Show #028: …And She Solves Mysteries

Artificial LegThe twenty-eigthth episode of our podcast, Paul and Storm Talk About Some Stuff for Five to Ten Minutes (On Average), is now online.

This week’s episode: The several-headed hydra that is our fanbase; the recounting of our interesting trip to Iowa, including missing digits and/or limbs and/or social filters; a discussion of funny in general; the misattribution of a bit; consideration as to what animal would be worth $20k; the recommendation of some things; the admission of things we can’t get into; and knowing when the joke is done.

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION ALERT: Let’s talk about comedy. Are insensitive jokes by necessity not funny? Should some topics just plain old not be approached? Also, what animal would you pay $20,000 for (if any)?

Featured post-show song: “Victoria” – Jukebox the Ghost

Show #028: …And She Solves Mysteries (Some content NSFW)

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36 Comments

  1. Posted February 17, 2009 at 3:49 am | Permalink

    Are Paul and Storm fans really the right people to answer a question about appropriate humor? Really? ;-) In all seriousness, read this great piece on this very topic in The Huffington Post by Amanda Palmer of The Dresden Dolls.

  2. Posted February 17, 2009 at 4:30 am | Permalink

    And now that I’ve actually listened to the podcast…

    1) I stand by my statement above. I really enjoy black comedy and inappropriate humor. Sometimes this gets me into trouble. So be it.

    2) I think I might be willing to shell out $20k for a monkey butler.

    3) I’m with you guys on Dr. Who. Ditto Bob Dylan. And soccer. And pretty much everything else you said.

    4) You’ve mentioned Jukebox the Ghost before. Thanks for finally playing some. They sound fairly awesome! (Like I have time to be a fan of something else.)

  3. Joe B
    Posted February 17, 2009 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    Here’s something that is a blatant indicator of my geekiness. I’d consider spending $20k for a bin full of tribbles.

  4. Tony Hays
    Posted February 17, 2009 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Twenty-eigthth? Last week’s was twenty-seventhth.

    Someone is ‘th’ happy.

  5. Cybermudgeon
    Posted February 17, 2009 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    I have what I consider a “catholic” (with a little “c”) sense of humor…in that, almost everything makes me laugh; sensitive or not. Obviously there are some things that might make me initially cringe, but I usually get over myself & find the funny.

    I too thought about the cow from “Restaurant”, but have to go for a cross between a cat and a spider/octopus…unless I could finally obtain a dragon (Eastern or Western, makes no difference).

    I am a huge footy (soccer) fan, and do follow the MLS (KC Wizards), but don’t live & die with them as I do with the European leagues.

    As for something I should like (being a geek) but don’t…has to be Buffy. I’ve tried and tried, but I can’t get into that show. I’ll leave it others and stick with original Star Trek & Dr. Who (mainly the Tom Baker-era).

  6. Rich
    Posted February 17, 2009 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    I’d pay $20,000 for a regenerating cow. Then I could cut off a nice juicy steak (or several) every day. A regenerating pig would be good, too, for similar (but bacony) reasons.

  7. Stacey
    Posted February 17, 2009 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Storm, are you talking classic Doctor Who, or the new series that you can’t get into? Because I find them pretty different.

  8. Paul and Storm
    Posted February 17, 2009 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Hi Stacey –

    You’re completely right–the new and old series are entirely different beasts. And I can’t get into them in entirely different ways ;)

    Wish I could and will probably try again at some point,

    “S”

  9. Joe B
    Posted February 17, 2009 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    I like Rich’s idea of a regenerating cow. Never buy beef again… but then then there’s the ever ending supply of cow pies. Hmmmm. Decisions, decisions.

  10. Posted February 17, 2009 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    There are many types of humor. Offensive humor is one of those types. In fact, offense, discomfort and irony are the bases of much humor. Thus it’s not possible to say that because something may be offensive that it is inherently unfunny. To wit: Lisa Lampanelli, Redd Foxx, Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, Gilbert Gottfried and Doug Stanhope. All are hilarious and often extremely offensive. Conversely, Adam Sandler is offensive a lot and rarely funny. But there are exceptions to every rule.

  11. Posted February 17, 2009 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Side “kick”? Oh, I get it. AHAHAHA AHAHA AHAHA. Wow that’s awkward.

    I have made fun of quite a lot, and I frankly find it all funny. Insensitive? Sure. But funny, absolutely. So I agree with Storm.

    Well sure, you wanted panties, you got panties, you wanted jaffa cakes, you got jaffa cakes. You wanted people to lack certain body parts, you… got that… YOU ARE GAWDS.

    I’ve got to be honest with you, the first time I saw you, (at the FIRST Paul and Storm/Coulton show in Cleveland… that’s right, I was at the first show too – old school) I had never heard of you, and had barely heard of Coulton, I think I’d heard like 3 songs of his. The Captain’s Wife’s Lament kind of rubbed me the wrong way (pun OH SO not intended) for some reason. I guess you have to become comfortable with the people, and know that it’s their style and they are doing it as humor.

    Have you guys seen that two-part South Park episode “Cartoon Wars” – “either everything is OK to make fun of or nothing is.”

    That dismount and landing smooth banter sounds… like it can be taken out of context for hilarity to ensue.

    I find myself zoning out during this whole poker discussion.. I don’t want to say “boring” but I do want to say… 11 PM? I zoned back when you said “you’d probably need to alter their heads” though.

    (I zoned out here as well… boring?)

    Yeah Mystery Science Theater. I never got into it. I also never saw Shrek 2 or 3 or any of those Pirates of the Caribbean movies with the cool sword fighting.

    I love Radiohead. Dylan is cool, but I don’t really like his voice. His son Jakob Dylan on the other hand, in the Wallflowers, is a lot better, I think vocally (see for example “One Headlight”. Vocally I like his voice a lot better than Bob’s. I guess my music tastes are more blues-rock-ish than straight like Garfunkel or Dylan (garrrfunkel, for the pirates keeping track) and more like dancehall and reggaeish than like…. I don’t know, Collie Buddz or Sean Paul (both of whom I consider posers, btw) and more Talib Kwali than posers in Nas and Akon. Other artists I like include Rage Against the Machine and like… Lenny Kravitz. As far as indy artists go, it’s all about the likes of Trevor Hall and Keaton Simons FTW. Funny story about Simons, I discovered him after he followed <A HREF=http://twitter.com/romanv me on Twitter. Sweet! K’Naan has a sort of intrigue quality to him live. I dig the vibe a lot.

  12. Posted February 17, 2009 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    me on Twitter*.

  13. Posted February 17, 2009 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    (Also, if you’re listening to Trevor Hall from the MySpace link, I would recommend clicking on where it says “Featured Playlist” and go to the album “The Rascals Have Returned” – The Lime Tree, FTW, especially live.

  14. Posted February 17, 2009 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    one – There is a very big difference between offensive humor/dark humor and offensive statements that some people find funny. For me, so-called offensive humor serves one of two purposes: It either helps to convert something terrible into something absurd and thus render it survivable or it acts as means of addressing difficult issues in a palatable way. For example the discussion of race in America since the early 70’s has seen many of its most significant statements made on the stand-up or sketch comedy stage.

    What I find really obnoxious is that most of the people who make noise that certain subjects are off limits or taboo have zero actual experience with that topic. They patronizingly argue on behalf of those whom they fear offending without ever attempting to empathize or enter into their experience. I’ve been through some very difficult personal experiences in my life and when I share them with people I tend to do so in a humorous way. This allows them to understand that part of me in a way that’s more comfortable for them and helps put the troubling events into an objective perspective. If I couldn’t joke about it, I couldn’t talk about it at all.

    On to lighter fare.

    two – I’d pay $20K for the following:
    a half-pony, half-monkey monster – for the kids
    a ravenous bugblatter beast – for home security
    a cross of a monkey and a lapdog that will produce a monkey that likes to chill and watch TV but can be trained to fling poo on command – for the wife (big monkey fan)
    Battlecat sans Cringer – for the win

    three – I have never been able to get into the Beatles. I understand their effect on the history of music, I get why other people like them, I just cannot imagine ever listening to a whole album start to finish. Same goes for Elvis, though with less respect for his musical abilities since he was, as far as I know, always singing songs other people wrote. Lastly as a geek and gamer I find it odd that strategy games like Risk, Warhammer 40K, Axis and Allies have no interest to me whatsoever.

  15. Posted February 17, 2009 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    Sorry that I keep posting, I remembered, a group that I’ve been digging lately is Rodrigo y Gabriela – they do some cool guitar picky stuff. Check out: Tamacun for example.

    And obligatory Pink Floyd, The Eagles, etc. love.

    Also Paul and Storm, those guys are HILARIOUS. Speaking of which, one thing I didn’t get into and I wish I had was Da Vinci’s Notebook. Le sigh.

    Normally it happens with TV shows. I started watching House for example just recently, and they’re in like what, season 8 now already.

    (Coulton too, he’s neat). I hate nerdcore.

    Ok that’s all, I think.

  16. Posted February 18, 2009 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Oh yeah, and Monty Python. Never got into that.

  17. Fnord
    Posted February 18, 2009 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    If I could get any animal/creature for $20k, I think I’d want Gleep and Glorp from the Herculoids. Maybe a The Cheat.

    As far as things I can’t enjoy, I can’t listen to Nerdcore. I like MC Frontalot’s lyrics, but can’t listen to him for even a minute.

    As far as something to suggest, find a copy of the film “The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra”. If you like cheesy bad movies, then you will love this send up of them.

  18. todd reed
    Posted February 18, 2009 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    had a great time with you guys in burlington! got a lil to drunk to recall it much the next day! but im still goin to kill my wifes best friend for pointin to me to go on stage! she shall pay! cant wait till you guys are back this way!
    take care
    todd

  19. Posted February 18, 2009 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    I’m of the head of the hydra that was sprouted when you were on the Snydecast, Paul. You will talk about this the next time you talk about things for five to ten minutes as reparation for forgetting.

  20. Tim Sanders
    Posted February 18, 2009 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    Wait, did I miss something? (Mild spoiler alert I suppose.) The combine hand was the third most memorable thing, the lady with the leg was the second most memorable and the the first most memorable thing was … ? (Or was Crystal Titwaggler on that list somewhere?)

    I demand a recount!

  21. Robin
    Posted February 18, 2009 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    It may sound weird, but I find comedy rooted in social commentary more acceptable and amusing than things like low-brow dick and fart jokes (although those have their place, too). I think the only kinds of comedy I strongly dislike is the angry repetition of negative stereotypes (“All women are bitches and hos”, for example), and what I refer to as the comedy of uncomfortableness — stuff like The Office and Arrested Development, which I know many people enjoy.

    I don’t know if I could justify paying 20 grand for a pet, but maybe to save one of the last members of a dying species. Like, the last plesiosaur or something. But I don’t know where I’d keep one of those…

    The Milliways Cow! Played by the illustrious Peter Davison of Doctor Who fame. :D I grew up on Who, so I love it, but I can see why it might be hard to get into it as an adult.

    I like Dylan, but only under certain circumstances. Partly because his music has emotional connections to an ex-boyfriend who was a big fan, and partly because I can’t understand half of what he’s singing. I’m totally with you on Radiohead, too.

    American professional soccer has nothing on European footie. No comparison at all. I was in England during the Euro Cup five years ago and had a grand old time watching a semifinal game in a hotel lounge with a busload of elderly tourists. A little old lady actually cussed out the TV. It was great. This country has taken an exciting sport and made it slow and dull.

    Sometimes I wish I could enjoy Literature more than I do, but for the most part I just like books with a good story, preferably of the sci-fi or fantasy persuasion. Although a friend got me to read all of Jane Austen over the past year for book club, and I’ve finally discovered that I like those, so maybe there’s still some hope.

  22. Adam h.
    Posted February 19, 2009 at 1:41 am | Permalink

    Wow, Jukebox the Ghost is great…should’ve taken you up on the recommendation a few weeks ago.

    For 20k, that animal better be magical or mythical….preferably one that can reproduce asexually and thus recoup your investment. An intelligent dragon with the voice of one Sir Sean Connery perhaps?

  23. Alex R. Cronk-Young
    Posted February 19, 2009 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    1. Insensitive humor is the funniest. My friend and I always make racist or homophobic jokes, but we are the complete opposite of those things. We live in a town filled with white trash morons, and making those types of jokes has always been more mocking of the racists instead of the race. When we make jokes, we go completely over the top with it, mocking the extreme stupidity with which people think. It’s laughing about it that diffuses it. If everybody made jokes about the absurdity of racism and homophobia, then it would feel much less accepted for people to actually be racist or homophobic.

    2. I would definetly pay $20,000 for a Moogle, from the Final Fantasy video game series, or a babelfish, from The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, because it’d be awesome to understand all languages.

    3. I’m totally with Paul on Radiohead and poetry. Also I would add a lot of Adult Swim shows. I enjoy Aquateen a lot but I’ve tried to watch lots of other shows like Sealab and I just can’t get into them.

  24. Posted February 19, 2009 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    More Asian humor please.

  25. Ann
    Posted February 19, 2009 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    I’ve always been a big fan of darker humor. Hell, when my Gram passed away my uncles hung up a pin up she owned at the funeral home that said “I survived damn near everything”.

    Then again, this is all coming from a girl that has a t-shirt saying “Epilepsy: Seize the Day” with sparkles on it. This shirt is instantly make 342% funnier to my friends and I by the simple fact that I actually *do* have epilepsy. You know what? If you can’t laugh at yourself, what’s the point??

  26. Marty
    Posted February 20, 2009 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    I would pay $20,000 for the pig in the Garden of Eden from that one episode of The Simpsons. It talked with an English accent, and you could pull (presumably cooked) bacon right off its stomach whenever you wanted.

  27. Stacey
    Posted February 20, 2009 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Oh, by the way, the bacon obsession is apparently so last year:

    http://www.thebigmoney.com/articles/video/2009/02/20/rip-baconmania

  28. Chris
    Posted February 20, 2009 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    Did anyone here some echo? Anyway I would pay that much for a time travelling horse.

  29. Posted February 21, 2009 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    As far as humor is concerned, I don’t think anything is off limits. But, I have a dark sense of humor and it’s pretty hard to offend me with jokes, so I may not be the best judge.

    The more I think about it, the more I think that I would also pay $20K for an exploding pudding sheep. I’d bring it to my classroom and toss it at students if they fell asleep or were particularly obnoxious. I’m sure my union would back up this practice. ;) The regenerating cow and babelfish would also be nice, though.

    One thing that I personally can’t get into is The Matrix. When the movies came out, I had friends who thought they were the greatest things evah. I was mostly just bored. I also can’t understand why anyone would ever voluntarily read anything by James Joyce. Pure torture. And I wholeheartedly agree about Bob Dylan.

    @Ann: Your shirt actually made me laugh out loud. Love it.

  30. Wesley
    Posted February 22, 2009 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    If I could buy an animal for 20k I would but a cat that when i throw it at people it pukes on them and then screams and has a seizure.

  31. Rich
    Posted February 22, 2009 at 12:49 am | Permalink

    @Wesley: You can get a cat like that for a lot less than $20K. Just visit your local humane shelter and pharmacy.

  32. Ann
    Posted February 22, 2009 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    @Erin: glad it made you smile! :-D

    @Wesley: I think I can help you with that: simply wire me the $20k and don’t shake the box when it arrives…

  33. Wesley
    Posted February 22, 2009 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    @Rich: good idea ill get right on that lol

    @Ann: if there is a cat like that that exists that would be really awkward after you threw it at people. But luckily when the cat starts seizing its a good distraction and gives you time to book it.

  34. Posted February 25, 2009 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    I am certainly not easily offended by most types of humor, unless it’s making fun of ME. ;)
    But there is a difference between making fun of someone or a group for something they choose to be, and something they were born with.

    Sometimes, I do get worried about other people’s perceptions. I know, for example, that Weird Al has plenty of Jewish friends, but one of my Jewish friends was offended by his song “Pretty Fly For A Rabbi.” I can see why, the song is filled with stereotypes and cliches. But Al went for the laugh anyway, hoping everyone would assume he didn’t really think those things.

    An example that will hit closer to home – one of my best friends is Mexican, and she was at the show Saturday night. I wasn’t sitting with her and didn’t see her reaction to “Count to Ten,” but afterwards I believe you joked, “nobody likes Mexicans, right?” Or something like that. Ouch. Now, I come from the assumption that it’s all in good fun and you don’t mean it, but that could still be hurtful to my friend, and then I worry she’ll think less of me for being a fan of yours! I haven’t asked her about it, but I know she enjoyed the show quite a bit, so it must have not been too bad.

    I don’t know if this is the right place to have aired this, but I guess you asked…?

    Anyway, I’d pay $20,000 for a dog I could communicate with a bit more than normal and would live as long as I do. I hates it when they die. And it would be so awesome to be able to have a little more connection – to know they know you love them, and vice-versa. And it would be cuddly and soft.

  35. Princess
    Posted March 2, 2009 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    Insensitive humor is hard. I think whoever engages in “insensitive humor” walks a fine line because it is so easy to cross the line into being more offensive than humorous and consequently, it’s hard to really do it well. Nobody likes to be “made fun of.” Typically I think Paul and Storm do a pretty good job in this regard. I thought the hand in the columbine was kind of funny but if this actually happened to me, I probably wouldn’t. In this respect, I think it’s great that the woman with the leg called P&S out on this part of the song circumstantially crossing that line. Maybe best not to do it in the Midwest, eh?

  36. Lucas Wilson
    Posted October 18, 2010 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    I would pay 20,000 dollars for a Squirrelador, a mix of a Squirrel and a labrador, so it can fetch the morning paper, climb on power wires and water ski.

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