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August 8, 2014

The gasp of combined

“Prescription Painkillers Kill More Than Heroin and Cocaine … Combined” [Liberty Voice]

“The U.S. spent more on defense in 2012 than the countries with the next 10 highest budgets … combined.” [NBC News]

“Apple Now Worth More Than Microsoft, Google … Combined” [Time Business]1

Just when you’ve been impressed by how much bigger something is than two other things we already think are big, there’s a short pause, then: “combined!”


We love the “more than ___ … combined” trope. How could we not? It exists to surprise us. Are you impressed that the U.S. solar industry employs more people than the gas industry? You are? How about that it employs more than the coal industry? Even more surprised? Excellent! But wait’ll you hear this: It’s bigger than the coal and gas industries combined! Combined!! I bet you didn’t see that coming! Boom!

“More than … combined” is structured like a joke. No wonder we love it so.

1Three dots added to each for comic timing.

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July 28, 2010

Meta-meme: James Franco Chuck Norris Jokes

James Franco rules the meta-universe the way Chuck Norris rules the meager regular old universe. (This summary of a New York article should convince you, as if you needed convincing.) So, here are some James Franco Chuck Norris jokes (each of which builds on an existing CN joke):

Chuck Norris cracks walnuts in his six pack … and obediently feeds them to James Franco.

Chuck Norris counted to infinity – twice. James Franco whistled infinity three times, while mastering Russian literature.

Chuck Norris can speak braille. Braille speaks back to James Franco, and by the end of the movie realizes it was in love with him all along.

Chuck Norris can do a wheelie on a unicycle. So can James Franco, but he doesn’t, because he’s too modest to show off like that insecure asshole Chuck Norris.

Once a cobra bit Chuck Norris’ leg. After five days of excruciating pain, the cobra died, after being nursed through its ordeal by a compassionate James Franco.

Chuck Norris can slam revolving doors. But then James Franco opens them again because he finds them to be a fascinating Western manifestation of the East’s eternal mandala.

Death once had a near-Chuck-Norris experience. Death then went to James Franco to talk through the experience.

Chuck Norris can play the violin with the piano. James Franco can’t do that, but, unlike Chuck Norris, he can convincingly play any part he is given.

Chuck Norris does not sleep. He waits. James Franco does not sleep. There’s too much to learn, too many ideas to ponder, too many feelings to feel, too many people to help…

Chuck Norris once visited the Virgin Islands. They are now The Islands. James Franco had long conversations with the Virgin Islands, really got to know them, and established a life-long friendship that has mutually enriched their lives.

Some kids piss their name in the snow. Chuck Norris can piss his name into concrete. James Franco can piss Chuck Norris’ name into piss.

Chuck Norris sued the kid who posted the original Chuck Norris jokes site. James Franco will undoubtedly take time out from the 64 credits he’s taking at Columbia to invite the inventor of James Franco Chuck Norris Jokes over for a beer.


May 22, 2009

New Chuck Norris jokes

After reading Chuck Norris’ two columns against hate crimes legislation (1 2) —the “Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act…could not only criminalize opinions (an unconstitutional act) but also provide elevated protection to pedophiles” — and Media Matters’ response, I think it’s time for a new round of Chuck Norris jokes:

Chuck Norris can crush facts with his bare opinions.

Chuck Norris doesn’t have to leap to conclusions. He just sits there and conclusions leap to him.

Chuck Norris thinks homosexuality is a choice, but his oiled, bare chest isn’t so sure.

You think those jokes are lame? Me too. But that’s why Chuck Norris gave us comment sections…

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November 14, 2008

A joke from the inbox

Unaltered from an email going around:

One sunny day in 2009 an old man approaches the White House from across Pennsylvania Avenue where he’s been sitting on a park bench. He speaks to the U.S. Marine standing guard: “I would like to go in and meet with President Bush.” The Marine looks at the man: “Sir, Mr. Bush no longer is president, and no longer resides here.” The old man says, “Okay,” and walks away.

The following day, the same man approaches the White House, says to the same Marine, “I would like to go in and meet with President Bush.” The Marine again tells the man, “Sir, as I said yesterday, Mr. Bush is no longer president and no longer resides here.” The man thanks him and, again, just walks away.

The third day, the same man approaches the White House and speaks to the very same U. S. Marine saying “I would like to go in and meet with President Bush.” The Marine, somewhat irritated at this point, looks hard at the man and says, “Sir, this is the third day in a row you have been here asking to speak to Mr. Bush. I’ve already told you that Mr. Bush is no longer President and no longer resides here. Don’t you understand?”

The old man looks at the Marine: “Oh, I understand, all right. I just love hearing you say it.”

The Marine snaps to attention, salutes, and says, “See you tomorrow, sir.”

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