When I was younger, joke-telling was extremely important in my family culture. I have multiple memories of my dad hearing a new joke, calling one of his brothers to tell him the joke, and then immediately calling the next sibling in line so he could prevent the sibling
They don’t come much more ‘stripped down’ than Jimmy Carr. High shock value too. https://youtu.be/S2w0J7GIpBM
I approve of the advertisements!
I got a good laugh out of the wheelchair joke (boy, there’s a sentence I never imagined myself saying) but I had a couple of false starts trying to figure out if “army crawl” was a typo and if so for what. Seeing it a second time and then a third reassured me that it was a thing and I continued reading. In retrospect I see that it means the foxhole-to-foxhole business of dragging yourself along flat on the ground so you stay below the bullets, but it was a term I hadn’t run across. And sadly it doesn’t really work with just “crawl” because you use your legs for that, and “dragged himself” doesn’t quite work either because it calls a little more explicit attention to the fact that he’s not using his legs.
An interesting conundrum. It’s still funny even though I had to see the punchline to finally get what “army crawl” was. But I’d love to find a version that I could tell aloud without risking the flow breaking by being asked what “army crawl” means. Maybe “elbow-crawled”? Or am I just the only person who never heard of it.
Maybe the key to a live performance is to sort of act it out while you’re telling it.
This was the best version of the tuba story I have run across. I’ve heard it told more than once by people who want an embellished setup but don’t understand what it can add, so it has a bunch of details that don’t contribute anything the way this version does with the false parallel of the rest of the gold fixtures and with the red herring of the wife’s jealousy.
This was great. I love rediscovering jokes I had forgotten about.
So much of the comedy on the internet is now memes. Outside of that it's mainly podcasts which rely on sarcasm, politics, or shock value. I look at how some younger people write and I think it adds evidence to your point that comedy shapes prose. I'm not exactly sure how to describe it, but you can often tell when someone's sense of humour was developed by twitter meme pages. There's this mix of needing to prove that they are above taking anything seriously, while simultaneously signalling that there are issues which are of life and death importance. It's a steady stream of Mock, Mock, Mock, Extremely important issue above mockery, Mock, Mock , Mock. It doesn't make for great writing, or comedy.
I'm good with your devoting a small amount of real estate at the end of a post to promote something you like (or have no experience with, if you clearly distinguish between those cases).
Also: blown away that you write and think with the thoughtfulness and clarity you do having never finished high school!! (I already found those well above average even when I assumed you were a college grad.)