and use the original idea as just some of the accent work of your joke. There's no rule that says your joke needs a punchline - this is one of the funniest things I've ever read, and it has nothing like a punchline. Don't feel like you're bound to the idea that spawned your joke, especially if it brings you to a delivery device that is so, so much funnier than the original idea.
Make your joke about NBA players playing broken telephone on the sideline, use the players' idiosyncrasies to punch up that idea, and if there's not one strong punchline among those idiosyncrasies, say "to hell with a punchline" and just work the angle. It's the difference between a joke about Lamar Odom's bad jacket and a joke about Nick Young washing his dishes in the dryer. Or a joke about something that's not really widely known about a marginal player and a joke about all the fun that can be had inside the premise of a sex-for-access advertisement written by a depraved Edgar Allen Poe. Know thyself, gentle joke!
Hey, how about that Beyonce! Have a splendid evening. It's wonderfully flattering that you talented sumbitches keep checking in. Thanks for reading, as always.