Twitter Didn’t Invent Hilarious One-Liners

I just read The Rise of Comedy on Twitter on Mashable. The tweets they reproduce there make me jealous. I love Twitter, but I’m not funny on Twitter, or at least not on purpose. But then I’m not particularly funny off Twitter either. And then there’s also Top 7 Hilarious Fake Tweets on Huffington Post a week or so back.

Mashable asks:

But is Twitter humor different from “traditional” humor? And what happens when the television, publishing, and performance industries are set aside in favor of direct “social” comedy? We spoke with some hilarious tweeters to get their take on these trends, and on what it means to get a laugh in the digital age.

The post generates some interesting opinions from several comedians. My favorite is where they don’t like that Twitter has no gatekeepers. Winners who’ve passed gates like gatekeepers.

Is there a different style of humor for Twitter? Hey, I think the so-called one liner has been there forever. 140 characters ought to be plenty for funny. Does it take another style? Consider the following:

I’d kill for a Nobel Peace Prize.
Bills travel through the mail at twice the speed of checks.
Borrow money from pessimists-they don’t expect it back.
Half the people you know are below average.
99 percent of lawyers give the rest a bad name.
42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.

None of those are from Twitter, but all would be great as tweets. They are all from comedian Steven Wright, from long before Twitter started. They’re on a website collection called Steven Wright quotes.

And how about these, that come (without attribution, I’m afraid) from a site called Famous One Liners:

Some drink at the fountain of knowledge. Others just gargle.
Some people are only alive because it is illegal to shoot them.
Success always occurs in private and failure in full view.
Suicidal twin kills sister by mistake!
Support bacteria, they’re the only culture some people have.
The Bermuda Triangle got tired of warm weather. It moved to Finland. Now Santa Claus is missing.
The colder the x-ray table, the more of your body is required on it.

Twitter’s a great place for funny one liners. But come on, they were there long before Twitter.

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