When Does a Common Punchline Wear Out Its Welcome?
Wanna get a quick guffaw? Want to see your friends, neighbors and frenemies double over in a gut-busting fit of laughter? Then your mission is clear: Know your Currently Humorous "Gag"-Reflex Terms.
Such joke words of the moment include "stalker," "tweet this" and "Appalachian Trail." (Note: Your personal cultural barometer may vary.) And right at home in that list, of course, is "restraining order."
Don't believe me? Then just take a gander at today's "Brewster Rockit" and yesterday's "Mother Goose & Grimm." Although the comic premises are significantly different, the punchline plays out the same.
And just think: Keeping a master list of these Current Gag-Reflex Words would simplify professional gag-writing, except for one catch: The expiration date on so many these terms is terribly, woefully short.
So that prompts the Official 'Riffs Reader Question of the Day: Is there a word or term that you're sick of hearing as a form of stale punchline? (Anything lamer than even "tase," "shorty" or any slang that rhymes with "izzle"?) Your comments are invited.
Today's other Thematic Daily Double goes to "Hagar the Horrible" and "Blondie," which play off the gluttonous appetites of each strip's male lead. Because gluttony is as universal as the rest of those Big Fat Deadly Sins, the theme is trite but true. And just one reason why Hagar and Dagwood still have so many hordes of never-say-cancel fans.
Overeating, like mating rituals and mother-in-laws, springs eternal.
THE A.M. READING LIST:
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the director's cut of "Watchmen" -- with nearly a half-hour of additional footage -- will get a limited release (L.A., New York, Minneapolis and Dallas) the weekend before its July 21 DVD release. The trade mag says the rollout will culminate with a July 25 screening at San Diego Comic-Con, "taking advantage of a Blu-ray Disc feature that will allow any viewer in North America to watch the movie at the same time as the audience at Comic-Con, see and hear director Zack Snyder comment on the movie, and even ask questions." (Not sure how the half-hour will improve the film, but I'll be eagerly on hand in San Diego.) ...
The Hollywood Reporter also reports that "The Dark Knight" is still picking up awards. The Batman film -- for which Heath Ledger won a posthumous Oscar -- garnered five trophies yesterday at the 35th annual Saturn Awards, which honor sci-fi, fantasy and horror movies. "Iron Man" and Sci Fi's "Battlestar Galactica" each picked up three awards; "Galactica" won for best syndicated/cable TV series.
THE RELATED READS:
| June 25, 2009; 7:00 AM ET
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