Um, Let Me Step In Here A Sec

I called D. Aristophanes on Saturday, and I guess we talked about a lot of things, but the gentlemen at IMAO came up more than once in passing, inre: the Fred Thompson dealo that’s down the page.

“D.A.,” I said, “You know, if you mention those guys, you’ll only be encouraging them again.”

Because we tried to be collegial before with a Photoshop contest. (It was a sweeps week, of sorts, for the Weblog Awards.) IMAO’s choice of a task was ‘the flying imams,’ while ours was to remix a Day By Day strip.

Here’s what resulted.

Flying imams:

Above: One contestant’s entry

Above: The other contestant’s entry

Day By Day strip:

Above: One contestant’s entry

Above: The other contestant’s entry

I think little more need be said, besides that IMAO unilaterally declared themselves teh super-winners of teh contest, and went all hooty-booyah about how sucking is supposedly the new ruling, or however that went.

Anyway, here they are talking again:

Perhaps a More Appropriate Name for Them Would Be an Angry Exclamation of “That’s Not Funny!”


Now, Sadly, No! — a left-wing humor site — has latched on to our Fred Thompson Facts. By itself, it’s not that notable. It seems to be a lashing out at how the left-wing blogs’ favorite candidate Edwards is perceived as being “swishy,” and now they must be further frustrated on that count since Edwards took time out of the last debate to criticize Hillary Clinton’s outfit. The humor seems borne more out of being angry than being clever, but their audience seems to like it so I can’t really criticize.

Anyway, what was interesting to me was the monologue preceding the humor where this bit caught my…

Indeed, I guess we were so unnotable, angry, and unfunny that we forgot all about that Weblog Award.

[cue Yakety Sax]


Comments: 75


Cadet Happy’s comic was a thing of genius, and it’s quite sad you still don’t understand it.


Wow. So if you got three times as many votes as they did, does that make you three times as funny? I think it must.

I love that it took Frank J. less than 5 minutes to get here. Who does he think he is, Ann Althouse?

Principal Blackman

Wait, isn’t Day by Day already a wingnut parody strip?

It isn’t? Wow. Coulda fooled me.


Losers! You know you are always thinking about me, even when you aren’t that just shows that you are thinking about me. Mostly because I am a better feminist than you and you can’t stand to admit that, because then you would have to acknowledge that I don’t fit into your little boxes you make for people who challenge your echo chambers. Just like on American Idol.


I just got an image of that Day by Day guy squirting Frank’s Hot Sauce into the sink.

Frank- I love Cadet Happy’s remix, but you know you get disqualified when you throw shot put in a javelin competition.


oh not Frank J again. I guess a 5 month boycott of Sadly No has gotten his self-esteem back up to where he can comment here again. It won’t last long.

I predict several more comments of “liburls are not funny, you just don’t get it”** and then a finale of “I’m not wasting my best material on youse” after several pwnings by the SadlyNo-iznes.

** and look, we’ve got one already!!!1



Gosh no. Personally, i’m elated at Fred!s candidacy because it gives us more opportunity for teh funnies. And if there is one thing we lefties like more than feasting on the freshly aborted, it’s teh funnies.

That said, for homework may I recommend that IMAO study up on the humour of Buster Keaton. Their efforts so far have too much of a wiff of pre-WWI MSM propaganda cartoons about them, and Mr Keaton would bring them at least a decade more up-to-date.




Cadet Happy? Is he serious? That’s painfully embarrassing. I’m pretty sure that’s Frank J’s pet name for his flacidity. He’ll certainly let us know when Cadet Happy “Graduates”…



Gavin, I believe you dropped this.

a different brad

To go over it yet again, hatred isn’t funny, and neither is stupidity. The random combo of misogyny, racism, and homophobia inherent in every single instance of conservative ‘humor’ ever produced make those two words a contradiction in terms.
If you like conservative ‘humor’, you like being made to feel your biases are justified, and there’s something inherently wrong with you. Rush is not funny, he’s mean.

a different brad

Pardon me, forgot an ingredient or two. *The random combo of misogyny, racism, homophobia, and *ignorance* (both intentional and standard issue) inherent in every single….
There we go.


I have to admit that I didn’t find the Fred Basset – sorry, I meant Fred Thompson – stuff up to the usual Sadly No! standards of humor. But, I’ll excuse that because of the embarassingly poor quality of the material IMAO gave you to work with.

What I expected from Sadly No! was more along the lines of Fred Thompson ripping puppies apart and eating them raw, with Karl Rove smirking and giggling in the background.


My favorite Day by Day remix was where that lady who always wears workout clothes reveals that her breasts are prehensile…and what’s-his-name squirts in his pants even though he’s unconscious.

Help me out here, gavin.


You mean this, TRex?

Random Observer

Facts about Fred Thompson: Fred Thompson smells like cigars and Burma Shave.

Oh wait, that isn’t a stupid joke fact, that’s what wingnuts actually swoon over!

Sadly, No! had a tough job – these guys are hard to parody.



Marita said,

July 31, 2007 at 1:14

You mean this, TRex?




What is

…supposed to sound like? Gavin’s creative with those onimona-whatevers but sometimes they elude me. 🙁


Pocketa is from the Secret Life of Walter Mitty:

a different brad

Off topic-
Layla Elizabeth Gonzalez, the noted blogger, has now requested to be friends with all three of my fake profiles. If a denizen of SN! is behind this please let me know, otherwise i’m going to ignore the requests and try to not log into the profiles.


Your Fred Thompson thing wasn’t funny though. Yeah, okay, we’ve got it: he wears makeup because he’s an actor, and that’s not tough. Yawn. Move on now. Teh funny train has left teh station.


Now talk about funny. Althouse pretends she knows who Ingmar Bergman was:

I couldn’t watch past that. I was helpless with laughter.


To be fair, I am more familiar with SCTV Bergman than Bergman. “Shrimpkin.”


Dr. “loser” Zen only impeaches my film critic credentials because he thinks I am a conservative! Ha! The jokes on you loser. I voted for Russ Feingold!!

Your argument is so poor, I doubt you are a real doctor.


Dr Zen said,

July 31, 2007 at 1:48

Your Fred Thompson thing wasn’t funny though. Yeah, okay, we’ve got it: he wears makeup because he’s an actor, and that’s not tough. Yawn. Move on now. Teh funny train has left teh station.

Actually, the point (imfco) is that not only does IMAO cream to the macho manliness of FT, so does the corporate media (e.g. GOP leg humper Chris Matthews). Meanwhile, all these same culprits claim that John Edwards’ haircut proves he is teh gaii.

Maybe this just is not funny. But it is exactly how we got shrub and his monumental screwup in Iraqinam, instead of President Gore back in 2000.


What is

If it helps, ceiling cat watched him do it and God killed a kitten afterwards.


Tigrismus, Ceiling Cat always makes me laugh.

Beats a visit from Oscar!


in a world where black is white, where up is down, where stupid is smart…

there we will find conservative humor. please note that the chuck norris meme that is being replicated here is a) about a guy who is very conservative YET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! b) is NOT conservative humor. it’s just humor. just like all humor. if you have to classify humor by its substance (it’s…political! it’s…topical!) then usually it’s because it isn’t funny. and i know i know i know this is hard for total losers like imao to figure out, but the daily show is just a comedy show which twits people in power and points out their absurdities and hypocrisies. that’s all it does. it is just as funny when it does this with someone i like politically as when it does it with someone i don’t.

dennis miller always sucked, but he has gone downhill (from ground zero to death valley, really) by going after his political bugbears above all else. the comedy died. this just isn’t how comedy works.

now, one could argue that taking shots at the powerful is an inherently liberal thing–maybe i’ll make that argument someday. but today i’ll stick with “if you call it conservative humor, it’s only the former. douchebag.”


“Maybe this just is not funny.”

I once saw Marshall McLuhan give a lecture. This was back around 1978 or so, and it was held at the Berklee Performance Center in Boston. His talk was one of the most amazing things I’ve experienced, and I can claim to have understood a good 25% or so of what he was saying.

Anyway, the point that most sticks in my mind was his comment, “Every joke has an underlying grievance.” Or, anything that’s funny really isn’t – we just use humor to take the edge off of painful or anger-inducing experience.

I think that maybe what passes for ‘humor’ at wingnut sites – steeped as it is in profound anger and resentment, as well as the need to dehumanize and/or hurt some individual or group – fails so spectacularly because it’s so thinly disguised. Heck, there’s really no effort to disguise or alter it at all, in the sense that McLuhan implies must be done in order to transform it from a statement of pain or anger to something different – to a joke.

I also think that real humor requires an intact pre-frontal and frontal cortex, and wingnuts are particularly lacking in the kind of brain anatomy and physiology associated with higher cognitive functions.

Wingnutery is, more than anything, a limbic system thing. It’s emotional and reactionary, primitive.

Anyway, sorry to go on so long. I’ve just been into brains lately.

If the collective S,N! Fredism parody was weak overall, it could be because some/most of us were trying too hard to emulate the source.

Or, maybe some of us just aren’t that funny – or as funny was we’d like to think we are. Or, we just had a bad night.

In any event, on with the show!


Or, anything that’s funny really isn’t – we just use humor to take the edge off of painful or anger-inducing experience.

So, what you mean is, Sadly, No! isn’t funny, it’s just that we’re all mad as hell, and we’re not going to take it anymore?

Galactic Dustbin

I’m sorry “Flying imams” is low hanging fruit- not hard at all to come up with teh photoshop for it, a mantaee could do it. A Day By Day Remix on the other hand… I mean how many jokes about hookers with spinal injuries can you make?


Anyway, the point that most sticks in my mind was his comment, “Every joke has an underlying grievance.” Or, anything that’s funny really isn’t – we just use humor to take the edge off of painful or anger-inducing experience.

I’m not sure I agree about a grievance, but there’s always pain in comedy and the question is who inflicts it, who receives it, and then who laughs about it.

Mel Brooks said the simple “Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you walk into an open sewer and die.” That’s some sublime funny: Mel doles out the pain to himself – he’s an asshole – and you – you suck. Mel and you both laugh. The best comedy hurts us all.


“So, what you mean is, Sadly, No! isn’t funny…”

Au contraire! S,N! is teh most funny!!1!!



Qetesh the Abyssinian

Who the buggerfuck is Cadet Happy? The only Happy I can think of is Steve Martin’s Mr Happy. Woe is me that I couldn’t find vision for this sketch…

But I did find this, which is a rather nice cobbling together of Bush bits to make a more-than-usually impressive interview.


How tough is it to accept that certain personality types are generally funnier than others? Conservatives really want to be funny, and they really try to be funny, and they mimic other people being funny, but they just aren’t funny. There are exceptions, naturally, for people who are funny first and conservative second … they leave their politics out of it. But conservative humor simply doesn’t exist.

Maybe the abject servility to authority kind of puts a damper on things for them.

Or maybe it’s that all their jokes seem to revolve around how they’re going to shoot, hang, maim, and crush the treasonous liberals like the disloyal vermin that we are. Har HAR! You’d better laugh motherfucker … we have all the guns. Hah!

Sad, really.


I think their intricate Kaufmanesque humor is just much too sophisticated for us simple-minded dolts.

Like when “None of the Above” comes out on top in the GOP presidential polls, that’s simply a tongue-in-cheek reference to the modern masterpiece of Richard Pryor’s “Brewster’s Millions.”

You dumb hicks just don’t get it! They’re funny! They said so!


Jokes do have grievances folded within them, but most functioning, socially adept human beings come to understand that some grievances are more pressing than others. There are conservative “grievances,” just as there are serious grievances held by two eight-year-old boys against an ant, whose creepy, crawling existence on the pavement cries out for incineration via magnifying glass. And when I see Bill Kristol’s frigidly smile as he talks about more bombing in the Middle East, or read the LGF jokes about torturing Democrats, Muslims, etc., I just think these sociopaths have upgraded from ant to human flesh.

Then again, I wonder what the grievance is behind Monty Python’s joke “Two peanuts were walking down the street, and one was a salted.”


Then again, I wonder what the grievance is behind Monty Python’s joke “Two peanuts were walking down the street, and one was a salted.”

The grievance is against you, the audience. The less funny version is “Why did the chicken cross the road?” No reason for that joke except to bug people.


They should give us a break. The last eight years of Republican rule have practically killed irony (and all its close friends). I mean, how do you parody a government that makes the brass in Catch-22 look sane and competent.

Besides, when all we’ve got is the likes of Roy Edrosa at alicublog or Jon Stewart from the Daily Show, how can they expect us to compete? They’re no James fuckin’ Lileks after all.


btw, has anyone told Cadet Happy that i isn’t the same as l on keyboards since before the kerning on awol’s dodgy letter?


The mystery of atrophied conservative humor has been repeatedly discussed before here. I’m too lazy to dig up the threads, but I recall a persuasive case being made that; 1) modern conservatism is about amassing, maintaining, and rewarding wealth and power; 2) at least since Dickens and Twain, the idea of the relatively powerless getting one over on powerful has been a staple of Anglo-American humor; and 3) seeing the big guy once again stick it to the little guy is not an enduring image of mirth for people of average temperament.


I like watching a jackhammer used on pavement. Take that you uppity pavement, LOL.

Qetesh the Abyssinian

Harry Cheddar, nice point. The big guy sticking it to the little guy: cruelty. The little guy sticking it to the big guy: either revenge or humour.

Mr Horrible: a lot of Monty Python humour is absurdist. That is, we laugh because we’re surprised. They manage some bizarre juxtapositions which are just so incongruous that we laugh. They’re masters at it, and I’ve not found many others in the thirty-odd years since, who can do it.

One of my favourite comedians is Ben Elton. His genius is that, in his stand-up work, he’s able to get us to laugh at ourselves, and to feel a warm socially inclusive glow as we do it.** Terry Pratchett does this too with his books. There’s a strong feeling of “It’s a funny old world, and we’re all in it together”, which, as feelings go, is not a bad one.

Plus they can both make me laugh until I puke.

Please note the “socially inclusive” there: that’s for all of yez who were about to pipe up that the warm glow was us wetting ourselves from laughing so much. Nerny nerny ner.


“Every joke has an underlying grievance.”

What about that joke about the guy who only has six weeks left to live, so he goes to Germany and goes into a bakery and orders the Black Forest cake, and when the owner says they’re out he says, “I guess I’ll just have a cup of coffee”?


Thank you, Qetesh, nice kitty!

Humor is not essentially insulting. It is the unexpected.

Monty Python and the Simpsons both use the absurd as primary sources of larfs.

As Homer says, “I wish I’d married a businessman, then I’d have nice things”.


Parties being parodied rarely perceive it with parity.


Guess my peanut joke comment didn’t convey its ironic intent. Humor is actually not essentially anything, it’s a mix of reptilian and rational (and feline, Qetesh). Grievances aren’t funny per se, nor is the unexpected, but they are part of the mix. This makes humor invaluable and not easily reproduced (see the Fox News “Daily Show” knockoff). BTW, I think a “Wingnut of the Year” a la Twit of the Year contest would make a nice video. “Doughbob has moved the goalposts on Iraq and run himself over!”


The only Happy I can think of is Steve Martin’s Mr Happy.

Isn’t “Mr. Happy” attached to Robert Williams ?


Oops … not the painter … not the drummer … RobIN Williams. You know, … that guy who used to be a comedian.

Qetesh the Abyssinian

Ook! Marc Page, you may well be right. How could I mix up my comedians in such a fashion? I’m all a-swivet with shame: where can I put my face?


They’re masters at it, and I’ve not found many others…

Bonzo Dog Band:

You got a light, Mac?

No, but I’ve got a dark brown overcoat.


Speaking off, I gotta say, today’s Day by Day? This guy probably ghost writes for Marmaduke. And possible draws them, as well.


Perhaps most humor is pain-based: Jon Stewart pointing out Bush/cheney/etc. criminal buffonery is painful, but laughing allievates it.
Looks to me like Conservative “humor” is Hate & Anger based, and their humor increases the negative emotions, rather than easing them.


” … where can I put my face? … ”

Damn, that’s a tough one. You’re supposed to be a pussy, right ?

This is going to take a little thought.


The less funny version is “Why did the chicken cross the road?” No reason for that joke except to bug people.

Au contraire, mon frere. The highest and best use of that particular chestnut is to tell to small children. It teaches them not only the rhythm of joke-telling, but a fundamental attribute of humor: it must confound our expectations. We expect an answer that contains at least an amusing observation, perhaps a pun; instead, we get the most mundane possible response, the answer so obvious that it could never be the punchline of a joke — and thus, it is.

Yeah, that’s a load of horse crap. But anyway, my kids think the joke’s funny. Plus there is a terrific book in which a bunch of different kids’ book authors and artists each did a 2-page spread on their answer to the question.


Did somebody say Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band?

Five years ago, I was a four stone apology
Today, I am two separate gorillas


We expect an answer that contains at least an amusing observation, perhaps a pun; instead, we get the most mundane possible response, the answer so obvious that it could never be the punchline of a joke — and thus, it is.

Ah, it’s just a set up for when you tell them the “Why did the monkey fall out of tree” jokes, because then they laugh their ass off.


Ah, it’s just a set up for when you tell them the “Why did the monkey fall out of tree” jokes, because then they laugh their ass off.

More death, more pain, more funny. That’s why people have been waiting for that one Jerry Lewis movie…


I see your Bonzo and raise you a Rawlinson.

My pink half of the drainpipe
I might paint it blue.
My pink half of the drainpipe
keeps me safe from you.

(why am I so not surprised to find other Bonzos fans here…)


…and did it surprise anyone that in defense of the cruelty to the disenfranchised = humor meme, the commenters predictably trotted out Chris Rock’s “Fee fi fo, go figure, boy I had a N****” monologue. ‘Cause, you know, if blacks make fun of other blacks using mammy stereotypes, Stepin Fetchit behavior and special n-word sauce, then it must be OK for everyone else to pile on …

The crucial difference here being that the Chris Rock flavor of humor is an acknowledgment of stereotypes, dragging them out in the open, forcing people to confront them … check out “Mind of Mencia” and his insistence on the use of “beaner” … Rock and Mencia and Cho talk about the taboos, and people walk out laughing, thoughtful, talking to each other, repeating snippets of dialogue.

By means of contrast, the humor found on sites like LGF or Confederate Yankee is coming from an altogether different place. Chris Rock talks about how a ghetto family has to move a TV into the house disguised as a bassinet so that they don’t get ripped off. The wingnuts joke about mass confusion on Father’s Day, days of mourning when welfare checks don’t arrive, crack wise about gold-plated toilets in the New Orleans slums because of all the ripoffs from the Katrina aid, etc. etc.

The wingnut humor is aimed at saying that the targets live up to every negative stereotype, that they are a bunch of sniveling whiners who should just shut up and bow their heads and say yes massa with the proper respect. It’s mean. It’s mean-spirited. The laughs that come out of stuff like this don’t leave people feeling energized and challenged and opened to new perspectives. Instead, they comfort bigots by making them feel as though their hatreds are justified.


Qetesh: There’s a strong feeling of “It’s a funny old world, and we’re all in it together”, which, as feelings go, is not a bad one.


Its true that most of comedy is rooted in pain and anger but there is another (sadly rarer) strain that draws people together as we all laugh at what silly creatures we all are. Quixote had it; Being There with Peter Sellers, yup; Douglas Adams’ stuff, too.

Its not directly connected, but it makes me think of John Waters’ take on Bad Taste. No matter how zany, vile, or outlandish his characters, he never degrades them. His lens looks up at them with reverence, never down at them in disdain, and the result is somehow humanizing and charming.

Herr Doktor Bimler

And then I went and got busted. (yeah)
They say I’m maladjusted. (he’s a fool)
I never can be trusted by anybody anymore.
Yeahyeahyeah, I got busted. (yeah)
My own mother was disgusted. (she’s a fool)
I got busted… by the law.


Statistics show
that catfish grow
relating to their tank size.

So the mind
is so confined
its scarcely worth a doooo-wop.


Monty Python were just following up the Goons and Spike Milligan anyway.


Actually it’s that center cartoon with the woman swinging the camera that cracks me up, and i can’t figure out why.


uh-oh, looks like the womynz* is on the warpath* again. could the last one alive please turn out the lights when they leave?

*by “womynz” i mean zuzu and by “on the warpath” i mean posting comments on a blog

Qetesh the Abyssinian

Ahhhh, Spike Milligan! A fine comedian, extraordinarily talented. He is sadly missed.


You know, I’m nowhere near as smart as the contributors here, or half the commenters, but once I figured out those Photoshop dealies—my God, Gavin is right—”little more needs said”.


i’ve been reading “milliganimals” to my 4 year old lately. it’s really brilliant. him and mervyn peake were my faves when i was a kid.

but to return to the humor and politics thing–it’s just so weird how the world really works vs. how wingnuts perceive it. i’m a liberal who works in hollywood on movies and tv. i often will have a piece of underlying material, typically a british show, and will meet many writers who have pitches or “takes” on the show to recreate for the US marketplace. some of this material, being british, has a political edge to it. some of the writers who pitch me are conservative, some are liberal, some may even be far left (very few are really wingnutty but there are a couple out there and i’ve worked with them as well) but none of them have ever, in my experience, let political beliefs get between them and a sale. ever. it just doesn’t happen. from either side.

if anything, i’m always pissed out that tv (and movies) seem to bend over backwards not to portray the real world if the real is too dangerous, somehow. so you get tv and movies where women who get pregnant ALWAYS have the baby, never get abortions. and you have shows where someone questions god’s existence, but in the end ALWAYS they see some form of light. i truly think wingnuts are just ignorant of any of this, and that’s…something. it’s something.


I had a “friend” (long story) in grade school who was a huge Republican (yes, in grade school. His father was the epitome of a Rush Limbaugh dittohead—a dimwitted, slightly overweight hick who suspected anyone and anything “smarter” than he was, which was, well, just about everything except light bulbs. What’s more, this was before the reich wing really came into their own—about 1996 or so). IMAO reminds me of his “humor”—that site would be right up his alley.

Needless to say, he was (and still is, I looked him up on Facebook) a huge asshole.

Qetesh the Abyssinian

Robert Green, can you answer a pressing question I’ve had for many years: why is it that hugely funny British TV series, which get eagerly snatched up by American producers, emerge as completely unfunny American series?

I mean, they seem to deliberately remove all of the attributes that make it funny. F’rinstance, Red Dwarf: I heard that the American producers made a few tweaks to the series, so that Lister was no longer a slob, The Cat wasn’t vain, and Rimmer wasn’t a dickhead. So when the series bombed abominably, they were all surprised.

I mean, check out the Double Polaroid snippet here: how on earth can they take something that’s Teh Funny and turn it boring? Do they think they’re on a mission from The Boring God or something?



Teh Moonbats:
“Making fun of people who make fun of minorities/the powerless/Science/Reality… is funny!”

Teh Wingnuts:
“Making fun of minorities/the powerless/Science/Reality is… FUNNAY!”



i can’t answer that question, in the sense that i have no perspective. i’m doing it. either the show that i’m about to set up (unquestionably one of the most brilliant comedies in UK history IMHO) could well be ruined by me, the director, the other producers, the writers or most likely the network notes. or nor. maybe we’ll knock it out of the park. i think we will because we love the original so much, but hey, they did “Coupling” using the original brit scripts and people didn’t like it, so who knows?


but hey, they did “Coupling” using the original brit scripts and people didn’t like it, so who knows

Yeah, but wasn’t that because the cast had no chemistry and badly miscalibrated comedic timing? I struggled through the first American episode (loved the British version, by the way, so the problem wasn’t the script), and I felt like the cast didn’t even get half of the jokes in the script. That version of the show made Jeebus cry.


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