Why You Should Tell Bad Jokes

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Let me clue you in on this from the very beginning: this is another business metaphor. I’m telling you up front this time so you can begin to think about the connections from the moment you start reading it.

I was strolling through the National Comedy Center in Jamestown the other day, taking in with delight the many funny people who have entertained so many for so many years, when a thought struck me. Why do good comedians tell bad jokes?

When a comic sits down to write gags, it becomes an exercise of no-holds-barred brainstorming. This is by necessity. You don’t know what’s really funny while you’re creating it, so you don’t want to restrict yourself in any way.

James Mendrinos, in his book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Comedy Writing, writes: “You have to force yourself to stain the pages, even if you think the jokes aren’t your best work. I’m not saying that bad jokes are better than no jokes. I am saying that if Continue Reading “Why You Should Tell Bad Jokes”

The Stargate Folly – It’s Never About The Science, It’s Always About The Funding

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On August 1, 1973, Johnny Carson introduced Israeli mentalist Uri Geller to America on The Tonight Show. Geller’s claim to fame was his ability to bend spoons with his mind. Admittedly a skeptic, Carson gave Geller more than twenty uninterrupted minutes to show his stuff to the audience. Geller never had a chance. Here’s why.

Carson sought to shame Geller. He suspected Geller was a fraud (for calling himself a psychic, but a very good illusionist). He contacted his friend James Randi, a magician and psychic skeptic, to trap Geller. When Geller showed up on set, he sat down between fellow guest Ricardo Montalbán and host Johnny Carson. In front of him was a table with an array of trinkets on it.

For the next twenty minutes Geller hemmed and hawed and didn’t do a thing. His “bent” spoon wasn’t very bent at all, with Carson sarcastically saying “A spoon that’s got a slight Continue Reading “The Stargate Folly – It’s Never About The Science, It’s Always About The Funding”