Category Archives: General Foolishness

Mike Reiss and Mathew Klickstein – Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets, and Outright Lies from a Lifetime Writing for The Simpsons

Mike Reiss and Mathew Klickstein – Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets, and Outright Lies from a Lifetime Writing for The Simpsons

Reiss has been a writer for The Simpsons for 28 of its 30 seasons, and offers up plenty of Simpsons trivia and inside stories from the writers’ room. Reiss also co-created The Critic and contributed to several well-known animated movies such as Ice Age and has even written children’s books and written jokes for the Pope, of all people. He also discusses what the comedy business is like, what make something funny, and shares funny plenty of stories from throughout his career.


H. Jon Benjamin – Failure Is an Option: An Attempted Memoir

H. Jon Benjamin – Failure Is an Option: An Attempted Memoir

The voice actor and comedian (Archer, Bob’s Burgers) tells funny stories about some of his failures in life. He also gives other humorous examples of failure, including a sexual position based on the Laffer Curve that I shall not describe, except to note that the illustration has properly labeled axes for tax revenues and tax rates.

It’s Not What it Looks Like

According to Google, I was recently cited in an article on It isn’t nearly as saucy as the URL implies.

There’s a Metaphor in There Somewhere

DCist: The National Zoo’s Naked Mole-Rats Still Have Not Chosen Their Queen

Even Steve Jobs Hated Comcast’s Service

Not everyone can call up a company’s CEO to bring up a complaint. But if you can, more power to you. Kudos to the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs for doing what so many of us wish we could:

During his recuperation, he signed up for Comcast’s high-definition cable service, and one day he called Brian Roberts, who ran the company. ‘I thought he was calling to say something nice about it,’ Roberts recalled. ‘Instead, he told me “It sucks.”

-Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs, p. 489.

Quality Insults in History

Gibbon lobs a lot of quality insults in the Decline and Fall. Some of the best are hidden in his footnotes. Here is one from note 44 of Chapter XLVI, on p. 1534 of the edition I have:

[S]ee the Annals of Eutychius and the lamentations of the monk Antiochus, whose one hundred and twenty-nine homilies are still extant, if what no one reads may be said to be extant.

A Bit Drastic, But at Least They Correctly Identified the Problem

A barbarous solution to the barbarous problem of over-legislation:

A Locrian who proposed any new law stood forth in the assembly of the people with a cord round his neck, and, if the law was rejected, the innovator was instantly strangled.

-Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 1435.

I personally prefer peaceful solutions that reform the institutional rules that make over-legislating and over-regulation possible in the first place. But before the days of Douglass North and James Buchanan, this was apparently what people had to work with.