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internet comedy

SamSam Registered User regular
edited January 2010 in Debate and/or Discourse
I was thinking about how maddox humor really doesn't seem very funny anymore, and wonder how it used to seem so edgy and hilarious. It's essentially generic rage crossed with generic machismo...

this got me thinking about how it's going to develop in the future. 4chan humor is like the epitome of transience, bite sized laughs with highly subjective appeal.

I wasn't initially all that impressed with Cracked, because even back in 06 or whenever they started, lists were overdone. I think that site has managed to completely turn around that reputation. I don't hate lists anymore if they're on that site. In general, although there's some duds on there it's some of the funniest damned internet I've seen.

But this too will probably pass- where do you think internet comedy will go, and what exactly is the "internet" part going to mean?

Sam on
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  • SheepSheep Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2009
    I was thinking about how maddox humor really doesn't seem very funny anymore, and wonder how it used to seem so edgy and hilarious. It's essentially generic rage crossed with generic machismo...

    He was kind of "the first". That and some of his images were hilarious. Especially the one about the iPhone versus some Nokia.

    It's kinda like YouTube vids. When YT first cropped up and a few random folks did "funny" stuff on it, it was tolerable and warranted a laugh or two.

    Now that YT is full of a billion people who think they are buddy directors, actors, comedians, etc, the bar was raised.

    I agree about Cracked's Lists. But their lists tend to just be articles about a specific topic. "Here's some US Presidents that did some crazy shit".

    What's really suffered, IMO, is SomethingAwful. Photoshop Phriday is brilliant. Some times. Their complete reliance on sarcasm, however, only reveals the occasional moment of brilliance.

    Sheep on
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  • BubbaTBubbaT Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I liked Jay Pinkerton, too bad he doesn't seem to post up anything anymore.

    According to College Humor, the future of internet humor is generic fake Facebook and Twitter posts. Elsewhere it seems to be infographics and flowcharts.

    BubbaT on
  • SamSam Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    i wouldn't really call college humor internet comedy...it seems to be written by and for stupid fraternity people.

    what i like about cracked is the self deprecating tone. One line that stuck in my mind is "Whether you're smoking a cigarette to wind down after a high powered business meeting or sticking a heroin needle in your dick to assuage the stress of writing internet comedy, drugs are..."

    It's ultimately a pretty broad formula, and it's going to get old.

    Sam on
  • Armored GorillaArmored Gorilla Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    It's just the Internet running up against Sturgeon's Revelantion: "90% of everything is crud."

    Armored Gorilla on
    "I'm a mad god. The Mad God, actually. It's a family title. Gets passed down from me to myself every few thousand years."
  • Fatboy RobertsFatboy Roberts Registered User
    edited December 2009
    I think the trick is to not HAVE so uniform a style that it can be broken down by quoting a single line from a random article. Once you get that homogenized, the boredom is sure to follow.

    Jack over at Cracked has been running around snatching up a variety of writers from all over the internet: Swaim, Brockway, Seanbaby, Agent Cody, other dudes (cough-me-cough,) based solely on whether they make him laugh. They're all pretty unique writers, and what helps keep it unique is he also actively mines his readership for ideas and article ideas. Keeps the site "voice," fresh. If there's any uniformity, it comes in the editing/formatting.

    I don't know if Maddox simply wore off or he just hyperextended himself. The guy would answer emails (private ones, not for the site, but just in his own free time) in the same sort of manner he wrote his articles. You'd ask a question and get 4000 overheated words in response. That plus saving a lot of his good stuff for the book helped make that site sorta stagnant. But if you get the opportunity to trade that for a nationwide book tour, I guess you do it.

    Fatboy Roberts on
  • SheepSheep Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2009
    My big gripe with "internet comedy" is that shit like Boxxy gets picked up as a meme and people think something like that is hilarious.

    Sheep on
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  • SamSam Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I think the trick is to not HAVE so uniform a style that it can be broken down by quoting a single line from a random article. Once you get that homogenized, the boredom is sure to follow.

    Jack over at Cracked has been running around snatching up a variety of writers from all over the internet: Swaim, Brockway, Seanbaby, Agent Cody, other dudes (cough-me-cough,) based solely on whether they make him laugh. They're all pretty unique writers, and what helps keep it unique is he also actively mines his readership for ideas and article ideas. Keeps the site "voice," fresh. If there's any uniformity, it comes in the editing/formatting.

    I don't know if Maddox simply wore off or he just hyperextended himself. The guy would answer emails (private ones, not for the site, but just in his own free time) in the same sort of manner he wrote his articles. You'd ask a question and get 4000 overheated words in response. That plus saving a lot of his good stuff for the book helped make that site sorta stagnant. But if you get the opportunity to trade that for a nationwide book tour, I guess you do it.

    Cracked definitely has a great roster, but there's a certain writing style that even Maddox seems to have adopted when he wrote a couple articles for the site. Do any such guidelines exist or is it just people trying to ape the cracked vibe or something?

    Sam on
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I think humor is moving away from things that are simply "funny" and toward subcultures making fun of each other.

    I mean, youtube has basically killed physical comedy as a style. Why pay money dollars to watch a guy pretend to fall into an open sewer or into a box of mousetraps or whatever, when there's a video of a guy on youtube that's not only real, but the mousetraps are also on fire?

    Sites like Cracked or SA have survived by being versatile and self aware enough to make fun of enough different people that they stay somewhat fresh and keep an audience, but they're almost more "news with sarcasm" sites than humor at this point.

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
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  • SamSam Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Somethingawful is past its use by date IMO.

    Sam on
  • reVersereVerse Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    The one section of Something Awful I always liked the most were their movie reviews, but in this age of Youtube I just can't be bothered to read a review of an awful movie. The whole concept just seems wrong.

    reVerse on
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Sam wrote: »
    Somethingawful is past its use by date IMO.

    see I thought this became true of cracked in like 2005, but that's me

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
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    do you lack faith, brother?
    or do you believe?
  • KoolaidguyKoolaidguy Registered User
    edited December 2009
    For me Maddox ran out of steam when he complained about how people say "No pun intended". It was kind of hard to care enough about that to find it funny.

    Koolaidguy on
  • VariableVariable Mouth Congress Stroke Me Lady FameRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    why is something not internet humor because it's targeted at fratboys?

    if internet humor doesn't mean humor first published on the internet you should probably explain what you're talking about.

    Variable on
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  • JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Caaba Beankomy XobthroRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Variable wrote: »
    why is something not internet humor because it's targeted at fratboys?

    if internet humor doesn't mean humor first published on the internet you should probably explain what you're talking about.

    Plus, College humor is great and you are probably humor stunted if you don't at least get a chuckle.

    JebusUD on
    And I won, so you lose,
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  • GungHoGungHo Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    My issue with Funny or Die is the lack of televised executions.

    GungHo on
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  • DynagripDynagrip destroy everything you touch Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2009
    BubbaT wrote: »
    I liked Jay Pinkerton, too bad he doesn't seem to post up anything anymore.

    According to College Humor, the future of internet humor is generic fake Facebook and Twitter posts. Elsewhere it seems to be infographics and flowcharts.

    I think Pinkerton went back to a day job. Fatboy Roberts might know something though.

    Dynagrip on
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  • PreacherPreacher Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I love cracked, freaking Swaim and O'brien are comedy gold for me. I also enjoy hate by numbers because he tends to hate the same things I do.

    I tolerate College Humor because they have Derricks Comedy on there, I still want to see their movie.

    Preacher on
    I would like some money because these are artisanal nuggets of wisdom philistine.

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  • Fatboy RobertsFatboy Roberts Registered User
    edited December 2009
    College Humor is a good example of adaptation - if I remember right, up until about last year it was mostly redirected videos to idiots setting their face on fire with flaming vodka shots. And then they got sketch comedy writers and cameras and now it's a legitimate troupe. I don't know if they meant to slide that way, or if it just organically happened, but it definitely separated them from the ebaums and gorillamasks I was lumping em in with.
    Do any such guidelines exist or is it just people trying to ape the cracked vibe or something?

    With a lot of the reader-messageboard submitted articles, I think you got people trying to write in a specific voice, definitely, but with the regular contributors and the semi-regular freelancers, I think it's just editorial exercising their influence. The closest thing I've gotten to a guideline is: research your shit. I thought it was more a flat out jokes/opinions-n-observations sorta site, but it turns out, you need to at least aspire to something mildly educational, and then fit jokes into that.

    Then again, I don't think I'm a typical case there 1) I'm basically just freelancing 2) I'm primarily a movie reviewer, something that they haven't had there before.

    Fatboy Roberts on
  • VariableVariable Mouth Congress Stroke Me Lady FameRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    hahaha I know there is more than one (probably more than one million), but I have a friend who's video of setting himself on fire was linked on there. he was trying to do like firebreathing, sip everclear and spray it out, and set his upper body on fire.

    that shit is so much funnier (or funny at all) when you know the person.

    Variable on
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  • Fatboy RobertsFatboy Roberts Registered User
    edited December 2009
    That's exactly the video I was talking about. Like the entire left side of his neck and jaw caught fire and he was stumbling in reverse all over the kitchen, right?

    Fatboy Roberts on
  • VariableVariable Mouth Congress Stroke Me Lady FameRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    yes, that's him.

    Variable on
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  • Fatboy RobertsFatboy Roberts Registered User
    edited December 2009
    That sorta shit fascinates me: What's it like to BE that guy? What do you do when you're recognized at the bar by somebody?

    Fatboy Roberts on
  • VariableVariable Mouth Congress Stroke Me Lady FameRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I can tell you this, he's exactly as much of an idiot as you'd expect.

    goddamn that's hilarious. I'm so glad I bothered to mention it.

    Variable on
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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    College Humor is a good example of adaptation - if I remember right, up until about last year it was mostly redirected videos to idiots setting their face on fire with flaming vodka shots. And then they got sketch comedy writers and cameras and now it's a legitimate troupe. I don't know if they meant to slide that way, or if it just organically happened, but it definitely separated them from the ebaums and gorillamasks I was lumping em in with.

    I'm probably biased but I'm predisposed towards approving of College Humor's new direction. I know a couple of the guys in Elephant Larry, they went to college with my cousin. One of them even came to my family's Thanksgiving.

    And if you don't approve of their Minesweeper video, you have no soul. For reference:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHY8NKj3RKs

    enlightenedbum on
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  • Vincent GraysonVincent Grayson Frederick, MDRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Funny or Die and CollegeHumor are probably the most consistently amusing sites for internet comedy in video form.

    Cracked is probably my favorite for their articles and I largely blame that guy (David Wong? I forget his name) who wrote John Dies at the End, which is probably still one of my favorite original pieces of work posted on the internet.

    Vincent Grayson on
  • LaOsLaOs Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    "Why are these mines even here?!"

    Thanks, enlightenedbum. That was great.

    LaOs on
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    that video reminded me that I keep meaning to write a really compelling and/or annoying LP: Minesweeper thread, but I always think better of it

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
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    do you lack faith, brother?
    or do you believe?
  • PreacherPreacher Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Funny or Die and CollegeHumor are probably the most consistently amusing sites for internet comedy in video form.

    Cracked is probably my favorite for their articles and I largely blame that guy (David Wong? I forget his name) who wrote John Dies at the End, which is probably still one of my favorite original pieces of work posted on the internet.

    Spoken like someone who has not seen SMBC THEATER...

    Preacher on
    I would like some money because these are artisanal nuggets of wisdom philistine.

    Http:// pleasepaypreacher.net
  • President RexPresident Rex Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I think the fact that everyone can have access to fine (or at least decent) editing and effects software, we've come to expect a bit more plot than poorly made "Counter-Strike in Real Life" or "Falling Down on a Diving Board". And since the internet has become so widespread, if you're doing something fake you need to do it well (with legitimate actors and everything) if you want to be noticed among the throngs of other videos.

    Writing is similar. Self-deprecating humor tends to go a long way. Content and (usually well-made) photos play a big role. I used to read SA's Awful Anime thing...they were great, but they're not written any more (I'm not sure if I'd find them that funny anymore, either). But the front page writing comes so bland and hackneyed that it doesn't cut it anymore.


    But there are millions of webpages and blogs (albeit not all are targeted towards comedy) - writers often need to appeal to a very specific market (see Zero Punctuation or Unskippable regarding video games or The Bugle regarding politics/news). Of course, there's plenty of one-trick ponies around like this or this (both of which aren't that funny to me, but I'm sure someone thinks they are).

    Internet comedy is like porn - every variety you can think of is out there and at least one other person in the world shares your tastes.

    President Rex on
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Variable wrote: »
    hahaha I know there is more than one (probably more than one million), but I have a friend who's video of setting himself on fire was linked on there. he was trying to do like firebreathing, sip everclear and spray it out, and set his upper body on fire.

    that shit is so much funnier (or funny at all) when you know the person.

    Fire performer here; that's one reason of many you don't fire breathe with alcohol. Fire breathing is the most dangerous fire manipulation skill.
    That sorta shit fascinates me: What's it like to BE that guy? What do you do when you're recognized at the bar by somebody?

    I was "that" guy for about a month in college. I wound up being internet famous for something within the university. I over heard people talking about me and not realize I was sitting in front of them, and I've eve had a note slipped to me while eating that said
    "Hey, saw you online. Want to fuck?" and then it had boxes to check yes or no.

    Improvolone on
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  • Fatboy RobertsFatboy Roberts Registered User
    edited December 2009
    You're kidding. Checkboxes?

    Fatboy Roberts on
  • Irond WillIrond Will WARNING: NO HURTFUL COMMENTS, PLEASE!!!!! Cambridge. MAModerator mod
    edited December 2009
    I remember when SA was so edgy and cutting-edge. I think after David Thorpe left to do, like, music reviews for a Boston indie rag it kind of drew an unfavorable contrast - one of the sharpest voices in one of the edgiest sites on the internet has to struggle for third-tier work out in the real world. The Onion peaked quite a few years ago.

    I don't really know what is consistently funny in the internet anymore. I am a little biased against collegehumor for I guess the (historical?) fratboy slant. There aren't any sites I really have on hotlink.

    Irond Will on
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  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    You're kidding. Checkboxes?

    I saved it, but I've lost a lot of personal things over the last couple years (long story there). It was clearly a joke, it was just a flash of someone walking by. I thought they dropped their homework.
    There were facebook groups dedicated to me that I didn't even start. Most were anti-me, one was actually a stalk-me group where they posted places they had seen me. It was fucking weird. A lot of people don't connect the internet to real life and how and when it over laps.

    Improvolone on
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  • PreacherPreacher Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Irond Will wrote: »
    I remember when SA was so edgy and cutting-edge. I think after David Thorpe left to do, like, music reviews for a Boston indie rag it kind of drew an unfavorable contrast - one of the sharpest voices in one of the edgiest sites on the internet has to struggle for third-tier work out in the real world. The Onion peaked quite a few years ago.

    I don't really know what is consistently funny in the internet anymore. I am a little biased against collegehumor for I guess the (historical?) fratboy slant. There aren't any sites I really have on hotlink.

    I want to say after lowtax broke up with that one chick that the site went down hill in a rocket, but thats being kind to the content up to that point.

    Preacher on
    I would like some money because these are artisanal nuggets of wisdom philistine.

    Http:// pleasepaypreacher.net
  • Fatboy RobertsFatboy Roberts Registered User
    edited December 2009
    There's also an aspect of inside baseball when it comes to internet comedy. A lot of people are scrabbling and scrapping with each other in the comments sections and messageboards, interacting with the writers, largely in the hopes of getting a piece up on the site proper, having a byline they can point to. These sorts of things don't happen in the writers rooms at Curb Your Enthusiasm or 30 Rock. There's a scrutiny not only on the writing, but the writers, that sorta makes whatever bubble you're operating in thinner and smaller at the same time.

    A lot of people look at the act of visiting these sltes less as disposable entertainment, and more like the NBA D-League. If they shine bright enough, they'll get called up to the majors. Often-times, the humor on these sites has to be a lot sharper than the writers could get away with at a more "legitimate" (for lack of a better word) location, because of that atmosphere.

    CollegeHumor's "Fratboy" thing is a bit of a roadblock now, unfortunately. But two or three videos in, and that stereotype pretty much goes away. If they embraced that a little more, tried to claim they were redefining (or attempting to) what "college humor" actually MEANS with their website, that might be something.

    Improvolone: Obviously, you don't really wanna put it out there on blast, but I do admit, I'm curious as hell what it was you did that had facebook stalking groups set up surrounding your meme vid.

    Fatboy Roberts on
  • BubbaTBubbaT Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Internet comedy is like porn - every variety you can think of is out there and at least one other person in the world shares your tastes.

    But how is it trending in the future? Porn, for example, has moved at least in part away from the "So lady, how are you gonna pay for this pizza?" /cue bassline stuff.

    BubbaT on
  • Fatboy RobertsFatboy Roberts Registered User
    edited December 2009
    Actually, you know what the atmosphere is like? Imagine how catty the circles are in your local stand-up comedy scene. Now remove personal responsibility, increase bitterness by x3, and that's a decent approximation of the signal-to-noise ratio people have to deal with trying to write comedy essays online :)

    The Onion isn't even really the Onion to me, anymore. It's a series of REALLY good news-parody videos, and the A/V Club. The A/V Club has some of the smartest pop-culture writers on the planet. It's almost realized the promise of magazines like Spin and Premiere, before they got fat and in Premiere's case, folded.

    But those news-parody videos are fucking gold 9 times out of 10.

    Fatboy Roberts on
  • Irond WillIrond Will WARNING: NO HURTFUL COMMENTS, PLEASE!!!!! Cambridge. MAModerator mod
    edited December 2009
    Yeah agreed on the Onion's A/V Club. They do good stuff. I haven't even been to their main site in forever. They need to just split it out so it can stand on its own feet, since it is probably the best pop-culture barometer on the internets and is at this point being dragged down by its association with the Onion.

    I do think that the "voice" of internet comedy - the specific style that is basically unique to internet endeavors - has somewhat spoiled me on straight stand-up comedy. When I see comedians on the TV, I rarely find them all that amusing anymore.

    Irond Will on
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  • NocturneNocturne Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Preacher wrote: »
    I love cracked, freaking Swaim and O'brien are comedy gold for me. I also enjoy hate by numbers because he tends to hate the same things I do.

    I tolerate College Humor because they have Derricks Comedy on there, I still want to see their movie.

    When I saw this thread title I immediately thought of Derrick Comedy. That is a prime example of internet humor right there. I mean there have been many attempts at this type of thing, as the endless supply of terrible Youtube videos will attest to, but those guys succeeded.

    Also Cracked is funny as hell.

    Nocturne on
  • PreacherPreacher Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Nocturne wrote: »
    Preacher wrote: »
    I love cracked, freaking Swaim and O'brien are comedy gold for me. I also enjoy hate by numbers because he tends to hate the same things I do.

    I tolerate College Humor because they have Derricks Comedy on there, I still want to see their movie.

    When I saw this thread title I immediately thought of Derrick Comedy. That is a prime example of internet humor right there. I mean there have been many attempts at this type of thing, as the endless supply of terrible Youtube videos will attest to, but those guys succeeded.

    Also Cracked is funny as hell.

    If you like Derrick Noct, I'd give smbc a try I linked them up page. I'm just sad that since derricks did their movie they haven't really posted new videos, (that I've seen).

    Preacher on
    I would like some money because these are artisanal nuggets of wisdom philistine.

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