Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, May 28, 2021

Despite the wealth of comedic raw material all around us — or, perhaps, because of it — the conventional narrative joke is dead, done in by the Nuclear Age, the Internet, the ascendancy of observational humor and generally shorter attention spans.

It’s not all bad, though:

One paradox about the death of the joke: It may result in more laughs. Joke tellers, after all, are limited by the number of jokes they can memorize, while observational wits never run out of material. And [William and Mary professor] Morreall said that because wits make no promise to be funny, the threshold for getting a laugh is lower for them than for joke tellers, who always battle high expectations.

“Jon Stewart just has to twist his eyebrows a little bit, and people laugh,” he said. “It’s a much easier medium.”

Personally, I relate to this. I’m a pretty funny guy, but it’s just about all based on one-liners, sarcastic quips and observational stuff. I have exactly two narrative jokes committed to memory — that’s it. I used to think I should learn more, just to have them at hand in the right situations. But they feel so artificial, and it’s true: When the more casual offhand style works so well, why bother?

I guess this atmosphere is why “Seinfeld” was (and, really, still is) such a smash success.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 05/28/2005 06:40:17 PM
Category: Comedy
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a true playa
As attached as most iPod owners are to their devices, they might as well take the next step and anthropomorphize them. Enter iGuy, which gives the music player a distinctly Gumby-like appearance.

Whether or not this was inspired by the iPod Halloween costume, I can’t say.

Like most, I really get a kick out of the iGuy’s “sit-down” position while you dock your iPod.

It’s cute, but not 35 bucks worth of cute. I think if they drop the price to around $20, they could have a huge hit on their hands. I’m not holding my breath — the company pushing this doesn’t seem to be entirely top-shelf; I’m sure they’ll generate a little buzz off this for a couple of months, then fade into the background.

Anyway, all this is moot for me: I have an ancient first-generation iPod, so the iGuy probably won’t fit mine properly.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 05/28/2005 04:40:36 PM
Category: Tech
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