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An alert reader busted me for creating essentially the same comic twice.

http://digg.com/comics_animation/Boo_to_Scott_Adams_for_reusing_old_jokes_PIC


After drawing about 7,000 Dilbert comics, you might wonder how many times this has happened before. My best guess is that is has happened at least 70 times, some instances more egregious than others. That's because there are only about 100 different jokes in the universe. All jokes are rehashes of something that came before.  The best you can do is disguise them.


It makes me wish I had been born around 1,900 B.C. when the first great innovation in humor was invented: the fart joke.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7536918.stm


After that, every seemingly new fart joke was nothing but a rehash. I've used the fart joke several times in Dilbert, with just enough subtlety to get published. Here's one



And another...




The joke in both Dilbert comics is about 4,000 years old. And that assumes the Sumerians didn't steal the joke from someone else.


My strip that runs today (August 1, 2008) is only a second cousin to the fart joke, and maybe the naughtiest thing I ever got away with.

 
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Aug 4, 2008
this is my second comment on this blog, it came to my mind too late to remind the story of the man who has to throw the first stone. Honestly, in our daily jobs, as a worker, a clerck or a manager, whom of us can say "I perform at 100% every day god's make!". Only Wally can probably think he perfoms evenly along the days. For myself I am a fan of all comic strips artists and wonder how they succeed to make a strip a day! all strips or frames what ever their success is are a true performance! congratulation to all.
 
 
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Aug 4, 2008
The oldest joke in the world is poking fun at members of a class other than your own. It goes like this:

A member of a class was wandering down the street, behaving in a bizarre and seemingly stupid way. A member of another class stopped him, and asked, "why are you performing that bizarre act?"

"Well, you see" was the response (in an accent typical of members of that class), "I was minding my own business (performing an unusual act tpypical of members of that class) when a friend of mine, (funny name typical of members of that class), said I should do (a perfectly normal thing), so I came here and (did a bizarre variant of what he said)".

"Ah, but you see, what your friend meant was (a slightly different viewpoint)"

"No, my friend couldn't of meant that, because (totally stupid reason based on behaviour extremely typical of that class)".

Ah well, maybe it's the way I tell it.
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Aug 4, 2008
Today's strip is funny, but hardly naughty by today's standards. I still think this strip is the best "under the radar" shot Scott has ever done...

http://dilbert.com/strips/?CharIDs=&After=04/25/1998&Before=04/25/1998&Order=s.DateStrip DESC&PerPage=10&CharFilter=Any&x=30&y=10
 
 
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Aug 4, 2008
Analog... Maybe it's because I'm European, but... I don't get it.

Anyone willing to explain a joke to me?

Thanks!

- Bas
 
 
Aug 4, 2008
I understand someone may attend events he dislikes; read books he hates; eat foods not tasty to his palate... just because of a tendency to masochism, or perhaps just for bringing some new bricks to its very own cracking culture edifice. But why then should he criticizes? if that’s so easy why don't you do it yourself? And better? I had to work with friends from different cultures, and actually live in a country where I was not born, and with a cultural background far from the wasp profile. Dilbert adventures seem universal, able to fit in any mould. Most of the strips fit to any office, of any size, from any part of the world. thanks!
 
 
Aug 4, 2008
I understand someone may attend events he dislikes; read books he hates; eat foods not tasty to his palate... just because of a tendency to masochism, or perhaps just for bringing some new bricks to its very own cracking culture edifice. But why then should he criticizes? if that’s so easy why don't you do it yourself? And better? I had to work with friends from different cultures, and actually live in a country where I was not born, and with a cultural background far from the wasp profile. Dilbert adventures seem universal, able to fit in any mould. Most of the strips fit to any office, of any size, from any part of the world. thanks!
 
 
Aug 2, 2008
Scott, I thought that the strip that runs in tomorrow's Sunday papers is much more daring than any of your fart jokes. I would love to know about your negotiations with whoever edits you over how large you were permitted to make the replacement worker's boobs.
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Aug 2, 2008
I'd love to see a collection of "rejected" strips on the grounds that they were considered to be too much for the average reader's stomach :-)

A Scott-Adams-gone-wild kind of thing :-) A place where PC does not exist...
 
 
Aug 1, 2008
As with other readers of this blog, the idea of 100 elemental jokes tickles my curiosity. Do you know them all, or do you just have a broad sense of it as a comedian, like a scientist who's done the math to know where all the planets are even if he's never been to them? Can new jokes be made, or are they like matter and energy, only !$%*!$%*!$% never created or annihilated?

I admit I come to this concept with a great deal of skepticism. Surely we don't know the limits of the comic universe. But I'm intrigued. Tell us more.
 
 
-2 Rank Up Rank Down
Aug 1, 2008
After reading this post, I now understand today's punchline... am I slow or just plain old George W?
 
 
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Aug 1, 2008
Four year olds laugh at farts. This suggests that the fart joke has been around since the mental abilities of humanity reached the level of a modern four year old.
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Aug 1, 2008
I remember to notice that coincidence, cause i was reading from the archive, and got to the old comic just a few days after reading the newer one... of course i didnt gave it much relevance.

"After drawing about 7,000 Dilbert comics, you might wonder how many times this has happened before. My best guess is that is has happened at least 70 times, some instances more egregious than others. That's because there are only about 100 different jokes in the universe."

If thats the case then that happened at least 6900 times not 70 times... you made 100 different and all the others are copies or rehashes...
 
 
Aug 1, 2008
Actually, having seen the offending comics, the only thing I can see is how much you've improved your joketelling skills in ten years' time. In the 1997 one, you waste a whole panel of three on just setting the joke up.

In the 1997 one you use much more text that isn't too funny when you look at it closely. 'secret videos of you stealing things' ? It only distracts from the being fired part. Also because you've brought up the 'secret videos' Wally's reaction can be both to be being fired or being caught. Just as Dogbert's response can be read in a way that either the being fired part isn't true or that there are no secret videos. Notice how the secret videos keep obscuring my view?

In the 2008 one, you manage to put the punchline of the 1997 one in panel 2, leaving panel 3 to add another joke, which makes it more cynical, economically told and funnier. All in one panel.

You haven't duplicated yourself, you've just rewritten an adequate comic from 1997 into a much better version. Unfortunately the original version had already been posted!
 
 
Aug 1, 2008
Doctor, "What seems to be the problem?"

Patient, "Doc, I've got the farts. I mean I fart all the time,"

The Doctor nods, "Hmm."

Patient, "My farts do not stink and you can't hear them. It's just that I fart all the time. Look, we've been talking here for about 10 minutes and I've farted five times. You didn't hear them and you don't smell them, do you?"

"Hmm," says the Doctor,

He picks up his pad and writes out a prescription.

The patient is thrilled "Great doc. This prescription, will it really clear up my farts?"

"No," sighs the Doctor, "The prescription is to clear your sinuses. Next week I want you back here for a hearing test."
 
 
Aug 1, 2008
ANALOG.

Damn word is funny, and I will never be able to use that word again without a mischeivous smirk on my face.
 
 
Aug 1, 2008
Still my favorite, from a Dogbert? book in the dorm bathroom:

Sitting on them-

...Divert and correct
 
 
Aug 1, 2008
Wow, 11 years, 7000 comics, hours of laughter and topical humor, and this dilweed is THAT abrasive over this? I wouldn't remember something I did that long ago, and why would you even go back and look? In "real life", things come in cycles as well. Who among us that works in a cubicle farm hasn't felt deja vu hit them when situations happen that are identical to previous ones? In my old job, I could count on the same discussion about Leads management at least 3 times a year, because my boss couldn't remember the answers quarter to quarter.

Watch TV, they recycle jokes within the SAME SEASON, let alone a series. And the CSI and Law and Order machines? You telling me that they come up with 100% original stuff for 3-4 shows each, 20 episodes a season? How many ways are there for a person to be murdered? Really?

Someone needs a hobby!
 
 
Aug 1, 2008
...i think that your complaining reader was just a douche.
those two comics had the same story arch but very different approaches, different characters and different outcomes.
do people really have this much time on their hands to be offended and pissy?
tell him that he needs to switch jobs and become either a Republican "news" show ranter or an Evangelical Christian and then become a manager of a large chain bookstore...his talent for finding irrational things to be pissed at will be greatly appreciated there.
otherwise tell him to read Foxtrot or Calvin...im sure THEY never repeated a joke.
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Aug 1, 2008
Hi Scott,

I had to go back and reread the strip from today. It is a bit risque, but is it really the naughtiest thing you got published? I can think of a couple of "package" strips that were worse. The strip from today might be the most blatant, but not the naughtiest. You should make a compilation called "Things I got away with". I would buy it.

On a related note, it is amusing to see that society has evolved so much since 1900 BC, but our humor has gone nowhere new.

dsg
 
 
-1 Rank Up Rank Down
Aug 1, 2008
Brilliant comic! Now that I've stopped laughing however I'm silently cursing you. You see now as I endure the ensless barrage of government advertisements informing me that analog television broadcasts will cease by February 2009, I'm going to be wondering if the government is really delivering a scatalogical sub-messsage to me.
 
 
 
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