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Friday, November 02, 2007

Why isn't this funny?

About two years ago I wrote a very small blog called "Just One Monkey". In it there were five posts that contained snippets from a monkey experiment. I like the idea, it's kind of cute, but it's not *funny*. I'm willing to admit the premise is bad; I'm also willing to admit it just doesn't work. The problem is that I can't tell why it's not funny.

The blog remains untouched these past two years, save the title. "Just One Monkey" doesn't seem to work, so I renamed it "Notes from a Monkey."

I have a large, loyal reader base*, so I ask you, large and loyal readers, help me understand: why doesn't this joke work?

Please provide feedback in the comments section.

* In fact, my large loyal reader base comes from the future, where, for instance, someone from high school will accidentally stumble on this blog and be driven to read about my life in 2007. Thank you, dear old high school friend.


lahosken said...

I'm not convinced that this blog is not funny. I'm pretty sure I smiled. Anyhow, comments follow...

There would be more of these blogs, but monkeys only defeat captcha 1 out of every 8 billion attempts.

The monkey's name is Robert Konigsberg? That seems far-fetched. When I think of ape-names, I think of Ham, I think of Cheetah (sp?), I think of Gleek. I do not think of Robert Konigsberg.

ru1z looks wrong that font. More like "ruiz" than "rulz". Maybe that says more about my browser's default fonts than it does about the l33t nature of monkeys.

Anonymous said...

I, too, did smile. But I think you broke the joke too soon with the "To be, or not to be...."

Maybe you could restart this blog and just ROT13 all of Shakespeare's plays for a kinder, simpler version than Adobe's encoding of "The Crying of Lot 49."

"The Crying of Lot 49," is not funny at all. However, the decoding attempt attempt in the comments of this post is.

Qbryzan said...

I agree with the previous comments - it is funny, but it does suffer from "Saturday Night Live Disorder", where the joke goes on too long and is pretty much all in the original premise. The non-words you used are much closer to what an actual monkey might type, but exaggeration would be funnier.

Just my opinion, but the previous name of "Just One Monkey" was better.

How about if instead of random characters, the initial posts used actual words, but in very stupid arrangements (for example the kind of things Ann Coulter might say), or egregious misspellings (like LOLcats-speak)

Then you could build on the idea slowly, as post by post the monkey could be getting closer to intelligent thought, which would also allow for running gags and sub-jokes.

Dustin said...

I have to agree with qbryzan, an on going storyline would help keep people interested and coming back for more.

I think that everyone probably smiles at first because it is a funny idea. If it was elaborated upon, it could easily become a part of my daily rss feeds.

An about page that mentions that the posts are from a monkey in an experiment might allow new readers to easily jump in to the story.

konberg said...


@dustin, I wasn't going for creating an ongoing story here, just a short blog for a short joke.

@qbryzan, I think you have hit on a good idea actually. It's a slightly different joke from the one I intended, given that the monkey is really typing characters at random. I also think the 'l33t' comment is not any good but Mark J thought it was.

And yeah, I prefer the original name too.

@lahosken, I was being lazy.

@jeremy: What? As usual, you make no sense. I love you.