A year ago, I designed a robot whose only purpose was adding jokes to Family Circus cartoons. Most robotic engineers told me I was crazy. They said things like, "You're only taping a smile onto cancer," or "I knew this day would come -- my robots are penetrating me." But I didn't stop. Family Circus has been shitting in the mouth of comedy for 51 years and we need to fight back. That's where PG-13 comes in.
PG-13 is a sophisticated and outrageous joke-writing A.I. leashed by the Motion Picture Association of America's PG-13 rating system. I did this for two reasons. One: the kids. Just because my generation grew up with Phil Collins singing about his mouth around hundreds of cocks doesn't mean we should fill young minds with filth. Two: I hate robots, so PG-13 is programmed to feel pain -- searing, excruciating pain at all times. If I hadn't limited PG-13 to one "fuck" per cartoon, it would be the only word it would ever scream.
Grandma's Linguistic Misunderstanding
A lot of people would save Abraham Lincoln if they had a time machine. Not me. I would let Lincoln die while I went back to the dawn of language and made sure "steep" and "sleep" sounded nothing like each other. That's how important it is to me that this comic never existed. I would wave at unmurdered Hitler and toss him a "2nd Place Worst Thing Ever" trophy while I passed by.
The Family Circus goes after homophone comedy with all the likability and grace of a drowning sex offender. It would be bad enough if these dipshit kids simply made the wrong choice every time a word could mean two things, but the writer cheats. Letters get added or taken away, words are mispronounced ... I mean, look at this garbage:
It's not only not funny, but it's a wild, wild stretch that children this stupid would be allowed anywhere near stamplers or sleeping tea. If you were these kids' pediatrician, the pillow you'd push over their faces would be funnier than their lack of language skills.
I told PG-13 to get these cartoons out of my sight. If I wanted to watch children make horrible mistakes I would have become a priest. PG-13 erased any trace of them from his memory, probably just to taunt my inability to do so, then outputted these two:
How One Word Can Change Everything
There's nothing quite like a one-line musical parody of a song from 1935; except maybe finding a chancre on your date. You see this kind of trend-referencing humor from people right before they die and it makes me wonder ... at what age does technology become hilarious? Sixty? Seventy? Before Family Circus, was there some asshole making comics about all these kids and their bronze smelting? When I'm 80, will I be writing cartoons that say, "I ain't sayin' she's a gold digger! But she ain't messin' with no broke negrodroid's moisture port!"? I hope so.
I don't want to brag about how much smarter I am than a fucking idiot, but this would have been a much more elegant parody if the kid was singing, "I'm gonna sit right down and write myself an email ..." Family Circus has the wit of a funeral fart. I almost felt bad showing this random pile of words to a robot.
Spoiler Alert: The Punchline is Dartmouth
Can you imagine what it would be like if you found something like this funny? You'd be both the happiest and most-punched person in the world, and I am really glad you don't exist. But in case you do, seriously: Fuck you.
I showed this to PG-13 and joked, "Before Family Circus came out, people who wanted this kind of hilarity had to watch a spriggan pull apart their newborn." The dutiful comedybot ignored me and produced two very outside-the-box rewrites: