Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Comic 777: Comic Strips

Bore Strips, am i write
[Alt: I'm sure they're a harmful tool of the cosmetics-industrial complex and all, but my goodness do those strips ever work to pull gunk out of your pores. I was shocked, disgusted, and vaguely fascinated by the result.]

I like it. It's very quick - you could easily imagine this joke getting dragged out way to long, but it isn't. It's visual, and the lack of dialog emphasizes the visual aspect of it. There are comics where you need words, and fewer words are a bad thing, but in this case, it helps. Words would only distract.

The image is of course unrealistic but I'm seeing it as a cartoon, not as something real. It's true that the art could be better - perhaps make it a little more obvious in panel 4 that he's actually pulling on the thing, and in panel 5 the head could be more deflated and the skull more clearly a skull.

Yes, the acne theme is tailor made for high schoolers (like everything else on this website nowadays) but I'm willing to overlook it because it's weird enough and I can't think of any other way for the joke to work. Well, I guess he could have been pickin' his nose -

Anyway, the point is, this joke is and should be read fast. A beat or two of anticipation, then a sudden visual punchline, then move on to the next webcomic in your RSS feed. The end.

I realize that some of you want to read genuine anger about this comic, and since I have not produced any, I leave you with the words of mysterious nomad Jake, who angrily wrote to me with the following thoughts about the comic:

There are so many things to say about this complete disgrace of a comic, I'm just gonna get down to it and go frame by frame.

Frame 1: First can I say that is the worst excuse for a box of pore strips ever? Or anything for that matter. What the fuck is that random star in the corner? It must've been drawn by my 11-year-old cousin, what excuse for an adult draws a star like that. But aside from minor details like that, the composition of the frame isn't bad. It's a box. But...it could be better. Maybe we could see the box over the shoulder of the subject, or see him taking the strip out of the box while the box is clearly visible. We could save a whole frame. Take out frame 2 and make it clear he is holding the box in frame 1.

Frame 2: Not much to say here. He's holding the box. Really a pointless frame. Like I said...could have been combined with frame 1 but let's not go over that again. Like I said...not a horribly disgusting issue, so we'll move along.

Frame 3: Can I just take this moment to say that the art of XKCD is horrible? I feel like the joke (well...joke is a...strong word...) would be better executed if you could see facial features. Especially a nose in this case. I get it...stick figures are his thing. But if he can do such artistic backgrounds like he has done in the past...what doth hinder a nose? Or some eyes? Or something! But sticks are his thing...so we'll move on.

Frame 4: This frame is essentially the same as the last one except one arm was lowered. Now I believe this is to indicate he is getting ready to pull on it. But cover up the last frame for a minute. No really, go now. Cover up the last frame with your hand on or near the screen. See
it? Without the last panel it is impossible to tell he's pulling. It just look like he put his arm down. I don't know how he could have made it better, though (besides not doing making a comic at all, amirite?). So I won't scrutinize Randall too hard about it.

Frame 5: *cue what the fuck*. WHAT. THE. FUCK. When I first read this, my first thought was literally "wait what did I miss?" I seriously was dumbfounded. I then realized that he was indicating it's so deep cleaning that it pulls out your skull. Ha. Haha. Wow Randall.

That was sarcasm by the way.

What makes that funny? It's unexpected-ness? (is that even a word?)[yes - Carl] Randall...we have been over this. Random and unexpected does not a joke make. Just because it's unexpected doesn't make it funny. Don't get me wrong, it can. But they are not one and the same.


Was that funny? (yes - Carl) I don't think so. Was it unexpected? Probably. A joke shouldn't just be unexpected, but have a layer of reality to it. Something can be unexpected AND realistic. Novel thought, right?

Sidenote: Anyone else notice this is comic 777? Randall didn't do anything special. I mean, I don't want some cheesy "reflection" shit, but give your retard fans SOMETHING.

If you need any evidence that our own commenter R. is a far funnier man than R. Munroe, look no further than his edit of this comic.

Are we going to get a p=/=np comic in the next week?


  1. Carl, based on your inserted notes into the rant, and the lack of a rant yourself, it would appear that you found this comic funny.


  2. maybe i accidentally ripped my skull out and it changed my personality

  3. I'm glad I'm alone right now because that edited comic elicited from me the dumbest-sounding giggle I've ever made.

  4. i dont get the first panel of the edited comic but i laughed at the rest

  5. Carl, I'm glad you said how pointless it is to criticize the skull coming out of the head. Because that's clearly the entire premise of the comic, and if we're not going to accept that this can happen in a world where it was just shown to happen, then we're hating XKCD just to hate it. And we shouldn't! We should hate it when it's actually bad!

  6. Yeah, I chuckled - nay, grinned - at this comic. Wasn't too bad. And it seems clear to me that he's pulling in the second last frame.

  7. carl:

    if this comic is meant to be read fast, why does it have five panels? that's an extra panel than his "usual" of four.

    honestly this one didn't bother me, but it felt a lot like watching one of Don Hertzfeldt's "this violence is making me uncomfortable" comedies. except those drag it out for a real long time--if they were, say, Robot Chicken-length (or a 5 panel comic) they would neither be memorable nor particularly entertaining.

  8. Title should have been "Poor [Comic] Strips" or something to that effect.

  9. Re: 778
    I liked it. It managed to tell the joke, without blatantly giving away the punchline.

  10. Re 778: I think the concept is kinda hilarious. I actually thought it was funny once I figured out how he wanted me to read panel 1.

    Of course he had to plug-in a game like Agricola [had to look that shit up].

    I give him a 4/5 for this because I was pleasantly surprised. Still doesn't make up for the crap recently, but it's a good start. Come on, Randall! You can do it! We don't believe in you, but I assume that, based upon your first 300 comics, you are capable of entertaining us!

  11. Though it was gut-bustingly hilarious - does anyone recall which comic the first strip of the edited 777 comes from?

  12. *sigh* Maybe I'm somehow becoming LESS judgmental lately, but yeah, I like 778 too. That's like 3 out of the past 5 that I've liked. Admittedly I don't know what Agricola is, but I can still appreciate the joke. That must mean it's well-done?

  13. I even think the alt-text is kinda clever in a lewd way [once I read up the quick rules of Agricola, that is...].

  14. My only issue with 778 is that it's rather confusing. And... well, maybe *too* subtle.

    The implication wasn't apparent to me upon reading it the first time, and even with subsequent readings I was hard-pressed to assemble a cohesive "joke" from what seemed only a humorous set of implicit references.

    To be fair: I'm slow. But I still think this could have been executed better. The dialogue sequence just leaves me scratching my head a little and reaching tentatively for a laugh.

  15. It doesn't even make sense. If the the strip is on the skin, how does it pull the skull out from under the skin? Wouldn't it just the skin off the skull?

  16. Anon921: Because it's DEEP cleaning. Learn to fucking read.

  17. 778 is not being received well on the forums but it is here at xkcdsucks.

    What kind of bizarro world is this?

    And i'll go on record and say that 778 sucks. Terrible dialog, contrived premise, pointless nerd cred name drop and the woman in the last panel has HUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE legs.

  18. Aint nothing wrong with women having long legs, you queer fuck.

  19. 778 also leaves the question of THEN WHO WAS PHONE?

  20. I think if 778 didn't take me ten minutes to figure out, it might have been funny. As it is, by the time I figured it out, I was like "oh, that's all there is?"


  22. 778 would've been really good, I think, if he'd had any idea what to do with the premise. I like the premise of a bunch of porn setups colliding. I don't like that he had no idea how to turn that premise into a joke. I'm not sure I do, either, but whatever.

  23. As an owner of Agricola, I'm still confused as to how exactly the three players got together.

    Also, there is no standy-uppy bit in Agricola. I don't know what that's supposed to be in the last panel.

    778: Randall has recently played Agricola for the first time. Randall has also recently watched a lot of porn, but not for the first time.

  24. I believe it's the plumber's plunger. I didn't realize it at first because I thought Agricola DID have a standy-uppy bit, having never heard of it.

  25. 778 makes no freaking sense. Like, a bunch of porn cliches accidentally run into each other and then... play a board game? Wut?

    From the setup, it seems like it could be going somewhere interesting, and then it just... doesn't.

  26. I've seen this joke, or one much like it involving pimples on the back of a MAD magazine. A kid is looking at his pimple, squeezes it and we are then treated to several panels of him squeezing his skull out amongst the pus. Personally, I don't find it funny.

  27. The thing that bothers me with 777 I guess is that it looks like he put the pore strip over his eyes. Which is a horrible idea.

    I haven't seen 778 yet because xkcdexplained is down, but the comments here are amazingly baffling. It's impossible to infer from them what the hell is going on. Agricola? Standy uppy? Porn cliches? Plungers?

  28. Q: Hey, wouldn't it be funny if a bunch of porn cliches met up and they were more interested in board games than sex?

    A: No. No it would not.

  29. Also carl you forgot the alt text.

  30. I think the joke is that she was going to have a wild party but the parents were coming home early. When the pizza guy finds the board game they all sit around and play, thus it ends up being a party in the family-friendly kind of sense. When the parents come home though they still have the reaction that would have been expected if they had come home to a trashed house and crazy party. I think it would have been funny without the after-punchline dialogue and maybe a "!!?" after the dad's line to indicate indignation and not puzzlement so people would actually get the joke.

  31. it took me a while to get the latest one, and in the end I was more confused than anything else-
    half way through I thought it was some kind of phone prank (let's order some maids and pizza loololol)

    aparrently not.
    I like the subtlety in the first half, (even though it took em a while to get) but then he shits in my soup by making the comic about NERD GAEMS.

    It would have worked just as well with monopoly, and there's no excuse for using agricola aside from nerd cred.
    Also the punchline (let's play board games) sux ass.


    Also I agree with rob, 777 would have been much better if it was

    beat panel

    there's no need for three panels worth of anticipation for such a throwawy quickfire joke.

    ps robisfat.

  32. @Anon 12:34: No. Just no. They are clearly cliched porn setups, and even if you have never yourself watched porn, or parodies of porn, or any movie aimed at college-aged males, the fact that 2 of the 3 are looking for the parents rather than the daughter should have made you rethink your idea of what the joke is. Besides, the situation you described would still not be funny. What we have here is a promising setup (for certain values of "promising" - certain *very low* values) that goes nowhere at all. Another example of why Randall needs to learn to recognize when his punchlines are nothing more than "LOL so Randumb" and abort them. Or perhaps why he himself should have been.

    CAPTCHA: scesses. Exactly what Randall's comics are not.

  33. It would have worked just as well with monopoly, and there's no excuse for using agricola aside from nerd cred.
    I disagree, as nerdy as agricola is, the randomness of the game and the fact that they have it makes it a funnier and better choice than something popular like monopoly. This is the first one I've liked in a while. It's silly in a good way and not predictable like many of his recent strips have been. The characters have unique appearances (by xkcd standards) for a change and I think Randall actually did a good job with the dialogue making it clear that the characters are porn stereotypes.

  34. Yeah this was actually quite a good one. Probably the only one I enjoyed since the tell-tale beat...

    But yeah credit where credit is due I guess.

  35. D- I disagree with your disagreement-
    The "randomness" does not make it funnier; especailly when it's xkcd, because the choice of agricola is not "random".

    Randall is a fan of resource based nerdy/german type games (he's talked about settlers of catan before), so if he was going for "random" he would have picked a game that was far more obscure and therefore much less nerdy.

    such as planet petri, or some other obscure-as-shit game.

    as it stands, the difference between "let's play agricola" and "let's play monopoly" is nerd cred, and nerd cred only.


  36. #778 should have the tag "fan service" attached to it

  37. You forgot the alt-text.

  38. So 778. This was what I first thought when reading this comic.

    First panel is about a pizza delivery guy coming into a building, saying a cheesey porn setup line, before saying "Wait, who are you?" and then... talking in French? Oh wait, there's a woman there? And they're both saying the Fren- okay hang on a minute.

    Right, so they're saying different things at the same time, and then saying "Wait, who are you" together! Yeah, that makes a lot more sense. I mean, if you work from the premise that people read comics from Left to Middle Of The Page to Slightly Left Again to Right Of The Page. ...that has to be the worst placement of speech bubbles in a professional comic I have ever seen in my life!
    Also, that big mess of squiggles is supposed to be a maid's outfit. I get the skirt, but... is she wearing pauldrons or something?! That sure as hell isn't a top anyway, it's way too small and above her chest!

    Anyway, panel two. Porn Cliché Guy says to the Ordinary-But-French Maid he's here for a guy's daughter. Oh...kay, this really reeks of Randall Not Knowing What's Creepy, because the last thing I want in a porn-related comic is talking about someone's /daughter/. ...and I still have no idea where this is going.

    Panel three. Now there is another Porn Cliché Guy, looking for the same girl, and the comic officially becomes a straight SEXKCD.

    Panel four is... what I /assume/ to be the maid saying there's been a big mix-up. Err, that... doesn't make any sense, considering none of them knows what the situation is here. Randall skips a step. In the meantime, Pizza Guy starts raiding the room... because... Randall wrote this comic, I guess. It also occurs to me here that the two "social" workers actually broke into the house - and not just going through the front door if the room has two entrances and a games cupboard! He takes out "Agricola", because Randall can never pass up an opportunity for yet MORE fanbase pandering.

    Panel five is two people, presumably the parents, coming in and seeing two strangers and the maid playing... a game that consists of a bunch of dots on the floor and a sticking-up thing, while talking about the game itself; because in my comics I always want to hear about how a guy wants more of a material and is the first player. ENTERTAINMENT! Also, nobody actually bothers to pay the slightest bit of attention to the fact that they've just been caught.


  39. [continued]

    Alt-text is Randall trying to make an innuendo out of the phrase "family growth". It fails horribly and makes Randall look horribly creepy.

    In the best of cases, which I like to think is true to ease the horrible pain, the homeowners charged the pizza guy/plumber with breaking and entering, and fired the maid for not only gross negligence of her work (she /is/ meant to be working here) but also for letting two strangers enter and steal from the house.
    ...But since this is written by Randall, chances are the two homeowners sat down and played the game too, while they all collectively talk about how awesome Joss Whedon is for the entire day.

    It was only after I read it the second time that I realised that the maid is meant to be a Porn Cliché too. The problem with this, and why I didn't see it the first time, is because A MAID SAYING "X SHOULD BE HOME EARLY" IS NOT A PORN CLICHÉ! That's perfectly ordinary maid behaviour! For the love of christ Randall do not imply that everyone in X profession is a prostitute!

    OH WAIT, I nearly forgot. The joke:
    "Three porn clichés accidentally meet at a house. Then they play a board game."
    ....okay, that's completely devoid of any sort of humour. Since that's a regularity for XKCD, I don't think it's because I'm missing something. In the best case, it's meant to be that "playing a board game" is not what you'd expect Porn Clichés to do... but then again I don't expect Porn Clichés to do ANYTHING other than have sex with whom they're supposed to. I /suppose/ Randall was thinking that, because they're sex workers, they'd have sex with each other - but that's so horribly offensive to sex workers that I'm not going to even consider it!
    .....actually, this is Randall. That's the sorta thing he does.
    God. Fucking. Damnit.

    ...actually, let's just consider the actual setup for the comic.
    "Three porn clichés accidentally meet at a house."
    Yup, that's the entire set-up. No explanation of why they're there, they're just... there.

    So, to recap, let's count how many people Randall has insulted with this comic:
    1: Every sex worker. Ever. To an utterly horrible extent.
    2: Every maid. Ever. But to a lesser, and maybe accidental, extent.
    3: Everyone who read that comic. Ever. Because the joke is nothing more in-depth than "it's so random".
    4: Everyone who read that comic. Ever. Again. Because IT MAKES NO FLIPPING SENSE WHATSOEVER!
    5: Rob. Because it made me write this comment. In which I call him fat.

  40. The newest one just confused the hell out of me. This is one of the times when xkcd's usual minimalist art style comes out as a detriment to the story/joke that Randall's trying to tell, since I just for the life of me tell who the hell everyone is supposed to be here. It's just a confusing, poorly laid out mess.

  41. Note that the woman is "hushing" the men.

  42. UndercoverCuddlefishAugust 11, 2010 at 3:47 AM

    @plasma yeah that is almost spot on with how i feel about the new comic

    i actually like the premise which is a nice change from the past five hundred strips or so but randalls execution is just so fucking sloppy that it ruins everything that might have been good

    he butchers most of the dialogue (as usual) he formats and lays it out like a complete fucking idiot (also not uncommon) and his grand punchline is that in this confusing and potentially hilarious situation the logical thing to do is play fucking board games which might have been okay if he managed to pull it off in a convincing way

    but there is absolutely nothing convincing about these three random people who probably lead busy lives all knowing and liking an obscure board game and finding a copy of it in this house any person who claims that this is not sheer fanbase pandering is a complete and utter fuckwit

    there are so many possible outcomes to this scenario that falling back on his trusty "like peter pan we shall refuse to grow up" theme is possibly the most mundane thing randall could have done

    i will give him credit for coming up with a potentially funny concept but i refuse to pretend that this comic is actually genuinely good (though it is way better than any other xkcd comics in recent memory)

  43. UndercoverCuddlefishAugust 11, 2010 at 4:02 AM

    i should rephrase that to "i am willing to give him credit for coming up with a potentially funny concept if it turns out he did not just get the idea from somewhere else" because i have a sneaking suspicion that there is a comedy sketch somewhere on youtube with roughly the same scenario

  44. @ plasma.


    I can't stop laughing.

    You summed up a lot of the salient points I was thinking and some more-

    is the punch line really that porn stars are gagging for sex all the tyme but they play a board game instead?

    I thought sex workers were jaded indaviduals who sexual intamacy had been ruined for them and they now consider most sexual acts as a mere bodiliy function, on par with sneezing.

    So in that context it just seemed retarded for them to play a board game, since I coudn't think of what they were expected to do.

    also. Randall and daughters. what the fuck randall? so creepy.

  45. also I'm surprised xkcdexplained haven't added cocks to the one comic it's probably most appropriate.

  46. So, render unto Caesar, this comic here has two basic qualities: it lacks xkcd stilted dialogue; and it provides a punchline, and no more. But that might be just a consequence of it having no dialogue. BUT! There's goodness in here. I admit that.

    Still, that skull. I won't call for the lack of logic of something attached to the skin pulling out your skull(it's a joke! I know!), but, again... stick figures, eye sockets. I don't like the implications at all. I can't rest my mind off the vision of these faceless abominations waiting to steal my orifices and features in my sleep. In short, Randall had a good idea, but he didn't have the right medium.

    And newest comic... eh, I'll wait for it. It seems I won't make anything out of it anyway.

    I don't think I'll ever sleep again,


    PS.: do NOT search for "man with no face" in Google Image Search. It's not advisable. At all.

  47. I think "multiple porn cliches accidentally show up at the same place, awkwardness ensues" and "cliched porn setup occurs and leads to completely unerotic results" are potentially good setups for jokes by themselves in the hands of a decent comedian, but smashed together like this they don't really work.

  48. I think these aren't just porn clichés, but actual escorts in the comic. So the husband wanted a "french maid", the daughter a "pizza guy" and the wife a "plumber". They get their timing messed up and accidentally meet, so of course they make the best of it and play a board game.

    The implied punchline (which worked fairly well for me, if not for others, it appears) is the chaos that would ensue when the family finds all their respective escorts playing a board game with some other escorts and the implications of this. So... I actually liked this comic. Also can't really see the dialogue criticism... this worked fine for me, as opposed to some past comics.

    BTW, why is it creepy that somebody's daughter is mentioned? Presumably all women are somebody's daughter. The word doesn't imply an underage girl... I wonder why anyone would think in that direction as a first reaction? I didn't... but, I suppose, the joke worked for me, too. Negative bias on their part? Positive bias on mine? You be the judge.

  49. As someone who's actively been working on the project to understand/verify the P != NP proof, I can say with some certainty that it looks unlikely that we'll find a definite fatal flaw in the next week.

    So probably, Randall being Randall, we'll see the comic in three weeks' time, once everyone has forgotten.

  50. I think the latest comic has been guest-written by Brooke McEldowney (author of [terrible] comics Pigporn and 9 Dickweed Lane). We have here:

    1. Confusing panel layout (in this case, speech bubbles in panel 1)


    3. Creepy sexual innuendo.

    4. Huge GAMS on Ms. Jones in Panel 5.

    5. All characters have exactly the same face.

    6. Shitty art.

    Ok, some of these are actually applicable to most of xkcd comics, but still...

  51. Well, since the daughter is still living with her parents, we can assume that she is either

    a) young


    b) fat and ugly

  52. It's not really that there's a problem with being someone's child, it's that there's absolutely nothing more creepy than a sex worker you (presumably) hired referring to you as "Jones's Daughter". I mean, even in a regular adult job you don't want to be called "Fintan's son" when referred to, let alone when sex is involved!

    There's also the fact that if a sex worker you hired KNOWS YOUR PARENTS THAT MUCH, well...

  53. ....and it also hits, just now, that going THIS IS A COMIC ABOUT AN ENTIRE FAMILY HIRING PROSTITUTES!


  54. @Plasma

    "I mean, even in a regular adult job you don't want to be called "Fintan's son"..."

    Actually nerds do want that. For instance: "I am Thorin son of Thrain son of Thror King Under the Mountain!"

  55. "maybe i accidentally ripped my skull out and it changed my personality"

    Or maybe it's just the syphilis

  56. Why on earth did the pizza guy, in the middle of this wacky situation, stop trying to figure out what's going on and start rooting through the closet? Not to mention the fact that because of the art, the closet is the same door he just entered from.
    And also, who sets a pizza down leaning like that?

    The art in the last panel makes it look they are sitting in grass.

    So mad.

  57. The pore strips comic would have been better if you took out the second and fourth panels - seems more like C&H than xkcd, though.

    Jake is a fucking idiot, dissecting this comic frame by frame and saying it wasn't "realistic" enough. Die in a fire.

  58. http://my_raven.tripod.com/CalvinandHobbes/anpg41.gif


    That is all.

  59. Hey, I've watched porn before!


  60. @ J: wait hold on so it is!


    it took me three four readings and five people explaing it to me to finally fucking get it.

    also @ 'daughter' I don't refer to myself as "x's daughter' in casual conversation, and I sure as fuck wouldn't in hiring an escort.

    so it seems that randall had to use "their daughter" to make it clear it was the entire family hiring prostitutes, similarly mr/mrs jones, rather than, John/jane/jeanette.

    so is this the joke then?

    also- if it is, then it appears that randall has confused 'pornography' with prostitutes.

    I'll give you an explanation, when you hire a prostitute, they don't enter your house under some false pretence (I'm here to take your blood, I'm Nurse Sexy) and when you get the nasty on, bad cheesy music doesn't play.

    To reitierate- Pornography =/= prostitution.

    In one, best effort is made to fufill fantasies and appear glamorous, in the other it's some twentysomething crack addict letting you violate her so she can buy her next high.

    So randall decided to represent prostitutes with pornography stereotypes, which doesn't make sense.

    GEE GOSH for somone who claims to be one with the feminista RANDALL SURE DOESN'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT THE PLIGHT OF WOMEN IN THE SEX INDUSTRY EH?

    God- I can't get over how shittiliy delivered that comic was- maybe if he has a few preceding panels with the different family members ordering their prostitutes it would make sense- (but how would we distinguish Ms and Mrs jones?)



  61. @anon708
    Hey, it's Jake. Hi.
    I was dissecting it's art because unfortunately for Randall, comics are equal parts art and joke. I realize there is nothing wrong with stick figure art, but some jokes lose their effect. Maybe the joke would have been funnier if it was a realistic and believable person with features and clothes and so you're expect realism and then BAM his face is gone. Note I said funniER not funny. It'd still be not funny.

  62. the first panel of my edit is one of the map of the internet posters you can buy in the xkcd store. i was going to use the tech support one but i found out it's actually sold as a t-shirt.

    today's goatkcd is pretty good. i imagine that's how you might play escort Agricola. more evidence for the randall is writing his comics solely for goatse edits theory i guess.

  63. "I think "multiple porn cliches accidentally show up at the same place, awkwardness ensues" and "cliched porn setup occurs and leads to completely unerotic results" are potentially good setups for jokes by themselves in the hands of a decent comedian, but smashed together like this they don't really work."

    Try watching just about any of James Gunn's PGPorn. Added bonus: both Mal and Wash from Firefly are in episodes, guaranteeing that Randall has seen it.

  64. Are you people serious?

    Yeah, today's xkcd is fucked up, and hard to follow, but it shouldn't take more than two readings to get it.

    You guys must legally retarded or something.

  65. @Plasma

    "OH WAIT, I nearly forgot. The joke:
    "Three porn clichés accidentally meet at a house. Then they play a board game."
    ....okay, that's completely devoid of any sort of humour."

    Once again: isn't it neat how explaining ANY joke in a clearcut and simplistic manner renders it totally and entirely unfunny? It's almost as if the humour of a joke actually depends substantially upon its delivery...

    I mean this comic has problems,yeah, many of which you did rightfully point out.

    But people have to stop thinking that this sort of thing, in itself, constitutes a legitimate criticism...

  66. yes i legally retarded anon
    why must make fun of our plight?

  67. I'm illegally retarded. I forgot to apply for my licence.

  68. Anon 1017:

    You see, it's impossible for a chicken to cross a road for any specific reason because chickens are quite unaware of the purpose of a road. In fact, a chicken would probably be oblivious to the existence of the road. Were a chicken to cross a road, it would likely be due to mere coincidence and not the scenario you outlined. As you can see, your joke couldn't possibly be funny because it isn't logical when thought of in terms of real life. *derisive snicker while pushing glasses back up*

  69. Agricola: because Settlers of Cataan would be too mainstream.

  70. I assumed from the beginning that these were various roleplay outfits, rather than just porn cliches or actual prostitutes. So yeah, I really had no chance of understanding what was going on in this comic.

  71. I agree with 7:04. In panel 2 especially, why would you ever hold a pizza box like that? And then in panel 4, is it leaning against the back of his leg? Well, I guess it's just kind of floating there, but WHY? I would love to see Randall's creative process. And then beat him horribly.

  72. Damnit Carl! You talked SO MUCH about Acne and Pore Cleansers you made the adds on the left of your website change to acne medicine.

    (Maybe I am the only one who finds this amusing. Quite possibly, rather.)

    Captcha: Wipes. Wow, even the Captcha is on board with this.

  73. "Once again: isn't it neat how explaining ANY joke in a clearcut and simplistic manner renders it totally and entirely unfunny? It's almost as if the humour of a joke actually depends substantially upon its delivery..."

    Unless the delivery is REALLY funny, an unfunny premise is likely to always be unfunny. And when's the last time Randall ever had good delivery?

    A bunch of porn cliches accidentally meeting up has the potential for being funny. A bunch of porn cliches accidentally meeting up... to play a board game, not so much.

  74. I just have to ask, how is that not obviously a skull? Im no cuddlefish, but... its pretty obviously a skull. If you cant see that, consult an optometrist.

  75. Oh yeah? well maybe YOU should consult a skull-ologist!

  76. Stay with me here for a sec -

    - What if the pizza delivery guy was really Mr. Jones
    - The maid was the mother (cleaning up before the party)
    - The plumber was her son

    They realize the awkward incestuous relationships that were really happening in the household and decide to continue roleplaying as those professions to keep the family from collapsing under the weight of the father/daughter, mother/son sexual relationships.

    The daughter and her father's gay gang-bang buddy walk in at the end and are befuddled as to why everyone is simply playing board games.

    This might actually be the greatest xkcd of all time.


    My god Randall. You're sick.

  78. I do not think Plasma's critique was his actual real-time reaction to the comic. I suspect he is finding everything, big or small, that COULD be wrong with it, and making them all huge problems. But I could of course be wrong, and he really hates it that much.

  79. "Once again: isn't it neat how explaining ANY joke in a clearcut and simplistic manner renders it totally and entirely unfunny?"
    No. No it does not. It can make /some/ jokes unfunny, if they're not so much jokes and just depend entirely on the way it was said or the background. But in the case of this comic, the delivery is completely bland and contributes absolutely nothing.

    Unless you really do think making a "hot sausage" innuendo to be a fundamental part of the punchline.

    So cut it out already. You've been sprouting that same thing for about a week now, but it's as out-of-place as people who keep on saying "correlation does not imply causation".

  80. It took me awhile to understand today's xkcd. I blame it on the fact that the layout of it is horrible and that I haven't watched much porn in my life. Looks like somebody was horny last night at 11:50.

  81. Anon @ 2:18, this is Anon @1:24. Just for your information, I AM a skull-ologist.

  82. added the alt-text. My, but these traditions are hard to get started and keep track of.

    as always, the thoughtful discussion on these comment threads is lovely. you people are about a million times funnier than the forumites and certainly more interesting.

  83. you, on the other hand, are about a million times dumber than the forumites, somehow

  84. you are a million times fatter

  85. @Plasma

    I've "sprouted" it a grand total of twice.

    How many times do you think some variant of "Here is what the basis of the joke is. Sarcastic laugh." has been repeated?

    Hey I don't disagree with you, I don't even think this particular comic is funny. I'd just prefer if people thought a little more before busting out this particular form of criticism.

  86. Carl, I find it funny how whenever you find a comic you like, you say "I liked it" as if you are expressing your opinion in an apologetic manner, and when you see everything else, you say "It's terrible" as a fact.

  87. jobbeybob, i find it funny how utterly moronic you are

  88. Really? I find it funny how you're insulting me for criticizing someone else's criticism of a webcomic.

  89. actually I'm insulting you for being a moron.

  90. I think it's odd that you are finding apologetic overtones in my post where all I did was express happiness at a comic I enjoyed.

  91. Well, I find it hard to believe that a good comic makes you happy, if the very next thing you do is post some crap review by Jake (who, I assume, is the same Jake that wrote the infinitely sucky Woodpecker review) in a desperate attempt to give your retard fans something.

  92. yeah, why would you post a negative review that someone emailed you on a blog called "xkcd sucks" when you don't have one to write? giving the readers what they want is for pussies!

  93. You know why he shouldn't have posted it? Because the negative review SUCKED BALLS. I'm mean seriously, the star on the box? Jake is criticizing the star on the box of pore strips. And we get that your "Ha-ha" was sarcasm, Jake. That's the only thing you seem to have to say about anything.

  94. Also, why should Randall give his readers something special for the 777th comic? What, you want a big "777th strip spectacular"? I supposed next you'd also want one for 888 and 999 and 101010 and so on. Fishfuck, Jake.

  95. Why? Maybe because the negative review SUCKS BALLS.

  96. you uh
    already said that

    we've already established that you're a fucking moron, so... maybe you should come up with a reason that isn't based on one of your ideas?

  97. Sorry, I'm trying to figure out this "comment will be visible after approval" crap.

    What do you mean not based on one of my ideas? Maybe I'm too big a moron, but I can't figure out what you're trying to say here.

    Maybe you shouldn't base everything on your belief that anyone that disagrees with you is an idiot.