Tag Archives: not funny

Haha that’s so funny

Whenever I settle in to write something down, I’m usually aiming for funny. But how do you turn on funny? I have no idea. Spoiler alert: this probably isn’t going to be funny at all. I know from experience that, if you really, really try to be funny, if you truly want it, it’s never going to happen. Even worse, it’s going to show. Your lame attempt to make people laugh is going to come off as: look at me everybody, I’m trying really hard to be funny.

And so it’s like I said, I have no idea how to turn on the funny. I’m not even sure that I’ve ever written anything funny. That sounded terrible. It sounded like a poor invitation for me to get anybody reading this to think to themselves, no, come on Rob, you’re funny, don’t be like that.

But what I mean to say is, I can never tell if what I think is funny will at all translate to funny for a general audience. I’ll have ideas that pop into my head all the time, some of them very funny. I’ll be at work, or at the grocery store, and I’ll start laughing. I’ll take out my iPhone and open up the notepad app, thinking, this is great, this is going to be so funny when I go home and write it out.

And then I’ll sit down at my computer and I’ll look at my notes and nothing makes sense anymore. I mean, I can read what I wrote down, and yeah, I kind of have the memory of what I was going for when it came to me earlier. But where is the funny? It’s not funny anymore. I don’t know what happened, or where it went. That’s unfortunate, but at least it’s straightforward. I had a funny idea that didn’t translate into funny writing and so there’s nothing I can do really.

But sometimes it’s not as obvious. Every once in a while I’ll write something that’s looking pretty funny. I’ll get all giggly as I type the words onto the keyboard. By the time I’m done, maybe my sides hurt, maybe it’s actually cost me something trying to maintain my composure long enough to sit still and make coherent sentences out of whatever’s going on inside my head.

That has to be funny, I’ll think, that was so funny just writing it, there’s no way it’s not going to be funny. And I’ll calm down and I’ll let it sit for a second and, when I come back, something’s happened. It’s the same piece of writing, but the funny is nowhere to be found. It’s as if it never existed in the first place. I panic, I reread it back to myself a couple more times, come on, there had to have been something. I mean, I was laughing, that was a real feeling. If there’s nothing on the screen that’s funny, what was I laughing at before? What was so funny?

And I’ll try to force the funny. Maybe I’ll just go ahead with it, and then I’ll get disappointed when I can tell that nobody else thinks it’s funny. Because I don’t know. I have no idea how any of this stuff is ever going to go over.

And then in some cruel cosmic twist, every once in a while I’ll get serious and try to write something substantial. I’m making a point, I feel like I’m actually using my words to convey some sort of a larger message. And I’ll read it and reread it and eventually I’ll post it on this blog.

And someone will be like, “Haha, Rob, that’s funny.”

Movie Review: The Internship

What happens when you make a photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy? You get something that resembles the original, kind of, but there’s a definite degradation of quality. You look at your end result, say to yourself, well, everything is where it should be, but it just doesn’t look right. That about sums up The Internship, the wacky summer comedy movie starring two of America’s favorite funny actors, Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson.

The Internship

We’ve all seen the trailers, there’s nothing that I could possibly spoil for you, even if I wrote out the entire plot of the movie. It’s derivative comedy at its most basic. It’s two guys that don’t know anything about computers that wind up at Google as interns, competing for a handful of full-time jobs.

Get it? Because they’re old. Right? They’re so old. That’s the joke. They keep telling us over and over. “But you guys are so old!” And so Vince Vaughn has a flip phone. And they don’t know how to use computers. It’s like, come on, even my grandfather knows how to use a computer. This trope might have been slightly more believable maybe ten years ago, but by now it’s growing ever more unlikely that there exist a couple of forty year olds living in California that are really this inept in modern technology.

The movie actually starts out funny enough. There are a couple of ridiculous back-and-forths that evoke those old feelings of seeing these two guys in a movie and not automatically assuming that it’s going to suck. But they play their trump card way too early, a signature over-the-top cameo by Will Ferrell, and after that’s come and gone, the movie limps toward the finish line, realizes that it’s way too far away, and decides, whatever, they’ve already paid for the tickets, let’s just call it a day.

These sort-of comedy movies always follow such a formulaic approach to story telling. Characters find themselves in unlikely scenarios, they decide to give it their all, after one or two comical false starts, they rally together, work really hard, and start turning some heads. Of course there’s a bad guy, and of course he winds up getting under the good guys’ skin. There’s self-doubt. Vince Vaughn winds up quitting. But of course he comes back. And of course they rally again just in time.

It was the same in Dodge Ball. It was the same in Old School. It was the same in Wedding Crashers. It’s just over and over and over and over again. Throw in some really cheesy romance. Sprinkle in a scene where everybody goes out to a strip club. I’m sitting there in the theater, not really laughing at all, and I’m just thinking, this is so boring. I can’t believe I’m sitting in this seat being spoon fed the same completely unimaginative garbage summer after summer. Who’s making the money at the end of this gravy train?

To make things even lamer, it’s all a big Google commercial. They talk about Gmail and there’s the Android logo everywhere. Nobody has an iPhone. There’s an almost imperceptible walk-on role by one of the two Google cofounders. When they’re not making funny faces or acting out premature ejaculation jokes, they’re having serious conversations about Google connecting people to people, people to information, making the world a better place.

What else? I’m seriously out of stuff to say about this movie. It was so boring. I can’t believe I actually spent money to go see it. This is something that normally I’d only ever watch if I were on a really long vacation with my entire extended family, and during one of those weird in-between points, when everybody’s asleep or waiting for dinner, and we’re all just kind of hanging around the one TV wherever we’re at, and TBS is playing a “very funny!” movie, and we’re all like, The Internship, huh, we all forgot that this movie ever even came out. And we watch it, it’s terrible, but nobody makes a move to turn it off, and everybody’s a little bit more tired having had to sit through such unfunny two hours of their life.

Man, I’m so tired. I hate having to so thoroughly bash something. But what a joke. An unfunny joke. There’s nothing else to say. I’m really sad and tired now.