Before I begin, I’d like to point out that I am aware that I will come across as completely irrational by the end of this article. I have the full self awareness to understand that these are the ramblings of a mad man. So, with that in mind;
Her: Name your favorite literary vampire.
Me: The one from Sesame Street.
Her: He doesn’t count.
Me: I can assure you that he does.
AHAHAHAHAHAHA GET IT!? Do you get the funny joke? Because he’s The Count and he counts and also he is a valid answer? Oh man. That’s funny. Or at least it was the first time I saw it, when it was written by a talented man named Andy Ryan.
At its core, this is a great joke. It’s smart, it’s silly, it involves The Count, it’s everything I like in a gag. Surprisingly over the past couple of days I’ve ended up talking to Andy to warn him about this article, and that my frustration isn’t with his joke. What is driving me nuts is the amount of times people have posted it as their own gag, and it continuously gets thousands of retweets. It isn’t a one joke occurrence either, this happens regularly with other jokes as we pointed out on Twitter the other day.
I decided to type the joke into Twitter’s search engine (which, Elon, needs fixing bro). And I was met with well over two hundred examples of people tweeting the it, all as if it was their own thing. One girl claimed she said it on a date. One guy claimed he had that conversation with his mother when he was a kid. Another guy claimed it was a quote from a TV show he’d watched a few years ago. Some people just completely butchered the joke and rewrote it, losing any sort of setup-punchline in the process. (Props to the ONE account I found that actually credited Andy Ryan)
So, why does this joke infuriate me so much? If I can acknowledge that it’s actually not a bad joke, why do I let it get under my skin? I think it’s because people keep acting like they wrote it, and the damn Twitter algorithm keeps thinking I need to see it! (Elon, dude, fix it!). It seems to be the slam dunk of Twitter jokes, guaranteed a laugh and a retweet, without any of the work done.
I decided to test my theory, and I tweeted it from the ToughPigs Twitter account a few days ago, with the intention of seeing just how many likes and retweets it got in 24 hours. Because I couldn’t live with myself if I’d just done what everyone else did, I credited Andy Ryan in the next tweet, testing to see how many people liked that tweet as well. Within just a few minutes the joke had over a dozen retweets, and at time of writing (close to 48 hours later) it had 258 retweets and 2,163 likes. Pair that with the equally visible credit which had peaked at 25 likes and one comment from someone saying it was easier to retweet than copy and paste the original tweet. And to her I say thank you for proving my point. Even Andy Ryan, who was tagged, didn’t see the tweet that credited him. It’s a flaw in the system, and because I can’t bring myself to be such a hypocrite, I have deleted the joke and retweeted Andy’s original.
Unlike Muppet cupcakes or that damn Big Bird Thanksgiving cartoon (prepare yourself for the barrage of that thing tomorrow), I can’t seem to bring myself to politely smile and feign interest when someone shows me this joke. Maybe it’s because unlike the cartoon I’m expected to laugh every time the joke is made. Maybe it’s because it’s all I see on my Twitter feed. Maybe your nice aunt hasn’t seen it before so it’s my issue and no-one else cares. I just need you all to stop tweeting it like it’s your own joke, and not a good gag by Andy Ryan. Also, while you’re at it, he wrote the hilarious password/stroganoff joke that everyone keeps tweeting too. End of rant.
Boy, I really sounded unhinged, didn’t I?
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By Jarrod Fairclough – Jarrod@ToughPigs.com