In Which I Take An Aspiring Comedy Writer To School

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In my last blog I called for the unmasking of the individual or individuals responsible for a string of fake press reports on the town of DeQuincy, Louisiana and not more than 15 minutes after I published it an individual has come forward to claim responsibility.

Meet Paul Horner, writer/owner of Super Official News.

paul_horner

As to why he did it, I’ll let him explain:

Because after this story: http://superofficialnews.com/new-zombie-attack-from-bath-salts -leaves-7-dead/

The nice town of DeQuincy threatened to kill me, cut my balls off, have me arrested, kick my ass, do harm to my family etc etc etc

After today’s twerking hoax, I’m satisfied.

I’m happy. I think we’re even. If they threaten my life again or my family, there will be more stories, lots of them.

The story in question is a parody gay zombie attack in DeQuincy that occurred after the local priest gave one of the altar boys an overdose of bath salts.

My opinion: the article is okay, not terribly funny but okay. Personally, I think the zombie/bath salts thing is a hackneyed premise as it’s been done so many times by many others but I’m not here to put down Paul’s brand of comedy.

After having posted the article, the good people of DeQuincy got upset. Very upset. The way Paul tells it (and I’m usually correct about these things) the entire town was so moved to rise up as one and go after him with the pitchforks and torches.

Or, as he puts it:

So what started as one page turned into two and then three and then four as more and more ass beatings and death threats to my family and myself came to my inbox and were posted on my fan page. All documented. IP addresses, full names, Facebook profiles, phone numbers… everything.

Okay. Let me say first that I’m sorry this happened to you and you’re right, you didn’t really deserve this but I’d be equally remiss if I didn’t point something out to you: this kind of reaction is in the fine print in the contract you signed with satire.

On Paul’s website:

Disclaimer: Lulz killing of any kind will not be tolerated. If you are being a buzzkill, your comment can be altered or deleted. This entire site is pretty much just a resume containing a collection of my writings and such for the off chance that someone like The Onion or The Daily Show ever happens to stop by. Until then just remember, if it’s on the internet it must be true.

Now Paul, don’t you think for one moment that The Onion or The Daily Show gets death threats, too? Not everybody in America thinks either one of these institutions is funny. Yes, I know that must come as a surprise to you but it’s absolutely true.

I’ll tell you something else, Paul: back in the Dark Ages I dabbled a bit in stand-up comedy. The places I played were a certified bucket of blood and BYOB meant Bring Your Own Bullets. I’ve performed in front of hecklers, drunks, longshoremen (both hecklers and drunks), sailors, hookers, pimps and crackheads.

Really. Tough. Crowds.

What I found performing in front of these people was that certain jokes were going to fly and others were going to bomb and (above all else) you tell your joke, gauge the reaction and move on to the next routine.

Not tell a joke, get a bad reaction and then proceed to tell variations on the same bad joke.

So it’s your desire to write for The Onion or The Daily Show? Personally, I think you’ve got the chops for it. I’ve read some of your work and it’s pretty good, especially the twerking ordinance article which made me laugh pretty hard and I wish you the best of luck in that endeavor but I have to tell you something, something that may help your career down the road if you take my advice:

You’re too thin-skinned for comedy and what’s more The Onion or The Daily Show won’t hire a vindictive, vengeful person like you.

There were black jokes I would tell in Oakland, gay jokes I would tell in San Francisco and Mexican jokes I would tell in Los Angeles but there’s a line that you never cross in which your audience will let you know if you have.

The folks down Loozyana way let you know you crossed the line. If you can’t take some blowback over a joke you told, you need to get out of the game.

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