Top 10 Jokes of 2022

If you take the world seriously (which I haven’t for some years now) there’s enough going wrong these days that even optimists are getting the Windex out to clean their rose-coloured glasses.  Just when we thought things couldn’t get any worse – they did.  People are starting to read Kafka for laughs and Cormac McCarthy is beginning to look downright light-hearted.  However, rather than dwell on the obvious let’s stop for a moment, pour a beverage and relax.

Remember, August is that time of year when the local folks of Edinburgh rent their houses out for mucho dinero and bugger off to Spain; chased out of their town by the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  For those of you who’ve never heard of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, that’s too bad because it’s the greatest mish-mash of all-things-considered in the world.  The Edinburgh Fringe is actually several coexisting arts festivals that run amok, day and night, through the streets of Edinburgh for the entire month of August.  It was started in the late 1940s by some university students, and even though it’s become internationally huge, it still maintains its undergraduate Alphagetti-for-breakfast air.

One of the biggest parts of The Fringe is comedy; some good, some bad, some awful.  And even though humour has been outlawed by the woke crew the Fringe keeps plugging away.  And after a Covid hiatus, it has produced a Top Ten list of the funniest jokes of the Festival.  This is this year’s offering.  So, as the world continues to spin, tune out for a second and remember we’re still the funniest species on the planet.

1. “I tried to steal spaghetti from the shop, but the female guard saw me and I couldn’t get pasta” – Masai Graham

2. “Did you know, if you get pregnant in the Amazon, it’s next-day delivery” – Mark Simmons

3. “My attempts to combine nitrous oxide and Oxo cubes made me a laughing stock” – Olaf Falafel

4. “By my age, my parents had a house and a family, and to be fair to me, so do I – but it is the same house and it is the same family” – Hannah Fairweather

5. “I hate funerals – I’m not a mourning person” – Will Mars

6. “I spent the whole morning building a time machine, so that’s four hours of my life that I’m definitely getting back” – Olaf Falafel

7. “I sent a food parcel to my first wife. FedEx” – Richard Pulsford

8. “I used to live hand to mouth. Do you know what changed my life? Cutlery” – Tim Vine

9. “Don’t knock threesomes. Having a threesome is like hiring an intern to do all the jobs you hate” – Sophie Duker

10. “I can’t even be bothered to be apathetic these days” – Will Duggan

Seriously Trivial – 2022

Here are some things you probably have never thought about:

1 — If you Google “Star Wars movie mistakes” you get over 4 million different websites in 0.38 seconds.  I didn’t scroll through them all, but — wow!  I can’t even imagine the massive number of nerd hours it took to examine all 13 hours and 14 minutes of the Star Wars franchise, frame by frame, and create even one of these.  However, I have seen more than a few smug clouds enveloping the pompous asses who insist on discussing their particular Star WarsStar Trek or Stargate discoveries.

2 — Rumour has it that the four Indiana Jones movies are chemically-induced hallucinations that Han Solo had when he was frozen in carbonite in The Empire Strikes Back.  As if?

3 — There is a fan theory that much of the Disney movie universe is connected.  For example, Elsa and Anna’s father, King Agnarr from Frozen, is thought to be Rapunzel (from Tangled‘s) mother’s brother.  Thus, when he and Queen Iduna were lost at sea, they were on their way to their niece Rapunzel’s wedding to Flynn Ryder.  Furthermore, the storm that sinks their ship off the coast of Africa is the same one that rejuvenates the land in The Lion King, plus the sunken wreck that Ariel explores in The Little Mermaid is that same ship!  Not only that but, Agnarr and Iduna survive the catastrophe, make their way ashore and eventually have a son — Tarzan — Elsa and Anna’s little brother.  This isn’t just idle chatter, like that Han Solo crap.  Much of it is backed up by some pretty substantial circumstantial evidence.

4 — There are hundreds of theories about what’s in the briefcase from Pulp Fiction, but the most enduring is it’s Marcellus Wallace’s soul.

5 — Millions of people want to believe R+L=J, and thousands and thousands of people are working, day and night, to find the clues that prove it. (Who knew it would all end so badly!)

6 — A lot of people think that originally, Gandalf the Grey, from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, had a cunning plan to use the eagles to fly Frodo, Samwise and The Ring directly to Mordor, drop the jewelry into Mount Doom and be back in The Shire by Second Breakfast.  Unfortunately, Gandalf unexpectedly gets his ass kicked by the Belrog in the Mines of Moria, and when he comes back to life as Gandalf the White, he’s forgotten all about it.  And, to many people, Gandalf’s last words to Frodo, “Fly, you fools!” is indisputable proof of this.

7 — I said all this to say we live in an age of relentless entertainment, and our society has become so abundant and benevolent that we can indulge ourselves in it, any time we please — for as long as we please.  Where once entertainment was an occasional escape from grim reality, to many people these days it is their greater reality.  And, like it or not, that has blurred the line between what we treat seriously and what is mere trivia.

I wrote this in January 2016!  Not much has changed.

The Slap

I swore I wouldn’t do this.  I said to myself, “Self, don’t you dare!  Walk away!  Just walk away!  It’ll be over soon, and nobody will care!”  But in the end, it was just too delicious to resist, too off-the-wall funny, too hilariously 21st century to pass up.  So here are a few thoughts on The Slap.  (Notice, at a time when Hong Kong politics, Sri Lanka protests and the French election need a few words of explanation, everybody knows what I’m talking about.  Sad but true!)  Anyway:

1 – Since the Oscar altercation, both Oprah and Ellen have offered Will Smith big money – Oprah for an exclusive tell-all interview and Ellen to help with her staffing problems.

2 – I’m pretty sure that if the Rock had been onstage — instead of Chris Rock — none of this would have happened.

3 – Likewise, Wanda Sykes wouldn’t have gone as quietly as Chris Rock did.  Lay a smack on her, and she’d have let loose with a haymaker and put the boots to Smith on the way down.

4 – Plus, co-host Amy Schumer, who was making jokes about it 5 minutes after Smith went all “hands on,” confessed that the next day she felt “physically sick” over the whole event.  Amy, that’s a hangover!

5 – And “physically sick” seems to be the celebrity go-to reaction — although most of them aren’t too sick to get out of their hospital beds, get on a talk show and tell the world how “physically sick” they feel.  Oh, and get a few belated kicks into an A-lister while they’re at it.

6 – And remember these are the same people who clapped and cheered when Smith walked up on stage – the second time – to collect his Oscar, listened attentively while the recent felon gave a thank you speech and clapped and cheered some more when he was done. (Damn that subsequent integrity!)

7 – Meanwhile, B, C and D list celebrities, who were at home eating pizza the night of the Oscars, are suddenly calling Chris Rock, “Chris” and speculating on what drove “Will” to that level of unacceptable mayhem.

So, what have we learned?

1 – A celebrity assault can knock Climate Change, a Pandemic and a War off the front page — which proves, beyond debate, that we’re living in an intellectual, cultural and spiritual Brave New World, and the Betas are definitely in control.

2 – In an age when every celebrity on the planet is lip-syncing gender equality, it would have been a lot more fun if Jada Pinkett Smith had done her own slapping.  Who’s the bad guy now, Twittersphere?