Daniel Reskin

Daniel Reskin

Comedian Daniel Reskin

I wrote a Steven Write joke (that he wrote first)

You want my two cents but you’re only offering a penny for my thoughts? Capitalism sucks.

I thought of this, immediately googled it and found it was a Steven Wright joke. Not diminishing his greatness, but it’s not a giant leap to connect two contradicting penny-related sayings. I estimate I am the 33,000,005th person to get there, most didn’t have anyone to tell. I’ve learned not to be mad the joke isn’t “mine”, I’m happy my brain could connect the same dots and see that picture.

Comedy is full of little witty jokes like these, especially online where they become memes. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen the Jesus did Crossfit joke or 2% milk — what’s the rest??? You’re still clever if you think of these on your own, but you weren’t first (or who people credit as first). It gets complicated.

Maybe one day there’s a joke search engine where you can see how original your concept is and then post it along with the parallel-thought versions from some dead unfamous comic’s tweet 100 years ago. Of course it relies on the honor system, so I’m guessing the site would be mined by hacks.

It’s strangely poetic that jokes in early stand-up were easily exchangeable (steal-able), then coming into the age of ownership and parallel thinking, and now watching so many comedian’s jokes become memes, erasing their fingerprints and returning the humor to a free-form magic spell that anyone can share to cast. Much of stand-up has evolved to more personal (harder to steal) jokes, but witty one-liners never go out style and I know too many comics screwed out of credit and money for their ideas.

No thesis, any thoughts?LikeCommentShare

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