Monday, October 24, 2011

Tweets from Gettysburg

Thanks to Twitter, angry bitter disgruntled people now have a place to take pot shots at everybody from the safety of their mother’s basement.  The hate is starting to trump even the narcissism. There will probably be 40,000 tweets ripping me because of this post.

Twitter can be a great forum. For comedy writers it’s a chance to toss off your one-liners and have them heard (or at least read). Some of my best stuff has been wasted on waiters and strangers in line. Now my best stuff can be wasted on strangers on line. (I enthusiastically invite you to follow me and be one of them.)

But Twitter can also be a snipers’ paradise. I’ve noticed that all of the national sportscasters calling these baseball playoffs have been absolutely pummeled by members of this social network. Death by a thousand tweets. The announcers are stupid, they’re biased, they don’t care about baseball, they’re too old, their ties are an affront to society. Yikes! The truth is they’re not biased, they’re under a lot of pressure, and producers often pick out their ties for them.

So it got me to thinkin’. What if Twitter existed during the time of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address? I imagine this is the kind of stuff we'd see.

@lunkhead – I’m at Gettysburg Address w/ 67 others.

@dissgrntled – Shit! Linken is tall!

@shorty – I hate tall people!

@bobballoobobballoo – At least we can see him.

@shorty – Who WANTS to see him?

@mauron -- You are fucking hilarious dude! RT @shorty – Who WANTS to see him?

@loserboy4 – Is that a beard or a beaver on his chin?

@zippy – Abe’s making a pubic appearance.

@lunkhead – HA! RT@zippy – Abe’s making a pubic appearance.

@lunkhead – Talk louder pussy chin! I can’t HEAR YOU!!!

@shorty – Who WANTS to hear you?

@zippy – 4score + 7years. What the fuck is that?

@bobballooobobballoo – Math???? In a MF’ing speech?

@loserboy4 – I want to punch him in the face.

@dropoutat9 – LINCON YOU SUCK!

@dissgrntled – Why does he hate the south? Fuck you, Abe!

@zippy – How much is 4score +7years?

@mauron – 150

@bobballoobobballoo – 16.

@lunkhead – His voice makes me sick.

@zippy – Choke on your beard, dickwad!

@loserboy4 – What does konsecrate mean? He uses all this $10 words.

@dyspeptic – I want to punch him in the face.

@dropoutat9 – Can we get a president who doesn’t hate the north?

@lunkhead – Or can shave.

@zippy – HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA RT @lunkhead – Or can shave.

@bobballooobobballoo – Where’s his wife? I hear she’s hot.

@dissgrntled – She’s a whore.

@mauron – This guy is so LAME. He just said the ground is hollow. Really? Then how come we’re not all falling in?

@loserboy4 – That’s weird. I thought the same thing you did. Great minds…

@lunkhead – With that beard he looks like Ape Lincoln.

@shorty – The missing Link-n.

@dyspeptic – LMAO! You dudes should entertain the troops.

@bobballooobobballoo – Hi, I’m Ape Lincoln and I’ve come here today to say blahblahblahblahblahblahblah.

@zippy – Yeah. Nobody cares dude!!

@dissgrntled – By the people, 4 the people, of the people – WTF? did you run out of words for people? You suck! No, you really suck!

@loserboy4 – I want to punch him in the face.

@mauron – That’s it? That’s the whole speech? That was like 5 minutes.

@shorty – What a gyp.

@dyspeptic – Yeah. We want more!

@lunkhead – I hate you!!!!!!!!

@dropoutat9 – You’re a tool!!

@loserboy4 – And a douche!!!

@dissgrntled – And an A-hole!!

@dyspeptic – LOL Just got that. RT @zippy – Abe’s making a pubic appearance.


Joe Janes said...

Great minds...

Mike Barer said...

Twitter is not nearly as bad as the comments on the bottom of newspaper articles and "you tube".
I use my real name on twitter, so I'm pretty much accountable for what I say. That being said, anytime someone uses an alias, they think that it's free rain to say whatever they want, without reason or cause.

BobMastro said...

hahaha... Definitely one of your funnier posts... Now, follow me back @BobMastroianni

RCP said...

Very funny!

amyp3 said...

Brilliant, except I'm pretty sure a couple of those were too good and erudite for the Worst of the Worst.

“The announcers are .. too old”

Talking about The Olds and how everything is baby boomers’ fault is the new “Don’t Trust Anyone Over 30.” My only consolation is that someday the same posters will be middleaged and have to listen to Gen Z-squared making fun of them. (Of course, by then I might be dead. Tho‘ I‘m hoping for being a Betty White-cool age.)

amyp3 said...

“Twitter is not nearly as bad as the comments on the bottom of newspaper articles and you tube.”

Some of that can be quite scary but so much is just Hot Air.

I’m a space nerd, and love to look at related content on YouTube. Aside from the “the moon-landings were fake” loonies, I also occasionally run across things like someone mocking female astronauts.

Based on my experience, the person making fun of real astronauts is the type who’d poop their pants during launch and be crying for their mommy the entire time they were up there.

Please Leave Name said...

WTF is twitter?

Rachel said...

Thanks - I needed a good laugh this morning!

Mac said...

I don't bother reading youTube comments any more.
Even on the most benign video, like footage of a puppy, titled "my really cute puppy" - before you get to the end of the first page, someone's calling someone else an asshole.

The amazing thing about twitter abuse is the number who say "Your not funny" to comedians.
Or "You're show is shit." You'd think they'd put the right "your" (or "you're") sometimes, if only by accident.
I guess there's a correlation between dropping out of school early and being a dick on twitter.

This is why I come here, apart from the occasional "asshat," it's a haven of civility.

Dan Tedson said...

The fact that neither "The Missing Lincoln" or "Ape Lincoln" is a band name is an indictment of the punk rock community.

Anonymous said...

If twitter existed at the time of the Gettysburg address, what would the trending topics be?


Tim W. said...

I don't know if that was funny or sad. Funny, because it was, well, funny. Or sad because there was far too much truth. There are far too few places on the internet where one can read and leave comments that don't insult one's intelligence. Every time I read comments on newspapers, Youtube, IMDB etc, I have a little less hope for humanity.

Jim S said...


This bit reminds me of Bob Newhart's brillant routine of what Would Lincoln's life have been like if modern day political spin masters had been around when the president wrote the Gettysburg address. "Four score and seven, Abe couldn't your just say 87?"

Great stuff.

charlotte said...

Fun post today, Ken. Bob Newhart meets Twitter!

charlotte said...

@Jim S: Jinx! :)

benson said...

Funny you folks should mention Bob Newhart. He performed here yesterday and I got to meet him briefly. The man is still incredibly funny.

wv: hacrisp A cereal for comedy writers. Or for the British readers, a cracker for comedy writers.

Dave Olden said...

@ charlotte: "...Bob Newhart meets Twitter!"


BOB NEWHART answers....

"Hello? ... oh, Hi, Arnold. You're calling from when? ... Arnold! that's not possible. They didn't *have* iPhones in 1863. ... what? ... 'there's an app for that.'? Oh ... What? I can't hear ... Yes, that's better. I can hear you now. So what are you doing in 1863? ... [laughs] At the Gettysburg Address??! How on Earth did you manage that? ... from-- from a #kenlevine tweet? Well that explains it!"

Johnny Walker said...

Lol. Very good!

Amy said...

Hilarious. I also like "free rain."

I can't wait for November!

Andy said...

Great stuff.

Reminded me of the Gettysburg Tweet Bizarro I wrote awhile back...

oreotookie said...

I too have wondered this. Speaking of Twitter, several of the people I follow are fictional characters or people from the past. Hilarious! Love @deathstarPR, @darthvader, @drvonbraun (sorry, I'm into some space stuff). I also like following comedians for funny one-liners. Brings a little chuckle every my day.

Anonymous said...

@OneBoothOver - Duck! RT@PrezLincoln - Checking out a great play tonight.

pseudonymfreerain said...

@MikeBarer, it is "free reign" not "free rain" the difference is unfettered control or a flood that you don't have to pay for.

DyHrdMET said...

this is why i like you as a comedy writer - you have a great imagination.

estiv said...

@pseudonymfreerain, it's actually free rein, which is something people do with a horse.

WV: dioniz -- a word from a nineties rapper studying Greek mythology.

Ike Iszany said...

There's gotta be a TV show in this idea. I haven't laughed this much at the whole new season of "Two And A Half Men".

Dave Arnott said...

Ken, just terrific.

This is the joy of reading stuff from pros. Because the idea here, while solid, seems pretty basic to me. Not played out, but not crazy special, either.

But the execution was just top notch. In lesser hands, this *would* feel played out. Or, at the very least, feel like a missed opportunity.

But the jokes were pitch perfect, and the rhythm and flow were spot on. As I said, a joy to read. Thanks.

By Ken Levine said...

Thanks, Dave. You still going on every rollercoaster in the world? All the best.


Howie Swaim said...

Nice, Ken!


Mike said...

Bob Newhart's on the phone... and he's got Mike Judge with him.

Wendy M. Grossman said...

@oreotookie: (at the risk of obnoxiously touting my own work) you might like this column I wrote about corresponding with a fake Twitter account a few years ago, "The untweetable Xeroxness of being". It's at

My apologies for the site colors. I will fix them one day.


Dave Arnott said...

Heh, Ken, I see you've been talking to someone, hmm...

After riding almost 500 different coasters, in earnest since around 1988, I've finally gotten a little tired of it. But then getting older will do that to you, especially when all the latest stuff is about multiple inversions (I've never really cared for being turned upside-down).

Luke said...

One of your funniest yet! Thank you for a hearty, full-bodied laugh.