Dave Barry, Jim Treacher, Ken Goldstein, and James Lileks are sometimes funny. This, for instance, is funny. Several other bloggers have been funny once or twice. On to business.
The droll Frank J puts me in mind of Max Beerbohm, except that Max won the prize for Latin verse at Oxford, distinguished himself as a caricaturist as well as a writer, died forty years ago, always dressed immaculately, never wrote about politics, and was funny. Of course it is possible that my own defective sense of humor is to blame, and that ringing endless changes on the three themes of Rumsfeld’s fierceness, Aquaman’s lameness, and Glenn Reynolds’ puppy-blending really is hilarious. Yeah. Credit where due, however, for this bit, in which he complains of readers who have the effrontery to point out errors in spelling and grammar on his site, which are obviously due to carelessness, because, you see, his SAT scores were well over the cutoff for a lifetime exemption from proofreading. Now that was funny.
Scrappleface has become the victim of his own gimmick. Imagine glum Scott Ott sitting down to the keyboard each morning, sighing as he forces himself to grind out yet another news parody item. Ridi, Pagliaccio, sul tuo amore infranto… Basically there’s only one job in the world for right-wing political humor, and it’s taken.
Those wacky foreigners and their crazy customs! Montesquieu did this number 200 years ago, and Persian Letters wasn’t funny either.
Hey, In Passing! Found humor is to humor what found art is to art.
Hey, Margaret Cho! If women shrieking profanely were funny, then Courtney Love would be funny. Come to think of it, Courtney Love might be funny, were it possible to laugh and grind one’s teeth at the same time.
Humor, unlike literary criticism or political rumination, pays extremely well. Actual funny-type humorists are in high demand and make actual money-type money. Sometimes they spend it on whiskey and cigars and grow old and gouty like Barry and P.J. O’Rourke; sometimes they spend it on smack and blow and grow pale and spectre-thin and die, like Lenny Bruce and Doug Kenney. Either way they stop being funny eventually; humor’s tough in the first place and impossible to sustain. Blog humorists, on the other hand, don’t gather enough from their own efforts to pay the cable bill. The conclusion will be left as an exercise for the reader.
(Update: Jim Treacher comments. Andrea Harris points out that Margaret Cho pays the cable bill and then some, which is true, and worrisome. Ilyka Damen comments. Frank J compares me serially to a jackass, George Meredith, and a muckadoo, complains that I neglected to cite his well-known hatred of monkeys, reassures us that he too can pay his cable bill, and does some other funny stuff I may have missed. Paul Dubuc chastens me in the comments for forgetting Agenda Bender, from my own blogroll no less. Yes, Agenda Bender is funny.)