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The top 5 jokes that we’re done with

Associate Commentary Editor

Published: Monday, April 16, 2012

Updated: Friday, August 23, 2013 17:08

Nothing ruins something wonderful more than overuse. The saying that too much of a good thing is a bad thing is completely true, especially for our generation. In the world of technology, fads can spread across our tiny globe faster than ever. Unfortunately, with millions of people in a position to share the same content, it makes the overuse of things that were supposed to be impressive or funny happen almost overnight. I don’t mean to abuse the power that I have with this column, but I feel that, while I have you all here, I should make a short list of jokes and fads that need to end.

1) Rickrolling: For those of you who don’t know, this is the Internet fad of taking the song “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley and peppering it into links and video titles that would otherwise be mistaken for relevant content. It began as an example of the strange type of humor that the Internet culture could create and ballooned into the single most obnoxious thing in the history of the world. All that Rickrolling had going for it was the fact that it was universally recognizable. It does not equal comedy and therefore, it needs to die.

2) Women in the kitchen jokes: I could pontificate on how sexist and demeaning these bits are to women and how it sets our culture back several decades, but that’s not really my speech to give. We need to be done with these jokes because they’re almost becoming expected. Anytime there’s a decent comment thread on a video or article, it’s almost expected for a woman to be stifled by a “get in the kitchen” joke, which effectively brings the discourse to a grinding halt. Believe it or not, Internet culture, women have a lot of smart, thought provoking and hilarious things to say. Things that are much better to hear than an old and often inappropriately timed “joke” about how their proper place is in a kitchen. That’s just bad comedy. The light chuckle that these bits evoke is not worth the overwhelmingly restricting effect that they’re having on more than half of the world’s population. Therefore, enough is enough!

3) Saying “winning:” There’s not much to say here other than that it was a good year, but it’s over.

4) Speaking entirely in memes and hashtags: Unfortunately we’ve created a monster with this fad. One does not simply hear a meme over and over again and then not incorporate it into their everyday vernacular. The Internet was supposed to give comedy the audience of the entire world that it’s always wanted. Unfortunately, when everyone has an audience, everyone tries to be a comic. The end result is a “broad stroke” approach to joke telling. Memes and hashtags have become the epitome of something that is mistakened as funny because it is recognizable. Comedian and writer for Dan Gurewitch posted his opinion about Twitter and comedy to his blog in which he said, “I find that Twitter actually makes me hate current events one-liner jokes, because every time I open up my Twitter feed it’s like Jay Leno is screaming in my face. And I’m often discouraged from writing anything about what’s going on, because I feel like some similar joke has probably been tweeted 300 times. Most of all, I dislike when a legitimately good comedy idea becomes a tweet or a Twitter meme, because I would so much rather see it explored as a well-written, well-produced sketch or well-delivered stand-up joke.” He later goes on to say that sometimes these kinds of jokes can be funny. However, the point is that when we give a potentially funny joke no more thought than what it takes to produce a meme or hashtag, we miss out on what could have been a well-explored and clever joke. Something with social relevance that gives an audience of millions of people a new perspective on things.

5) Saying “Yeah, no:” This isn’t sarcasm and it isn’t witty. It’s just a slightly longer way to tell someone that your answer is “no.” Making them stand there slack jawed through that extra syllable does nothing but slow down the world. Stop saying it.

There they are, my top five jokes that our generation needs to be completely done with. If we work together to end this foolishness, we can live in a funnier and less obnoxious tomorrow.  

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