Friday, April 18, 2008

KOMEDY KONTEST FINALISTS -- VOTE NOW

Here they are, the five finalists. The judge said it was verrrry hard narrowing them down and a good fifteen others just missed the cut. Congratulations to those who were nominated. My sincere thanks to everyone for playing. If you were nominated, please email me directly so I can get your contract information.

Now comes the voting. It's up to you Ameria...and the world. Simply leave a comment voting for A, B, C, D, E. This is the only time I'll accept anonymous comments. And please just confine your comments to voting. I don't need any "these all suck, mine was so much better" posts. Remember, this is all in the spirit of fun.

So now, here they are.

DANNY HAD SUCH A FEAR OF COMMITMENT THAT HE...

A... shouts his own name during sex.

B...told his mother he "Wanted to see other moms."

C...listed his actual salary on match.com.

D...was fired from the video store for stocking "Four Weddings and a Funeral" under "horror".

E...that he only dated Iraqi female suicide bombers.

The polls are open! Voting ends at 11:59 PM PDT on Tuesday night April 22. One vote per comment. Again, many thanks to all who participating. Remember, the prize is spectacular (a signed AfterMASH script) so take great care in your voting.

Addendum: Very interesting reaction to E. Most people think it's in poor taste. And a few have voted for it. It certainly is not politically correct. On the other hand, comedy is sometime very subversive, risky, and even offensive. So in a strange way I'm glad that E. is there. You don't have to vote for it (and clearly many of you are not) but I like that there's a wide range of styles and tones. If I had received 600 variations of the same line it wouldn't be any fun. This might be a great topic for debate in a later post.

284 comments:

1 – 200 of 284   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

D

Mike Bell said...

Gee, can I be a sour loser and vote for none of the above?

Robert said...

Oh, lord, how to choose...

A would likely be the winner in any other grouping.

B. is just flat laugh-out-loud funny.

C. has all sorts of great sub-textual social tangents.

But D.

D. is not just laugh-out-loud funny like B., has all the great sub-textual social tangents of C., but also succeeds in specifically skewering not just the movie that made Hugh Grant, well, "Hugh Grant", but also the movie that arguably revitalized the whole rom-com field (which I personally like, heck, I even like Hugh, but ya gotta give the nod where the nod is due).

D.

Noah said...

B. (narrowly edging out C)

James Patrick Joyce said...

D...was fired from the video store for stocking "Four Weddings and a Funeral" under "horror".

Mike Bauman said...

E!
So beautifully wrong.

Anonymous said...

D

Anonymous said...

B. B. He's our man, if he can't win it, nobody can!

And I'm not just voting for B because I wrote it.

Oh wait. I am too.

My thanks to the judge. Your rubber check is in the mail.

sephim said...

I guess that answers my question as to who the judge was...

Sorry Tim Conway, now I have to kill you.

R.A. Porter said...

D

Ger Apeldoorn said...

B

cleverly uses one of the few cliche's attached to the subject, which makes it flow and still manages to surprise. D would never work before an audience, except if said by a character which makes movie references all the time.

Anonymous said...

B. It's laugh out loud funny.

Tim W. said...

Definitely between B and D. I thought A was humourous, but a little too obvious. I'm going to say.....uhhh....



D

For now...

Andy said...

I think I have to go with D. B would be a strong second choice.

Ken, once the voting is over, would you mind posting the 15 semi-finalists? Just curious and in need of some ego-salve.

Tallulah Morehead said...

B darling, and not just because I've always been thought of as a B Girl, and made many B movies.

KEN LEVINE said...

I will post the other finalists at a later date. That's a good idea. Thanks.

ish said...

B.

Rory L. Aronsky said...

D

S. Caldwell said...

B!

(first time poster, long time reader)

Alex said...

D

emily said...

B

Anonymous said...

C

Ray Randolph said...

C

Doug Thompson said...

B made me laugh best.

Carlo Conda said...

B? D? Pfft.
ME!

DrBear said...

D.

And while I'm anonymous, click here to find out about what's infecting your compu...oops.

Arpad said...

B.

Zack Blake said...

Five fine finalists, but but the Anti-Oedipal B gets my vote.

kirk said...

D.

Good fun, look forward to more competitions.

Kirk

Anonymous said...

I vote B.

Anonymous said...

B. I guess...

Anonymous said...

I fail to see what's 'fun' about Iraqui suicide bombers, female or otherwise, so I won't be voting.

Jerad said...

D

A. Buck Short said...

My #2 pencil, narrowed it down to C and Nader. Either would extend the streak of never voting for anything that actually wins, but C was the most pleasingly cynical and synaptical (seemed to take me one more neuron semi-firing to appreciate, no matter how many times I went back to it).

Eleanor said...

D

Steed said...

Liked A but I'm voting for B.

Bitter Animator said...

D

Without a doubt. I love it.

Will you be doing an American Idol-style showcase of the really awful ones so we may point and laugh?

Razor Rob said...

B.

Anonymous said...

D

Stanley L. said...

Four out of five fine choices, but I'm voting B.

Anonymous said...

B.

blogward said...

B. And I'm glad the judge hates you.

Drovers said...

Wow E is probably de worst joke i´ve ever seen. What is funny about Iraqi female suicide bombers??? You just deserve better, I won´t vote after such lack of respect, i´d hope you take it away...

Anonymous said...

B

ferkster said...

Put me down for B too.

Robert Konigsberg said...

b

Danny said...

Sorry, I can't pick one...

Jim said...

D

Anonymous said...

A suicide bomber joke? That's disgusting. I take it the judge wasn't a Muslim.

Anonymous said...

I vote for B. C & D also had wit and are good lines. But B was the one that made me laugh spontaneously.

Eric Scott said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jay said...

E

Daddy Background said...

I've always been ... whatever the the opposite of bellwether is. My favourite (named his cat "We'll see how it goes") didn't make the finals and of the five my vote:

A

is lagging badly.

Mary Stella said...

A -- short, hits the mark, read it twice and laughed both times.

amelia said...

D

Eric Scott said...

B.

Anonymous said...

B

Kerry321 said...

D

velvet goldmine said...

D

Anonymous said...

E

Anonymous said...

C

Michael said...

B

Anonymous said...

Definitely B. D doesn't work all that well for me, because despite all the weddings it's basically a movie about fear of commitment. And although I generally enjoy jokes that make pop culture references, this one is just too dated; it falls flat.

I agree with the person who said that B works because it takes a cliché and gives it a fresh new spin. It made me laugh.

Graham Powell said...

I'm gonna go with A here.

john brown said...

e

angel said...

OMG! Definitely A

Anonymous said...

B

I just don't get two of them.

Norrin2 said...

D

Dave Olden said...

D... Congrats.

Anonymous said...

B

sonderangerbot said...

B obviously!

Larry said...

B

Nathan said...

BBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB!

Anonymous said...

C

Anonymous said...

D

Alice said...

B

and I recommend poll daddy for voting widgets to out inside your posts. polldaddy.com

Anonymous said...

B

Annie said...

B. Because it was the only one that made me lol (although the others were funny too). And that's what matters, right? The LOL.

It's all about the almighty LOL. :)

Doug Walsh said...

C

... as in can't believe mine wasn't picked.

C. Miller said...

B

Dana King said...

C. The double-edged joke edges it ahead of B.

Mike Bell said...

On further review (sobering up) I vote for D.

Grunt said...

D

cpo snarky said...

B's a fastball that blows you away - but C's a big 12-to-6 curve that freezes you at the plate. So I say C - and I have a jump on the "best baseball metaphor" contest.

Anonymous said...

C. The least worst.

MickeyG said...

F. Well they weren't Ken jokes and they weren't Ken's choice, but if he made a crack about suicide bombers on his radio spot he'd be canned in a second.

Ken's Damn Friend said...

B!

45 is the new 30 said...

B ... and thanks for agreeing to list the other contenders in a future post!

Anonymous said...

D

Sax said...

B

Dr. Shrinker said...

Definitely "b" -- I laughed out loud!

Wally said...

I vote for 'B'. Good luck!

BC in OC said...

I'm having a really hard time choosing between C and D due to their INCREDIBLE sub-textual social tangents (why have I never seen that used as a pull quote?) and E b/c Iraqi suicide bombers are inherently hilarious and I love that some people are offended.

So I'll choose B.

Anonymous said...

E

Anonymous said...

b

Annie said...

B - in keeping with the classic style of the genre. Or 'klassic' style.

But kudos to E for pushing the envelope.

Now I sound like a network wonk giving notes. Someone shoot me.

Beth Ciotta said...

I liked 'D' a lot, but I have to go with 'C'. There's a story in that.

My vote's for: C

Anonymous said...

A

Anonymous said...

"D," far and away (as Ron Howard might have put it).


Of course, the problem with anonymous posts (as I'm sure has been noted already) is that people can vote for themselves (or anybody else) as many times as they like.

It should still be "D." And I'm the real "Anonymous."

Anonymous said...

B.

Ben K. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Incidentally, the "suicide bomber" line would have been just as funny and more elegant without the "Iraqui. Or the "female," which sounds more written than spoken.


"...that the only women he'd date were suicide bombers."

Anonymous said...

vfljafe

Bruce said...

C

Mark--> said...

C

Ben K. said...

C.

(P.S. I realize now that my comment above may be inappropriate for this thread -- feel free to delete it.)

jbryant said...

B

Jason said...

C.

So brief, and yet evokes whole layers of meaning.

Anonymous said...

D

Anonymous said...

A tie between A and B, but since A's the underdog I'm going with: A

Anonymous said...

E

Idea Man said...

B

The Curmudgeon said...

I think B & D are head and shoulders above the rest... I choose B.

estiv said...

Either I'm going to idiotically post multiple, or I can't get this damn thing to work. Let's try again...

E

Anonymous said...

C is current and original. As far as the others, I'm sure Jay Leno would love them

Anonymous said...

B

Kenny said...

Who are all these people offended at E? I can understand if they are soldiers or relatives of bombing victims but I hope they are not getting offended on behalf of suicide bombers, because honestly, if ever the target of a joke deserved sympathy it is not suicide bombers.

To suggest that Muslims would be automatically offended by a reference to suicide bombers assumes more of a correlation between Islam and suicide bombing than does the original joke, and is therefore even more offensive.

That said, E is not super funny beyond its edginess and would be much better with Anonymous' punch-up suggestions above.

B is the best hard joke here but I cast my vote for C because I like how the joke is in the subtext.

TLH said...

E

Emily Blake said...

Letter B

Bianca said...

D.
It's hard to judge the "funniest" because you have to ask in what context? Being that Ken's site attracts comedy/sitcom writers and people who enjoy this type of comedy, I'd say D could best be used in a sitcom situation. Perhaps other choices would be funnier in a comedy club context, but for sitcoms I'd say D.

Anonymous said...

A

Bianca said...

and I agree with Kenny - now you think jokes about suicide bombers are politically incorrect and offensive? Give me a break! What part about suicide bombing is a rational and acceptable life choice that there should be a moratorium on jokes about them? How about all you offended suicide bombers get together and form a coalition to protest the ridicule of your public image - I'm sure your association will have a high turnover...

emily said...

Half-time score:

A - 7

B - 48

C - 16

D - 28

E - 8

(I can't believe I counted them. I have to get a life.)

Shar said...

B

Ryan Seachrest said...

Over 450 entries were posted. Well over 1000 punchlines submitted, and it all comes down to this. This is American Punchline.

[THE 5 PUNCHLINES ALL COME ON AND PERFORM “SLOWLY I TURNED”, ALTHOUGH “E” IS TOO JADED TO MORE THAN GO THROUGH THE MOTIONS AND LIP-SYNCH.]

All right, may I have the punchlines join me on the stage please.
A, you said Danny had such a fear of commitment that he “shouts his own name during sex.”
Randy said, “Dawg, you’re getting busy!”
Paula said, “You are who you are, you announce who you are. I love you.”
Simon said, “I don’t get it. I always shout my own name during sex. Besides, you’re not a joke about fear of commitment, You’re about narcissism.”
America voted. A, you’re going home.

C, you said Danny had such a fear of commitment that he “Listed his actual salary on Match.com.”
Randy said, “Dude, I don’t get it. Don’t give me jokes I have to think to understand.
Paula said, “C, you’re a star. That could be a joke in a movie, like the Bratz movie. I applaud you.”
Simon said, “It was just too cabaret for me.”
America voted. C, you’re going home.

E, you said Danny had such a fear of commitment that he “that he only dated Iraqi female suicide bombers.”
Randy said, “Dude, that’s pretty harsh man. But I dug it. You’re edgy.”
Paula said, “I don’t know what ‘Iraqi’ means.”
Simon said, “I don’t get it. Most of the women I’ve slept with went on to become suicide bombers, and they weren’t even Iraqi.”
America voted, you’re going home.

That leaves just D and B. Who will get the vote? We’ll find out in just a minute. But first, special guest stars Dolly Parton and Mariah Carey will duet, singing Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “all I Ask of You.”

[DUET IS PERFORMED.]

All right, B and D, please stand here on either side of me.
B, you said Danny had such a fear of commitment that he “told his mother he ‘wanted to see other Moms.”
Randy said, “Dude, you are the bomb, dawg.”
Paula said nothing, just cried, thinking about her mother, and getting fired from the Bratz movie.
Simon said, “I fired my mother. She was too kareoke.”

D. you said Danny had such a fear of commitment that he “was fired from the video store for stocking ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ under ‘Horror’.”
Randy said, “I just wasn’t feeling it, Dawg. Why is he stocking Weddings and funerals in a video store?”
Paula said, “You’re a star. It doesn’t matter what we say. The fans love you.”
Simon said, “Video stores? What is this, the 20th Century? Too dated. Too last century.”
America voted and — we’ll have the results right after this.

[MUSIC VIDEO OF THE 5 PUNCHLINES AND DANNY UNABLE TO DECIDE WHICH OF FORD’S FINE CARS TO BUY, SO THEY BUY THE LOT.]

All right. We’re back. Judges, did America get it right?

Randy: “Wow Dawg. They’re all great. This is when it gets hard.
Paula: “It’s hard? Show me. Randy!”
Simon: “America hasn’t gotten anything right since 1776.”

All right, B and D, the results are — going to be told to you after this message.

[COMMERCIALS]

All right, B, D, America voted, and the vote for this incredibly long, padded comment is —
B!

Congrtulations B, and as the credits roll, let’s look back at your long journey.

Achick said...

I vote B.

Anonymous said...

a

tb said...

C

Anonymous said...

B

Anonymous said...

B. B is hilarious. (I didn't write it. But it's excellent.)

Chris said...

To vote B or not to vote B, that is the quetion. Hamlet also had a fear of committing himself to an action. But before this runs to 5 acts (Like the long-winded Seachrest monologue above) I will commit...

...to voting for B!

But great entires all. Congrats to all 5 finalists. Given how many entries there were (almost half of which were NOT psychotic) it actually is an honor just to be nominated.

RAC said...

Of the five, I'll cast my vote for B.

It sounds like something Stewie would say on Family Guy.

DodgerGirl said...

D

maven said...

D

Delores said...

In memory of my mom, I'm voting for B.

April said...

I have to go with E.

Col. Sherman Potter (Ret.) said...

Gotta go with B.

Anonymous said...

D

Keep the great MASH / Cheers stories coming, Kenny!

Anonymous said...

B

cjdahl60 said...

B

Anonymous said...

a

kenrasak said...

I vote for letter A.

Anonymous said...

b

Belloq said...

B, now that's funny. Actually, they're all funny, and I haven't been offended on behalf of suicide bombers in weeks now. But I'm voting for B.

Brian said...

B

Charles Nelson Reilly is looking down and smiling

A. Buck Short said...

Well, now that we’re all agreed…answer me this why doncha. How come it’s always suicide vests?

OK, if it’s Lacoste, with the alligator, maybe. But from what I’ve seen we’re not exactly talking J. Peterman here. Cheap weave and definitely not made to last. Why don’t they ever wear the rest of the outfit? Everybody knows a suicide vest comes with a suicide jacket and two pair of suicide pants. Look presentable for those virgins for God’s sake.

And for formal occasions like an embassy, I’m guessing the suicide tux is virtually indispensable. Accessorized of course with the Rolex trigger mechanism. And for the ladies how about that suicide bra – we’re talking lift and separate.

Just a few more questions. Does this suicide speedo make my ass look big? And I think the terrorist fashion show continues here, but I’m just not sure what we’re looking at.
http://www.hemmy.net/2007/07/07/weird-fashion-show-by-john-galliano/
There, now doesn’t this make E feel less offensive?

BH said...

The lovely B.

Roger Green said...

D. Though A was a definite consideration.

Brian Scully said...

I also thought "E" was very funny, but since I can only vote for one choice, I'm going to vote for "C". But they were all damned funny. Nice job to all 5 finalists.

Sister Mary Martha said...

B The best

Sarge said...

B

Doktor Frank Doe said...

B.

LouOCNY said...

B

Joseph said...

B

Bibi Netanyahu said...

I vote E, and props to the judge for his anonymous courage. This competition is more settled than the West Bank.

Lairbo said...

C.

Jeremy Mattheis said...

B

Kate said...

D

Anonymous said...

B

Jim Endecott said...

D

bgt said...

A

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

A is an oldie, B is good, but C appeals to me for its bizarre truth. D's okay, E isn't.

I vote C.

rhoda said...

I vote for D. It's the one that had the "hah" factor for me.

The Crutnacker said...

I'm going with E. It would have been offensive if it said "He only dates DEAD female Iraqi Suicide Bombers."

edwamil83 said...

I vote for the Seacrest monologue. Now that is funny.

But, if i have to choose amongst these 5 second tier choices (yes, I'm a sore loser), then it has to be D only one that made me chuckle.

Heather said...

B

Heather said...

B

Goren said...

B is my favorite.

Madge from NZ said...

I must jump on the B bandwagon.

Laura Deerfield said...

C.

Anonymous said...

B, I tell you. B!!!

Our Miss Brooks said...

In memory of my B average in high school, I'm voting for B. Also it's the best of a good bunch.

bill said...

C

Devon said...

C.

Tim W. said...

Just wondering why the poster thought that Muslims would be offended by E. I know several Muslims and all of them have a sense of humour.

Anonymous said...

Not an easy choice, but B has momentum, so B.

Anonymous said...

B is for me a winner, it manages to find something in a few words that makes me laugh spontaneously, and has a timeless appeal which utilizes the conventional "mother-son" relation in order to simply twist it to fit. It's applicable over many audiences and time periods, can be delivered quickly, and matches the scale of the competition.

About E: I think it takes more time to do the context to set-up a good "topical" humor that will have the same effect, and where one-liners fail.

Either the set-up and delivery address today's situations, or else it ends up in that artificial "current events" humor, which just inserts "suicide bombers" for something else, say, back in WWII, "kamikazee pilots", or whatever applies in current events - cult-polygamists, whatever...

And the audience knows it, no matter what, so I don't see it as the same kind of laugh.

I don't think the issue is about considering Muslims at all. It's about the audience that the person writing the joke has in THEIR mind.

And we as audience fit or don't, which is not sounding like comedy at work.

During all the Vietnam era, I don't recall any jokes, certainly not memorable stand-up, about N.Vietnamese "types" - especially when we were at war. But I do recall lots of topical humor, certainly about our own politicians. Alot of that would stand up today without making one feel odd to hear it.

I don't care about having "good taste" with comedy at all. On the contrary, satire and parody all the way!

But as saying goes in theater: If you pull out a gun in the first act, you have to fire it off in the third.

So I feel that, if you introduce a "female suicide bomber" into a joke format - you have to DO something with that, as a comedy audience is obviously wondering, and for it to be more than gratuitous and uncomfortable for the wrong reasons.

Scott Troyan said...

B

Ian said...

Oh, B, definitely.

Regarding D, there's a joke going around... a man is feeling so despondent that he calls a suicide prevention hotline. He is surprised when the person who answers the phone speaks with a thick middle eastern-accent. "Where are you located?" the despondent man asks. "Afghanistan," the person at the suicide hotline answers. "Oh. Anyway, I'm so depressed, I've decided to kill myself." There's a momentary pause at the other end of the line. Then: "Do you know how to drive a truck?"

randy said...

It zings, it sings, it stings
B

Lindy said...

B

Mark said...

B

Gail Renard said...

They're all very funny but one made me laugh out loud:

B...told his mother he "Wanted to see other moms."

That's my litmus test of comedy.

Anonymous said...

Its a toss up between B & D... but B is simpler and easier to re-tell (and I will).

So my vote is B.

Anonymous said...

B

Anonymous said...

C. By a mile.

While B and D are clever and cute, neither have the subtext that C has. It is a well crafted joke that works on a number of levels. It's subtle. It's smart. It's mildly subversive. It's a joke I'm jealous I didn't write.

E doesn't work because of how few female suicide bombers exist. I don't think I've ever heard of one. Now if the line had been "He only dated suicide bombers" it would have been funny. Adding the word "female" steps all over the joke because it adds an extraneous, distracting, clunky word. Not to mention the fact that I couldn't react to whether it was funny or not until after I racked my brain trying to think of cases where a suicide bomber was a female.

But that's just my stupid opinion.

Elliott Owen

Heepwah said...

D

anarchist said...

So how would, 'Danny had such a fear of commitment, he only dated girls at Columbine High' go down with you 'E' voters?

DKM said...

We'd probably find the Columbine joke offensive. But that wasn't the joke submitted.

In the words of the late, great Anna Russell: "Things would be so different, if they were not as they are."

Sometimes enjoying a joke, especially in the area of black comedy, requires removing the stick from one's butt. Telling Stanley Kubrick that no one with family in Hiroshima would enjoy DOCTOR STRANGELOVE isn't a valid reason not to make the film.

That said, I'm voting for B, but that's simply because it's the funniest.

Daddy Background said...

Columbine high. That's funny. Shock value off the meter. Like those t-shirts that say:
I (picture of an airplane)
NY

Anonymous said...

D - old school funny and subversive, too! Fried puppies? Yes!!

evanshaffer said...

E.

I second "beautifully wrong". Not to mention this made me laugh the most because I know that wasn't supposed to laugh at it at all.

Anonymous said...

B...told his mother he "Wanted to see other moms."

Ta-wisted mindz at work....stand back. Love this one!!!

Agnes Anderson said...

B.
What fun this is. My first visit.I'll be coming back regularly. I read all the original enties. (some therapy is needed by some of the authors)Frankly, if "Bought a blow-up dog" had been a finalist, I'd have voted for that one. But of the finalists, definitely B. And I speak as a Mom myself.

Bill Anderson said...

Well, if someone had submitted "told his 'partner' he wanted to see other other blow-up dolls" I'd have voted for that, but B comes closest, so I'm voting B. Besides, my wife just voted for it, and I have to second her vote, or I'll be in the market for a blow-up doll myself.

So that's a vote for B.

Anonymous said...

C. it requires a working brain to get.

Anonymous said...

Speaking as one of the finalists myself, I have to say this is a unique experience. Do political candidates, or for that matter, American Idol contestants, actually get to see the votes come in, and read comments by the voters? Each for mine feels great, as do the often-accompanying remarks. Each vote for some other entry stings. But it's a trip.

I'd cast a vote, but that would sort of tip which of these is mine.

Yussi said...

B

Francis Taft Root said...

I like C, but B, that one killed me. Given what my mother was like, I would have liked to see other moms myself.

B.

Martha said...

Comment 200 is a vote for B.

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