White House - Washington, D.C.
At eight-thirty this morning, Cathy Goodwin, Secretary of Comedy under the Obama Administration, called an emergency press conference and issued a stern warning:
"Let this be a wake up call to all Americans. The report I have before me shows that, due to the overwhelming number of people trying to be funny on an hourly basis on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, and the non-stop texting of bad jokes and insults between friends, the National Joke Surplus is at its lowest level since the Great Depression. So low, in fact, that if we, as a nation, continue to try and "out-funny" one another, every second of every day, we will be completely humorless by the fall of 2013 and China will surpass us as the funniest nation on the planet."
Special agent, Carl Rutherford, has been working undercover in the Comedy dept. for the past several years under the name, "Dane Cook." He states, "As an experiment, Miss Goodwin suggested I infiltrate the comedy field and be as unfunny as possible, in an effort to see, firsthand, how desperate people really are for laughter. We had no idea how successful the operation would become. I ended up filling arenas, being offered movie roles, doing cable specials, etc. All without the assistance of a single, valid punch line. If anyone has experienced the horror of this situation up close, it's me."
As shocking as Miss Goodwin's and Mr. Rutherford's statements are, to some, the joke shortage has been a long time coming. Robert Hedges, founder of the watchdog group P.F.A.F.T (People for a Funny Tomorrow) says his organization has been monitoring our tweets and status updates for the past several years.
"The cracks in the armor are already beginning to show," he states. "According to our research, in the past six months alone, over eight-hundred thousand up-and-coming comedians and aspiring late-night television show writers have combined to post approximately twenty-two million unfunny tweets. Add to that the drab and totally mediocre comments of several million out of work writers - including the three million or so, self-deprecating office workers who feel they should've been writers - and I think you can see the problem."
As to the possible cause or causes of this dire situation, Mr. Hedges stated, "Preliminary data seems to point to the fact that we're a nation that's become too politically correct. We're simply running out of things to make fun of. Right now, we outsource over eighty-eight percent of our jokes from countries like Poland, Mexico, and the Middle East. One report last November showed that, as a direct result of U.S. Aid in education, the average I.Q. in Poland has risen twenty points in the past two years. And, because we're constantly looking for cheap labor south of the border, Mexico's unemployment rate has fallen twelve percent. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand there's simply nothing funny about a smart Polish guy or a Mexican with a job."
Mr. Hedges goes on to say, "Add to that the fact that, within the next year or two, almost every state in the Middle East will have a sane, non cross-dressing, democratic leader, and you're talking about a serious shortage of material. It's simple math. Take that shortage of material, combine it with the insatiable appetite of each of us to outdo ourselves with a post funnier than the last, and you can see how dangerous the situation is. We're running on fumes as it is, thus, if we don't start firing Mexicans again and treating Blacks and Jews like we used to, we could be facing the greatest comedic recession since the Great Depression."
Jason Fein, an out of work, yet, according to his mother, "very funny" writer states, "Last night I watched this crap-ass sitcom on the CW and, for the life of me, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't think of anything funny to say. It's scary."
Our ability to laugh; the instinctual need for it. It's one of the most vital parts of the human spirit. It keeps us calm in times of trouble. Relaxes us in moments of stress. Just a simple, little chuckle, here and there, throughout the workday, is enough to give all of us the strength we need to make it through another week. Yet, unless each of us acts now, and stops trying to be the coolest thing since sliced bread, we will no doubt lose that laughter which we all so easily take for granted. None of us want to imagine a world in which you pay two hundred dollars to see Louis C.K. doing "knock-knock" jokes or God-forbid, a real-life Dane Cook. For the sake of our kids, let's all just try and "cool it" out there and leave the jokes to the professionals.