2016-01-23

XKCD Isn't Funny - #1628 - Magnus & 1629 - Tools


I actually really like this one. The dialogue is pretty stilted in the first two panels, but I don't care as much when it leads to a good punchline. It has that all important Context that I'm always banging on about. We can see the characters come up with and develop the idea in their heads, so it's not just "what if these two random celebrities were pitted against each other". Their laptop experiment came from a discussion about an iPhone app, it's a natural development of the scenario.

The punchline isn't as good as it could be, though. After "this project has gotten weird", Bald should say something like "Not weird enough. I want to know if a twenty-year old Martha Stewart is a better belly-dancer than a fifty-year old Alexis Texas.". Ending at "weird" feels a little anti-climatic, she's just stating the obvious. It's more fun if they're aware of the weirdness and are continuing anyway for science reasons.


This is an excellent example of a comic not having that all important Context. Why is this person's job so complex? I think this is one of those times that Randy had the idea for the punchline and worked backwards without worrying too much if it made sense. He thought "Oh, it'd be funny if someone had a really complex job, but they didn't know what it was for, and just guessed it was porn". And he's not necessarily wrong. But the awkward first two panels create a disconnect between the setup and the punchline, draining out a lot of the humor of the comic. 

On a totally unrelated note, I've been listening to a lot of Frank Zappa lately, and "Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance" is such a good song, man: "There will come a time when every evil that we know will be an evil that we can rise above". That's just such a good sentiment, I love it. It gives me good vibrations, and I hope it does for you, too.