1. I think the solution is in the caption: “…irony as a form of humor…“.

    He has used his time machine to get an independent opinion about the quality of his joke, but the inherent irony is that he has selected an individual who is obviously incapable of understanding any of the six elements that he “explained”, so he is very unlikely to get any kind of answer to either question.

    P.S. Thanks to zbicyclist for removing a rather neanderthalic postscript from the first version of this comment.

  2. I wonder if there isn’t also a bit of the fourth wall being broken. The artist created all of this and…still isn’t sure if it is funny.

  3. P.P.S. @ Voodoo Chicken – Perhaps that was a typo (or Freudian slip) for “social media“. Personally, I think a better title for those systems would be “asocial media“.

  4. P.P.P.S. I like Targuman’s “fourth wall” idea very much. Like the artist(s) (in the comic and in the actual real-world studio), I wasn’t sure about that question either, but I decided that it wasn’t my place to emphasize such doubts, no matter how well they may be justified. That’s why I asked the editors to wipe out my first P.S.

  5. Kilby says: P.P.S. @ Voodoo Chicken – Perhaps that was a typo (or Freudian slip) for “social media“.

    If you mean it might be Voodoo Chicken’s own typo or slip, I think rather they got the “social anxiety” phrase from the editorial intro text, above the comic.

  6. I suppose the irony is that despite all civilization’s much vaunted so-called progress, many people are still as thick as two short planks, if not thicker.

    Including many of those who can explain the concepts of electricity, the internet, social media etc. etc. and then think it’s a good idea to ask somebody if they should tweet something about it because they are so insecure.

  7. @ DB-LD – No, I meant that zbicyclist (or his autocorrect) may have made the mistake when he composed the text above the comic. I think from the context it is probable that he meant to rattle off the elements from the dialog in the caption.

  8. Remember that the theme of Junk Drawer is the celebration of failed endeavors; so the focus is on the how and why.

    This comic has no caption. I say that with strong conviction; however, it IS weird to me that this should be the rare if not only time in Junk Drawer that the end-quote is missing from the line of dialog.

  9. Everyone knows that if you have to explain a joke, it’s a bad joke. Whatever his joke was, it was really bad since he had to explain all the parts of it.

  10. As E.B. White is supposed to have (approximately†) said: “Analyzing a joke is like dissecting a frog. You understand it better, but the subject dies in the process.

    P.S. † – The internet is full of various versions and multiple competing attributions (even including Mark Twain). If the had not been so many, I might have been more inclined to trust the one that appeared in the NY Times.

  11. Personally, I don’t think he went back in time for the purpose of asking that question (better to go to the renaissance or something). Rather he did a time-trip, came up with some relevant perhaps-humor, and asked the person that was there, but of course needed to give a lot of context. – the whole thing is absurd, that’s the cartoonist’s joke (but is it funny? wad’ya askin’ me for? I’m not a caveman)

  12. I it loved. Straight up. He elucidates on all these complicated concepts, including irony, and expended large amounts of resourses to ask the least able person to answer his question and hence has no understanding of irony, and probably none of the others either.

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