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YouTube / CBC Music / Dave Shumka

David Letterman Digs Drums

YouTube / CBC Music / Dave Shumka
YouTube / CBC Music / Dave Shumka

"Are those your drums?" Here's something fun -- a supercut created by comedian Dave Shumka showing how much David Letterman digs drums. He repeatedly asks drummers on his show -- right after they finish a song -- "Are those your drums, or are they rentals?" Later in the video, it gets into other instruments that he seems to enjoy (and perhaps wants to purchase), explores distinctions between horns and percussion instruments, and other such nonsense.

For context: when a band does a one-shot performance that's not on their tour route (like a TV appearance in New York) it's pretty common to rent large equipment like drums and amplifiers locally rather than try to ship it all in. Obviously most musicians would like to use their own stuff, but sometimes you've gotta rent. Most of the drummers in this video brought their own drums, and Dave likes 'em.

While you're enjoying the 2.5 minutes of silliness, a side game is trying to recognize the bands as Dave quizzes them. One of my favorites is when he asks Leslie Feist about a saxophone.

Shumka wrote a bit more about the process of investigating Letterman's rented-or-owned-drum obsession:

During our research, we learned a few things:

• David Letterman is pretty much the most charming man in the world.
• Lots of drummers rent their drums to appear on The Late Show.
• Singers tend to look uncomfortable when attention is being paid to a drummer.
• Not surprisingly, Letterman himself plays drums.

And yeah, Dave is a drummer:

(Via Dave Shumka, a most excellent Canadian comedian.)

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Watch 18 Minutes of Julia Louis-Dreyfus Seinfeld Bloopers
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Sometimes you just need to settle in and watch professional actors cracking up, over and over. That's what we have for you today.

In the two videos below, we get a total of 18 minutes of Seinfeld bloopers, specifically focused on Julia Louis-Dreyfus. When Louis-Dreyfus cracks up, Seinfeld can't help but make it worse, goading her. It's delightful.

Sample quote (during an extended break):

Seinfeld: "We won an Emmy, you know."

Louis-Dreyfus: "Yeah, but I didn't."

Her individual Seinfeld Emmy arrived in 1996; the show started winning in 1992. But in September 2017, Louis-Dreyfus—who turns 57 years old today—set a couple of Emmy records when she won her sixth award for playing Selina Meyer on Veep.

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The Funniest Word in the English Language? 'Booty,' According to New Survey
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Some words, regardless of their meaning, are simply more chuckle-worthy than others. To determine which expressions in the English language are truly the most comical, Smithsonian reports that psychologists at the University of Warwick in the UK conducted a survey in which they asked people to rate the “humor value” of a sampling of chosen words. They recently published their findings in the journal Behavior Research Methods.

The researchers selected nearly 5000 words, and then used Amazon’s online crowdsourcing tool Mechanical Turk to ask more than 800 individuals to rank the humor value of 211 randomly chosen words from the list, on a scale from 1 (humorless) to 5 (humorous). Likely not surprising to anyone with younger siblings, the funniest word ended up being “booty,” with an average ranking of 4.32. In descending order, the remaining top 12 words—which all received a score of 3.9 or higher—were “tit,” “booby,” “hooter,” “nitwit,” “twit,” “waddle,” “tinkle,” “bebop,” “egghead,” “ass,” and “twerp.”

Why these words are so funny remains fuzzy. But when they analyzed their findings according to age and gender, the researchers did find that sexually suggestive words like “orgy” and “bondage” tended to tickle the funny bones of men, as did the words “birthmark,” “brand,” “chauffeur,” “doze,” “buzzard,” “czar,” “weld,” “prod,” “corn,” and “raccoon.”

Meanwhile, women tended to laugh at the words “giggle,” “beast,” “circus,” “grand,” “juju,” “humbug,” “slicker,” “sweat,” “ennui,” “holder,” “momma,” and “sod.” As for people under the age of 32, they were amused by “goatee,” “joint,” and “gangster,” while older participants liked “squint,” “jingle,” “burlesque,” and “pong.” Across the board, all parties were least amused by words like “rape,” “torture,” and “torment.”

Although humor is complex and dependent on elements like syntax and delivery, the study's researchers say that breaking comedy down to single-word units could demystify its essence.

“The research initially came about as a result of our curiosity,” said Tomas Engelthaler, the study’s lead author, in a press release. “We were wondering if certain words are perceived as funnier, even when read on their own. It turns out that indeed is the case. Humor is an everyday aspects of our lives and we hope this publicly available dataset allows future researchers to better understand its foundations.”

[h/t Smithsonian]

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