Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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Joking about Banana Peels

I started reading Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World and have been really enjoying it so far. Thought this little tidbit about banana peel jokes was too good not to share:

A decade or so later, Charles MacArthur, writer of a film adaptation of Wuthering Heights, asked Chaplin how to make something so tired seem new: “How, for example, could I make a fat lady, walking down Fifth Avenue, slip on a banana peel and still get a laugh? It’s been done a million times,” MacArthur asked. “Do I show first the banana peel, then the fat lady approaching, then she slips? Or do I show the fat lady first, then the banana peel, and then she slips?” Chaplin’s answer: “Neither. You show the fat lady approaching,” he said. “Then you show the banana peel; then you show the fat lady and the banana peel together; then she steps OVER the banana peel and disappears down a manhole.”

September 26, 2011