Archive for ‘Humor’

November 19, 2020

Russian Political Jokes

Hammer & Tickle

Russian political jokes can be grouped into the major time periods: Imperial Russia, Soviet Union, post-Soviet Russia. Quite a few political themes can be found among other standard categories of Russian joke, most notably Rabinovich jokes (short fictional Russian stories or dialogs with a punch line) and Radio Yerevan, also known as the Armenian Radio jokes, which mocked the ‘Question & Answer’ series of the Armenian Radio.

A typical format of a joke was: ‘Radio Yerevan was asked,’ and ‘Radio Yerevan answered.’ For example: Radio Yerevan was asked: ‘Comrades, will there be war?’ Radio Yerevan answered: ‘No, but there will be such a struggle for peace that everything will be razed to the ground.’

read more »

Tags:
November 17, 2020

Citation Needed

xkcd

Citation needed is a tag added by Wikipedia editors to unsourced statements in articles requesting citations to be added. The phrase is reflective of the policies of verifiability and no original research in Wikipedia and has become a general Internet meme.

By Wikipedia policy, editors should add citations for content, to ensure accuracy and neutrality, and to avoid original research. In June 2005, Chris Sherlock, a Wikipedia editor with the username Ta bu shi da yu, created the ‘citation needed’ template, to be added to statements without a citation that needed verification. 413,038 articles in the English Wikipedia are currently marked with the template.

October 14, 2020

Fool’s Errand

Blinker fluid

fool’s errand is a type of practical joke or prank where a newcomer to a group, typically in a professional context, is given an impossible or nonsensical task by older or more experienced members of the group.

Many such errands require the victim to travel some distance and request an impossible object by name; the prank will be widely known within the peer group as an in-joke, and the person they ask for the object will play along, often by sending the victim on to make the same request elsewhere. The errand is an example of a hazing ritual, through which a newcomer gains acceptance into a group.

read more »

August 24, 2020

Your Show of Shows

 Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca

Your Show of Shows was a live 90-minute variety show that was broadcast weekly in the United States on NBC from the winter of 1950 through the summer of 1954, featuring Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca. Other featured performers included comedian Carl Reiner, actor Howard Morris, singer and actor Bill Hayes, baritone singer Jack Russell, pop singer Judy Johnson, jazz band The Hamilton Trio, and the soprano Marguerite Piazza. Actor José Ferrer made several guest appearances on the series.

Writers for the series included Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, Danny Simon, Mel Tolkin, Lucille Kallen, Selma Diamond, Joseph Stein, Michael Stewart, Tony Webster (the only Gentile among the show’s writers), and Carl Reiner who, though a cast member, also worked with the writers. (Larry Gelbart and Woody Allen joined the writing staff for later Caesar ventures.) The series is historically significant for the evolution of the variety genre by incorporating situation comedies (sitcoms) such as the running sketch ‘The Hickenloopers’; this added a narrative element to the traditional multi-act structure.

read more »

Tags:
August 6, 2020

Gamehendge

The Man Who Stepped into Yesterday

Gamehendge is the fictional setting for a number of songs by the rock band Phish. Most of the songs can be traced back to ‘The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday’ (or TMWSIY), the senior project of guitarist and primary vocalist Trey Anastasio, written while he attended Goddard College in 1987.

The recording of TMWSIY has been heavily circulated among fans and is considered by some to be an unreleased Phish album. Outside of the songs from TMWSIY, there are numerous other songs set in the fictional universe of Gamehendge.

read more »

Tags:
June 17, 2020

Al Jaffee

Mad Fold-in

Al Jaffee (b. 1921) is an American cartoonist. He is notable for his work in the satirical magazine ‘Mad,’ including his trademark feature, the ‘Mad Fold-in.’ Jaffee was a regular contributor to the magazine for 65 years and is its longest-running contributor.

Between 1964 and 2013, only one issue of ‘Mad’ was published without containing new material by Jaffee. In a 2010 interview, he said, ‘Serious people my age are dead.’ With a career running from 1942 until 2020, Jaffee holds the Guinness World Record for having the longest-ever career as a comic artist. In 2013, Columbia University announced that he had donated most of his archives to the college.

read more »

April 9, 2020

Lies, Damned lies, and Statistics

How to Lie with Statistics

Lies, damned lies, and statistics‘ is a phrase describing the persuasive power of numbers, particularly the use of statistics to bolster weak arguments. It is also used colloquially to doubt statistics cited to prove an opponent’s point.

The phrase derives from the full sentence, ‘There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.’ It was popularized by Mark Twain and others, who mistakenly attributed it to the British prime minister Benjamin Disraeli. The true originator is uncertain, but it has, at times, been attributed to an anonymous writer in mid-1891 and later that year to English politician Sir Charles Dilke.

read more »

Tags:
March 16, 2020

Weird Al Yankovic

UHF

Weird Al Yankovic (b.1959) is an American musical comedian whose humorous songs make light of popular culture and often parody specific songs by contemporary musical acts; original songs that are style pastiches of the work of other acts; and polka medleys of several popular songs, featuring his favored instrument, the accordion.

Since his first-aired comedy song in 1976, he has sold more than 12 million albums (as of 2007), recorded more than 150 parody and original songs, and performed more than 1,000 live shows. His works have earned him five Grammy Awards and a further eleven nominations, four gold records, and six platinum records in the United States. Yankovic’s first top ten Billboard album (‘Straight Outta Lynwood’) and single (‘White & Nerdy’) were both released in 2006, nearly three decades into his career.

read more »

March 4, 2020

Pigasus

Yippies

Pigasus was a 145-pound (66 kg) domestic pig who was nominated for President of the United States as a theatrical gesture by the Youth International Party in 1968, just before the opening of the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. The youth-oriented party (whose members were commonly called ‘Yippies’) was an anti-establishment and countercultural revolutionary group whose views were inspired by the free speech and anti-war movements of the 1960s, mainly the opposition to United States involvement in the Vietnam War.

Yippies were known for using dramatic theatrics in their demonstrations, and they used Pigasus as a way to mock the social status quo. At a rally announcing his candidacy, Pigasus was confiscated by Chicago policemen and several of his Yippie backers were arrested for disorderly conduct.

read more »

Tags:
February 29, 2020

Chapo Trap House

The Chapo Guide to Revolution

Chapo Trap House is an American political podcast founded in 2016 and hosted by Will Menaker, Matt Christman, Felix Biederman, Amber A’Lee Frost, and Virgil Texas. The podcast became known for its left-wing contentious commentary in the run-up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The show is closely identified with Twitter culture and with the ‘dirtbag left,’ a term coined by Frost to refer to a style of left-wing political contentious discourse that eschews civility for its own sake in favor of subversive, populist vulgarity. The show is produced by Chris Wade and formerly by Brendan James.

read more »

Tags:
February 27, 2020

Milkshake Duck

Milkshake Duck by Ben Ward

Milkshake Duck is an Internet meme that describes phenomena that are initially perceived as positive but later revealed to be flawed. Oxford Dictionaries defined the term as ‘a person or character on social media that appears to be endearing at first, but is found to have an unappealing back story,’ but did not consider usage of the neologism to be sufficiently long-lived or widespread to warrant inclusion in their dictionaries.

The term has been connected to ‘cancel culture,’ a growing trend of call-out culture on social media resulting in celebrities being ostracized and careers abruptly derailed by publicized misconduct.

read more »

Tags: ,
January 25, 2020

Stand-up Comedy

Lenny

Stand-up comedy is a comic style in which a comedian performs in front of a live audience, usually speaking directly to them. The performer is commonly known as a comic, stand-up comic, comedian, comedienne, stand-up comedian, or simply a stand-up.

Comedians give the illusion that they are dialoguing, but in actuality, they are monologuing a grouping of humorous stories, jokes and one-liners, typically called a ‘shtick,’ ‘routine,’ ‘act,’ or ‘set.’ Some stand-up comedians use props, music, or magic tricks to enhance their acts. Stand-up comedy is stated to be the ‘freest form of comedy writing’ that is regarded as a fictionalized ‘extension of’ the person performing.

read more »