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April 06, 2006

marty sherman:
Joke Website Put on Hold

While China Glitch Gets Quick Fix

After Pat and I each took a handsome payday from our BET development deal, there was still enough cash left over to get the ball rolling on our next big project,, the website on which we planned to catalogue and cross-reference every joke ever written in the English language.

The material would be compiled not only from joke books and hand-written notes (for example: Buddy Hackett often wrote jokes on bar napkins, which he saved in numbered shoe boxes and kept locked in a closet) but also from TV shows, movies and comedy records.

The books were easy, but the rest would take considerable time. Millions of man hours would need to be spent watching or listening to the source material and then faithfully transcribing each joke.

Outsourcing the labor to China seemed like the right thing to do at the time.

We’d get a lot of bang for our buck and bolster the global economy at the same time.

Pat and I saw ourselves as cagey and benevolent investors.

Mostly cagey.

We knocked off for the day and headed for Twingo’s West where we celebrated our savvy with a couple dozen oysters, some nice Cobb Salads and a pitcher of margaritas.

Life was good...until the first batch of completed transcripts arrived late last week.

"What is this shit?!" Pat exclaimed after ripping into the first box.

"It’s English alright, but I don’t get it."

He handed me the top booklet, which was neatly typewritten, about two hundred pages thick and bound together with three brass clasps.

The cover page read: "Henny Youngman (A)". I quickly opened it and was stunned when I saw the first joke...

"Please to remove spouse."

I flipped through the booklet, stopping at random, but they were all the same.

"Doctor say I die in six moons, I say 'cannot pay,' Doctor say he allow one moon more."

Meanwhile, Pat’s going through the rest of the box. Don Rickles...Sam Kinison...Pigmeat Markham...Rusty Warren.

They were all there. And they were all wrong.

A.) Oh well, back to the drawing board.
B.) Who in the hell celebrates with Cobb Salads?
C.) Maybe you can save it by starting all the jokes with "Confucius say..." Hah!


Pigmeat Markham was funnier than a boner on a cow!
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