CLOSE

Andy Daly's Comedy Litmus Test

Last year I saw Andy Daly perform at MaxFunCon, a convention of nice people that happens to include a lot of indie/alternative comedy. I'm an Andy Daly fan, and when he took the stage I grabbed my phone and started recording -- I missed his first line or two, but I got most of his act. What I caught is (to me and to the audience at the convention) a brilliantly executed piece of standup. Daly appears in the character of "Jerry O'Hearn" and does about five minutes of his bit:

To me, this was (and is) the greatest thing that ever happened. I hadn't thought much about why I loved it so much, but after 13,000 people watched it on YouTube and left comments I got an idea of what other people thought about this bit. Many were completely baffled, finding it thoroughly un-funny, and even questioning why people in the audience were laughing at all. Others had to explain Daly's bit (I'll let you go to YouTube in case you need that explanation). I was perplexed, but intrigued. The experience of reading those comments led me to believe that this five-minute video is a comedy litmus test: people who enjoy this will tend towards absurdist or meta-humor (in other words, they're comedy nerds); people who dislike it or are baffled by it are more interested in mainstream comedy (like joke-punchline, joke-punchline). The fact that I find this so brilliant is a form of nerdiness that has to do with the actual structure of jokes themselves ("Hey buddy, somebody called, they want their thing back!").

Do You Love This or Hate It?

I'm curious what you guys think of this thing. You don't have to sit through the whole thing to get the gist of it, though I'd encourage sticking around to roughly the 2:45 mark so you can see the pattern. My main question is whether the Mental Floss audience tends more towards comedy nerdiness in addition to our (let's face it) general nerdiness.

Full disclosure: although I posted this video, I don't make money from it and have turned down YouTube's offers to put ads on it.

Original image
iStock
arrow
Food
Learn to Spot the Sneaky Psychological Tricks Restaurants Use
Original image
iStock

While dining out, you may have noticed (but perhaps didn’t question) some unusual features—like prices missing dollar signs, or burgers served on plates that could accommodate a baby cow.

These aren’t just arbitrary culinary decisions, as the SciShow’s Hank Green explains in the video below. Restaurants use all kinds of psychological tricks to make you spend more money, ranging from eliminating currency symbols (this makes you think less about how much things cost) to plating meals on oversize dinnerware (it makes you eat more). As for the mouthwatering language used to describe food—that burger listed as a "delectable chargrilled extravagance," for example—studies show that these types of write-ups can increase sales by up to 27 percent.

Learn more psychological tricks used by restaurants (and how to avoid falling for them) by watching the video below. (Or, read our additional coverage on the subject.)

Original image
iStock
arrow
Animals
Owning a Dog May Add Years to Your Life, Study Shows
Original image
iStock

We've said that having a furry friend can reduce depression, promote better sleep, and encourage more exercise. Now, research has indicated that caring for a canine might actually extend your lifespan.

Previous studies have shown that dog owners have an innate sense of comfort and increased well-being. A new paper published in Scientific Reports and conducted by Uppsala University in Sweden looked at the health records of 3.4 million of the country's residents. These records typically include personal data like marital status and whether the individual owns a pet. Researchers got additional insight from a national dog registry providing ownership information. According to the study, those with a dog for a housemate were less likely to die from cardiovascular disease or any other cause during the study's 12-year duration.

The study included adults 40 to 80 years old, with a mean age of 57. Researchers found that dogs were a positive predictor in health, particularly among singles. Those who had one were 33 percent less likely to die early than those who did not. Authors didn't conclude the exact reason behind the correlation: It could be active people are more likely to own dogs, that dogs promoted more activity, or that psychological factors like lowered incidences of depression might bolster overall well-being. Either way, having a pooch in your life could mean living a longer one.

[h/t Bloomberg]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios