Monday, March 08, 2010

How To Tweet A Good Joke

Last night I took in the Oscars telecast at home on the television...but also in the company of many smart and funny Canadian TV/Media Twitter partners in crime connected via the hashtag #glush. (Don't ask what *glush* means exactly because I don't really know. It was conceived back during the Golden Globe awards ceremony and is some kind of amalgamation between the words Globes and Glug and Lush in order to convey the sentiment of "drinking games and snarky comments while watching big awards show". It just sorta stuck....not to mention it is quick and easy to type.)

Anyway, during the presentation of the Best Short Documentary category some funny business went down that was a little awkward and unusual and unsettling even. Roger Ross Williams took the stage to receive the Oscar trophy for "Music By Prudence", but before he got three words of his thank you speech out, a seemingly agitated older woman also took the stage and commandeered the microphone. She yelled out a few things and he smiled uncomfortably and then they cut the mic and the orchestra played them off.

Now when tweeting these events in a group setting a la #glush, there is pressure to be funny. Oh sure you can just comment: "Cool!" or "Yay!" or "Nice dress!", or offer an opinion: "Boring!" or "This sucks!" or "I wish Whoopi was hosting"...but generally you try to tweet something clever or witty. I try to be clever and witty, but my brain doesn't tend to work as fast as some, and most of my tweets kinda just lay there.

So when the above described incident transpired, I tweeted:

Not bad, but more of an observation than a joke per say. The closest I got to comedy territory was the #callsecurity hashtag.

But at the same time I tweeted the above, someone at @funnyordie tweeted:

And I was like: "Doh! Now that's a joke." (and thus Retweeeted it...the Twitter version of kudos)

Observing that something unusual took place during the Oscars and commenting on it isn't really a joke. Tying what happened on stage last night back to Kayne West's infamous hijacking of Taylor Swift's mic during the MTV Video Awards to proclaim Beyonce should have won is a joke.

And judging from some of todays headlines like HERE about said Oscar incident, several other people made the same comedic connection....though they had time to think about their headline, whereas the Tweeter at @funnyordie made it up on the spot.

I'm not sure what the writing lesson is in all of this, but I know I learned something: as in, anybody can tweet their opinion or an observation...but it takes a special talent to spontaneously tweet a good joke. It also reminded me what it takes to succeed in the TV and show biz not only need to be good, you also need to be fast.

In other movie news, please find below for your viewing pleasure a great send up trailer from for "every Academy Award winning film ever":

And finally, ABC's Modern Family Oscar-themed commercial from last night...that we didn't get to see up here in Canada due to simulcasting:



Jason Sanders said...

I've struggled to understand what makes up a humourous tweet and most of the funny ones I've come across seem to be written in response to specific events or other tweets. I'm guessing that's so they don't have to waste valuable character space with the setup.

Excellent #glush last night you guys!

wcdixon said...

Good point Jason...with so few characters to play with it helps immensely if the setup is already taken care of.

The other type of humourous tweets seem to be those of the Steven Wright variety a la: "What's another word for Thesaurus?"

Thisishollywood said...

Good idea. which is why I've put together a short list of films to keep an eye on.