24 Matching Annotations
  1. Sep 2021
  2. Jul 2021
    1. Phyllis Diller’s groundbreaking career as a stand-up comic spanned almost 50 years. Throughout her career she used a gag file to organize her material. Diller’s gag file consists of a steel cabinet with 48 drawers (along with a 3 drawer expansion) containing over 52,000 3-by-5 inch index cards, each holding a typewritten joke or gag. These index cards are organized alphabetically by subject, ranging from accessories to world affairs and covering almost everything in between.

      Comedian Phyllis Diller collected over 52,000 3x5" index cards in a gag file. Each card contained a typewritten joke or gag of some sort which she organized alphabetically by subject.

    1. "I always get my jokes down on pieces of paper right away—backs of matchbos, whatever. No one is allowed to throw a piece of paper out in my house, because on the back of a laundry list there may be a joke."

      For Joan Rivers scraps of paper, receipts, laundry lists, and matchbooks served the function as waste books. She would eventually transfer them to 3x5" index cards using a typewriter.

    2. For the past thirty-some years, Rivers has been filing each and every joke she's written (at this point she's amassed over a million) in a library-esque card cabinet housed in her Upper East Side apartment. The jokes—most typed up on three-by-five cards—are meticulously arranged by subject, which Rivers admits is the hardest part of organizing: "Does this one go under ugly or does it go under dumb?"

      Joan Rivers kept a Zettelkasten of jokes in her Upper East Side apartment. They spanned over thirty years and over a million items, most of them typed on 3"x5" index cards and carefully arranged by subject.

    1. The Joke File has been scanned into an internal database that is accessible on-site in both the Recorded Sound and Moving Image Research Centers.

      Bob Hope's commonplace book of jokes has been scanned digitally and available at the United States Library of Congress.

    1. To comedians, “material”—their jokes and stories—has always been precious, worthy of protecting and preserving.

      Compare and contrast the materials of comedians versus magicians.

      Collection was an important piece. Protection/secrecy was relatively similar, though with a joke, the item was as ephemeral as a magic act which would have been confounding on it's nature.

      Link to Ricky Jay's collection of magic acts and pieces. Other comedy collections include George Carlin, Joan Rivers, etc.

    2. https://www.loc.gov/exhibits/bobhope/images/vcjokes1.jpg Annie Leibovitz. Bob Hope in his joke vault. Photograph, July 17, 1995. Courtesy of Annie Leibovitz

      Bob Hope amidst his commonplace book of jokes.

    3. For example, for radio programs Hope engaged a number of writers, divided the writers into teams, and required each team to complete an entire script. He then selected the best jokes from each script and pieced them together to create the final script.
    1. George Carlin’s file folders These filing systems are all analog examples, but one of my heroes, George Carlin, embraced an analog/digital system: I take a lot of single-page notes, little memo pad notes. I make a lot of notes on those things. For when I’m not near a little memo pad, I have a digital recorder… When I harvest the pieces of paper and I go through them and sort them, the one lucky thing I got in my genetic package was a great methodical left brain. I have a very orderly mind that wants to classify and index things and label them and store them according to that. I had a boss in radio when I was 18 years old, and my boss told me to write down every idea I get even if I can’t use it at the time, and then file it away and have a system for filing it away—because a good idea is of no use to you unless you can find it….[In my filing system there are files for all kinds of subjects] but then there are subfiles. Everything has subfiles….It’s like nested boxes, like the Russian dolls—it’s just folders within folders within folders. But I know how to navigate it very well, and I’m a Macintosh a guy and so Spotlight helps me a lot. I just get on Spotlight and say, let’s see, if I say “asshole” and “minister,” I then can find what I want find. “A lot of this,” Carlin said, “is discovery. A lot of things are lying around waiting to be discovered and that’s our job is to just notice them and bring them to life.”

      George Carlin's file system for jokes and ideas.

    2. In the documentary Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, the comedian showed off a similar “joke bank”: For the past thirty-some years, Rivers has been filing each and every joke she’s written (at this point she’s amassed over a million) in a library-esque card cabinet housed in her Upper East Side apartment. The jokes—most typed up on three-by-five cards—are meticulously arranged by subject, which Rivers admits is the hardest part of organizing: “Does this one go under ugly or does it go under dumb?”

      another example of a joke Zettelkasten!

  3. May 2021
    1. Origin of Lindy's Law or the Lindy effect.

      A discussion of the life expectancy of a comic.

      What they miss here is that it's easier to produce if you're also consuming a lot of material, particularly in a group. The output is proportion to the input, and at the time there was only so much input that one could take in in a much sparser media market in comparison to 2021.

  4. Mar 2021
    1. from SenorG’s comment that began with the caveat “Allow me to push back a bit here,” and which inspired four replies from three other annotators, to actualham’s observation

      There's something discordant here in a scholarly article about having academic participants with names like SenorG and actualham. It's almost like a 70's farce starring truckers with bizarre CB handles. It's even more bizarre since I know some of the researchers behind these screennames.

      Is the pseudonymous nature of some of these handles useful in hiding the identity of the participants and thereby forcing one to grapple only with their ideas and not the personas, histories and contexts behind them?

  5. Jan 2021
  6. Dec 2019
  7. Mar 2018
  8. engl22049.commons.gc.cuny.edu engl22049.commons.gc.cuny.edu
    1. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, andsome have greatness thrust upon ’em.

      Malvolio's self righteous personality is shown through this phrase. He mentions that "some have greatness thrust upon 'em," referring to his view that he is destined for nobility and eminence. He speaks of himself in third person displaying the egoism that he contains. After Malvolio finds the letter that he believes was written by Olivia, he automatically assumes that it is from Olivia and that its true that Olivia wants him to declare his love. This displays the theme of how desire can make someone a fool. Malvolio's egoism as well as his desire for Olivia makes him do all of the foolish things that the letter told him to.

  9. Oct 2017
    1. various ways internet comedy and music keep alive the prospects of change in her home country, Egypt, encouraging young people to remain skeptical of entrenched power and ready to mobilize for revolutionary change when the moment is right.

      Comedy/sarcasm/satire is often viewed as a means of avoiding real issues, but I agree that these can be key societal preparatory tools when revolutionary change is needed. Looking forward to Yomna's work!

  10. Apr 2017
    1. As humanity’s greatest incubator of comedic gems, the internet has birthed a thousand kittens and inner-monologuing dogs.

      Too true!

  11. Mar 2017
    1. Man kann es aber auch schade finden, dass in "PussyTerror TV" der rote Haltungsfaden fehlt.

      Sobald also Kebekus über Sachen herzieht, die Rützel nicht gut findet, fehlt Kebekus der rote Faden. Was erdreistet sich diese Kebekus eigentlich, ihren eigenen Humor zu haben, anstatt komplett auf Mainstream-Propaganda-Linie einzuschwenken? Frau Rützel, ihr Verständnis von Meinungsvielfalt ist wirklich bemerkenswert!

  12. Feb 2017
    1. We speak of a "snake": this designa-tion touches only upon its ability to twist itself and could therefore also fit a worm.1 What, arbi-trary differentiations!
  13. Sep 2016
    1. Shakespeare followed in 1594, in The Comedy of Errors: “There’s not a man I meet but doth salute me/As if I were their well-acquainted friend”

      Shakespeare uses they for singular in comedy of errors.