Whimsy: September 2005 Archives

The Three-Variable Funny Test

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I don't do these too often, much less pass them along, but the approach this test takes seems to work:

the Wit
(61% dark, 30% spontaneous, 15% vulgar)
your humor style:

You like things edgy, subtle, and smart. I guess that means you're probably an intellectual, but don't take that to mean pretentious. You realize 'dumb' can be witty--after all isn't that the Simpsons' philosophy?--but rudeness for its own sake, 'gross-out' humor and most other things found in a fraternity leave you totally flat.

I guess you just have a more cerebral approach than most. You have the perfect mindset for a joke writer or staff writer.

Your sense of humor takes the most thought to appreciate, but it's also the best, in my opinion.

You probably loved the Office. If you don't know what I'm talking about, check it out here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/theoffice/.

PEOPLE LIKE YOU: Jon Stewart - Woody Allen - Ricky Gervais

The 3-Variable Funny Test!
- it rules -

If you're interested, try my latest: The Terrorism Test

My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 85% on darkness
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 11% on spontaneity
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 8% on vulgarity
Link: The 3 Variable Funny Test written by jason_bateman on OkCupid Free Online Dating

As a matter of fact, I love "The Office." (Via Miss GOP.)

In a case somewhat reminiscent of the Tulsa Whirled's threats against this blog,
attorneys representing humorist Garrison Keillor have sent a cease-and-desist letter to MNspeak.com over the sale of T-shirts bearing the phrase "A Prairie Ho Companion". MNspeak.com says the T-shirts are parody and therefore covered under fair use. Keillor's attorneys are claiming a "likelihood of confusion." (Link via Mister Snitch!)

(What is the difference between a humorist and a comedian, you ask? A comedian makes you laugh out loud. A humorist evokes a wry, knowing chuckle.)

I used to be a fan of Mr. Keillor's. No, Garrison Keillor was my idol. When he announced his retirement in 1987, I spent the rest of the spring arranging my schedule around taping each week's episode of "A Prairie Home Companion." When I went to Duluth, Minnesota that summer for a wedding, I drove through Anoka, his hometown, and Milaca, a town that that was one of the inspirations for Lake Wobegon. I loved the weekly radio serial -- Buster, the Show Dog -- the parody commercials, and the news from Lake Wobegon. I have most of his books and several tape collections of Lake Wobegon stories. Just as Keillor was inspired to create PHC by a visit to the Grand Ole Opry, I fantasized about hosting my own PHC-like radio show, live every week from Cain's Ballroom, opening with an appropriate bit of Western Swing. (Note to self: Enough already. You're cringing with embarrasment.)

During the original run of PHC, Keillor's tone reflected an affection for small-town life and simple faith. Politics was far in the background, except for a brief lament following Walter Mondale's 1984 landslide defeat. Back in the day, there were articles written about Keillor as a kind of proto-evangelist -- not directly sharing the gospel, but laying the groundwork.

Keillor deserves credit for bringing some great musicians to a wider audience: Johnny Gimble, Chet Atkins, Butch Thompson, and Riders in the Sky, to name a few. Bob and Ray were guests on the show, and Bob Elliott was a regular on the New York-based follow-on series, "American Radio Company". His CD collection of Pretty Good Jokes is responsible for my son, at age 4, telling complete strangers the joke about how many insurance salesmen it takes to screw in a light bulb.

At some point, Keillor stopped gently tweaking the insufferably pompous and became insufferably pompous himself. Where he had once injected politics into his stories in only the most subtle ways, he now delivered ham-handed harangues. I can't tell you how long it's been since I tuned in to PHC -- ten years?

The mention of ham-handedness brings us back to the topic at hand. The proprietor of MNspeak.com politely pointed out to Keillor's attorneys that pursuing this lawsuit would make Keillor the object of riducule throughout the blogosphere. Nevertheless, Keillor persisted. So far the story has shown up on InstaPundit and plenty of other places. Prof. Reynolds' quick putdown: "I never thought Keillor had much of a sense of humor."

I've recommended that MNspeak.com get in touch with the Media Bloggers Association for advice. Ron Coleman, the MBA's counsel, wrote a letter on my behalf that persuaded the Tulsa Whirled to back off. (Alas, Coleman's blog on intellectual property matters, Likelihood of Confusion, is offline. Looks like he may be in the midst of a conversion from Movable Type to Word Press.) (UPDATE: Ron's back up.)

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Whimsy category from September 2005.

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