Hi. I'm TV's Seanbaby from the Internet. I've spent many years of my life collecting and cataloging the worst things we as a people have created like movies about Turkish E.T. and foods about Aquaman. And in the process of trying to describe or mock so many terrible things, I've had to come up with a lot of tricks to save my sanity. None of them have worked. And for my first column here at Cracked, I'd like to share some of them with you.
|How do you start to ridicule something we already all agree is ridiculous?|
Comedy is something people are pretty irresponsible with. I'm sure you've met "funny" people whose idea of hilarity is answering a question with "I'd tell you, but I'd have to kill you." Or maybe they describe something as, get this, something else on steroids. I have a religious theory that every time someone says that, God keeps track of it in a magical book. It's a book called Kill This Many People Today. And that's where tragedies come from.
It's easy to fall into the trap of making bad jokes. There are thousands of pre-written responses for virtually any situation. There's clumsy sarcasm, "TMI," "That's What She Said," "ftw." And now dipshits can get jokes texted right to their phone to make their sense of humor EVEN BETTER. Want to see one? Here's the sample I was sent during a free trial of a joke-texting service:
"Husband: A man who buys his football tickets four months in advance and waits until December 24 to do his Christmas shop"
Haha take that, Husband! I'm afraid I have to apologize to the readers. If I had known that joke was going to be so funny, I wouldn't have tried to use it to support my point. Aside from that unfortunate mistake, I still insist that humorless funnymen and idiot smartasses are attacking the foundations of laughter every day.
In comedy, not all knee-jerk reactions are wrong. If you see a fat person open his mouth near a young child, it's OK to whisper to your friends that the child is doomed. Or maybe say, "At least he's not covering his food in gravy anymore." "How long does it take to burn a four-year-old off on a stair master?" Basically, every nearby smartass is racing to make the joke about him eating the kid. It's a crowd-pleaser, but not something you'll be remembered for. With the system I've developed, you can take your jokes in new and exciting directions.
#1. Is it Too Inane to Mock? Replace it with Something.
There's no worse place for a lack of stimuli than the grocery aisle. An active comedic mind may go into overload with the number of stupid headlines that will assault you. For example, you might see "Toby Keith Gets Rowdy," or "Miley Cyrus: Sixteen and Sassy!" Do you realize how much you have to not give a fuck to type that and put that in front of another person's eyeballs? You can't mock something that has no shame.
So here's what you can do. Take the mess that their idiot copywriter vomited on to the cover and replace it with something more appropriate. Here's one to get you started. The September 2006 issue of Rolling Stone had a cover feature of Justin Timberlake in a wet t-shirt called "WET DREAM!" That's fucking stupid. And pointless. So I changed it. To Justin Timberlake - WHAT A MOUSTACHE FEELS LIKE ON YOUR DICK. Buy a dryer, N*Sync.
If you're not feeling especially creative while you wait to buy groceries, you don't have to write your own. You can have just as much fun by simply taking a headline from one magazine and putting it on another. "Bat Boy Found in Cave!" is yesterday's news on the cover of Weekly World News, but strangely fitting when placed on US Weekly under a picture of a tiny orc that doctors pulled from a science-savaged uterus.
#2. Is it Totally Insane? Make it Make Sense.
When encountering something that deviates from normalcy, it's easy to call it nuts and be done with it. Well one of the skills I picked up arguing with women is the ability to follow a trail of dislogic back to its source to see how something insane came to be. Now it can be used for comedy as well!For instance, you might one day visit the website of celebrity Leonard Nimoy, Star Trek's Spock, and see his series of egg photographs. There, you'll discover that Leonard Nimoy's idea of a photo of an egg is a picture of a naked lady holding an egg. Now... how does something like that happen?
A. The Enterprise's omelette replicator got a wire crossed with the Holodeck's adult room.
B. Leonard Nimoy's assistant can't read his handwriting.
C. He's trying to bring sexiness back to Silly Putty.
D. It was a casual Friday at the poultry farm.
#3. Touchy Subject? Change the Context.
For this example, I'll use something we can all agree on: women without shirts. As you know, after a certain time of night, every commercial on TV is about drunk girls showing their tits. I don't get why. It's reassuring to know that they're out there doing that, but what the fuck am I going to do with a DVD set of it? Like I have the time and imagination to force a jerk-off out of partial nudity. Sure, I remember the days of sitting through three straight Shannon Tweed movies with a hard-on on deck and frantically trying to get something done with a precious second of side boob. But that was when I was 13, and before I learned of the dangers of erections lasting longer than four hours.
When you're a kid you have to treat pornography like you treat a Nintendo game. As unforgiving or terrible as it might be, you and your hands will keep fighting to the end because you have nothing better to do and you can't go buy a new one.
Now that I've grown up, I don't have to spend weeks earning my doctorate in Battletoads so I can see how their Battletoad story turns out. And I don't have to create elaborate situations in my head to keep a page of Sears bra models fresh. I can buy the novelization of Battletoads and look at pornography that wasn't reverse engineered from a support hose ad. I don't want this Girls Gone Wild garbage. That's barely better than the two porn choices I grew up with: simulating sex with Baroness and Trapjaw or none.
I think it's important to make it clear that I'm not putting Girls Gone Wild into the context of a teenager scrounging for pornography to create a satire about the immaturity of our society. It's pretty obvious that the reason these almost-porn videos are so popular is because we all grew up in a country with Quaker rules imposing on our natural urge to put our genitals together. But that's shit for you to work out for yourself, America. I don't hate Girls Gone Wild because of some faggy symbolism. I hate it because it reminds of a time in my life when being alone in the house meant I would consider putting my dick in the peanut butter jar. Looking back, I probably would have if I wasn't certain my brother was clever enough to think of the same thing.
So in order to work through my own personal demons with half-assed adult entertainment, I created a way to make Girls Gone Wild commercials (or any pornography) funny, and you don't even need dick jokes or mockery. It's easy. When the naked girls show up, imagine a guy watching it with a girl that he's trying to impress. The following comic illustrates ways you can further add context to make it work.
#4. At a Loss? Use Technology to your Advantage.
One of the most important things in comedy is context. For example, there's a difference between farting alone, farting during a submarine emergency and farting into the open mouth of a sleeping enemy. A fart during a submarine emergency is hilarious because of the enclosed area, but it WILL cost people their lives. This can be a real comedy killer until the coroner snickers when he confirms that the cause of death was Underwater Fart.
Sometimes you want to make a joke but you don't have a submarine. Or even a fart. What do you do then? How can you make a joke when there's nothing to joke about. Take a lesson from the dyslexics. You know how you see a sign that says "CAUTION WET FLOOR?" Well, I don't want to spoil their secrets, but dyslexics see "PLARGO COCK FLARP." You and I can't be that lucky, but we have the next best thing. With modern technology, such as online translation programs, the ancient linguistic techniques of the Orient can create a suitable hilarious substitute:
But from time to time you don't Joke makes you but; To there is a submarine. Or release the fart. You what that time? This time of you there! The method which is the possibility of making a joke; approximately joking anything. From the hit-or-miss reading symptoms patient have studying and go. You you this, "Try to be how, knows the indication which reveals; attention the ground which gets Bigeye Tuna?" Don't me is knowing their secret says the thing to that (thing) field, hit-or-miss reading symptoms patient "Sees; PLARGO cockings FLARP." You and I can't is it where Bigeye Tuna fortune is good, but all best thing has become to be. Together today science such as online translate; historical language of the Orient is the us for humor doppelganger.
#5. Does it Shame Us Simply By Existing? Defend it to a Space Monster.
Sometimes you'll encounter things that bring shame upon the human race as a whole. I've already used the example of submarine farts, so I'll go with my second choice: White Chicks. It's a movie that came out in 2004 about two black police officers who go undercover as a pair of high society white women. To their credit, no one involved in the making of the film tried. I believe the makeup effects were done by a team of serial killers and a van of dismembered, blood-drained corpses; and the jokes seemed like an impotent last-ditch effort to hurt the white man's feelings.
In my line of work I'm often given things like this to make fun of, but it can be depressing. I was raised to not attack the handicapped. Unless, of course, they're stacked three-high in their true combat form. So what do you do? The answer may be surprising: Use the power of your imagination to send you and the subject in question deep into outer space court where you're Earth's defense lawyer. The movie White Chicks is Space People's Exhibit A. And the charge: one count of Tell Us Why We Shouldn't Explode You The Fuck Up.
You really have to approach the problem from a different angle this way. How do you explain White Chicks to a jury of outer space creatures? Their lawyer will eat you alive during the scene where Marlon Wayans is so black he doesn't know what quiche is, and he eats so many that he has a screaming shit in the ladies rest room.