Tuesday, September 8, 2009

It's funny...if you find national disgrace funny

Here it is. The best joke in Canada:

A man says to a friend, "My wife is on a three-week diet." "Oh, yeah? How much has she lost so far?""Two weeks."

Are you serious? That is the best joke in Canada? Well, according to Reader's Digest and it's Funniest Jokes in the World Contest...it certainly is. And, get this: They are proud to announce it as such.

They should be ashamed of themselves.

LOL, it is not. In fact, it's not even an L. I read the joke, and I use the term very lightly, twice. That's right. Twice. I needed to make sure that I had read it properly. Sadly...I had, and it was less than funny the first time and, amazingly, less funny then "less than funny", the second time.

Now, I can't blame the person who submitted the entry, because not everyone has a good sense of humour. But, I do put some blame on the friends and family who joyfully encouraged them to send it. "Hey, Clem! Submit that joke you told at Aunt Winnie's Roast. Ha Ha, 'Two weeks'...That's a riot!"

It should start a riot. No one should stand idly by and let this be proclaimed as the new standard by which Canada's humour is measured. This is no way to represent a country that has produced the likes of Myers, Carrey, Thomas, Butt, Akroyd, Hartman, Neilsen, Foley, Levy, Mandel, Short, Walsh and Candy. Sure, we gave the world Mike Bullard, but he's our mulligan.

There were, apparently, thousands of submissions. THOUSANDS! That's right. Thousands of Canadians, from all over this great land, submitted their favourite jokes, which the website, gleefully, refers to as "gags". And believe me, if this IS the best of the lot, then the term "gag" is very appropriate...as in, "Gag me with a spoon!" (an 80's reference worth resurrecting).

However, I refuse to believe that this is the best. Even if there were thousands of HORRIBLE jokes pouring in, certainly there was, at least, one...or two...that were better than this. My goodness, any variation of "An Irish man, Rabbi and a lawyer walk into a bar..." would clearly rank higher. This joke, despite being an anomaly, shockingly found itself on the podium and someone's head must roll for this obvious travesty. But, if not Clem or his friends, then who?

I suggest that it be the Captain of the S.S. Reader's Digest. He or she must be asked to walk the plank, for nothing less than shaming our country. For it was that person, who appointed the judges, who let this entry even get to a place of contention. RD described the process this way:

"Our editorial team—a funny bunch themselves—weeded through the thousands of gags you sent in and chose what they felt were the 10 best."

This joke made the Top 10, not by mistake but, by a selection process. A judging panel actually went through and hand-picked it as a worthy finalist. Who are these people!? This self-proclaimed "funny bunch" either, aren't that funny of a bunch, or they were put in power, by jealous, humourless countries, to sabotage our place as a Class A comedic nation.

Now, as much as I like the conspiracy story line...there is a small hole in the theory. That's because, after selecting the Top ten it was then opened to the "public" for a vote. The ultimate decision was left in the hands of the people. The Canadian people!

However, Canadians or not, that was a BIG mistake. Everyone knows you don't let the public vote for things like this. Look, this is about representing our nation. This is about showcasing the comicality (yes, it's a word) of Canada! This is about putting our sense of humour on a pedestal for all the world to see. This isn't like picking a Prime Minister. This is important!

If you're going to create a contest with such a broad scope of significance, then you don't let your "funny bunch" editors pick and you don't let the public, en masse, have unrestrained freedom to affect the outcome. You gather people who know what they're doing. There is simply too much at stake, like, oh I don't know, receiving international ridicule, maybe.

Because, it gets worse. Apparently, RD has done other joke contests across the globe and now our #1 joke is going head to head with other countries' #1 jokes. I've read our competition and, despite the many incredibly lame entries, Canada is about to get it's funny bone handed to it on a platter! It will not be pretty. We are going to be beaten by punch lines like, "You can keep the duck". How humiliating!

I thought about arranging a capable voting block to try and set things straight, but I decided against it. First of all, I might need them for my family video contest and secondly, I actually think it'd be best to have Canada just lose this one and put it behind us. After all, I'm not sure ANYONE really wins by having our present entry proclaimed as Funniest Joke in the World!

Pardon me, I just experienced a gag reflex.

Have a good one,

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