A Handy-Dandy List of Jokes That Aren’t Jokes

This post by Nickelodeon TV producing guru Dan Schneider (who also played Dennis on Head of the Class, which means that all his statements carry a certain authority) lists “‘comedy’ phrases that it’s time to stop saying,” lines that are inserted into comedy scripts, and stay there, when the writers don’t have an actual joke to put in there. I can’t really argue with any of these.

(1)  “Not so much” and its even more tired cousin, “Eh, not so much.”

(2)  “Too much information!”

(3)  “And by [that] I mean [this].”

(4)  “I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.”

(5)  “Good times.”

(6)  “Did I say that out loud?”

(7)  “Thanks for sharing.”

(8)  “Hey, stop eating my dinner, Eatie McEaterson!” (or any similar phrase that ends in Blank-y McBlankerson).

(9)  “Really?!”

(10)  “It’s like a party in my mouth.”

(11)  “Hey, don’t go there!”

(12)  “Burn!”

(13)  “Alrighty then.”

(14)  “Ya THINK?”

I do find it interesting that “That went well” is not on the list. And come to think of it I haven’t heard it much in recent years, or its antecedent, “he took it better than I expected.” So it is possible for a non-joke to get retired if people decide to stop using it. Meaning that there is hope, fleeting though it may be, that no one will ever put “good times” into a script again (unless it’s done in a semi-ironic way like on NewsRadio).

One non-joke that is still used, didn’t make the list and should never be used again: “I said good day, sir!” It was funny when it originated in the movie Tootsie. It was funny the first few times some Tootsie-loving sitcom writers put it into their scripts. But now Tootsie is almost 30 years old, nobody remembers where the line comes from anyway. Let it go.

Oh, and “let it go” is also a line that should never be used again.

And now, another message from Dan Schneider:

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