I haven't been posting much lately, and as recompense, I've decided to share with you one of comedy's deep, dark secrets. This is highly classified comedic intel, known only to Cracked bloggers, Carrot Top and that guy that reveals magician's secrets (he snuck into a meeting once). The other bloggers will probably shove me into the drier again for this, but I'm kind of getting used to it, and I tossed some Oreos in there in anticipation, so I think I'll be good.
The secret is this: We only have five jokes. Thatâs it. We dress them up, add or subtract zombies or vaginas wherever we see fit, but at the end of the day, the six active Cracked columnists could count the number of different jokes we know on our penises, and weâd still have Brockwayâs penis left over. Of course, it could be argued that Brockwayâs penis is itself a strange kind of joke, but itâs not really funny âha ha,â if you know what I mean.
Thatâs why most comedy writers are so insecure. Just as Joseph Campbell boiled n95 percent of storytelling down to seven or eight basic plots, weâre worried that someday, someone will pull aside the curtain and reveal Oz to be little more than an organ-grinding monkey wearing plastic hillbilly teeth.
Well, I wonât be that betrayer. Iâm not about to enumerate the several joke archetypes upon which all humor is founded, but I will tell you one of them: failure. Watching someone fail at something, or undergo misfortune, makes us feel better about our own s****y lives, and thatâs something we humans find hilarious. The Germans call it âschadenfreude,â and it roughly means âchild hits father in balls with football while Bob Saget narrates.â
Thatâs a sobering thought for comedians, because it means that no matter how much we polish up our jokes; no matter how precisely we deploy the word ânuggetsâ or how many parallels we can draw between Sarah Jessica Parker and a moldy beet, a video of a moron failing at something will almost always be funnier.
Which in turn explains why so many of us end up using âfake failureâ in our comedy. Count off your favorite comedic characters (Homer Simpson, Borat, Michael Scott) and youâll find that one thing they all have in common is being pathetic failures. But just when we think weâve cornered the market on pathetic, along comes a true artist, a group dedicated to proving to all us would-be failures that succeeding to fail will NEVER be as funny as failing to succeed.
Watch, and wonder.
SIDE NOTE: that video not only illuminated the very essence of the comedic failure/success enigma, it also unwittingly mastered every other known form of joke, invented three new ones and caused the Marx Brothers to come back to life (although being interred in coffins, they quickly suffocated again).
Call me a deserter, but based on the existence of this video, Iâm ready to predict that these young men commandeer and dominate all forms of comedy sometime in the next decade. Sorry my fellow comedians, but we had a good run. You just canât compete with that. His PANTS WERE ON FIRE. And did you see the end? DID YOU SEE THE END?!
To see more of what these totally not gay guys have to offer, check out their fabulous homepage at whatthebob.com. For proof of the limitless entertainment possibilities found therein, look no further than this blurb on their front page:
âHow did we come up with the name What the Bob? In December 2004 we wanted to make a web site so we were thinking of some names and we came up with What the Bob.â
Iâm rofling so hard right now the fact that I can type a sentence is no small miracle. My choice is clear: I can either stand by my brethren, squelch this video and work tirelessly to pioneer and perfect exciting new forms of humor, or I can bow down to the âIâm On a Couchâ phenomenon and sell out my craft for 15 minutes of fame as the guy who brought it to the attention of the world at large.
Judging by the fact that you just watched the video, I think you know which path Iâve chosen. This monotone, incoherent video has corrupted me with the sheer power of its viral memetic potential. Itâs like someone marinated the One Ring in Midi-chlorians: I am powerless to resist (also invisible). Lead, O glorious video, and I, your humble servant and first disciple, shall follow.
Continue Reading Below
Continue Reading Below
4chanâs taken meme credit for too long, Crackedheads. Letâs get on this s**t. I want to see remixes, Photoshops, t-shirt designs. I want this Dugg, Farked, YTMNDed and drunkenly tattooed. I want the âIâm On a Couchâ boys to make âDavid After Dentistâ look like âDavid Reads Quietly.â
The Johnstones have started the ball rolling, but itâs up to us to get this amazing video from a paltry 2,000 views to an astronomical 3,400. I will settle for nothing less.
Make me proud.
When not writing for Cracked, Michael compares this video to the ones at Those Aren't Muskets! and weeps.