Saturday, December 31, 2005

Judicial Laugh-o-meter

Unlike many of my classmates, I have never had any real desire to be a federal judge, much less a Supreme Court justice.

Until now.

I think I can beat Scalia.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

All we are is dust in the wind...

You're my boy, Blue. R.I.P.


Nothing funny here, just really compelling newswriting. Regardless of how you feel about the war, this is some substantial stuff, although perhaps best read in small portions. Makes me think quite a bit about the three soldiers I know out there...

Save Kaz Matsui's Life!

Are they serious? I think they're serious.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005


Hey, I laughed.

a new bunny re-enactment

Star Wars.

True dat! Double true!

The inevitable NY Times article about the Lazy Sunday skit.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Police Squad is coming to DVD!

2006: A Happy New Year. Guaranteed.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Two Incredibly Underrated Christmas Specials

Buy them for next year now, and you'll thank me right around 2007:

1. Pee Wee's Christmas Special. The definition of surreal.

2. Twas The Night Before Christmas. The one with the mice and the clock tower. "Even a miracle needs a hand..."

Merry Christmas!

I remain mad that 101.1 no longer plays oldies.

Friday, December 23, 2005


I am watching Larry King Live, guest hosted by Joan Rivers. She, Mariel Hemingway, Art Linklater and Melissa Rivers are talking about people in their lives who are committed suicide.

The obvious punchlines apply.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

A tragic event and an unfortunate find.

Tony Dungy's son died. This is purely tragic. God bless the Dungy family.

His son' site is troubling, although not in any way worth going into detail about now.

Lyndon Baines Johnson, His Nuts, and the Greatest Telephone Conversation Ever Taped

How had I not heard about this before?

No matter. It apparently really happened (check around the rest of the Internet; I'm convinced). Not sure if it makes me feel better about this current administration. But it makes me laugh.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

A terrific column about television news.

A New York Times TV writer calls out local television for its absurd, self-absorbed, self congratulatory coverage of the labor unrest.

"Why would anybody piss on anybody?"

This question will define this century in much the same way that "Can't we all just get along?" defined the 90s.

Another cool map

Follow the money.

Chad Johnson alert!

Wish I got the Bengals game this weekend...

The Bengals receiver suggested Tuesday that he has a special touchdown celebration planned for Cincinnati's game on Christmas Eve, one that will top his Riverdance, his end zone putt and his sideline proposal from earlier this season.

A surrogate reindeer, perhaps?

"On the highway, I hit a deer," Johnson said Tuesday, insisting he was serious and that the animal wasn't hurt. "I kept him. He's at home in the garage. I'm going to use him for the celebration this weekend. He's a prop. They might suspend me for the last game, but I think this one is worth it."
And later,
"This is going to be the greatest celebration of all time, man," he said. "I actually use an animal."

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Cool things about the strike?

Well, there is at least one.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Throwback... way back....

Christian throwback jerseys!

There is no room on earth for the amount of exclamation points that last sentence deserved.


A staggering combination

The Seventh Floor Crew meets the Minnesota Sex Cruise scandal. Brilliant. I am in awe.

Crazy delicious!

Here. Just download it. It's hilarious. It's worth the download, and it's worth having to unzip it. Saturday Night Live CAN still make us laugh. Thank you, Andy Samberg.

(thanks, Duff.)

UPDATE: Here, this one doesn't even requiring downloading or unzipping. Just clicking. GO, already!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Only tangentially related... my recent post on the Dilbert guy's theory of humor, but I'll put it up here anyway: Some rules of cuteness.

More sap. Sorry.

Added to Otis Redding's "I Love You More Than Words Can Say" on my growing list of vastly underrated love songs: Gordon Lightfoot's "Beautiful."

Friday, December 16, 2005

Scratch that last question

Poked around his site a little. I think we will all know who Jonathan Coulton is soon.

UPDATE: NOW I know where I've heard of this guy. Turns out he's the guy who did the music for 700 Hobo Names. Which means he's rising up the funniest people I'm aware of list with astonishing speed.

Wow, Jonathan Coulton...

Thanks for the best mp3 anyone will listen to today.

Whoever you are.

My new favorite movie review of this month...

is the New York Post's Kyle Smith's rip job on The Producers.

A sample (the entire review is in verse):
Something fiasco
Something disast-o
Something just tedious
A musical that bites!

(On) Broadway, it's money
This time, not funny
You'll flee the multiplex
This movie is a blight!

There's Nathan Lane,
Why he so lame?
Hey, Susan Stroman, you get the blame

She's the director
You'll disrespect her
Notion that cinema's like stage
Please move that camera
Try to earn your wage!
And so on. Wow. How can the Post have such enjoyable movie reviewers (Lou Lumenick and evidently this guy) and be such a crappy paper otherwise?

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Welcome to America!

Okay, now guess: Blue state? Red state?

I can't begin to hazard a guess about this one.

Bush voter, do you think? Kerry voter? Again, I can't tell. Just throwing it out there, the question.

This must be some definition of 'Christmas miracle' I've never heard before.

Turtles with braces.

Television show ideas no one appreciates but me.

A buddy cop drama starring John Laroquette and David Leisure called Wisecrack City.

Princeton is terrible

Someone forgot to cut the bottom out of the peach baskets.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Two Thumbs Up

I was on the fence up until the last 30 seconds. Ebert almost had me. But the last 20 seconds, including the best "Oh, snap!" moment I've witnessed in maybe a couple years, really moved me. Advantage, Siskel.

Larry Brown finally figures it out.

Thank God. Although I could have told him a lot of this months ago.

They're back

Not unrelated to the previous post. Remember those hilarious singing (presumably) Chinese kids?

Here's more of them. And some other Asian kids parodying them but maybe doing a bit too much. And some others who do maybe just a bit better.

None of these, of course, are as funny as the original. The novelty is gone. Unoriginal = not clever. The guilt and discomfort that comes with ethnic humor the subjects may not be aware of is gone. Not cruel enough. The absence of novelty detracts from the bizarre scene. It's recognizable, yes, but consciously, painfully deliberately so, in a way that detracts from other categories. And these young kids become less innocent/cute when you see this and begin to suspect they are in on the joke, and wiser/older than they seem.

Scott Adams' Recipe for Humor

The guy who writes Dilbert, whose blog is much funnier and more interesting than his strip, has set out to analyze humor. And even though I think he's not in much of a position to do so, the results are quite interesting:

I wrote on this topic more extensively in my book, The Joy of Work. So I’ll just give you the highlights here. The core of humor is what I call the 2-of-6 rule. In order for something to be funny, you need at least two of the following elements:
Cute (as in kids and animals)
Recognizable (You’ve been there)

I invented this rule, but you can check for yourself that whenever something is funny it follows the rule. And when something isn’t, it doesn’t.
An interesting framework. It is probably a better rule for analyzing humor than creating it, and in some ways it may be a good way to figure out why a good number of stupid folks out there find some things funny (e.g., why Bil Keane of "The Family Circus" seems to think that cute with occasional bursts of recognizability is enough even with an utter and complete absence of cleverness, and why America lets him get away with it).

I think that you can deconstruct these concepts further. I think that "cuteness" has a lot more to do with the expectation of innocence and purity than the visceral "awwwww" you hear from teenage girls pretty much all women, that bizarreness and cleverness as well as cuteness are actually quite similar in that they play with expectations in similar ways, that "cruel" has a lot more to do with the presence of discomfort than actually being mean (witness the incredible comic depth of the cringeworthy moments in "The Office" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm"), and that there is something of a pecking order within the element of recognizability depending on the degree of departuree from expectation--we find things from the 80s funny because we expect we're won't confront them on a given day.

I think that, if you do refine Adams' concepts a bit and then accept them, you can fairly plausibly establish a heirarchy of humorous elements, or at least pairings. Genuine cleverness + anything else is more potent than genuine cuteness + anything else. Cuteness and recognizability (The Family Circus), particularly recognizability with little detachment from expectations, together represent the lowest form of effective humor. Lower forms of humor exist overall, those that operate on only single dimensions, with cleverness being the most tolerable of these. "This is a cute kid" is not funny on its own. Penis humor can hit or miss, depending on whether the context provides other elements of humor. Sumo Florist works because it goes beyond the realm of mere cock humor (naughty), but gives you singing cats and a cheery, gospel-sounding musical (cute/innocent), is clever in its rhyme scheme and musical structure, is utterly bizarre (its head is Jamie Lee Curtis), it is at least somewhat recognizable albeit in fractured senses (sumo wrestler, Jamie Lee, musical elements), it is cruel (to Jamie Lee Curtis, who has chromosonal issues, issues that I recognize)--really, a perfect storm of humor. And that's why I click that link when I need a laugh.

Over the past few days, I've thought a lot about the funnier things in life. Great movies, as wholes and individual scenes. Television shows. Books. Strips. And I've seen different combinations of these elements, and another that flows like ether through a few of these other elements, the forever-venerated element of "timing." The model, as a whole, works. And I think that so long as the methodology of this doesn't kill everything, I may well be on my way to remaining hilarious for years to come. Just not on this blog.

I may return to this topic in future posts, as it fascinates me.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Lame or awesome?

I'm on the fence about this one. On the one hand, Stephen Lynch is hilarious, and this required a lot of effort. On the other hand, it involves a Final Fantasy game, and it required a lot of effort. Is this something I would've done a couple years ago?

Interesting Summary

My sister, who I'm pretty much convinced is smarter and funnier than I am by light years, has found one of the better links I've seen in a while: the Internet Movie Database's Plot Keywords for C-Bear and Jamal.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Dear Knick Coach Larry Brown,

Pick ONE starting lineup and STICK WITH IT.

I am beginning to doubt your supposed wizardry. I still think you're making the playoffs, but I'd love to see what is in your head.

Thanks. /m

P.S. That lineup should be:


A good idea, imperfectly executed

Number 1 is right. E.U. is really top 3, maybe top 2. I'd bump KC and the Sunshine band up for longevity. And I'm sure that something is missing...

For what it's worth, 9 of 10 are somewhere on my iPod.

Movie review headline of the year?

Wow, New York Post.

What the hell is Rick Moranis up to now?

No one's seen him, right?

Well, apparently he's cut a country music album.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Friday, December 09, 2005

Easily the best thing about the NFL this season... the continued adventures of Clinton Portis' alternate personalities.

Lil Ronnie likes the Colts

...and so should you.

Outsourcing the early levels

Americans and others are outsourcing the early levels of video games that are boring and time consuming and perhaps too hard to the Chinese. I'd heard something about this on NPR last week, too. I find it fascinating. I am uncertain whether it makes me grin or feel slightly ill. Possibly both? More illness, perhaps. Sweatshops are sweatshops.

Pretty much all you need to know about the Saddam Hussein trial... here.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

My favorite movie review line in a while.

Manohla Dargis is quite clever:

But even the formidable Ms. Gong cannot surmount the ruinous decision to have her and Ms. Zhang, along with the poorly used Mr. Yakusho, deliver their lines in vaguely British-sounding English that imparts an unnatural halting quality to much of their dialogue. The. Result. Is. That. Each. Word. Of. Dialogue. Sounds. As. If. It. Were. Punctuated. By. A. Full. Stop. Which. Robs. The. Language. Of. Its. Watery. Flow. And. Breath. Of. Real. Life. Even. As. It. Also. Gives. New. Meaning. To. The. Definition. Of. The. Period. Movie.

The New Best Musical Performance of the Year?

Probably. Thanks, Scandinavians!

'Noley cow.

Courtesy of Deadspin. It seems like Florida State's tailgating ladies are very much like those of the Ivy League. Just like I suspected.

Presenting Harvard's Upper Class Twits of the Year

Oh my. I don't think I've enjoyed a Crimson column/rip job this much since Suzanne Pomey's Harvard.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

I feel sickeningly old.

Reading about the tragic death of NY Knick Quentin Richardson's brother and doing some additional googling, I was stunned to learn that since breaking up with Brandy, Q has been dating Keisha Knight Pulliam, or Rudy from the Cosby Show.

It seemed wrong. She's 12 years old forever, right? Quentin should not be allowed to hit that.

Turns out she is, in fact, no longer 12.

The funniest kangaroo ever

Well, that answers a few questions we all had about kangaroos.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Scarry Times

If you liked Richard Scarry books as a kid, you will find these changes over time interesting. And don't even ask about Goodnight, Moon.

Alien Loves Predator

I am not completely sure if this is funny, but I think it might be.

Hey, remember the Darwin Awards?

My first favorite website from back when I first got on the internet now has a movie. I am not at all sure how this is supposed to work.

One for fans of "The Office"

Ricky Gervais, under mild pressure, recreated the David Brent dance at Live Aid several weeks ago. Also, Gervais' podcast premiered yesterday. It has great potential, and is already the best original podcast I've heard.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Carl Lewis has a blog.

This would be much funnier if he ever updated it.

Because I can, here's his music video.

The Story Thus Far...

We realize that the move here may have been traumatic for some of you. This should help you adjust.

Carl Lewis, Lego Thriller, Road to Springfield, Guilty Laughter and No Emmy, Mrs. Ewing's still mad, Yinka! (RIP), Lohan Freestyle, Jolie Homewrecker, Smell Like Alan, Brown Zogg, Pulp Bunnies, Traficant!, Black Pantherliciousness, Apollo fails, THERE in the world, Biblical bricks, Hornets! Bees!, a free agency thought experiment, shark vs. octopus, space history, Snakes On A Plane!!!, rough times for the Dad from Alf, The Weakest Rapper, Ken Jennings says "Ho", Kittenwar!, Seeing Ryan Fitzpatrick coming, Kim Clijsters looks like the mayor's assistant from Ghostbusters 2, Lemmings, awful Harvard alums, Roll Bounce, South Park Reds, Doppler 2 Million!, A Healthy Breakfast, Behind The Oregon Trail, The Worst Harvard Alumna, Express Written Consent, an error in judgment, Knicks Dancers, a bad day for Chris Cagle, Centaur Job Interview, Yosemite, contact some baseball writers, Rove's ringside boasts, Dave Coulier, Pottymouth, Puck Fiction, Apache!, the kids who resurrected Backstreet, more bees and hornets, sappy baseball nostalgia, 700 hobo names!, my hero, The Rent is Still Too Damn High,, bridge suicides, "I am the author of the only dictionary that defines me", Dudley from Diff'rent Strokes grows up, Sharpton Salsas, 4 New York! and the local news I grew up with, Chan Ho Park, 7th Floor Crew, Ass-to-Ass Guy, Dunkleman Returns and a reason to believe in podcasting.

Congratulations. You have wasted several hours.


Welcome to mb11225, a slightly more anonymous version of an earlier blog that will make carrying it into the future more tenable, but one that, in a subtle way, is even more aggressively vain than the earlier blog and the website that accompanied it.

On balance, it all probably makes little sense.

Watch for easter eggs!