Last week, The Onion AV Club introduced a new weekly feature called Say Something Funny, “in which comedians submit an e-mailed response to the query, ‘Make people laugh. You have 250 words.'” First unfunny victim, Mike Birbiglia.
Seems awfully similar to early-’90s hate-zine ANSWER Me!‘s Make Me Laugh, You Impish Bastard!, in which Jim and Debbie Goad (R.I.P.), the Ronald and Nancy Reagan of misanthropy called up clowns listed in the phonebook and said “I’ve heard you’re a clown. Make me laugh.” Here’s a quick (offline) sample:
Xuxa the Clown: I am a clown. That is true. Make you laugh immediately?… Wow! I’m sorry, I don’t know if I can do that. You caught me off guard. But I really know how to make the kids laugh a lot. I do a magic show, face-painting, animal balloons, and games. And I am pretty silly.
Shudder. No wonder kids hate clowns.