What is comedy? Is there a learnable architecture to making others laugh? Yes, of course. Comedy is one thing to all people: elements of the game Minecraft scattered without reason among the last words of a dementia patient. It’s JOKES FOR MINECRAFTERS.
Michele C, Jordan P, and Steven M Hollow are the three human names given by the swarm of malfunctioning nanobots who spent 172 pages moving letters around without ever accidentally making a joke. There’s no failure condition for a book like this and yet here we are discussing the Hollow Family’s failure. Jokes for Minecrafters is a humorless cough into the mouth of a baby promised ice cream. It is so perfectly nothing more than the grift of talentless hacks hoping to trick uninvolved grandparents into buying a birthday gift for their little Mind-Raft(?) fan. You’re either an idiot or you already knew all of this the moment you heard JOKES FOR MINECRAFTERS existed, but it’s so much worse than it has any right to be.
Courageous hotdoggers, let’s look at some of these joooooookes!
Well, sure. He touched lava in a video game. Or touched lava outside a video game. You know we know lava kills you when you touch it, right? You look stupid as shit acting like anyone will be surprised the guy covered in lava got destroyed. A real joke might have been “What do you call a guy covered in lava? Toast! A hearse! I’m not sure, but he’ll never synchronize swim again! Dead Trevor! A volcano getting to second base! Dead Carlos! Hawaiian barbecue! Anything you want; no one will ever know what happened here!” I mean, I’m an internationally recognized genius, but that took me 20 seconds. You’re three entire people, Hollow family. Have some fucking dignity.
This is a small note for something that deserves a full tear-down, but I don’t really think it’s fair to your riddle receiver to give melted rock intent. And nice word choice. “Numerous?” I thought this was a joke book. You sound like a fucking nerd. You could have said buttload. Or tittyload. Can you imagine if you asked the reader “What starts a tittyload of forest fires?” They’d say, “Smokey the Bear’s wife and oh my god, that’s how he always knows where to be.”
Hollow Family, that bullshit you wrote (Lava!) is just sort of an obvious, sensible answer to a deranged question. And no one would bother guessing it because jokes are supposed to have at least some element of irony or surprise. Maybe you’d know this if you’d ever tried writing one bef– hold on, wait. This is at least the 278th joke you assholes have written. How do you not know this? If I was watching the 19th season of a hospital drama, I wouldn’t expect one of the doctors to say, “My job is called a librarian because I steal hamburgers! Welcome to our: the place where grandma died!”
Boy, I tell ya, I feel like I’m looking at a foot in the game Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting after Player One has selected “Chun Li” and used her “Kikoken special move” but Player Two is “Dhalsim with alternate costume” and they stayed very far back and did a “standing FORWARD attack,” because this video game pun is a real streeeeeetch.
Okay, this has the potential for cleverness. I’ll just keep reading, and see where they go wi– oh, there’s no punchline? That’s the whole goddamn thing!? Hollow family, “synchronized swimming” just means people are doing the same water dance at the same time, so no, the others wouldn’t drown. Unless you think they would break their carefully planned routine, ignore the signs of their friend drowning as experienced swimmers, and finally try to copy his movements in real time? Then sure, they would also die. But I think it’s asking a lot of your audience to imagine such a chain of unlikely events.
I feel like the survivors would probably stop their swimming and mourn the loss of their fellow athlete. Is that the joke? The absurdity of death in a joke book during an improvised sport inside a video game? Is the joke picturing a fake computer trying to generate grief three layers of abstraction away from what we know as “real?” That, on a fucking cosmic level, might be the most opposite of a joke that has ever been attempted.
What an inelegant pun. Like virtually any other choice would be better than blurting “I lava you,” while she, what, burns alive? Is destroyed!? And is the illustration showing her calmly existing waist deep in the lava… do you think that helps the shitty, lazy pun land or does it create an entire new element of confusion? Hollow Family, do you see the thought I’m putting into this? This is the kind of effort a professional puts into throwing little girls into lava. You unfunny cows gave up trying after your brilliant idea to fleece 9-year-old Minecraft fans out of $7.99. If I met a kidnapping cartel and the publishers of JOKES FOR MINECRAFTERS at a party I’d say, “You guys have already met, right? I figured you would have run into each other during your vile exploitation of children. You fucks. You equally loathsome fucks.”
So you’ve stopped trying entirely, Hollow Family. You simply rested your hands on the keyboard and let your minimal understanding of language, science, and video games flow into vaguely sentence-like word arrangements. And this “joke” is the dim echo of what only the most generous observer would call a mind.
First Hollow Family Member: “Selfie sticks are lightening rods aaaaaand done with another one! Jokes are when one person says something after another person does, right?”
Second Hollow Family Member: “Frog lawyers when you think about it, cowboy pancakes! Aiieeeee!!!!“
Third Hollow Family Member: “Lava! Lava! Lava! Lava! AIIEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!“
Q: Is there anything you can say to prove you’re mentally incompetent to stand trial?
A: If there was a national anthem for Minecraft, what would it be? “I Will Survive!”
So he starved to death like your setup very pointedly led us to believe would happen? Or are you referencing something else? Is “didn’t end well for him” wordplay because there was a well in the cave and he died in it? If that’s the case, and honestly it’s the only thing that would make this anything other than a joyless statement about someone’s death, you forgot to include that part. This isn’t a joke or a riddle or an anything. At best, it’s coy hints on how to play Minecraft delivered to an audience for whom rabid enthusiasm for Minecraft is taken for granted. It’s like finding Michele C. Hollow on Twitter and saying, “Did you hear about the joke with no punchline? It was disappointing!“
She knows! She has to watch the flowers around her die every time she reads one of these to a child!
The lights of St. Neri’s orphan hospital flicker. The last toe falls off the rotting foot of its last boy. Father Opus Hallahan, like he does every night, watches helplessly. Through the pain the child asks, “Father, d-did the Hollow family write another Minecraft joke?”
“Aye, they did. But you’re not one of the dead yet, lad. Rest.” He knows the boy will need to be finished with a silver blade, but he hasn’t turned yet.
Half a world away, Steven M. Hollow dumbly shouts with his stupid fucking mouth, “How’s this one sound, gang: ‘Did you hear about the player who trapped himself? What a noob?’ Guys? Oh, they must be watching blood spurt from the pustules of the damned. I’ll hit save and call it a night!”
Q: Great joke?
A: Great joke!
Sure, that seems reasonable. You know, it’s actually a pretty common joke structure to set up an expectation of absurdity and defy that expectation with banality. If ten of your riddles ended in puns and wordplay and then one ended in childlike bluntness, fine. You’ve technically humor-ed. But if every single joke in your entire joke book is the simplest, most obvious answer to a question, you haven’t made jokes. You’ve transcribed the life of a dull child falling behind his peers in cognitive development. Again, every page of this book is almost specifically the opposite of joy.
I try to imagine three people brainstorming, “Punching trees… there’s a joke there… something about punching trees… punching hmmm… his fists are full of splinters? Is that it? Yes? I think we cracked it!” How irrational is their judgement to think this is comedy? I mean, this family must not even see shapes and colors the same way we do. They are absolutely interfacing with the wrong reality and instead of solving paranormal mysteries they are publishing books no one here can understand. Are they trying to find others like them? Are they trying to send messages home? These simply cannot mother-fucking be jokes intended for laughter.
So few people have ever been this bad at anything without dying. There should be a warning label on every object in the Hollow Family home not to mix words without supervision. You might be a soulless piece of shit if you’re doing the Jeff Foxworthy joke structure backwards and without a punchline. If you forced wrongfully convicted prisoners to write poetry about the day their family stopped coming to visit, it would have a more light-hearted tone than JOKES FOR MINECRAFTERS. This book is the struggle of three minds incapable of even the smallest intellectual task. What they are doing is not hard. Jeff Foxworthy’s last living fan could populate a taffy wrapper with riddles, and this family couldn’t put together one coherent joke after hundreds of uninspired misses. If a horse wrote this its grave would say, “Here lies a garbage horse whose book wasn’t even a nice try for a horse.”
Wait, what the fuck? This is a limp yet competent joke, and it’s not about Minecraft? It could definitely use an exploding watermelon, but… you know, I want to check something. Give me a minute…
Jesus goddamn fucking Christ, Hollow Family. Google gave me 92,700 hits on this joke. Every spider that crawls into your mouths while you sleep dies less funny than when it entered. If you typed this entire book in front of a CAPTCHA, it would never be more certain something was a robot. The Hollow Family, in its entirety, contains all the wit and delight of a can of bean dip at an unattended assisted living center orgy. If a second grade teacher said, “I introduced JOKES FOR MINECRAFTERS into my curriculum hoping the suicides would reduce classroom size,” it would be the first functional use for this pointless failure the least funny family alive called a humor book.
There’s nothing cute about how not funny this is. It’s troublingly supernatural how not funny this family is. When a member of the Hollow Family farts, their butts just release the sound of holocaust survivors burying their pets along with a puff of whatever the least funny smell is.
The scent of a turkey wrap being ignored by a Big Bang Theory editor choosing a font for an in memoriam title card? I don’t like how easily that came to me. I… oh God, my brain can only think in the opposite of happiness now. We have to stop talking about JOKES FOR MINECRAFTERS before all my mind can conjure is a tiny Bangladeshi girl’s hands painting G on the BAZINGA shirt of a Sheldon doll. G, again.
G, again. G, G, G, her thoughts, G, wander to the failing health of her mother,
Oh no. The assembly line stops. Her mistake was not missed.
S-shit. Is that… how I say goodbye now?
AtinyBangladeshigirl’shandspaintingGontheBAZINGAshirtofaSheldon hrrrkdoll. G,again.OnlyG.G,againGGnoooooGherthoughtsG wandertothefailinghealthofhermother❡OhnoThe assembly linestops.Hermistakewasnotmissed!