February 20th, 2008

krazy koati

Just be a real Punchinello, fellow

I suspect that the History Channel's History of the Joke was a foredoomed effort for me in part because of the choice of Lewis Black as host. I suppose Lewis Black is a comedian more than he is anything else, but he has never really struck me as a guy who tells jokes or funny stories. He seems to more start with some topic, start going back and forth in shorter and more frantic sentences, until finally he explodes, leaving behind a little blackened mark on the floor, like in a Tex Avery cartoon. I don't know who among modern comedians I'd ask to be centerpiece for a two-hour documentary about ``the joke'', but I think his style clashes with mine enough that I was guaranteed to watch more than anything else to see what I would disagree with.

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So there it is. I suppose they were successful in making the show they wanted, but it wasn't the show I was hoping they would make.

Trivia: After John Glenn's Mercury spacecraft reached orbit, the Goddard Space Flight Center computers estimated that his trajectory should be good for almost 100 orbits. Source: This New Ocean: A History of Project Mercury, Loyd S Swenson Jr, James M Grimwood, Charles C Alexander, NASA SP-4201.

Currently Reading: A History of Pi, Petr Beckmann. Man, he's angry with all kinds of people, maybe more upset with circle-squarers than with hippies, if you can imagine. (The book was originally published in the early 70s.)