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Posted at 1:00 PM ET, 12/ 2/2008

The Riff: How to Avoid the Day-Old Gag

By Michael Cavna

Comedy is all in the timing, the saying goes. The aphorism is usually understood to refer to tempo and pacing.

Comedy, though, can also be in the timing of the cultural cycle. A word or phrase that plays for maximum zeitgeist pop one month, of course, won't pack the same fresh punch down the line. (You want an example? Well, sure, "you betcha.")

'Riffs brings this up because humorous references to "Applebee's" seem to be in the air these days. Applebee's has surfaced before as punch-line fodder, but the name seems to have cycled back for another 15 minutes of comic fame. To wit: Today's "Brewster Rockit."


No Grand Slam breakfast for him. (TMS) Enlarge Comic

These trends pass so quickly, however, that we offer this handy-dandy guide to Comic References for Maximum Resonance With the Zeitgeist. (Note: We do not guarantee that this list will still be fresh by Thursday.)


THE "IN" LIST..........SO LAST WEEK'S SYNDICATE DEADLINE

Applebee's..............Dunkin' Donuts
Layoffs....................Bailouts
Corn chip................Turducken
"Salty"....................."Rabbit"
Shih-Tzu.................Shar-pei
Team of Rivals........Transition Team
Snow jokes...............Leaf jokes
Elves....................... Elvis.

You have your own? Then bring 'em on.


By Michael Cavna  | December 2, 2008; 1:00 PM ET
Categories:  The Riffs  
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Comments

Ha ha, that strip won't let me rest until I watch this Eddie Izzard 'tube of the Death Star Cafe :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hp69rg6Hdlo

Posted by: hdradio | December 2, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps in reverse, media references to life as comics. Here from the Letterman Show 11/19/08 an interview with Katie Couric. Reference comes at 5:00 minutes in.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfV8U16OkL0

Posted by: hdradio | December 2, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

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