I’m a young(-ish) comic, so I’m constantly checking out open mics and new talent nights in order to sharpen my set. Much like Dad at your Little League games, I’m forced to sit through low-level performances for hours at a time. The redundancy of the jokes and observations has left me jaded and bitter. I could choose to ignore hackery and just do me, but I’ve gained some serious street cred as a self-destructive and I’m not about to let that go.
Of course, played-out premises aren’t limited to amateur night. Take the recent trailer for The Internship, which The Onion hilariously dubbed “The Biggest Comedy of 2005”. In the span of two and a half minutes, Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson spout not one, but three lame references to other films and TV shows. THEY MAKE THE SAME SHIT JOKE 3 TIMES IN THE FUCKING PREVIEW. If anyone in America actually saw that movie, they would probably find more of ‘em.
So take note bloggers, Tweeters, and Listserv losers, here are some other joke tropes I’m tired of hearing. Note: I am guilty of doing each and every single one of these at least once, but like old cliché goes, changes comes from within, right?
Who knew a punch line doesn’t have to be a line at all. Really?!? has been done to death by SNL and Ari Gold, yet it clings to the vernacular like roaches after the Apocalypse. Surprisingly, I heard a funny take on the interrogative from a veteran comic at an open mic:
“I bumped into this kid on the street and he turned around and said ‘Really?!?”, which is the pussy, twenty-something way of saying, ‘Fuck You’.
It Really?!? is.
2. Terrible Toppers
These observation punctuations are all cousins of Really!?! and like to hang out on your Newsfeed.
“-said noone ever”
“-said no one ever” was pretty good the first billion times, but it’s been around for so long that someone probably has said what you claim hasn’t been said.
It’s never “too soon”. Ever. It may be ‘too unfunny’, but it’s only ‘too soon’ because it wasn’t very good. If a joke is funny, I’m focused on the joke, not its’ historical context in the time-space continuum.
‘Amirite?’ is the worst because the person is using a cliché to make fun of a cliché without even realizing how cliché that is in the first place.
3. Celebrity Punching Bag
Okay, stupid famous people are an endless source of derision. I get it, I’ve done it. But making fun of Kim Kardashian for being a vapid cunt is like beating Stephen Hawking in a foot race, amirite!?! If you’re gonna bash a celeb, let’s at least hear a different take on it. For instance, did you know Paula Deen is also a slut? You’re welcome.
4. The Mash-Up
Oh your dog’s name is ‘Bark Ruffalo’? I blame SNL for this one. It was funny when Stefon did it the first 50 times, but soon one of these mash-up jokes found it’s way into every sketch. I enjoy a clever portmonteau every now and then but it’s a pretty cheap and lazy joke for what is supposed to be the premiere stage for comedy. Of course, bros love these more than anyone with all our bronouns. Bro Namath opened up the floodgates and it’s been nonstop ever since. Although I must say, Lance hit me with a ‘Brah Reza Pahlavi’ in an e-mail, causing me to giggle and kick my feet back and forth like a middle school girl reading a diary.
*5. The Silly Simile (still OK)
Judd Apatow pioneered these (‘You look like Robin William’s knuckle’). The Silly Simile is fairly similar to the previous category, but more thoughtful. Got a friend who looks like a Senegalese Phillip Seymour Hoffman? You gotta let ‘em know. If you don’t think I look like a Jewish turtle every time I wear a backpack, you’re just being obstinate. So this one gets a pass, for now.
Got any other cliché jokes that you’re tired of? Think I’m being a douchebag and should just worry about my own jokes? You’re absolutely right. I literally was just talking about this with my psychiatrist. It’s weird cause my psychiatrist’s office is in Murray Hill and every time I bump into someone that I know en route they’re like “who’s apartment are you going to?” and I’m like…”Oh..no..just Psychiatrist Tuesdays”. And I don’t call him a shrink, either. That’s played out as fuck.
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