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Why there are no technoweenie, geek or propellerhead comedians

Every April Fool’s day I am stunned that — with 50,000 standup comedian’s out of work* — that technoweenies, geeks and propellerheads are making free jokes.

If they were good jokes I wouldn’t mind. If the humor was leveraging the collective consciousness or there was an open source joke ecosystem giving us true hilarity, I wouldn’t mind. Perhaps a thousand techies working on a joke might actually get me to collapse in laughter reading/hearing it instead of wondering why my mouth rarely cracks even the hint of a smile.

Imagine a standup comedian at the Laugh Factory telling any of these:

Why did the Comp. Engineer get X-mas and Halloween mixed up?

A: Because Oct(31) == Dec(25)!’

Q: How many software engineers does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A: Sorry, that’s a hardware question.

A mechanical, a hydraulic engineer, and a software engineer were driving along a narrow mountain road, when the brakes fail, the car goes out of control, and crashes into a tree. They are a hundred miles from home, and it’s starting to rain.

The mechanical engineer examines the brake shoes and see that they have multiple stress fractures, and need to be replaced. The hydraulic engineer examines the brake lines and sees that the pressure is way below minimum, and that they need more brake fluid. The software engineer looks at the the other two engineers and says:

“It’s just a crash. Help me push me push it back out to the road and we’ll try it again.”

Oh geez…oh man….those are just hilarious and — hang on a second — I’m OK now…I just had to wipe up the milk that snorted out of my nose. (Disclaimer: I actually didn’t find them amusing but wrote that sentence for dramatic effect).

But something troubles me about the functionally-humor-challenged people residing in geekdom…

The Google folks delivered yet another set of their wildly hilarious public April Fool’s offerings that makes me wonder…why bother? A lot of effort went into these and I’m only guessing they keep doing stuff like this (and their logo changes at various momentous occasions) since it humanizes the company. If I was sitting by Eric, Larry or Sergey at some event, I’d suggest hiring a comedy team (right after they hire an art director for their unfortunate minimalistic graphics and UI’s….but I digress).

I’m sorry to report that I’ve never run into a technoweenie, geek or propellerhead who is even mildly amusing but then, I’m not looking to them for humor. Though most people I know think that *I* am a geek, I thank God for those people with the deep analytical, focused and technical acumen that drives people to love the inner workings of systems and software enabling them to create and invent the future.

But when two bloggers break the implied embargo on the release of April Fool’s jokes pranks hilarity allegedly humorous musings by <gasp> releasing their stuff the day before, I draw the line! Mike Arrington supposedly buys F&^cked Company and Robert Scoble apparently talks with an Apple exec on the beach seeing a sneak product. Both came out the day before in an apparent attempt to be first with their misleading posts. Does this mean that we now need to question what they write the day before April Fool’s day? How about two days before? Three? The day after? Maybe everything they write? Hmmm….

Look…I’m not immune to my own misguided attempts to be funny as evidenced by my reinventing my blog last April Fool’s day. I look at it now and still find it mildly amusing, but no one else did and several of my buddies shook their heads in unamused disgust and told me to “stick to my knitting” writing about the impact and meaning of everything Internet. (Hey….wait a minute…..that’s sort of funny…).

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*This is not an actual statistic.

About Steve Borsch

I'm CEO of Marketing Directions, Inc., a trend forecasting, consulting and publishing firm in Minnesota. Prior to that I was Vice President, Strategic Alliances at Lawson Software in St. Paul where I was responsible for all partnerships at this major vendor of enterprise resource planning software products and services. Read more about me here unless you're already weary of me telling you how incredible and awesome I am.

Comments

  1. There’s one standup with an act like you suggest and he is funny. Well, at least Me & 10,000 fellow CAD geeks thought he was!

    Check out “Technically Funny” Don McMillan. Even better he does his act with PowerPoint!

    http://rcd.typepad.com/rcd/2007/03/don_mcmillan_te.html

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