A great oral history of Funny Or Die, which just turned ten

Funny Or Die is ten years old this week. The comedy site's launch a decade ago almost didn't happen. Wired has compiled a definitive oral history of the site, right up through its most recent reset as Trump ascended to the Presidency.

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Help the Smithsonian transcribe Phyllis Diller's jokes

Legendary comedian Phyllis Diller used a "gag file" to organize her jokes. The steel cabinet held more than 50,000 index cards, each with one joke on it. She filed them by subject, in alphabetical order. In 2003, Diller donated the archive to the Smithsonian and they need help transcribing them into a digital database. From the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History:

Digital volunteers will be able to browse through all of the joke cards, transcribe any cards that make them chuckle, and review cards transcribed by other volunteers. Anyone can volunteer to help us transcribe Phyllis Diller's jokes, or any other project across the Smithsonian. Thanks to the efforts of volunteers like you, researchers and fans around the world will soon be able to explore, share, and enjoy the jokes of Phyllis Diller.

From CBC Radio:

"On my honeymoon I put on a peekaboo blouse. My husband peeked and booed."

Diller's style was self-deprecating. She made jokes about her appearance, about a (fictional) sexless marriage, about her miserable cooking (which in real life was actually very good.) She knew she was playing a character and it made her wealthy, but it doesn't mean the jokes she gave to the Smithsonian still work today.

I asked (Smithsonian Transcription Center's) Meghan Ferriter if any of the volunteers are cringing at the subject matter.

"Well, there actually are a number of jokes that really represent the historical context and cultural values and other forms of social relationships at the time. Some of our volunteers have surfaced them, and really have the opportunity to engage with, kind of critically reflecting on why that was acceptable humour at the time, why that made people amused."

Help transcribe the Phyllis Diller Gag File (Smithsonian Digital Volunteers via Neatorama)

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How license "agreements" interfere with the right to repair

States across America are considering "Right to Repair" legislation that would guarantee your right to choose who fixes your stuff (or to fix it yourself); but they're fighting stiff headwinds, from the motorcycle makers who claim that fixing your motorcycle should be a crime to Apple, who feel the same way, but about phones. Read the rest

Cecily Strong weighs in on the fauxminist epidemic

Spend enough time in progressive circles, and you'll run into the type of guy lampooned here: the guy who uses progressive catchphases as pickup lines. This skit feels ripped from the headlines of recent podcast drama. Read the rest

The Big Bang Theory but the studio audience is replaced by Ricky Gervais

The awkward, creeping humorlessness of The Big Bang Theory (and perhaps all studio sitcoms) is famously revealed by removing the audience laughter. But it is made truly unsettling by replacement with Ricky Gervais.

BONUS: The Big Bang theory with the laugh track replaced by children screaming:

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3 new Sassy Trumps to take your mind off America's never-ending bad trip

Comedian and soothsayer Peter Serafinowicz brings us Three new 'Sassy Trump' episodes.

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As transgender rights get rolled back, America needs more bathroom cops

In this recruitment video for America's elite Bathroom Police, Officer Tammy Cox explains the duties and obligations of the crack force who will be carrying out Trump Administration mandates in public bathrooms. Read the rest

Philomena Cunk on Shakespeare

You may know Charlie Brooker only through his amazing Black Mirror programs, but savvy Brookerfen are avid viewers of his Screenwipe/Newswipe shows -- acerbic, potty-mouthed media criticism shows that feature talents of Barry Shitpeas and Philomena Cunk, a thick-skulled, oblivious, amazing deadpan comedic persona of Diane Morgan. Read the rest

Are You the Favorite Person of Anybody?

Editor Adam Stein posted this charming 2003 short from back when everyone involved was in a very different place in their career. Directed by Miguel Arteta and written by Miranda July, who also stars. Read the rest

Amazing 3D-printed salad-tossing robot

3D printing reaches new heights with this ingenious robotic salad-tossing machine. This pre-programmed beauty has three modes of operation, one of which will surely match how you like getting your salad tossed. Read the rest

Idiot's guide to Japanese apartments

Rachel & Jun present a helpful introduction to Japanese apartment living. Includes tips on cleaning your tub every day, preparing for earthquakes, and caring for your easily-destroyed tatami mats. Read the rest

How jokes won the election

Emily Nussbaum at The New Yorker takes a deep dive into comedy's outsize role in Trump's victory. It's one of the best long reads about the pop culture that defined this election. To use Emily's comedy metaphor, with notable exceptions like "Delete your account," Hillary and her supporters didn't read the room and were heckled at nearly every turn. Read the rest

Samantha Bee lets Trump enabler Kellyanne Conway have it

Before Trump's omnipresent spokescobra Kellyanne Conway distracted everyone with her inauguration get-up, Samantha Bee delivered a withering assessment of Trump's greatest female enabler of all time (Putin holds the male title). Read the rest

Enter the dangerous world of finger skateboarding

Fingers of Steel chronicles the hardcore world of finger skateboarding. Warning: some of the tricks are so gnarly you'll wonder how fingerboarder Chris Heck escapes with fingers intact. Read the rest

How Louis CK tells a joke

The Nerdwriter presents a fascinating analysis of why Louis CK's jokes are funny.

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Enjoy the weird comedy of “I Am Going To Throw My Christmas Tree Into The Ocean”

This short from sketch comedy group Couch Friends almost defies description. Once the holidays are over, Brendan O'Hare and Cory Snearowski get down to the business of getting rid of their Christmas trees. Read the rest

24 hours of the BBC's Radio Four, in four minutes

Jake Yapp is a British comedian who specialises in doing high-speed summaries of pop culture phenomena, like this Radio Four in 4 Minutes sketch, which is a work of genuine genius, especially the radio drama bits. Read the rest

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