Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Miscellaneous: An Open Letter To The New York Times

Dear Editors,

It is with heavy heart that I inform you that the paper of record’s readership is not funny.

For the duration of the Writers Guild of America strike, you have replaced the Sunday edition’s normal round-up of the best jokes from the week’s late-night shows with reader offerings from the paper’s Laugh Lines blog.

I am begging you, as a longtime subscriber, to kill this feature at once. Leave the space blank until the strike ends. Failing that, give it to Frank Rich so he can make additional tortured comparisons between the current number one movie at the box office and the failings of the Bush Administration.

As a product of the American public school system, I am loathe to rain on anyone’s creative parade. But the truth must come out. The comedic efforts of Times readers are uniformly terrible. They’re obvious, too long, and have overly elaborate punchlines. The consistently poor nature of these jokes has led to a new Sunday ritual in my household. I read as many of them as I can aloud before my wife beats me unconscious with the rest of your publication. I am beginning to believe that the truly humorous people of our great nation take USA Today.

The situation reached a nadir this past Sunday, when you saw fit to run an item about an “articulate hound” in “a dog-on-the-street” interview saying good things about “Bark Obama and Mutt Romney” but opining that his favorite presidential candidate is “Joe Bite ‘em.”

I say without a trace of exaggeration that I have read Bazooka Joe comics that are funnier than that. I will provide examples upon request.

Comedy is best left to professionals. I implore you, for the good of the Republic. Take this feature. Please.

Vince Keenan