Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

Valete Bob and Ray

February 5, 2016

In the NYT yesterday, “Bob Elliott, Half of the Deadpan Bob and Ray Comedy Team, Dies at 92” by Peter Keepnews & Richard Severo (with a companion piece, “Recalling Bob and Ray, Who Paved the Way for Today’s Deadpan Humor” by Jason Zinoman):

Bob Elliott, who as half of the comedy team Bob and Ray purveyed a distinctively low-key brand of humor on radio and television for more than 40 years, died on Tuesday at his home in Cundy’s Harbor, Me. He was 92.

His death was confirmed by his son Chris Elliott, the actor and comedian, who said his father had had throat cancer.

Mr. Elliott and his partner, Ray Goulding — Bob was the more soft-spoken one, Ray the deep-voiced and more often blustery one — were unusual among two-person comedy teams. Rather than one of them always playing it straight and the other handling the jokes, they took turns being the straight man.

The pair early in their career:


Bruce Bruce Bruce

January 27, 2016

Or: Australia Australia Australia!

From Daily Jocks on the 25th, this example of their own AUS line (with my caption appended):


A triple threat: proudly
Australian, proudly
Working class, proudly
Queer – “I like to get
Down under with
Me mates”

The company’s ad copy:

Say G’day to our newest underwear collection, designed downunder (for your downunder). Featuring a soft waistband with bold AUS logo and printed Australian flag, the cotton/spandex blend will keep you feeling comfortable.

To come: more on the underwear and the body of the model in #1. Then to Monty Python’s “Bruces” sketch, notes on Bruce as a particularly Australian name (and, in the U.S., as a particularly gay name), with a digression on the wattle, and then to Australian comedian and actor Barry Humphries, Dame Edna Everage, and Aussie bloke Barry McKenzie.


Why is a raven like a writing desk?

December 19, 2015

[Note that this posting is filed under Humor.]

The Sophist Abilities Test. Part D: Analogies.

(Reminder: no electronic devices are permitted in the examination room.)

There are 12 questions in this test. For each, you are to supply the X that completes the analogy. For example, given the incomplete analogy

Able : Baker  ::  Charlie : X

you would write Dog in the space below the question.

You have 10 minutes for this test.

Note: We told you last week that it was really important that you do the assigned reading in preparing for this test. So, if (for example) you don’t know who the Darios in question #3 are, it’s your own damn fault.



December 5, 2015

Feel free to groan at the language play.

On NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday last Sunday (November 29th),  an interview by NPR’s Rachel Martin with parodist Josh Friedland on the occasion of his new book Eatymology: The Dictionary of Modern Gastronomy, about new words having to do with cooking and dining:




November 17, 2015

An entertaining photo that’s been floating around the Internet for some time:


In speech, the intended parsing

(1) [ Alaskan cod ] [ pieces ]

is indistinguishable from the humorous parsing

(2) { Alaskan ] [ codpieces ]

In writing, the conventional spelling distinguishes the two and enforces parsing (1). But if you’re not aware of the item of apparel the codpiece (more on that to come), or if the possibility of an ambiguity hadn’t occurred to you, you might be tempted to the spelling codpieces instead of cod pieces.


Morning: the call of nature

October 13, 2015

Yesterday’s morning expression on awakening (with a need to answer the call of nature) was not exactly a name, but, well, the NP the call of nature. That led to the product Serutan — that is a name — and, in another direction, to the PP against nature, which I’ll reserve for another day.

Basic dictionary work. From NOAD2:

call of nature  used euphemistically to refer to a need to urinate or defecate.

and AHD5:

A need to urinate or defecate. Often used with answer: He left the room to answer the call of nature.

Idiom dictions are roughly similar, and some offer nature’s call as an alternative.


Earworm time: Springtime for Hitler

October 3, 2015

On KFJC (Foothill College radio station) a few minutes ago, the song “Springtime for Hitler”, which never fails to crack me up, but also produces a world-class earworm for me; I’ll have it in my head for the rest oif the day.

Here, let me infect you with it: the song from the original film of Mel Brooks’s The Producers:


Philip Bonneau

September 30, 2015

Posted on Google+ by Tim Evanson yesterday, this image of a half-naked male superhero, Captain Marvel, that is simultaneously sexy and funny — celebrating the beauty of this broad-shouldered model’s body as he assumes a Captain Marvel persona in a gently mocking way.


From the Flickr account of photographer Philip Bonneau, who’s an ornament of the Atlanta gay community and the creator of a Heroes + Villains series of male photography.


Mark Mason, Matt Bauer, and Gay Porn Minus Gay Sex

September 23, 2015

(Much about gay porn, so there’s plenty about the male body and man-man sex, in very plain language, but (just barely) without the visuals. Use your judgment. There are also a few linguistic notes.)

It starts with postcards that Max Meredith Vasilatos has been sending me, including a couple with photographs by Matt Bauer (who was new to me): shots of gay pornstars that are clearly gay porn, and intended to be, but are also male art of some interest. Mark Mason in particular.

To come: material on Mason; then on Bauer and some subjects of his other than Mason; then a digression on what is almost surely a different  photographer named Matt Bauer. Mark Mason then led me to a vein of humor/criticism that I hadn’t realized existed: Gay Porn Minus Gay Sex, intended as a critique of bad gay porn: when you don’t have the visuals (the meat in the sandwich, as it were), you’re forced to attend to the acting and so will begin to appreciate the deficiences of the acting. (In particular, “Tales From Two Cities” Minus Gay Sex”; Mason appears in the cast of the original “Tales From Two Cities” of 1999.)



August 16, 2015

Caught yesterday on KFJC’s Norman Bates Memorial Soundtrack Show: the audio of the trailer for the astounding movie Mant!, a tale of the horror caused when radiation from an atomic bomb affects both a man and an ant, yielding a — OMG! — half-man half-ant.

Watch the trailer here:



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