"ask yourself if what you’re doing is original or edgy in any way"
January 31, 2020 3:22 PM   Subscribe

So many comics get away with this that when I initially released the video, I got dozens of messages from people who knew “exactly who it was about,” and they all said someone different.
24 Comedians on the Comedy Clichés They’d Like to Kill Forever
posted by Lexica (99 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
 
tries to do a post simultaneously doing everything listed and dies
posted by Reyturner at 3:34 PM on January 31 [2 favorites]


Nobody:
.
.
.
Not even a single soul:
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.
.
No, seriously, no living being capable of language, since they should not ever be making a "joke" in this deeply annoying and maybe inherently unfunny format ever again:
.
.
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Me: wait but then how do you stop it without the punchline
posted by invitapriore at 3:40 PM on January 31 [7 favorites]


Would love to see what Sarah Silverman would have done with this question.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 3:51 PM on January 31 [2 favorites]


While one comedian is quoted as wanting Tik Tok to die, I don't think he was being really serious. Which is great for me, because my current favorite genre of comedy is Tik Tok videos of food falling down.
posted by mhum at 4:06 PM on January 31 [12 favorites]


I like Carmen Christopher's response, which is to make a joke out of the sour-grapes premise instead of addressing it.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:06 PM on January 31 [2 favorites]


"911? I'd like to report a murder."
posted by demonic winged headgear at 4:06 PM on January 31


I hate it when edgy comedy becomes that huge popular thing sucks, and you're an idiot to like it, which is the premise of just about every "worst of" list*.

*Twilight series excepted. It did suck.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 4:13 PM on January 31 [1 favorite]


When I started this I assumed they would be stand-up specific, but that was silly of me. That said, no one said airplane stories. They were old when Jerry Seinfeld told them. I know that's your life now because you're a comic but I don't want to hear any more, sorry.
posted by Emmy Rae at 4:13 PM on January 31 [2 favorites]


"The writers"
posted by sjswitzer at 4:18 PM on January 31 [11 favorites]


Metafilter: Ask yourself if what you're doing is original or edgy in any way.
posted by subocoyne at 4:29 PM on January 31 [20 favorites]


a bunch of 20-something "comedians" are sick of memes. groundbreaking
posted by Bwentman at 4:30 PM on January 31 [9 favorites]


I did not know the context of the two ladies yelling at a cat meme, let alone that it was so sinister. Eek.
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:30 PM on January 31 [31 favorites]


To be less glib and snarky than in my previous comment, many of these complaints are about things non-comics do, such as posting TikTok videos, saying "hold my beer", sharing memes and reaction GIFs (and arguing about how to pronounce "GIF"), etc. But non-comics aren't trying to be edgy or original. If this article intended for an audience of professional comics, it misses its mark by a long shot. If the audience is everyday folks, it missed the mark even more profoundly.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:32 PM on January 31 [33 favorites]


Am I making an unfounded assumption or is the guy who says dating isn’t difficult a young white abled cis straight man? Anyway, tired of privileged perceptions about dating.
posted by bile and syntax at 4:33 PM on January 31 [3 favorites]


FTA: "That’s all! Cancel me!"

Should have been on the list.
posted by klanawa at 4:33 PM on January 31 [5 favorites]


Allen Strickland Williams: “Dating is hard.” I’m so sick of hearing about how hard it is to date. Dating isn’t hard. Dating is easy. You’re just hard to deal with.

WOW dude. Guess he never tried dating while trans.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 4:34 PM on January 31 [10 favorites]


I bet a comedian is going to become super-famous and rich doing every single one of these things, and then all the other comedians will complain about them.
posted by clawsoon at 4:35 PM on January 31 [1 favorite]


I was surprised that all people could think of weren't really "comedy cliches" but just common twitter format. It shouldn't be that hard to accept that twitter formats are something we need apparently and they come and go in due time.

The actual comedy cliche that I hate is when a comedian tells a loooonnggg anecdote and I'm fully invested in the kayfabe that they're just casually relating this story to me, their friend, which is the whole reason for every other choice they've made so far, and then they say "I told this joke in North Dakota and someone said..." First of all this shows up in like 90% of stand up acts I've ever seen. And second, I'm suddenly ripped out of the little fiction bubble you were spinning, in a way that seems unintended, for the purpose of being asked to accept a premise I don't accept, that people just go up to comedians and give them detailed negative critiques of their jokes. I guess this must happen because they all talk a about it so much but it just doesn't feel "real" to me, I fully accept that part is a "me" problem, but there must be some other way to join a story with a commentary on that story that you also want to share.

Thanks for coming to my TED talk.
posted by bleep at 4:36 PM on January 31 [14 favorites]


Thanks for coming to my TED talk.

Also left off the list.
;)
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:44 PM on January 31 [17 favorites]


Nice.
posted by Sterros at 4:49 PM on January 31


Isn't this kind of like professional chefs complaining about non-chefs making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?
posted by LindsayIrene at 4:53 PM on January 31 [33 favorites]


many of these complaints are about things non-comics do, such as posting TikTok videos, saying "hold my beer", sharing memes and reaction GIFs (and arguing about how to pronounce "GIF"), etc.

But with this cohort of young comics trying to earn a living, an online presence is a huge part of potentially landing a writing or acting job (or an HBO special, or whatever etc. is bringing in a paycheck), so Twitter and the meme world are relevant. A looooot of people trying to be funny online are making a true effort to establish themselves as comics in some capacity.

I'm not a comic, but I consume a lot of social media and listen to a lot of comedy podcasts (some of them having featured comics from this list at some point) and this all made a lot of sense to me.
posted by witchen at 4:54 PM on January 31 [7 favorites]


i would like to ban sexual humor or innuendo of any kind. thank you for coming on my ted talk
posted by phooky at 4:59 PM on January 31 [19 favorites]


Yeah a lot of these are just memes. The great thing about memes is that they do, in fact, die out before too long.

But the criticisms of jokes that punch down, yes, very much here for that. Because they never seem to end.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 5:02 PM on January 31 [4 favorites]


Stand up should just end already. 99% of it is awful, and 99% of it is the same "i'm going to share a bunch of observations about life with you" structure. Awful! Christ! If I want to laugh I would watch a cat wearing a shirt who is slinking along the ground so it is trying to get out of the shirt.
posted by Greg Nog at 5:02 PM on January 31 [32 favorites]


The comedy trope that I am so fucking done with is comedians talking about how "everyone is so sensitive anymore" and "everything is offensive to kids these days" and blah blah blah blah. Even Dave Chappelle is doing his variation on this theme. Guess what chumps? If a room of people don't laugh at your "bitches be shoppin" routine anymore, maybe your material is the problem, and not the people consuming it. Adapt or die.
posted by slagheap at 5:28 PM on January 31 [55 favorites]


They’re still doing comedy?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:30 PM on January 31 [3 favorites]


One “trope” that I wish would die is there not being an armed revolution of the proletariat.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:33 PM on January 31 [38 favorites]


If someone is offended, you are touching a sore spot, which means you're saying something they've heard a bunch of times before, which means your "joke" is probably old and tired. Say something fresh.
posted by straight at 5:43 PM on January 31 [8 favorites]


> The comedy trope that I am so fucking done with is comedians talking about how "everyone is so sensitive anymore" and "everything is offensive to kids these days"

I wonder about that. I mean, those comedians had to have seen that when they were in their heyday, the previous generation of comedians were largely irrelevant to "kids," right? Even still-respected comedians. I would be surprised to find much of anyone streaming an old Robin Williams, George Carlin, Carol Burnett, Bill Hicks or Janeane Garofalo performance in 2020.

I guess it's a little bit different to be called not only old but conservative when you always saw yourself as on the left. But then don't make jokes that are like, "I see people doing things that make them happy and they seem weird and I don't like it."
posted by smelendez at 5:53 PM on January 31 [5 favorites]


Isn't this kind of like professional chefs complaining about non-chefs making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?

Not really. A lot of people admit they are not great cooks. Few people admit their sense of humour is lousy.

I reckon mine is okay, but then so does everyone (full disclosure: my regular gig involves a lot of public speaking and I can mostly get an audience chuckling; I have done a bit of standup onstage in the past but I don’t think I am good enough to do it for real on a regular basis). I have known someone since high school who has grasped that sometimes humour involves wordplay, but the lesson he has taken from this is that all wordplay is humour. The idea of using referents that the listener knows is also something that he is dubious about.

The collision of these two ideas is that he blurts non sequiturs a dozen times an hour as “it made sense in his head.” If anyone responds to a request with an easygoing, “sure, why not?” he will say, “Reg Whynott, Regional Chair!” and then chuckle at his own cleverness in referencing a municipal politician who left office some thirty years ago. Because part of his name sounds kind of like something someone just said, geddit? When someone who is not intimately familiar with municipal politics of the late eighties (either because they lived elsewhere or they weren’t fucking born yet) looks at him blankly, he seems puzzled and a little hurt that they do not laugh along with him.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:00 PM on January 31 [12 favorites]


What is the state of stand-up comedy these days, anyway? Is it still a big thing? I haven't watched any since I asked my husband to turn off a Bill Burr performance that was chock-full of misogyny. I listen to comedians on selected podcasts and that's good enough.
posted by LindsayIrene at 6:06 PM on January 31 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: And another thing--taking a random phrase out of a comment and putting "MetaFilter:" in front of it got old a long, long, long-ass time ago.
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:28 PM on January 31 [17 favorites]


MetaFilter: And yes, I've done it too. Still applies.
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:28 PM on January 31 [5 favorites]


MetaFilter: And another thing--iterative jokes.
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:29 PM on January 31 [9 favorites]


[NotAMod note: please don't do the thing where you pretend to be a mod and put your comment in small type. Was never funny, really.--Halloween Jack]
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:30 PM on January 31 [8 favorites]


What is the state of stand-up comedy these days, anyway? Is it still a big thing? I haven't watched any since I asked my husband to turn off a Bill Burr performance that was chock-full of misogyny.

I was delighted to discover Mike Birbiglia's specials on Netflix recently. "The One" is a good place to start.
posted by nnethercote at 6:34 PM on January 31 [8 favorites]


Isn't this kind of like professional chefs complaining about non-chefs making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?

I think some of this list being what it is is accounted for by the border between standup and internet stuff now being porous in both directions.

Like - if you're a "comic" you are now probably also doing one-liners on Twitter because a few people made it big that way.

And if you are young and having some success in comedy but are not that far removed from your days doing small local shows you've probably seen a lot of people stealing jokes from the internet!
posted by atoxyl at 6:46 PM on January 31 [2 favorites]


John Mulaney's specials are also very much worth watching. One doesn't have to insult classes of marginalized people or say "fuck" a lot to get laughs.
posted by tonycpsu at 6:47 PM on January 31 [13 favorites]


Would love to see what Sarah Silverman would have done with this question.

Given that Sarah Silverman has started complaining about how people are too sensitive these days, I think she's fallen off the high-wire that represents her act onto the pavement that represents doing offensive bits without a razor-sharp sense of what the audience will accept and what they'll assume you don't really mean.

I recognise a bunch of these comedians and they're very funny, so I'm not inclined to write these off, and there's a few there that I recognise comedians telling each other are played out (object + emotion, bad tinder dates).

(I did not know about the context of that Real Housewives screenshot. It's like the one about the arguing rednecks that is, in reality, the permanent breakdown of a father-son relationship.)
posted by Merus at 6:49 PM on January 31 [11 favorites]


MetaFilter: And another thing--iterative jokes.

4. Profit!
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:55 PM on January 31 [3 favorites]


What is the state of stand-up comedy these days, anyway?

Hannah Gadsby's Nanette still haunts me. I've watched it several times. A high-wire act that maybe isn't comedy but maybe is.

Neal Brennan's Three Mics is a pretty clever device which is sort of an object lesson in what you're really looking for when someone is performing for a crowd.

There's a new one on Netflix right now, Vir Das For India, which is very cross-cultural and rather pointed and had me laughing quite heartily at several points. Not as perhaps reflective or introspective as the other pieces, but cross-relating cultures through comedy is a rare gift.

Those have stuck in my head, some more recently than others. I find the state of stand-up not to my taste in a lot of ways these days, but those I quite enjoyed.
posted by hippybear at 7:23 PM on January 31 [7 favorites]


What is the state of stand-up comedy these days, anyway?

There are plenty of bad comics and tired jokes about women & other marginalized groups. But I've seen three great sets recently (available on youtube):
- Jena Friedman has been on Conan twice and both sets perfectly walk the line (for me) of skewering Republican politics, nazis, etc without crossing over into simply re-opening the wounds.
- Jeremy Kaplowitz has a brief set which he performs as 1990s Jerry Seinfeld doing bits of about his 17-year-old girlfriend (because Jerry Seinfeld dated a 17 year old when he was 38)

I used to find all the best stand ups by listening to Rhea Butcher & Cameron Esposito's podcast Put Your Hands Together, but they got divorced and the podcast ended :(

The person who I watch and rewatch: Aparna Nancherla

I haven't seen live comedy for about a year but it's very interesting to me how negatively the audiences have reacted to material that is either clearly punching down or on the edge of punching down. Someone who was getting steady laughs is suddenly begging the audience to get back on their side.
posted by Emmy Rae at 8:39 PM on January 31 [11 favorites]


In the opposite vein of this article, I am not sick of the "fellas, is it gay to..." jokes. I am pretty sure Jaboukie gets the credit for that genre.

(If you're not familiar, these are tweets making fun of fragile masculinity. For example, someone made a post about how Prince Harry used to be "a man" - pics of him in the military - and how he has become "feminized" by marrying Meghan Markle. The joke: Fellas, is it gay to marry your wife?)
posted by Emmy Rae at 8:42 PM on January 31 [10 favorites]


I listen to comedians on selected podcasts and that's good enough.

Me too! Thankfully most of my favourite podcast comedians tour. The last few years I saw Tig Notaro, David Huntsberger, John Mulaney, Maria Bamford, Mike Birbiglia and Reggie Watts, and every one of them did a fantastic show. I've more or less replaced going to music shows with comics at this point. But there are tons of great, non terrible comedians worth seeing live!
posted by Jon Mitchell at 8:57 PM on January 31 [1 favorite]


I’m tired of that thing people say, “Liking X is not a personality.” As in “Liking The Office is not a personality”

It's only said because people mistake consumption for personality, and it's been a thing forever. It was a thing when we knew that guy who couldn't contribute beyond Monty Python or Star Trek references.

Maybe there's a nicer way to say this, but it's a valid criticism.
posted by explosion at 9:24 PM on January 31 [10 favorites]


"Outtake-o-rama: Infamous Celebrity Outtakes with the voice cast of “Futurama” – SF Sketchfest 2020" Was a master class in how stuff we have all heard thousands of times can be hilarious.

Honestly I'm totally in for most of the jokes that are "tired". Trying to be the arbiter of humor will just make folks hate you.
posted by poe at 9:31 PM on January 31 [6 favorites]


The commentary on the Futurama DVDs was a master class in comedy writing, so I'm not surprised.

I hate hearing people talk about how "people used to have a sense of humor." People still have a sense of humor; it's just different.

That said, I've come to terms with my own addiction to oldest-joke-in-the-book type jokes. Like, where you immediately know what the punchline is going to be, but it's still funny when you get there. Plunk me in front of an episode of The Monkees or The Jack Benny Program and I'm good. Maybe it's just comfort food for the funny bone, but I'm okay with that.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:44 PM on January 31 [5 favorites]


On Twitter someone said that they don't want to be a stand-up comic, but they do want to tell a joke, breathe heavily into a mic, and then say, "What else, what else?"***

Anyway, yes, this piece is an odd mixture of complaints about stand-up, film/ TV and social media cliches.

many of these complaints are about things non-comics do ... But non-comics aren't trying to be edgy or original. 

(Thinking of every time the past month I've seen someone on twitter making the "These women, how little are they?" joke.)

Also, I only just realized, "the lady spitting into her drink" isn't Jennifer Lawrence? Looks a bit like her, and she is the subject of many other oft-used GIFs.
---
(***Sorry can't find the Twitter comment to credit them.)
posted by NorthernLite at 9:47 PM on January 31


But non-comics aren't trying to be edgy or original.

Agree but want to note that Sara Schaefer, who made the "edgy" comment, is actually one of the two or three who was basically non-judgmental and was clearly distinguishing between comics and non-comics.

Her point was she will laugh at anything, so there's no reason to hate anything, but if you're a professional comedian maybe a punchline that's already a twitter staple isn't what people are paying to see?

(Personally I love, for reasons I can't explain, joke formats that are super adaptable, including both "Sir this is a Wendy's" and "My t-shirt saying X is raising questions already answered by my t-shirt".)
posted by mark k at 9:55 PM on January 31 [12 favorites]


putting "MetaFilter:" in front of it got old a long, long, long-ass time ago.

YOU GOT OLD A LONG, LONG, LONG-ASS TIME AGO
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:43 PM on January 31 [14 favorites]


Honestly I'm glad that 'metaphors that sound like you're describing a political cartoon' wasn't on the list because god I'd miss them
posted by Merus at 3:28 AM on February 1


They’re still doing comedy?

Well, that's what they call it.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:48 AM on February 1 [1 favorite]


Take my life partner... please!
posted by fairmettle at 4:21 AM on February 1 [2 favorites]


Take my life, partner... please!
posted by The Underpants Monster at 5:06 AM on February 1 [5 favorites]


I was distressed to learn about the backstory of the woman yelling at cat meme as it mirrors my own history. I googled around a bit and the woman in the meme has a breezy, positive attitude about it publicly, so I guess that’s good.

I’m not sure what to do aside from making TRIGGERED jokes about not liking vegetables.
posted by jeoc at 5:11 AM on February 1 [2 favorites]


I love standup comedy and listen to it on Sirius often on my commute to work. By the time I get to where I'm going I often feel so much happier and lighter. That's priceless. I don't like all comedians but I sure do appreciate the good ones so damn much.
posted by waving at 7:25 AM on February 1 [5 favorites]


I hate not-Jennifer-Lawrence-spit-take-woman.gif so much that I block anyone who posts it on any social media.
posted by vespabelle at 8:07 AM on February 1 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: YOU GOT OLD A LONG, LONG, LONG-ASS TIME AGO.
posted by dr_dank at 8:57 AM on February 1 [3 favorites]


The only standup/improv comedy podcast I listen to is Comedy Bang Bang (I dunno if it's the best, it's just that I listen to a bunch of different podcasts so that one got the "mainstream-ish comedians" slot). The host does a pretty good job of curating guests even though there have been a couple times where somebody's going so far out into edgy that the host and even the other guests are dropping kayfabe to warn him (it's always a guy) about it. And there's an interesting (and genuinely fun) tension going on when the host is the only white male in the room and the guests feel freed up to check his privileges at every turn.

One thing, I guess, is that any cliché or trope can be revalidated if you do it right. The stakes get much higher, of course. If you're going to ask why the chicken crossed the road, the punchline is going to have to be absolutely mind-blowing.
posted by ardgedee at 9:07 AM on February 1 [1 favorite]


Mhum I need more of those food videos please and thank you
posted by tofu_crouton at 9:15 AM on February 1 [1 favorite]


This one though:
Shalewa Sharpe: We as comics have devoted our lives to a truly ridiculous thing. In this field, success can take many forms; my journey won’t be his journey, won’t be their journey. But we all have in common the desire to perform the perfect joke. I respect the various paths we will take to reach our goal. That said, if I hear another 26-year-old describe themselves at “old,” I will put leeches in their drink.
posted by XtinaS at 9:25 AM on February 1 [5 favorites]


One thing, I guess, is that any cliché or trope can be revalidated if you do it right. The stakes get much higher, of course. If you're going to ask why the chicken crossed the road, the punchline is going to have to be absolutely mind-blowing.

Patton Oswalt has a great bit on Germany that manages to have a fresh "chicken cross the road" joke in it.
posted by jonp72 at 9:54 AM on February 1 [3 favorites]


I am very fed up with any stand-up comedian who whines that they haven't gotten laid for months and "someone please fuck me." My worst pet peeve. I want to smack them and be all, "YOU HAVE NO IDEA, SHUT UP, YOU MORON."
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:57 AM on February 1 [4 favorites]


Jerry Seinfeld anything. And stop complaining about how hard your job is these days, comedy-workers. At least Bob Hope didn't whine about the fact that the Hippies didn't dig his act.
posted by SoberHighland at 12:17 PM on February 1 [2 favorites]


I used to tell a lot of Mitch Hedburg jokes. I still do, but I used to, too.
posted by loquacious at 12:50 PM on February 1 [21 favorites]


Mitch Hedberg jokes are great when you want 2,000 of something.
posted by bleep at 12:55 PM on February 1 [10 favorites]


a fresh "chicken cross the road" joke

It was too far to go around?
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:05 PM on February 1


Well, I got old a long, long, long-ass time ago. When I was semi-professionally working in radio back in the late '70s/early '80s and writing jokes for disc jockeys, I personally turned the Emergency Broadcast notifications into the "this is only a test" trope. My longest-lasting achievement. Sigh.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:15 PM on February 1 [3 favorites]


Personally I'm astonished that people still think it's funny to take someone else's slogan and replace part of it. It's the kind of nonsense that was tired back when it was in people's ~/.signature files on Usenet.

Someone once proudly showed me a "LINUX INSIDE" sticker he'd had printed, mimicking the Pentium "Intel Inside" stickers that were on PCs at the time. I nodded dismissively and went back to what I was doing, but he persisted.

"Get it? Get it?!"

"Yes, but it's not funny. The existence of Intel's marketing slogans is not, by itself, a 'joke'. "
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 3:03 PM on February 1 [3 favorites]


Isn't drink-spitter Hilary Duff?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 3:09 PM on February 1


Regarding the "Liking X is not a personality." thing, I am reminded of the period just at the early stages of GamerGate when the meme of the "fake geek girl" was doing the rounds.

Usually there was some gatekeeping white guy mocking a woman who happened to, I dunno, play games and wear nail polish at the same time, or something. And one guy posted "You're not a real geek!" to one of these besieged women, "You're just some chick who found a way to get attention."

And these guys were themselves presenting as little more than socially-awkward boys who had found some anime and video games. My definition of "geek" involved, I dunno, soldering things or writing software or making niche art or cataloguing something extensively. To me, writing fanfiction was a more useful indication of participation in that realm than just complaining online about video games.

So yeah, I definitely feel that the "not a personality" cliché is a useful one, still. Consumption is unremarkable. Show us what you make.
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 3:12 PM on February 1


Spoiler: Fan art and fanfic. All terrible.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 3:19 PM on February 1 [1 favorite]


Fan art and fanfic. All terrible.

Have you actually looked at fan art lately?
posted by LindsayIrene at 4:31 PM on February 1 [6 favorites]


...or fanfic?
posted by meese at 5:18 PM on February 1 [6 favorites]


One “trope” that I wish would die is there not being an armed revolution of the proletariat.

You'd probably need an actual armed revolution to get rid of that one.
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:24 PM on February 1


Personally I'm astonished that people still think it's funny to take someone else's slogan and replace part of it. It's the kind of nonsense that was tired back when it was in people's ~/.signature files on Usenet.

Someone once proudly showed me a "LINUX INSIDE" sticker he'd had printed, mimicking the Pentium "Intel Inside" stickers that were on PCs at the time. I nodded dismissively and went back to what I was doing, but he persisted.


MAD Magazine must have been so frustrating for you
posted by some loser at 8:00 PM on February 1 [6 favorites]


I've been guilty of using "fixed that for you" (FTFY) or quoting and 'striking' replacing it with something else. That's super obnoxious and I'm sorry.

My earliest useages were from the early 00s at least and I cringe constantly, when I encounter evidence of my use of it in old communications.
posted by porpoise at 8:20 PM on February 1 [1 favorite]


".... now we can ALL get some sleep!"

".... as the Bishop said to the actress."

kill me <= that one too.
posted by h00py at 8:45 PM on February 1


"...and then I got off the bus!"
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 9:00 PM on February 1


(FTFY) or quoting and 'striking' replacing it with something else. That's ...

... legitimately amusing, and don't let any snooty stick-in-the-mud tell you otherwise!
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:11 PM on February 1 [2 favorites]


I have co-workers who still make the "more cowbell" joke, 10+ years after this from the Onion. I'm personally done with it, but maybe it has decades of life ahead of it like "pining for the fjords". On the other hand, maybe it has a shelf life like "where's the beef?" and will shamble on a little longer before finally disappearing.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 9:16 PM on February 1


Your simple mention of that cow-based meme means it now has another 10 years of life. How could you? HOW COULD YOU????
posted by hippybear at 9:24 PM on February 1 [1 favorite]


Tempted to link the XKCD about outdated "The Cake Is A Lie" refs but linking XKCD's is the internet equivalent of Simpsons Did It First and now I think I'm stuck in some sort of infinite regress (regrets? regress!)
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 9:29 PM on February 1 [3 favorites]


Metafilter: XKCD: cake: Simpsons did it first: rich creamery butter
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:39 PM on February 1 [1 favorite]


Pretty sure that was just an airing of grievances. Half of them seemed like they were mad at someone specific.
posted by bongo_x at 12:04 AM on February 2


If you're going to ask why the chicken crossed the road, the punchline is going to have to be absolutely mind-blowing.

Why did the chicken cross the Möbius strip? To get to the same side.
posted by Pyrogenesis at 12:20 AM on February 2 [4 favorites]


I have co-workers who still make the "more cowbell" joke

FREE BIRD!
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:03 AM on February 2 [4 favorites]


I'll be sufficiently happy when the suffixes of "—from Hell," "—on steroids," "—on crack," "—on acid," disappear from the regular usage of people in need of a humorous overstatement of intensity that I'll dissolve peacefully into the fabric of the universe, having arrived in a state of cosmic peace. Comic exaggeration is a tool to be used with grace and delicacy, because exaggerating excessively in comedy is objectively worse than the Permian-Triassic extinction event that wiped out ninety-six percent of all marine animals and nearly ended life as we know it.

Mind you, comedy is hard, good comedy is very hard, and once you hit on things that work, it's not easy to expunge them from your patter, just like any habit that you started because it once provoked mirth or felt natural and right.

I tell stories on stage, a genre that shares a lot of technique with comedy, and have for a long time now, and when I review the recordings of my gigs, I always take off satisfaction points for every time my cadence or delivery apes the timing, tone, or general delivery of Laurie Anderson, because Laurie Anderson is in the very top rank of my early influences as a musically augmented storyteller, but I have my own voice now and it's been thirty years since I started out by trying to write giant stage performance pieces that were basically clumsy attempts to tell my stories in her style, so I really don't need to do that anymore. The thing is, what was comfortable for me and served as the scaffolding of me teaching myself how to do what I do on stage is not so useful now, but it's a tic that I fall back on for the same reason I'm a 51-year-old man who has to explain the dirty, ragged security blanket in my luggage to the customs officer.
posted by sonascope at 6:28 AM on February 2 [3 favorites]


I feel like the rest of the world can help you all with the 'more cowbell' thing, because at least Monty Python was exported to other countries. 'More cowbell' is a reference to a sketch that the vast majority of the English-speaking world never saw.
posted by Merus at 6:53 AM on February 2 [1 favorite]


YOU GOT OLD A LONG, LONG, LONG-ASS TIME AGO

No lie. I've never been a dad, but I tell dad jokes all the time.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:47 AM on February 2 [1 favorite]


Also:

I have co-workers who still make the "more cowbell" joke, 10+ years after this from the Onion.

Well, the Onion doesn't bat a thousand*, either. Back around aught-four, I remember them doing a bit in response to Springsteen and Co. doing a concert for John Kerry that opined that musicians weren't political experts or something. It was about as obvious a sop to the part of their readership that would probably vote for W as you could imagine, and also about as far from their eerily prophetic "our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity is over" post as you could probably imagine.

*not sure if I should use that if this is really a War on All Tropes and Cliches.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:55 AM on February 2


"War on X" is another over-used (mainly in journalism, not so much comedy) cliche, if we're compiling our own list.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:49 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


The strikeout style of joke goes pretty far back, even online. It used to be that there were two standards for which character would be sent over an Internet connection when you tried to backspace over a mistake. One was ^H (the backspace key) and one was ^? (the delete key). So people would sometimes need to run a special command when connecting to a system that defaulted to ^? because otherwise hitting backspace on their computers or terminals would get interpreted as a literal ^H character.

So you'd often see jokey messages saying things like "Frank you absolute jerk^H^H^H^Hgenius!" to hint at a correction gone wrong. I also remember this actually happening to some people for real, because the ^H would get sent back sometimes in a way that the local terminal would display as a successful correction, even though the underlying remote software would preserve the full string of keystrokes for later reading.
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 1:58 PM on February 2 [3 favorites]


Most jokes are bad and here’s “Y”
posted by interogative mood at 7:19 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


Y, the sometimes vowel, and joke.
posted by hippybear at 7:34 PM on February 2


Metafilter: Needs more cowbell
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 9:38 AM on February 3 [1 favorite]


tofu_crouton: "Mhum I need more of those food videos please and thank you"

Well, if you insist. Unfortunately, I've only found two more; but, I also have this one which is not technically in the same series but I think it takes place in the same cinematic universe.
posted by mhum at 9:40 AM on February 3 [1 favorite]


Ok, just two more for the road.
posted by mhum at 12:50 PM on February 21


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