Well, I gone and done it again.  I’m going to retire so broke at this rate.  I’ve been contributing to the GDP of If-you-love-it-so-much-why-don’t-you-marry-it.com

Mountain Man Dance Moves/The McSweeney’s Book of Lists

MMDM is "ball-bouncingly" funny! There’s a curious-yellow Bergmanesque fascination with unicorns.  Don’t ask me why.  It really is a book of lists.  They’re so hilarious that I wish they were longer.  The titles of the lists are even funnier than the lists themselves as many are quite brief.  I would love to see another edition of this book come out.  The premise of the book so totally meshes with my moyen de philosophie. Or do I mean mien?  (Dodgy French; please bear with.)

  • Signs your unicorn is cheating on you:  every time you say the word "magic", it sighs forlornly.


Funny? Yes.  But it begs the question — who the EFF is the unicorn cheating on?  Everyone knows unicorns wouldn’t cheat!  Duh!

  • What makes unicorns cry?  Renegde wizards who refuse to join the alliance; seasonal allergies.
  • 5 signs that your child may be using unicorns: newfound interest in prancing; confused and sleepy one minute, enchanted and magical the next.

The writers of these lists, including Dan Kennedy and Bob Shea, among others, do this comedy writing right.  They take their topic completely seriously. Their lists are presented as serious lists. Therein is the magic of written humor. Not unlike on-stage humor. Play it straight, and trust the audience/reader to get the joke and respond accordingly.  (Are you listening, Mike Myers?)





2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Steve on January 29, 2008 at 6:58 PM

    There was a story on NPR a while ago where various people confessed to falsehoods or myths they had at one time believed only to find out well after childhood the truth of the matter.  One of the funniest ones was a woman who was talking amongst her 20-something friends about appealing traits of different animals when she began praising one of her favorites — the unicorn.  They could tell she was a serious believer, too, and had fun disabusing her of such a naive and fanciful notion.
    Sorry if my serious retelling of this story detracts from your theme.


  2. Posted by Project on February 16, 2008 at 2:30 PM

    What\’s purple and goes "Bang, bang, bang, bang?"
    *A four-door grape with everybody getting out at once.
    What\’s black and crawls through the forest?
    *The Burnt Ranger.
    What\’s black, white, black, white?
    *A nun falling down the stairs.
    Why do elephants have flat feet?
    *From jumping out of trees
    Why do they have wrinkles on their noses?
    *They don\’t always land on their feet.
    How come alligators are only one foot tall?
    *From walking around in the jungle when elephants are jumping out of trees of course.


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