How to write a funny protest sign

Right now, everyone’s mad about something. And during a time of high-visibility, ultra-Instagrammed civic engagement, we have more opportunities than ever to amplify our infuriated opinions.

 

You only have one piece of poster board to make your point, and you want to hit home.


This is about getting a laugh—and it’s about using humor to make a serious point.

But what makes for a funny and powerful protest sign? Let’s look at what makes these signs hilarious and important, and talk about how you can be not just bitter — but better.

 

Be passionate (but open to understatements).

 

If you’re thinking of going to a protest, but you feel so lukewarm about it that you’re tempted to carry an anti-protest sign, think again. That’s a dick move. Unless you’re counter-protesting – which should ignite equally passionate feelings – there’s no reason to show up just to yuck someone’s yum.

Here’s an exception missed by the people who made the post I linked to above: If your “lukewarm” sign is deliberately ironic, understated for comic effect, and/or flat-out sarcastic. For instance, this lady, from that article:

That’s not the face of a someone who’s “a little upset.” That’s the face of a woman who has brought home the bacon, fried it up in the pan, and gives zero f*cks if you feel like a man at this point. If you want to harness the power of sarcasm, think of the thing you would love to SCREAM at people. Then, think of how you would dial that all the way back to where it’s totally ludicrously understated. For instance:

At a rally for DREAMers: “Please let my friends’ parents stay here to actually parent them.”

At a protest against bullfighting: “This is bull.”

At a demand to take down confederate statues: “Didn’t these guys lose the war?”

 

You see what I mean.

 

Go big. Comedy is about being genuine, and then exaggerating—taking your point to the max. Things just aren’t bad, or hellish, they are almost literally HELL, says this woman:

Use comparisons. This is one of GOLD’s own  5.5 types of jokes! This girl’s sign is hilarious, awful, and true. By comparing dress codes to guns, she’s highlighting their ridiculous nature. What’s more is she’s actually raising two important issues instead of one: girls’ dress codes and gun control. Comparisons are great for multifaceted protesting—and for, you know, being funny.

 

This is where corny works.

I’m not usually pro-puns. Used wrong, they can be so corny they make you cringe. However, when you’re working with a fortune-cookie-sized message, you have to employ whatever will work in a small space. Be punny, rhyme like the wind, indulge your inner dad.

Use your age. It’s funny when kids swear. It just fucking is. Also, kids are usually more observant than adults — we’re not so cynical, and we care a lot about the world around us, despite the stereotype of the bored and angsty teenager. Take your unique point-of-view and apply it to comedy! This kid probably has uttered the words “I’d rather die than go to math class”. That’s something kids say. They don’t usually follow it up with calling people a-holes. That’s the punch. Solid.


Gillian Rooney is a teenage American comedian and writer based in Connecticut. She is currently a student of Competitive Swordplay (member of Fairfield High School Fencing Team.) She is also an alumna of GOLD Comedy’s pilot workshop series!

 




“How are your college applications going?” And 4 other questions to never, ever ask your niece at the dinner table

I have always imagined the summer before my senior year of high school would be exactly like Grease. I would spend my days soaking up sun at the beach, at some point falling in love with a beautiful boy from another country, all the while maintaining my perfect hair, body, and makeup. It is now, however, quite clear to me that Sandy did not have a cell phone or a high-powered mom, because my days are mostly tied up with text messages about getting groceries, bringing the car to the car wash, and every rising senior’s favorite questions: How are college applications coming along? Have you emailed the X College rep yet about visiting? When are you going to sign up for your SAT?

 

I and every other senior do not need the stress acne brought on by the same forced and uncomfortable college conversations with everyone we meet, so I’ve decided to save myself and all others in my position a trip to the dermatologist by writing out all the questions we need blacklisted. To every nosy aunt, well-meaning younger brother, and unrelated adult just trying to “connect with the youth”: Please spare us applicants the unwanted dinner-table small-talk and take a close read here before asking any questions related to college, the application process, and/or our future. (Any questions you want to ask about me that are not on said list may be directed to my secretary, a.k.a. my thirteen-year-old brother who also has no time for your b.s.)

How is the application process going?

There are two types of seniors: those whose tiger parents forced them not to get a job this summer so that they could have more time to sit alone in their dark room tearing their hair out over the 13th supplement about “why X University,” and those who actually have a life. I personally have not made myself a Common App account, and this question is only going to remind people like me that they are losing the college process. The tiger children, on the other hand, see this question as the reason that their eye will never stop twitching. To be safe, stay away from this one at all costs.

What schools are you looking at?

I will personally give $10 to any person who has asked this question out of genuine interest, because every time I’m rattling off my list to someone I can see their eyes glaze over until I name their alma mater. They will then go on a rant about how [insert elitist university here] is such a wonderful community and truly understands the meaning of deep learning. To every person who has subjected me to such a monologue: Your name has been added to a loooong list of people who will not be receiving my holiday card come December.

What school is your first choice?

Based on acceptance rates, every senior knows that by answering this question, they’re most likely setting themselves up for a bunch of “I’m sorry” phone calls around decision time. Instead, I think people should start asking prospective students about the top choice schools of their worst enemies, so then when decisions come out the whole family can have fun basking in the beautiful warmth of karma.

What’s your major going to be?

This one comes mostly from my family members. I used to answer it honestly, telling people that I am interested in a lot of subjects but that I ultimately want to do something related to storytelling, until I realized that the only reason such family members are asking is because they want to ensure that someone will be able to pay their nursing home and medical bills while their own children are off “finding themselves” (read: smoking weed on a beach in Thailand). I now tell them something like finance or econ, which is of course every seventeen-year-old’s dream. Long story short, teenagers are going to tell you whatever they think will end the conversation fastest, so why waste anyone’s time with the chit chat?

I know a girl at X University who is exactly like you! Do you want me to connect you two?

Every time someone’s offered this I end up having an awkward brunch with a four-foot tall pre-med who is so high strung that she tears out bits of her own eyebrows, and the only similarity between us is that we both look vaguely Jewish. So thanks, but no thanks. If I wanted to meet other people of my ethnicity, I’d just call up any Hollywood executive.

 

Now, you may be wondering, what questions are fair game to ask teens? Pretty much anything else, besides whose alcohol you found in their closet or which suitor you saw sneaking out their bedroom window. But when it comes to college, let us come to you.

 

Got any college-question horror stories? Tweet us @GOLDComedy!


Kaitlin Goldin is a student, writer, performer, and devout McJew based in the Bay Area. She is currently a senior at Marin Academy in San Rafael, and she plans to go to any college that will let her in. She spends most of her time listening to true crime podcasts and fawning over Broadway actors who are gay and twice her age.

 

 



How To Ride A Bike – The Exam

Sure, you could share the road and stay safe. But how is that even a workout?

Hello, and welcome to Rules Of The Road For Cyclists. I’m Dr. Eva-Belle Ringer, Ph.D, and I would like you all to call me “doctor” because after fourteen years of teaching driver’s ed, and then being laid off and replaced by an app, I really need a boost.

 

In this class, we will learn how to properly ride a bicycle in public so that motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians all remain safe. This is my 33rd class this week because, evidently, following the rules of the road is as difficult as pulling on stockings over just-lotioned legs. I should know — I attempted to do that this morning, which is why I’m 50 minutes late.

 

But enough about my morning routine. If you’d like to forgo this week-long course in favor of testing out by taking this quick final exam, then go nuts. I get paid regardless. But remember, you must get every question right or the fine folks at the DMV will send a representative to your place of residence, chain your bike to a flatbed truck, and throw both truck and bike into an enormous furnace. Typically, this representative is myself, wearing a skull cap and dungarees, and I get paid for that regardless too. Ready? Here goes:

 

Where can you ride your bike?

  1. On the street.
  2. On the sidewalk, going 24 miles per hour amongst the baby strollers that are probably clocking 0.0001 miles per hour, the little babies.

 

At night, while riding your bike, what colors and type of clothing are appropriate?

  1. Bright colors and any clothing that is reflective.
  2. Anything from your Goth phase or a black deep-sea diving suit.

 

Do you make a right turn in front of a moving vehicle?

  1. No.
  2. Yes, because nothing can hurt me when I’m “in the zone” — not even a half-ton tow truck.

 

A stop sign and a red light both mean what?

  1. Stop.
  2. Keep going, enter traffic, and plow headfirst into a city bus.

 

Should you alert pedestrians and vehicles of your presence by ringing a bell?

  1. Yes.
  2. No. I prefer to blindside both pedestrians and vehicles. It goes without saying, I love lengthy hospital stays, months of physical therapy, and filing lawsuits. (I get paid regar- … you know what? You passed. See you at the bike rack.)

Melina Saint Thunderdome is a graduate of Second City’s Sketch Comedy Writing program, but she enjoys writing humorous pieces of all sorts. Her influences are pretty varied: Laurel & Hardy, the Warner Bros. cartoons, RuPaul, “Girlfriends,” and “The Tick” are a few. Visit her Medium page for more!

 

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5 Hilarious musical theater songs—sung by women—that will cure what ails you

Music is one of my deepest passions, and I have always considered myself to be a true connoisseur. My preference is an elegant blend of Aerosmith/Elton John/Spice Girls, with a dash of Beyoncé and Bach if I’m feeling a lil’ crazy. (Side note: I would be honored to DJ your next celebration or family gathering.)

 

But whenever I’m in need of a true catharsis, nothing gets the job done like a good show tune. In fact, singing show tunes always seems to be the best medicine for me, even if singing means tone-deaf-ly belting the soundtrack of Kinky Boots at my car windshield. And like a true alchemist, I have labored over the perfectly blended concoction of emotion, cleverness, and woodwinds to create the ultimate pick-you-up sing-along playlist.

 

At the risk of revealing far too much of my inner self to the Internet, I give you folks this bad boy: 28 of my favorite musical showstoppers, each with its own unique flavor of Broamedy (Broadway comedy; the trademark’s still pending but I swear it’s gonna catch on) to make your day a little more dazzling.

 

Here are five highlights from my list. The rest are similar enough in tone that it’ll become clear why they’re each there about halfway through the bumper-to-bumper traffic on the Gowanus Expressway.

1. “Do the Sacred Mass,” Sister Act

A nun walks into a bar, and walks out a musical legend. Playing Deloris Van Cartier in the original (and stacked) Broadway cast is the unstoppably sassy and ultra-talented Patina Miller, whose powerhouse voice makes this version of the number so memorable. But beyond my love for Miller, I am obsessed with the way that the song is able to turn ultra-serious religious references into a boppin’ dance number. Absolutely hilarious.

2. “I’m Breaking Down,” Falsettos

Following a mother whose life is falling apart as her husband leaves her for a man, “I’m Breaking Down” features the top-notch vocals of Stephanie J. Block as Trina. This incredible character number perfectly sums up one of the greatest pressures put on women: keeping it all together. Additionally, it offers an actually realistic representation of women’s inner feelings (I know. I didn’t think it was possible either!).

3. “Getting Married Today” from Company

An oldie but a goodie. On its surface, the song is about a woman getting cold feet on her wedding day, but it’s really about so much more: Women, all of us, asking if marriage should  really be the goal. It moves so fast, like the heartbeat of a hummingbird, that you can’t help getting amped as you skitter frantically through the lyrics. It’s challenging — in the best way.

4. “The Negative,” Waitress

Finally! A depiction of female friendship as being both hilarious and healthy. In this song, the characters Dawn and Becky try to convince Jenna to take a pregnancy test. All their nerves complicate the situation, leading to funny moments of confusion such as the part when Dawn accidentally reads the instructions in Spanish or the way Jenna reacts to finding out that she is, in fact, pregnant. But even faced with this stressful situation, the women come together in beautiful harmonies that give the song a heart-warming feel of unity and cohesion. My friends and I love to belt out this number for car karaoke.

5. “Changing My Major” from Fun Home

I’m still not sure whether I find this song more funny or heart-wrenchingly adorable. Medium Alison — so named because she’s the second version of the show’s creator, Alison Bechdel — beautifully describes being young, experiencing first love, and exploring sexuality. Bonus Fun Fact: Fun Home is the first Broadway musical with a lesbian protagonist, so singing along with its soundtrack actually helps smash the heteronormative patriarchy!

 

Like what you hear? Share this article with all your comedy/theater-loving nerds!

I Lived It: The Fun Fact I Shared at Orientation Was a Lie

I’ve never considered myself a dishonest person. I’ve always been a communicative girlfriend; an honest best friend; and, in my more recent years, a candid daughter (my mother was not thrilled to learn about the hit-and-run, but I know we’re stronger for it).

 

So when I stood up at Dylan&Josh’s weekly Team Meeting, I never expected to lie. After all, Dylan&Josh is the important men’s lifestyle brand that bravely fights to deliver high-end toothpaste to males, and I had just been entrusted with the role of their head of sales of their radical product. According to the company handbook, the mission requires us to be transparent. And brave. And progressive. And fashionable. And scrappy. And wildly successful. We are all of these things, and they never conflict with one another. In that moment, I wanted the CEOs, Alex and Alex (Dylan & Josh were names that tested well with male audiences), to know that they weren’t making a mistake by hiring me.

 

At Dylan&Josh, Team Meetings are no ordinary town-hall gatherings. Team Meeting is a blast! And by “blast,” I mean new hires share fun facts about themselves at every meeting. These range from “I hiked Kilimanjaro with my dude Justin” to “I hiked the Appalachian Trail with my dude Justin.” Team Meeting is truly so fun and different from normal corporate meetings, I practically want to gouge my eyeballs out, rip of all the premature-balding men’s hair in the company, and scream “CAPITALISM IS LEGIT EVIL AND UR ALL COMPLICIT LOL!!!!” Yeah, it’s a good time.

 

I had been planning my fun-fact for weeks. I had the perfect one to convey to the rest of the company that I, too, grew up white and wealthy, but in an offbeat way. When the microphone got passed to me (our start-up only consists of 30 people, but you better believe our Team Meeting takes place in a stadium because that’s fun and an appropriate use of resources!), I calmly stood and cleared my throat.

 

“Hi, I’m Angela, the new head of sales, and my fun fact is that I was a Junior Olympic archer in high school.” This elicited oohs and ahh’s from the crowd. I sat down, my cheeks burning. My co-workers probably assumed that I was uncomfortable with public speaking. Of course, had they seen me on the witness stand following my pesky little felony, they would’ve thought differently. The truth is, I wasn’t a Junior Olympic Archer in high school. I was training to be one, but I never actually made it to Nationals.

 

This isn’t rare. Most of the girls on my high school team didn’t make it to nationals. Nationals was highly competitive! So, what compelled me to sputter such a downright lie? A falsity? I guess, at this company where production speaks volumes, I wanted to show that I produced results. So I lied. I said I had a marker of success when, in reality, my passion for archery had merely helped me develop a strong work ethic, the ability to collaborate with a team, and a passion for being active. Who gave a crap about those things?

 

In the following hours, I felt like I had a target on my back. This was worse than being the only woman working at a men’s lifestyle startup! Everywhere I went, I felt eyes on me. Could they tell I was lying? Did they think I was a fraud? Did Alex & Alex no longer trust me to do my job at Dylan&Josh? I started to get hives. Luckily, the Product team was developing a new men’s skincare line; I tried out the beta and it made my hives disappear.

 

By the time they reappeared in a vastly brighter hue (turns out the skincare line had bypassed a few important QA iterations in the rush to disrupt the market before Elon’s Musk could launch), I had left the company — they found out about my history of manslaughter before uncovering my massive alternatruth — but I have chosen to reframe this as a valuable lesson. Lying is not a core value. From now on, I strive to be truthful and honest.

 

Also, if you could fill my canteen balance, I’d appreciate it. Orange may be the new black, but ramen noodles are still the only thing you can safely eat in prison.

 


​Sophie Zucker is a Brooklyn-based comedian-slash-child-star who loves musicals and slime. She’s 24. Sophie has trained at Second City, UCB, Under the Gun, and Annoyance NY and performed at most of those places, too. Her show Nervosa: The Musical!, a puppet musical about eating disorders, had an extended 8 week run at Annoyance Theater, as well as a slot at Cinder Block Comedy Festival. Her show Baby Ian Falls Down a Well had a sold-out one month run at Annoyance Theater and an additional one-month run at The PIT. Baby Ian was Time Out NY’s pick of the week. She’s also written and produced videos for Jill Soloway’s wifey.tv. You can find her performing with Ladies Who Ranch (an all-female bit show) at Vital Joint, FIONA (an improvised sketch team) at South 4th Bar, and Ground Floor Comedy (an online sketch collective, partner of JASH). Catch her in the upcoming Amazon series Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Or watch a Taking Back Sunday music video she starred in at 12-years-old, when she was her current height but not her current weight. Follow her @mightyzucks. (Bleecker Street Entertainment/CESD)

 

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#AwkwardThanksgiving: At Least You Aren’t Attending These Family Dinners

If you feel like you go over the river, through the woods, and up the freakin’ wall on Thanksgiving, you’re in good company.

 

It’s a cliché for a reason: Thanksgiving is the one holiday most likely to force people connected only by blood – not common interests, beliefs, or even feelings of kinship beyond the most basic DNA – to sit around a table together, probably drink too much, and burst the social bubbles we so carefully construct for ourselves the rest of the year.

That means weird distant relatives, random holiday orphans invited out of federal-holiday-induced obligation, and oh yes, your nearest and dearest, in one bilious, boundary-less jamboree.

 

Which means we all have stories to tell. And I have gathered a cornucopia of them for your Thanksgiving schadenfreude!

 

Now, my sister and I lit out for the West Coast after thirty or so of these joyful occasions, and now we just hole up at her house with a turkey and Wild Turkey and let the kids play soccer with throw pillows. Lest you think we took this action without due diligence, I will include my own anecdotes first, then proceed to embarrass my friends by sharing their formerly-secret shame. (Yes, the names are fake! Come on! They’re fake because the stories are all too real. Except mine. That’s me, Amy K.)

Got your own? Hit us up at @GOLDCmdy on TwitterClick To Tweet

“My marriage of two years had just gone belly-up; my husband had moved out in October, and we gathered for Thanksgiving about a month later. My mother placed a steaming dish of pilaf on the table, said she was thankful we were all gathered together, “only I do so wish that Josh were here.”

FOX

“Deep, martyred sigh. I spent Christmas with my friend Rebecca’s family.” – Amy K.

 

“My dad is the kind of guy who can’t walk through the clearance section of a store without picking up some weird thing and then showing it off. This is how we acquired a radio shaped like a knight’s helmet, a small electric crumb-roomba, and a pint-sized pink flashlight that looked, for all the world, like it was “ribbed … for her pleasure.” My sisters and I would leave it on each other’s seats; we’d replace each other’s forks with this thing. Basically, you don’t get out of any family gathering without it ending up on your person.”

NBC

“The frozen rictus of forced smiles from our more proper cousins are worth every baleful glare from our mom.” – Amy K.

 

“We were standing around the buffet table at my aunt’s house when our uncle said something about how we all get together once a year to stand in a circle and stare at the food. My sister meant to just say we were all going to do some kind of circular dance, but it came out like this: ‘And then we all do the circle-jerk dance!’”

ABC

“There were beets on the table that looked paler than her face.” – Amy K. again. Let’s move on from my family, shall we?

 

“We were at the home of some friends of my parents’ when the hostess went off on how trashy tattoos are, especially on women. I looked across the room at my dad, who gave me the raised eyebrow of approval; I then lifted my shirt to ask her if she thought the most recent of my three tattoos, done in memory of my deceased friend, was trashy.”

FOX

“She backpedaled like a champ and probably hocked a loogie into my stuffing.” – Shannon

 

“My mom was remanded into the custody of the local psychiatric hospital just before Thanksgiving one year. My brother and I brought her a very nice stuffed turkey roll and mashed potatoes, which we were allowed to eat with her as long as we used the facility’s sporks.”

NBC

“Honestly, everyone was perfectly pleasant, from the staff to the other patients, making it probably the least awkward Thanksgiving dinner of our childhood.” – Randy

 

“My aunt was making conversation about the new tenant in her condo, a young-ish schoolteacher. My grandfather: ‘Is she stacked?’”

ABC

“Everyone else: Deep breath, averted eyes, long sip of wine.” – Emily

 

“I brought my stepdaughter back East for Thanksgiving one year – we live in the liberal bubble of the San Francisco Bay Area, and my family lives in a Trump-voting section of Long Island. My stepdaughter is tall, blonde, and athletic, and my drunk aunt lit into her about how important it was for her to make sure she populated the country with white babies fathered by white men.”

NBC

“My stepdaughter smiled politely, then excused herself to call her boyfriend – a sweet, loving fellow student from her AP history class who happens to also be African-American.” – Meg

 

“We all sat down to the dinner that my mom had spent most of the day preparing. It looked amazing. 10 minutes into the meal, my sister made me laugh so hard I literally barfed.”

NBC

“To this day, she repeats this story at the beginning of every Thanksgiving meal in lieu of grace. Fam!” – Melinda

 

“I brought my Jewish husband to dinner with my mom’s family. My cousin had just begun work at a garage. My aunt asked if he got health insurance as part of the job. He said, ‘Of course not, Mom. I work for Jews.’”

NBC

“My husband and I quietly packed ourselves up and slipped out the back, heading to my dad’s house. The kicker? My mom left an angry voicemail excoriating me for making my cousin feel awkward. Sorry, snowflake!” – Suzanne

 

“I’m not a native Mandarin speaker, but I try to learn it for my extended family’s sake. One Thanksgiving, I found out that if you think you’re saying ‘turkey,’ but you mangle the pronunciation just right, you will actually end up saying ‘big chicken vagina.’”

NBC

“And by ‘you,’ of course I mean ‘me.’” – Ken

 

“Thanksgiving in Florida in the early ‘90s — my now-wife and I had been together only a year or two, meaning were only about 23. Her brother, Andy, was still in college. Her mom spent the whole dinner trying to get Andy to agree to be our sperm donor.”

HBO

“#Awkward!” – Ellie

 

“You know it’s awkward when someone brings out Cards Against Humanity for a rollicking round of complete inappropriateness after the pie.”

Universal

“Yep, that was the year I watched my sister explain to my 14-year-old nephew exactly what a ‘queef’ is.” – Clay

 

“My brother brought a surprise guest one Thanksgiving: His new girlfriend! Who, it turned out, was a vegetarian! We all went around the table saying what we were thankful for, and she said, ‘The non-flesh portions of this meal.’”

Netflix

“I thought my mom’s looks could kill, but this woman managed to survive somehow.” – Ellen

 

“Which reminds me of one of my ten vegetarian Thanksgivings. This one was spent at my then-husband’s family home, where there was literally nothing I could eat other than cornbread stuffing and red wine.”

NBC

“My poop was pink!” – Amy K, again, breaking her promise that she was done

 

“Well, there was the year we all found out two of my great-aunts, Anna and Stella, had had a burlesque act together. It started when one of them brought up one of her husbands, who’d been a rum-runner, and before you could say ‘Eliot Ness,’ they were both standing on the coffee table, recreating their number. Just as they were performing a perfectly synchronized removal of their cardigans, Stella fell backwards onto the couch, revealing long-line leopard print underwear with garters.”

NBC

“Wait, you said awkward? Really, this was just awesome.” – Audrey

 

“My mom tried to recreate her mother-in-law’s turkey on Thanksgiving (the secret: basting with orange juice) and she was so nervous and stressed out about it. I was in grade school, maybe 8. She had a milk carton that was acting as her ‘junk bowl,’ full of unidentifiable turkey blobs and carrot-ends and every other gross thing you can imagine; in a hurry, she hucked it across the kitchen toward the garbage can. She missed the can. It hit ME. I was covered! She did what anyone would do: laughed so hard she peed all over her avocado-green kitchen rug. I cried, till she peed; then I had to laugh, too.”

Netflix

“My parents got divorced soon after that, and my mom became a vegetarian.” – Susan

 

“I invited my mom to my Thanksgiving, and she showed up and got so drunk we had to put her to bed.”

FX

“But it turned out that was the least awkward option; when she woke the next day, she said, ‘I didn’t know your friend Lisa was BLACK.’” – Dawn

 

“We usually had Thanksgiving at my grandparents’ house, but one year my mom decided she wanted to host. She did a fantastic job – slaved over the turkey, which looked delicious! Sadly, we never got to taste it. Just as we all closed our eyes to say the blessing, our German Shepherd, Garbo, galloped into the kitchen, leapt up to the table, and stole the entire bird before any of us could stop her.”

NBC

“I guess she wanted to be alone … with the turkey!” – Joe

 

“Thanksgiving in Brooklyn, a one-act play:

My brother’s wife, Sheila: I don’t eat turkey.

My dad, henceforth known as Pops: Whaddya, some kind of … vagitarian?

My brother, Sheila’s Husband: Pops …

Pops: I’m just askin’!

Bro: Pops …

Sheila (in a rational voice, speaking to the rest of us): You know how there’s a chemical in turkey that puts people to sleep? Well, it gives me the total shits.

Bro: Sheila…

Sheila: He asked! I’m answering! Last year, I shit my pants on the ride home.

Pops: Awright, awright …

Sheila: Like giblet gravy.

Pops: Jesus Christ! Enough, already!

Sheila: You asked!

Long, silent pause.

NBC

Mom: Anybody want coffee?

— Patrick

 

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Wow! These Sisters Are Twins, but One Is Seven Years Younger

In the mid-2000’s, a pair of conjoined twins, Abby and Brittany Hensel, made a splash. They graced The Oprah Winfrey Show, appeared—twice!—on the cover of LIFE magazine, and were the subject of a Discovery Health Channel documentary. The Hensel twins are a fascinating duo, not just born at the same time but also sharing the same body. They’ve been the one of the most unusual cases of twins—until now.

 

Sue and Cara Zeitgeist are twins living on the remote island of Manhattan. They are identical in every way, both sporting long brown hair, watery blue eyes, and too much eyeliner. They enjoy all the same activities.

 

“We both love puppies, we both do musical theater, and we both cannot stop listening to the new Taylor Swift album. We’re twins!” says Sue.

 

“Literally same,” adds Cara.

 

The twins are alike in every respect except for one: Their age. That’s right. These twins arrived seven years apart. Sue was born in 1993; Cara, 2000. But how is such a thing possible? For an explanation, we went straight to the (literal) source: Their mother.

 

“We don’t have twins,” she said. “Our girls are not twins. You really shouldn’t call them twins, it’s a very dumb joke. In fact, my husband and I specifically planned to have our girls 7 years apart, which is what we did.”

 

Medically, this 7-year defect is very rare. Twins are typically born with a bit of a delay — a few minutes to a few hours. Some even have separate birthdays, due to being born just before and just after midnight. The Zeitgest girls were not only born 7 years apart, but Ms. Zeitgest went out of labor and then back into labor in the time between Sue and Cara’s births.

 

Sue recalls, “I lived a full life before my twin, Cara, was born. It was like I was an only child, and then I had a twin.”

 

These girls are twins, no doubt about it. They have the same favorite meal (“sushi!!!”); they both do their homework on Macbook Airs; they share an obsession with velvet; and they are addicted to wearing each other’s shoes. Additionally, they claim a certain telepathic twin-feeling, the sort that many twins have been known to report.

 

“I feel when Sue is upset. Usually because she yells at me,” Cara confides.

 

“It’s scary how she can tell,” Sue confirms. “Just because I’m screaming in her ear.”

 

The twins admit it can be difficult to be constantly having to explain themselves.

 

“People have a certain expectations of what twins are,” Sue says, “You know like the girls who played the Parent Trap twins or the twins from The Social Network. Sometimes, we just get tired, so we say we’re sisters.”

 

“It’s just easier,” Cara nods.

 

It’s true that if you look closely, you can almost identify the 7-year age difference. There’s a slight 5-inch difference in height, and a miniscule 30-pound difference in weight. Additionally, Sue has years of liver-damage from drinking legally, and Cara’s been semi-responsible, and her organs are in relatively good condition.

 

“At the end of the day, we love each other, and we love the fact that we’re twins,” Sue says, hugging Cara.

 

“We really love the fact that we’re twins,” Cara agrees, in a slightly strangled voice from being hugged so tightly. “Probably more than we love each other.”

 


​Sophie Zucker is a Brooklyn-based comedian-slash-child-star who loves musicals and slime. She’s 24. Sophie has trained at Second City, UCB, Under the Gun, and Annoyance NY and performed at most of those places, too. Her show Nervosa: The Musical!, a puppet musical about eating disorders, had an extended 8 week run at Annoyance Theater, as well as a slot at Cinder Block Comedy Festival. Her show Baby Ian Falls Down a Well had a sold-out one month run at Annoyance Theater and an additional one-month run at The PIT. Baby Ian was Time Out NY’s pick of the week. She’s also written and produced videos for Jill Soloway’s wifey.tv. You can find her performing with Ladies Who Ranch (an all-female bit show) at Vital Joint, FIONA (an improvised sketch team) at South 4th Bar, and Ground Floor Comedy (an online sketch collective, partner of JASH). Catch her in the upcoming Amazon series Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Or watch a Taking Back Sunday music video she starred in at 12-years-old, when she was her current height but not her current weight. Follow her @mightyzucks. (Bleecker Street Entertainment/CESD)

 

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Woman So Hungry She Could Eat Regularly Portioned Meal

On Tuesday, area woman Lara Wilcox walked into The Ground, an ironically named triple-story cafe, to meet her friends for lunch. On this Tuesday, however, Wilcox was particularly hungry, having done a double spin-class at SoulSuck and using the last of her groceries on her three doting kids, because she’s a woman who can do it all. Wilcox reports she felt her “stomach, like, grumbling” as she entered the third story of The Ground. This was when Wilcox’s friend group noticed her unusual behavior. Wilcox announced to friends that she was in the mood for a Caesar salad with chicken, and a side of potato chips. Shockingly, Wilcox’s extreme hunger had caused her to make a rational decision about her food.

This approach marks a shift from Wilcox and friends’ past behavior. At previous lunches, the ladies have been known to order “just a salad” or “only a side,’ but rarely both.

“We save money this way,” friend Bethany Miller explained.

“Bethany, we’re all rich,” this from Karen Benson, who has been known to order only juices for breakfast, lunch, and the occasional dinner.

“She’s right. Women don’t eat full meals, it’s like, ordering an appropriately caloric meal as a woman is like running for president: kind of stupid and bad,” Miller clarified.

Wilcox’s behavior appears to have thrown her friend group into a tailspin. Splitting the check was difficult, as they didn’t all owe their usual $7 + tax. Wilcox owed more, and even after offering to pay tip, she realized she would have to do some Venmo’ing. Her friends were not pleased.

“It takes two days to transfer money from Venmo to your account, and I can’t afford that kind of wait time,” Miller reported.

“Bethany, we’re all rich,” Benson chimed in.

Wilcox appears to be reeling from the incident, claiming, “I don’t know what I was thinking.” Wilcox admits that having been “absolutely starving” was no excuse for shelling out $21 for some vegetables and a protein. She vows to never order an appetizer and a side again.

Wilcox has since sought counseling from a reverse-nutritionist, who wished to remain anonymous for legal reasons. This reverse-nutritionist advises her patients on how to make the restrictive choice for lunch and ignore hunger cues. Her practice revolves around a simple mantra she suggests her patients repeat: “Do Not Listen To Your Body, You Dumb Slut.”

In an online statement, she writes: “I went to grad school for this stuff, and all I kept hearing was how ricecakes are not a meal, and in our day and age, more women have disordered eating than not, and blah blah blah. I mean, it’s all true, but it sucks to deal with. So I don’t.”

The Ground says business has suffered since Wilcox made her healthy decision. Patrons are afraid it will happen to them—that they too will be enticed to order an appetizer with carbohydrates, protein and vegetables. The Ground, however, refused to comment on the rumor that they are intending to sue Wilcox for damaging their brand.

Wilcox’s friends have vowed to pray for Wilcox and the community in the wake of Wilcox’s food choice.

“I just hope she finds the help she needs, and if push comes to shove, we can raise the funds to support her in her endavors,” Miller pleaded.

“Bethany,” Benson added, her voice catching, “We’re all rich.”

 


​Sophie Zucker is a Brooklyn-based comedian-slash-child-star who loves musicals and slime. She’s 24. Sophie has trained at Second City, UCB, Under the Gun, and Annoyance NY and performed at most of those places, too. Her show Nervosa: The Musical!, a puppet musical about eating disorders, had an extended 8 week run at Annoyance Theater, as well as a slot at Cinder Block Comedy Festival. Her show Baby Ian Falls Down a Well had a sold-out one month run at Annoyance Theater and an additional one-month run at The PIT. Baby Ian was Time Out NY’s pick of the week. She’s also written and produced videos for Jill Soloway’s wifey.tv. You can find her performing with Ladies Who Ranch (an all-female bit show) at Vital Joint, FIONA (an improvised sketch team) at South 4th Bar, and Ground Floor Comedy (an online sketch collective, partner of JASH). Catch her in the upcoming Amazon series Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Or watch a Taking Back Sunday music video she starred in at 12-years-old, when she was her current height but not her current weight. Follow her @mightyzucks. (Bleecker Street Entertainment/CESD)

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Got a tattoo that’s now generic? Here’s how to tszuj it up

It’s pretty obvious that tattoos are commonplace. Doctors have tattoos, teachers have tattoos, probably hipster babies have tattoos of Frida Kahlo on their little baby forearms. So you decided to get one, too. But not just any run-of-the-mill tattoo. Your tattoo design was clever, unique, your idea and yours alone. And like any proud tattooee, you showed it off everywhere. All your friends ooooh-ed and aaaah-ed, complimenting your utterly original masterpiece.

Next thing you knew, a total stranger standing next to you at Riot Fest had your tattoo. “No big deal,” you thought, “It’s only one other person.” But the following weekend at Costco, it happened again: the cheese sample lady had your EXACT SAME TATTOO. And so, it turns out, does the neighbor’s hipster baby!

It’s time to face a harsh truth: most tattoo designs and images become a fad, and you now belong to a growing body of tattooees with the word RESPECT written across your neck. Well, don’t worry. There’s an easy remedy for tszujing up your tattoo so that, once again, it is as unique as you. Just identify it as a radically different piece, and watch as confusion works its magic. Here are ways to re-brand your tattoo:

 

Old answer: “It’s the flag of my hometown.”

New answer: “It’s the movie poster of my favorite art film, ‘Boise: City of Trees.’”

 

Old answer: “It’s a set of angel wings on my back.”

New answer: “It’s an homage to my spirit animal, the horseless unicorn.”

 

Old answer: “It’s a set of eyes.”

New answer: “It’s easy to see why you’d mistake them for eyeballs. In fact, they’re just my daily allergy tests.”

 

Old answer: “It’s a star.”

New answer: “I’m the sheriff.”

 

Old answer: “It’s my last name.”

New answer: “This is my tribute to the alphabet.”

 

Old answer: “It’s a full sleeve and/or pant leg tattoo of…disordered images.”

New answer: “Oh, this ole thing? It’s just ornate gangrene.”

 

Old answer: “It’s an anchor.”

New answer: “I can’t expect someone your age to know what it is. It’s a pre-historic Segway.”

 

Old answer: “It’s Frida Kahlo.”

New answer: “I know it’s a bit of a cliche now. I got it when I was a baby.”


Melina Saint Thunderdome is a graduate of Second Citys Sketch Comedy Writing program, but she enjoys writing humorous pieces of all sorts. Her influences are pretty varied: Laurel & Hardy, the Warner Bros. cartoons, RuPaul, Girlfriends,and The Tickare a few. Visit her Medium page for more!

 

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The 10 funniest “Saturday Night Live” sketches starring women

Many a super-famous comedian has been launched into the big leagues by the legendary Saturday Night Live. But our favorite SNL *cough* female comedians *cough* don’t always get the recognition they deserve. From Gilda Radner to Cecily Strong, the women of SNL have set themselves apart as the queens of sketch comedy. Break out the popcorn and rosé for what I think are the top ten SNL sketches starring badass women. (If you think I’ve missed one, throw a piece of popcorn at me and tweet it at @GOLDcmdy!)

1. Gilda Radner as Roseanne Roseannadanna

If only all commencement speeches went something like this…

2. Kate McKinnon in Actress Roundtable

Host Margot Robbie couldn’t even wait until she was off camera to give McKinnon the laughs she so deserved.

3.Tina Fey and Amy Poehler as Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton

There’s no comedy chemistry like best friends playing worst enemies.

4. Kristen Wiig as the Target Lady

Classic Peg!

5. Bronx Beat with Maya Rudolph and Amy Poehler

Let’s face it. We all know a few moms like Betty and Jodi.

6. Ana Gasteyer as Martha Stewart

Ana Gasteyer has Martha Stewart’s real recipe for success.

7. Rachel Dratch as Debbie Downer

*Cue sad trombone sound effects*

8. Vanessa Bayer and Cecily Strong in Asian-American Dolls

Vanessa Bayer and Cecily Strong push the envelope in the pushiest way.

9. Molly Shannon as Mary Katherine Gallagher

Aren’t we all Mary Katherine Gallagher?

10. Jane Curtin on Weekend Update

Aaaaaaaaand the buttons come off!

 

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Kaitlin Goldin is a student, writer, actress, and devout McJew based in the Bay Area. She is currently a junior at Marin Academy in San Rafael, and she is credited with such historic events as creating the internet, finding the cure to polio, and discovering the classic combination of Oreos and peanut butter. She also enjoys long, romantic walks on the beach and monster trucks and all that crap.

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