I want to say upfront that I have no problem with obscure jokes, about any subject. If every XKCD was like this, it could carve out a nice niche in the side of the Internet we’d never bother each other again. The problem comes when the material is split between accessible material and things like this. I’d say by this point, most XKCDs could be considered widely accessible (note: “accessible” and “good” are two separate categories). And then Randy throws out something like this.

I want to compare this to Irregular Webcomic, which uses science jokes somewhat more regularly, so you understand what you’re getting into. However, every time the author (I’ll call him David Morgan Mar, ‘cause that’s his name) uses an obscure science joke, he uses the annotation to explain the science and such. This is also used as another opportunity to make jokes. That’s good because it doesn’t make you look for the punchline, and if you didn’t get the first one you can get the next.

Compare both of these to QI and Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, which tell you information and then make jokes about it. See, that’s the best way because it educates you as the setup, then tells you the punchline. XKCD tells you a punchline and then makes you look up the setup, which has never been funny and will never be funny.



I literally slept till 4PM today, so I'm just going to do what Randy did and phone it in for Friday. It'll be like #ManCrushMonday or #WomanCrushWednesday* except it’ll be #PhoningItInFriday.

I did not find this amusing. I had to look up what infinite-scrolling webpages (I’ll forgive him for that one since I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who had to) and it reminded me of those zero-effort gaming webcomics: “What if real life worked like video games? LAUGH NOW, SHEEP”

And that’s all I’m gonna bother doing today.


*fun fact: I originally thought both of those were horrible holidays where members of a certain gender got crushed by steamrollers.




I'm a day late and I'm sorry. It was Christmas and it was my second post. For a Christmas present, Randy has given me a truly wonderful gift: the exact knowledge of why the other two xkcd hate blogs stopped posting, or at least, a big part of the reason.

How many times can you say the same thing in different ways? Even the most complicated sentence can only be rephrased a certain number of times. Think about chicken crossing the road jokes. Over time, just about every way of getting the same concept across is used, even multiple times.

So how many times can one person, or even multiple people, say “The joke isn’t funny.” About the same webcomic?

This isn’t even a case where I didn’t understand it and had to look the background up. I got the spectrum maps were supposed to be (going from left to right, top to bottom) a fire, a star, and Christmas tree lights. But that doesn’t sound like a setup and punchline. That sounds like the setup, if that. I don’t even mind people taking a break for Christmas or birthdays or whatever, but if you’re going to put something up on Christmas, for god’s sake, don’t do what Randy did here.

This is literally a picture of people sitting by a fire, next to a Christmas tree, with a science-y lens put over everything. It’s like he needed to fill a geek quota for the month. It would have been better without the spectrum thing, because then I could just go “D’aw. That’s cute. It’s Christmas, I’ll give him a pass.” Instead I looked for the joke in this, when there is none. How is this funny? Why would Randy think this would be funny? There’s probably a way to add a punchline to this to make it at least worth a smirk (maybe one of the lights is off-color and someone adjusts the spectrum to the correct color?) but I am not going to waste my time completing Randall Monroe’s jokes for him, especially not on Christmas vacation.


For bonus points, he appears to have gotten the fire’s spectrum wrong, at least according to the forums. I’m sure he was just too busy with the artwork to double check his math work.



I’m really tempted to just write “Wow, sometimes news people use hyperbolic statements as headlines! This is a completely new fact to me!” or something to that effect here. My sister got pinkeye and I am not at all in the mood to dissect XKCD.

But you have to start somewhere.

Maybe it’s just because of the news sites I keep up with, but when I was reading it, I didn’t read it to the tune of The Twelve Days of Christmas (it’s difficult to do anyway – look at all those extra syllables). I imagined it being read like a broadcaster reading it out on the air, slightly slowed and enunciated.

The presentation’s at least better than the last time he did this joke. There’s actual art this time, and there’s a specific thing being parodied here. It’s not just “News Headlines Are Hyperbolic [Film At 11]”, it’s “Buzzfeed Has Weirdly Specific Headline Formats [Film At 12]”.

Regarding the art, what is with the hair of that probably-girl on the left? Is it supposed to be a ponytail? Why is it wrapped around her neck like that? It just looks like Randy forgot to finish drawing a beard or something.

The punchline is clumsy. The italicization of “actually got” makes it seem like there are another 12 weird things they just lied about getting. It would have made more sense if it was phrased differently, like “12 Mind-Blowing Things I Got This Christmas”, which would be closer to the other faux-headlines.

Honestly, it’s just not a very funny concept. Maybe it’d be better in video form, but I doubt it. If the parody was pushed further and the items given were changed to actually seem like gifts, maybe it would have gone down better. Apparently some people in the forums didn’t even get that it was a parody.

That sounds like something I’d say sarcastically. “Yeah, thanks man. Now that you’ve explained what the joke was supposed to be I'm fucking rolling in the aisles.”

I don’t understand why this even needs to be said: If you have to explain what the joke is, you are doing it wrong.



Earlier today, I remembered, apropos of nothing, that Making XKCD Slightly Worse was a thing. I looked through it a bit and one of the comics (this one) mentioned xkcd sucks. One Google later I found both xkcd sucks and XKCD-SUCKS.

XKCD-SUCKS closed down after #1305 (that was like three days ago holy crap), and xkcd sucks hasn’t updated in two months.


I’ve always liked the concept of regeneration in Doctor Who. It’s like a person carrying something for a while before handing it off to the next, and eventually the whole line has carried it farther than any one person could.

Maybe I’ll be a pretty good regeneration. Maybe I’ll just hold things over until someone better comes along. But xkcd is rarely funny. xkcd can be entertaining, sure, but almost only when Randall’s just telling a story. And apparently there’s a sizable enough demand for people who explain exactly where xkcd fails.

I’ll see you tomorrow for my first try.