[BONK.]
July 15, 2015 7:51 AM   Subscribe

"Let me begin by saying that I believe this is the greatest and most important event ever captured on film. I saw it live, but I was alone, sadly, and had no one with whom to share it. For a while, I wasn’t even sure I had seen what I thought I had seen, and I couldn’t go back to double-check. This was in 2000 — before TiVo became a verb, kids. This document is essentially prehistoric. It might as well be printed on papyrus." Michael Schur, The Greatest Moment in the History of the Triple-A All-Star Game
posted by everybody had matching towels (40 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
Totally worth watching; the video's only a minute long. I'm so pleased this has been rescued from the dustbins of history.
posted by asperity at 8:01 AM on July 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


I loved the Roman Emperor metaphor, as we stride around beset by information as we witness the city burn.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 8:03 AM on July 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


After watching this I still feel like I'm on the outside of an inside joke. I honestly can't tell if Schur thinks this is legitimately funny or if the whole article is a put-on. Maybe I need another cup of coffee.
posted by The Gooch at 8:23 AM on July 15, 2015 [9 favorites]


Maybe I need another cup of coffee.

Only if coffee will help recalibrate your sense of humor. Pies + personal tragedy = funny!

There may be layers to this I'm not getting, either. More coffee may help.
posted by asperity at 8:30 AM on July 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


it is legit hilarious that his teammates unknowingly choose the worst possible moment to pie him, and that after the briefest possible of pauses to remove pie, he went on about his grandmother dying as if absolutely nothing had happened.

how is this even a question
posted by the bricabrac man at 8:36 AM on July 15, 2015 [18 favorites]


After watching this I still feel like I'm on the outside of an inside joke. I honestly can't tell if Schur thinks this is legitimately funny or if the whole article is a put-on. Maybe I need another cup of coffee.

I think that part of what is going on here is a meditation on the crazy availability of entertainment. I think he does think it's legitimately funny and I think also that there's an extent to which he is mourning the loss of these moments because, since virtually every moment is now documented and transmitted, nothing will ever feel this funny again because it won't be personal and it won't be spontaneous.

There's a bigger issue in this; if everything ever is available to you, you can't ever find that perfect thing because it won't feel perfect; the potential of finding something better haunts you. Instead of appreciating what's in front of you, you're looking for the unattainable. For him at the time, this moment might have been the funniest thing he had ever seen in his life. Now, there's so much competition and everything is so readily available that nothing can ever really be that funny. We're overwhelmed by choice, in our entertainment and our relationships and our job searches and everything. There are good aspects of that choice, too, but I think this moment means something special to him because he really saw it and he didn't feel blase about it. I think he's mourning how easy it is to become jaded and be all like "whatever, seen it" or "not as funny as that other video" and just miss the simple joy of an emotional man getting hit in the face with a pie.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 8:38 AM on July 15, 2015 [21 favorites]


Use this sentence from the article for calibration purposes:
But forget all of that context. Just revel in the details of this accidental moment. The perfect collision of emotional personal anecdote and childish baseball tradition.

This was also the beginning of the end of Vitiello's career, he was 30, playing for a Triple-A affiliate of the Padres after years in the Major Leagues. That might have something to do with his seriousness.
posted by Bistle at 8:38 AM on July 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


What's funny to me ? Outside of the "grandma died during spring training", EVERY. OTHER. WORD. the guy says is straight out of the interview coaching Costner gave Tim Robbins in Bull Durham.
posted by k5.user at 8:41 AM on July 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


it is legit hilarious that his teammates unknowingly choose the worst possible moment to pie him, and that after the briefest possible of pauses to remove pie, he went on about his grandmother dying as if absolutely nothing had happened.

how is this even a question
posted by the bricabrac man at 11:36 AM on July 15


I laughed uncontrollably at this. The laughter might overtake me again at any moment. There is zero question in my mind that Schur thinks this is funny, and he's funnier than me or any of you. This video is amazing.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:53 AM on July 15, 2015


I think he's mourning how easy it is to become jaded and be all like "whatever, seen it" or "not as funny as that other video" and just miss the simple joy of an emotional man getting hit in the face with a pie.

Ah, that makes perfect sense. As I watched this, I'll admit, I was thinking "What's so funny about this? After virtually every Angels win the post-game interview with that day's top performer inevitably ends up with the guy getting a bucket of water dumped on him in the middle of his sincere, serious interview", which I suppose feeds into this exact point.
posted by The Gooch at 8:59 AM on July 15, 2015


plot twist#1: grandma ran a pie shop

plot twist #2: grandma was killed in a pie-ing accident, like her son, and like her mother and grandma too

plot twist#3: his grandma was made of pie.....was the projectile in said pieing accident
posted by lalochezia at 9:07 AM on July 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


Yeah, I'm in the camp that--especially after that build-up--watched the video thinking "so...when does the funny thing happen?" But, you know, that's cool. Humor's like that. Things have to hit you at the right angle and when you're in the right mood. Nobody's right or wrong for finding it funny or unfunny.
posted by yoink at 9:11 AM on July 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


I thought it was funny, but jeez dude, way to oversell it.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:14 AM on July 15, 2015 [9 favorites]


Not only did he oversell it, but the still image preview YouTube serves up gives half of it away.
posted by hydrophonic at 9:19 AM on July 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'm on the "mildly funny, not sure what the thing is" side myself.

I might even say "not really for The Blue" if I was being uncharitable.
posted by clvrmnky at 9:20 AM on July 15, 2015


so desperate for baseball that I watched the Triple-A All-Star Game

*snort*
posted by parrishioner at 9:22 AM on July 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


I feel sorry for the dissolute youth of today who can't appreciate a good pie to the face and don't find anything funny except for that Amy Schooner person or the caption-pictures they email each other over the Tumbler
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:32 AM on July 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


"Internet? We are amused. Bring us another."
posted by straight at 9:36 AM on July 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Laurel and Hardy meet Abbot and Costello!
posted by TedW at 9:59 AM on July 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I really like his gloss on this, the forgotten joy of the obscure thing only you saw on live tv and which you had to relive and embroider in your head and in the retelling because there was no way to just see it again.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:04 AM on July 15, 2015


the forgotten joy of the obscure thing only you saw on live tv and which you had to relive and embroider in your head and in the retelling because there was no way to just see it again

Except he got the VHS the next day and burned it on DVD. So it was never, for him, something he had to "relive and embroider in his head and in the retelling."
posted by yoink at 10:07 AM on July 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yes. He had extraordinary access by working at a tv show so in this case he was in the very unusual position of having a tape of the thing to show people. But he's commenting on a past phenomenon (of the thing you only saw live, and in this case of the thing you saw live and then were able to get a tape of, and how at that time it was extra fun to have seen/captured a moment like that, and how that kind of fun is diminished now that we expect to be able to see these moments again and see collections of them from all over the place). That's a much wordier way of putting it, but sure. I liked his discussion of the clip.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:15 AM on July 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I remember someone observing of the Sony Walkman, just after it had become a phenomenon, that "At no time in history has any king, prince or emperor, no master of the world, been able to command with all their power across all their lifetime a fraction of the music any kid can now hear at whim with their Walkman and a bag of tapes."

That was before Napster and the iPod, Spotify and mobile.

We are as gods. And yet, we grow bored.
posted by Devonian at 10:17 AM on July 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


At least it wasn't a hot foot.

Beyond the hot foot: Enjoy 10 of the greatest clubhouse pranks in MLB history

My favorite prank story is Kirk Gibson, new to the 1988 Dodgers, gets pranked by Jesse Orosco. At the time, Gibson -- a noted hypercompetitive asshole -- was coming from his stint with the Tigers, where he won a World Series, and the knock against the Dodgers at that time was that the club just didn't take things seriously.

So, here's Gibson getting pranked by his new team on Day 1. He leaves the game, goes ballistic in the clubhouse, and shames his teammates, saying, "I don't want to be a part of their fun and comedy act. ... I like to have a good time, but a good time to me is winning."

The 1988 Dodgers, of course, went on to win the World Series, with Gibson having one of the most memorable at-bats in the history of the game.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:40 AM on July 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


OK, so this wasn't funny at all when I first watched it after that buildup. Three hours later, it's freakin' hilarious and I'm sharing it with everyone.

Maybe it induces some delayed distortion in the humor field?
posted by PandaMomentum at 10:54 AM on July 15, 2015


Laurel and Hardy meet Abbot and Costello!

Costello: I want to know, what's the guy's name in left field?
Abbott: Dunn.
Costello: You don’t think he can bounce back?
Abbott: I think he can.

[gif of an eagle in an Adam Dunn jersey shedding a single tear]
posted by Copronymus at 10:56 AM on July 15, 2015


I'm in the camp that thinks what Mrs. Pterodactyl said is really smart and the point of the article but also think it's not particularly hilarious. I get the idea of things being funny because they were right for you at a time and place but I have limited patience for famous people being able to bore you with a "You had to be there" anecdote simply by virtue of their fame. If this were some half-drunk slob at a party you'd find a way to gnaw your arm off to get away. And I like Ken Tremendous.
posted by yerfatma at 11:36 AM on July 15, 2015


This was in 2000 — before TiVo became a verb, kids.

TiVo came out in 1999 and users almost immediately used TiVo as a verb.
posted by w0mbat at 11:37 AM on July 15, 2015


"This was in 2000... This document is essentially prehistoric."

Give me a break. This kind of sentiment just makes my 50-something ass tired.
posted by aught at 11:38 AM on July 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


I kept waiting for the Curb Your Enthusiasm theme to kick in.
posted by Spatch at 11:52 AM on July 15, 2015


The fact that Michael Schur (co-creator of the TV show Brooklyn 99) thinks this is "the greatest and most important event ever captured on film" (even accounting for the obvious hyperbole) does a lot to explain why the tiresome antics of the character played by Andy Samberg get so much screen time in every damn episode.
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:02 PM on July 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


The pie! His grandmother! It works on so many levels!
posted by Navelgazer at 12:04 PM on July 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


[Events] just happened, and if you happened to see them happen, you had a funny anecdote for your next workday coffee break.

Exactly this. Schur is the guy in the lunch room, the one who every All-Star break tells the story/joke about that time the AAA All-Star got pied... The story is much funnier in the telling around the water cooler with fellow baseball nuts than perhaps the original TV moment was.
posted by cosmologinaut at 12:32 PM on July 15, 2015


At the time, the author was employed at SNL and asked the research dept. for a copy of the tape for work reasons.
posted by Emor at 1:03 PM on July 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


The fact that Michael Schur (co-creator of the TV show Brooklyn 99) thinks this is "the greatest and most important event ever captured on film" (even accounting for the obvious hyperbole) does a lot to explain why the tiresome antics of the character played by Andy Samberg get so much screen time in every damn episode.
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:02 PM on July 15


I'm going to read some old Fire Joe Morgan posts and try not to fight you.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:12 PM on July 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Man it is so great when people don't find something funny and they go and tell everyone, they go and write down this fact on a public forum, forever. It's the best. Michael Schur's article is fantastic, he's funny, and I am thankful for it being linked here. I miss Fire Joe Morgan a lot.
posted by RubixsQube at 1:17 PM on July 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


For me, the whole thing was made by footnote # 3.
posted by ob1quixote at 1:39 PM on July 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


My coworkers are assholes too and yet they have pied exactly zero people. Perhaps we should start.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 1:50 PM on July 15, 2015


I feel sorry for the dissolute youth of today who can't appreciate a good pie to the face and don't find anything funny except for that Amy Schooner person or the caption-pictures they email each other over the Tumbler

Inside Amy Schooner
Amy's Mast 7:30 on FX

In a flash-back, a young Amy boat has questions about her mast; and present-day Amy's hull gets sandblasted and painted, but the ship-painters talk too much.
posted by clockzero at 5:48 PM on July 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


I think he's mourning how easy it is to become jaded and be all like "whatever, seen it"

There's something to this, but there's also the fact that we feel this way because we're straddling the change. My son is two and a half and has never known a life where he couldn't see and interact with his grandparents via a little electronic device despite their physical distance. As his parents and grandparents we're still capable of wonder over this, and can be tickled when he wants to try to offer a taste of his cookie to people on an iPad and think about the scarcity of contact we may have had with our own families when we were growing up.

There was treasure and excitement in scarcity of this sort of thing, sure. I imagine that there's some diminishing of the glory of the first look at your grandkid in person now that you'll have seen hir via pictures and video a hundred times because of digital ubiquity. But I'll speak for myself and my parents in saying that we can live without it for the other gains, even if they might be less thrilling in their single thrill as they pile up to a much greater sum total joy.
posted by phearlez at 8:33 AM on July 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


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