Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Big Bang Theory: A Fart By Any Other Name...


Lately I've been told by more than one person to watch the TV show "The Big Bang Theory." I've been told that it's "the smartest show on TV" and what's more, I've heard so many people utter this little gem...


Last I checked I have a reasonable amount of brain power, so I was eager to see a sitcom filled with intelligent humor. For those who aren't familiar, "The Big Bang Theory" is a sitcom about two socially awkward but brilliantly smart physicists and their hot, blonde, (and pretty dumb) neighbor.

So with high expectations I sat down to watch a few episodes. My brain was ready for stimulation... but instead, what I was met with was a pretty typical sitcom. Fart jokes. Sex jokes. Puns. Sure, scientific references are thrown in (sometimes arbitrarily), but most of the jokes are just regular jokes disguised with bigger vocabulary words. And did I mention there are plenty of fart jokes? Now come on, do you really need to be an astrophysicist to understand a fart joke?








But worry not, friends, because after an 8 year doctorate program and $120,000 in school loans, I'm comfortable saying that I understand most of the show.


After I complete my night courses in whoopy cushions, I'll be well on my way to understanding this show.

So really, why do people think you have to be a genius to "get it?" I'm pretty sure a person with even below average intelligence can understand the humor in being socially awkward, or fumbling things up with a woman, or a goofy catchphrase. Let's face it, at its core this is all pretty lowbrow humor.

A fart joke by any other name is still a fart joke, folks, no matter how you dress it up. But if that's what it takes to be considered "smart humor", well, we can do that, too.




And there you have it. We're now officially the smartest blog on the net. But don't take our word for it. Just read these blurbs we completely made up.


"Humor so smart even *I* don't understand all of the jokes" - Stephen Hawking

"We're only a month into the year but I'm already calling it - the most important scientific discovery of 2013 will be the humor found in this blog" - Neil deGrasse Tyson

"The smartest blog in the entire history of the Internet, including the history yet to come" - Carl Sagan's Ghost


Cheers and stay intelligent, folks,
Bryan (and Brandon)

Music: Atlas Genius
Beer: Zywiec

62 comments:

  1. Hahahah it's funny - Boyfriend has a PASSIONATE hatred for this show. I don't really watch it either, but if it's on when we're flipping through channels, I *always* hear how awful it is. I might tell him to read this blog post... (then again, it's just gonna get him all worked us...)

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  2. Well played using a math book to fan away the fumes of a brussel sprouts fart. Only something as comlicated as algebra and calculus could extinguish those flames.

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  3. hahaha yeah i watched one episode with some monkey, the monkey was smarter than all of them. Suffice to say that was the last I watched of that, at least it's good to know smart people fart too right? haha

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  4. Every friend we know has told us we HAVE to watch this show. We evidently aren't smart enough to get it either because it just seemed like poor acting to my husband and I. Glad to know we're not alone!

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  5. The show has some pretty funny moments, but it doesn't take a genius to understand it. However, to think that it does take a genius to understand it makes me wonder two things:

    1) How stupid must someone be to think that a fancy-worded fart joke is "smart" compared to any other fart joke? Are brain cells really dying that much, that that is now considered "intelligent"?

    2) I can't remember the second thing that I was wondering and that probably does not help this comment at all. Or maybe it does, since I am having a dumb moment and I can practically guarantee that I'll understand any scene from that show if it was on my TV DURING a dumb moment (which, in my defense, is caused by lack of sleep and not an actual gene of stupidity like some people seem to have. Oh look, I used a science word. Smart humor!)

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  6. So that's what they mean by big bang? The world was started by a huge fart? Now I'll definitely not watch that show.

    The artwork and Fartology degree in this one are impressive. And your humor is better than any on TV nowadays.

    xoRobyn

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  7. Hey, the next time you guys need to raise publication money, just sell personalized fartology degrees! You'll make a shitload of money!

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  8. I understand it just fine and I definitely would not describe myself as 'smart'. I do love the show, though.

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  9. I don't get it. Your humor is far too superior for my feeble mind to comprehend.

    Fart jokes are beneath me...literally. Because you know, when I fart it comes out my bottom, therefore placing the fart beneath me. Get it? Slow clap?

    Nevermind, just pull my finger.

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  10. I'm a fucking idiot and I think that show is damn funny. So there!

    (Well, not really, but I couldn't resist the comment.)

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  11. I find way to offensive to nerd culture. It's an epitome of all the stereotypes and most of the characters are annoying.

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  12. Ever since "Everybody Loves Raymond" perfected the sitcom, it's all kind of been downhill. You can't improve on perfect!

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  13. I've watched half an episode of Big Bang but I'm with you. I found it funny, and I liked some of the references, but there wasn't a part of me saying "you need to be smart to find this funny". If anything, you need to be a bit nerdish to get the references. Saying something in a verbose manner doesn't really make it smarter.

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  14. Ahh, this was a GREAT blog bit, BEER BROTHERS.

    Right from the very title - a play on words incorporating the show's title, an allusion to excess gas, and utilizing a Shakespearean reference (see, nothing gets past me) - this blog bit shows why A BEER FOR THE SHOWER really IS the smartest blog in the Blogosphere. Good work, Ol' Beer Boys.

    I've never seen THE BIG BANG THEORY, and have even less interest in catching an episode of it after having enjoyed this blog bit about it.

    And now for something completely different, I'm going to state conclusively what REALLY was the smartest sitcom in TV history: it was FRASIER.

    Two intellectual, overly cultured, pretentious brothers, psychiatrists both, and each one in great need of a really good psychiatrist. The writing on that show was SO SMART.

    Anyone who says they didn't think FRASIER was all that funny was probably missing half of the jokes because they weren't catching all of the sly references. One needed a reasonably respectable knowledge of subjects such as literature, music, architecture, medicine, theatre, etc., in order to "get it" all.

    I know there were times when jokes got past me, and I like to think I have a fairly decent education for a modern American nitwit.

    Anyway, funny stuffs, Bryan and Brandon.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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  15. my house mate is addicted to that show, I like it because even I can understand it, now that you say it there are a lot of fart jokes.

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  16. The same people who used to make fun of me for watching Seinfeld and Everybody Loves Raymond because of the laugh tracks watch this show without batting an eyelash. I don't know, I don't think I'm intelligent enough to get it unlike the pretentious, self-righteous, "intelligent" folk.

    Here's Big Bang Theory without the laugh track, it's very awkward: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmLQaTcViOA

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  17. No no... the Black Lotus is the most expensive. Serra Angels were only uncommon.
    Now back to the top to read the post.

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  18. Oh, I watch Big Bang, and I really like it, but I've never considered it intelligent TV. It's true that they keep a physicist on hand to make sure they get the science correct and put in visual science jokes in the background, but that's not the focus of the show, and they never have jokes a 4th grader can't understand.

    Hmm... now, I'm trying to think of any intelligent American TV, but I'm not really coming up with anything. I think the best stuff, right now, is being written by Steven Moffat for the BBC. "Justified" is really good, though, and has some great writing and great characters.

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    1. Moffat is brilliant. I love the way he wrote the Doctor Who series with Matt Smith.

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  19. To paraphrase Stewart Lee: you can watch The Big Bang Theory and dismiss it as rubbish if you like, or you can dismiss it as rubbish without watching it to save time, if you prefer.

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  20. I like sitcoms. Does this make me bad? I like smart sitcoms like Arrested Development and stupid ones like My Name Is Earl. I just like 'em. But to think you have to have a certain level of intelligence to enjoy them? That's just silly.

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  21. I think the most enjoyable "smart" tv show I've seen would be Sherlock. I really enjoy the vehicle for moving the plot forward. In years gone by it would have been all internal monologue, in Sherlock you get visual cues to what he's seeing.

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  22. Oh come on. This show is funny. It makes me laugh. I think that's kind of the point of most sitcoms though...

    However, the people who claim that you have to be smart to enjoy it...well...they're wrong. Most television shows are carefully crafted to appeal to the lowest common denominator of humanity. This show is no different. That's why it's so popular. Is it for everyone? No. But it is for me! :)

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  23. I'm guilty of watching that show and understanding it...therefore your assumptions are true, it doesn't take a genius to understand it. It may help that I grew up with a couple of Sheldons and Leonards in my life; I am the brunette version of their "Penny".

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  24. I watched 2 episodes on a flight 2 years ago. I liked it, and I've been meaning to watch it ever since, but never get around to it. But in the mean time, I keep hearing about how much people hate it. Hmn, maybe I would be better off not bothering to watch it at all.

    I don't think it's a smart comedy. More like comedy aimed at nerds. So many of the hardcore nerds at my uni love it, especially the computer nerds.

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  25. Love the show...but mostly for the nerdy references they make...reminds me of some of my friends!

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  26. Hubs and I both watched an episode and our opinion is a big fat MEH.

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  27. I don't mind this show when it's on and actually used to never be able to miss it but the fact that some people watch it and feel smart watching it when it's not even particularly geeky and hard to understand has put me off it a massive amount to where I'm nowhere near as keen on it as I used to be. On a side note was this an actual gag used in the episode you watched like word for word? Because if so that show's pathetic, there's nothing smart about it.

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  28. I've tried watching that show a couple of times and couldn't get into it at all. And like you I've had a lot of friends rave about it. I feel like it's a "smart comedy" for people that don't quite understand what a "smart comedy" is.

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  29. I think people mistook nerdy as smart. Sure, they use big words, but that doesn't mean much.

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  30. I. Freaking. Love. Bry-Bry. This needs to be a recurring character post-haste!

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  31. It's a decent show, but yeah, anyone who tells you that you have to be "smart" to get it is a moron, specifically the kind of moron that's easily fooled and easy to pull scams on, what they used to call a "mark", the kind of person who draws the dumbest conclusions from the most superficial trappings of the show.

    In other words, let's get together and compile a list of these people and we can run the biggest catfishing, Nigerian prince fisting, scheme that the world has ever known! Bwahahahaha!

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  32. Seriously? People say that "you have to be smart to enjoy it"? That cannot be true because the show is a hit yet 95% of all people are morons. I admit that I enjoy the show when I watch it, but I enjoy it because I'm a nerd who appreciates comic book references not because I'm smart.

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  33. haha loved the quotes in the end . and i agree with you that the show has normal jokes that normal people can understand . i am personally a big fan of friends and How i met your mother .

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  34. I watch it occasionally when we're over at a friend's, and it's a pretty good show alright, but people who say things like the stuff you mentioned, about it being a "smart people" thing, that just really drags it down. I sets expectations high for the above-averagely intelligent people, and causes the average or lower folks to be negatively biased towards it, usually without having seen even a single minute of the show. Sure the setting is one for "smart people", but that doesn't make the story, narrative, jokes, or any of that only targeted towards the "clever folks" niche.

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  35. No matter, I love the show and watch it every week. Also, I love your drawing of Sheldon and Leonard. It looks like them.

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  36. I watch it and find it funny BUT I don't feel that you would have to be smart in any way to find it funny. Like every sitcom on the planet it has some funny scenarios. My personal favorite character is the guy that owns the comic book store.
    The same people that would call that program smart...aren't.

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  37. I love the show but would never describe it as smart. Sure there is some science,engineering, computer humor in it but it is a show about odd quirky characters doing stupid things and dealing with the consequences then coming to a happy ending. Like every other sitcom ever. Great stuff regardless.

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  38. One of the few funny things on TV at the moment but they're really repeating the crap out of it, I was watching it before it became cool!

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  39. I love that you just faux-quoted Neil deGrasse.
    Sitcoms have a ceiling on how smart they are. I try to stick to shows that are non-major network. It took me years to watch 30 Rock because I didn't believe anyone that it was good until I finally watched it

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  40. Not a big fan either, actually, I'm not even a small fan of it since I never watch it. I am jealous though of your degree in fartology, I bet that took a lot of gas.....ok, I need help....Did Bryan ride the small yellow bus when he was in school? Just wondering.....

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  41. "Mud burps"? That's a new one on me...

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  42. I do not watch sitcoms. EVER. I am currently obsessed with this new show 'Banshee' on Cinemax. It has hot ex-cons, Russian mafia/Amish villains, and drag queens. I'm not sure what this says about me and I don't care.

    And with all the men in my family there isn't a fart joke I haven't heard. I'm fart joke jaded.

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  43. Well, I'm not ashamed to admit I'm one of 'those' people who are addicted to the Big Bang - LOVE it :)

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  44. Well, the aforementioned show...

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  45. Almost all of the arts are a twist on a twist of something that has been done before. You could easily trace the roots of your comedy back to the brilliant Three Stooges or to Laurel and Hardy. That's not a bad thing.

    Yes their bits are stock, but when it came out, it felt fresh. But no, you don't have to be smart to get it. You did have to be smart to get Python though.

    You have to be uber cool to get you two schmucks :)

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  46. I have watched this show almost from the beginning and have never felt that you had to be smart to watch it. I don't know who thinks that. They must be morons because it is apparently challenging to them.

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  47. I've written before about how TBBT is the dumb show I like to watch before bed, because I actually don't have to think at all for the thirty minutes it is on.

    Such a great job with your drawings of Sheldon and Leonard!

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  48. I cant say anyone has every told me that you have to be smart to enjoy the show, but I love it. It just makes me giggle with all the awkward social moments.
    Bit like how your blog always makes me giggle too

    Loved this post as always

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  49. I think you can get a real doctorate of fartology from the same place where you get to become a reverend for $20. I can't believe anyone would make the specious claim that you have to be smart to enjoy that show. My friend the college professor, reasonably smart and hyper nerdy, has said that show is like Uncle Tom for nerds, a bunch of non-nerds trying to pander to what they think nerds are like. Like when a super model goes on a talk show and talks about what a total nerd she is because she watched the Avengers movie twice. Pandering.

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  50. "including the history yet to come" - That's the best line ever!! ha ha ha!!!

    So, I guess I shouldn't confess that I watch this show every night while falling asleep? Ummm, okay...LOL I can't help it, I love it. I find it funny, then again, I'm easily entertained.

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    1. I think B&B's point is not to bash Big Bang Theory as a wholly terrible show. They're bashing the fact that people think it's "smart humor" when it's really not. You're fine for liking it.

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  51. I'm sorry, but if I want high-brow fart humor, I'll just stick to old reruns of Frasier.

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  52. The Big Bang Theory is a terrible show and it should feel terrible.

    If you want to watch a show that's actually smart, watch Sherlock, it is brilliant.

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  53. I'm not a fan of Big Bang Theory either, but I shamefully just shrug it off to people who recommend it lest I offend their taste of "intellectual stuff." I think judging how "smart" a television program is seems like a vague and arbitrary system altogether. Would a TV show be smart for the suspense it creates (ie mysteries? Detective work?) or would it be smart based on the information it throws at the consumer? Would it be smart based on cultural references? I don't know. I don't watch much TV, but I watch things which move me, intellectually and/or emotionally.

    That being said, The Prisoner is one of the best things to ever land on TV history.

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  54. Well, I'm glad I've never heard the "you have to be smart to understand it" statement. They said that about Blair Witch (rather, you have to be smart to be scared by it...say what?)

    While I do like Big Bang Theory, I only just started watching it, and I don't find it addictive in the fashion of some of my friends who quote it bloody endlessly. I feel the need to become so addicted to a show that all I do is quote it and post private in-jokes that only the other fans can understand. Then I'll truly have made it.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

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  55. I feel more intelligent from having even read those fart jokes second hand!

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  56. I agree with your take on this show. Randomly sprinkling terms from high school textbooks in with the same jokes and the same staging as every other sitcom does not push the boundaries of TV or intelligence.

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  57. If I catch it while it's on, I'll *watch* it. Basically, it's background noise. You've heard you need to be smart to understand it?! That's just stupidity talking. It's about as hard to understand as Family Guy.

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  58. Loved your representations of the characters. I don't get why anyone would say you have to be smart to get this show, except that it is about smart characters. I find the show funny, but only because it is completely silly and it reminds me of my brother and his friends :)

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  59. Started watching the show after a crush started referencing characters in a conversation. It does have some moments but usually I catch up on episodes only when I am brain-dead after hours of work. So my recommendations for this show don't count.

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  60. The lure of BBT is it nods to nerd-cred. The social draws of the main characters are understandable to non-sports-loving folks. Now, it's degraded a bit over-time to include the non-nerds (such as your aforementioned fart-joke reference) and, indeed, it's becoming a bit more like "Friends" than anything else, unfortunately. Still, since Olivia Munn left E3, it's the best we've got for nerd-happy-fun-show.

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