Episode 26: The Tragedy of the Geek

Episode 26: The Tragedy of the Geek

The Overthinkers tackle puns and Nazis, both subjects known to be sure-fire laugh riots.

The Punn Diagram

Matthew Wrather leads a panel consisting of Peter Fenzel, Mark Lee, and eventually Matthew Belinkie to overthink:

  • Listener Feedback
  • One Man’s Pun (see Venn Diagram)
  • The Tenets of National Socialism
  • Various Attempts to Kill Hitler (one by Tom Cruise, one by the Highlander)
  • Anglo-American Relations

Disclaimer: We are all ANTI-Nazi. Nazis are bad.

As always, email us at podcast AT overthinkingit DOT com with your comments, or call 20-EAT-LOG-01 (that’s (203) 285-6401) to leave a voicemail.

Download Episode 26 (MP3)

[Venn Diagram by Mark Lee]

13 Comments on “Episode 26: The Tragedy of the Geek”

  1. sheely OTI Staff #

    Any podcast that necessitates an anti-nazi disclaimer must be pretty fantastic. I look forward to listening to it.

    Also, LOVE the venn diagram. We definitely need more of them!


  2. mlawski OTI Staff #

    1. So is the joke about Oedipus’ earony a geek tragedy?

    2. I don’t see why puns are so maligned. I argue the #1 reason we all like Arrested Development so much is the quality of its puns.

    Michael: Get rid of the Seaward.

    Lucille: I’ll leave when I’m good and ready.

    And let’s not forget about the joy of the double entendre. (I’ll double your entendre.)

    3. I am a Jew. Wrather thinks I am joyless. Hitler thought the Jews were joyless. Therefore, Wrather is Hitler.

    There. You’ve been godwinned.


  3. Matthew Wrather #

    I don’t think you’re joyless. I just think you’re against OTHER people’s joy. :)

    You should get on the show and prove me wrong. I am joining the voices calling for you to be drafted into podcasting


  4. Gab #

    You guys are great. I have warm fuzzies. But I guess you really needed material…

    I like how the icon in my iTunes for this podcast is the diagram. Sexy.

    Oh Fenzel, I love your sense of humor, usually! That particular joke about Obama in the other podcast just didn’t work for me at that time. You’re still made of awesome, I promise. ;) The pun exchange with Wrather is/was different. I think the contextual argument Fenzel makes early on can explain it. Normally, I enjoy puns a lot and even try to make them successfully, but the Oedipus thing just hurt me hard because it was about the classics and so out there. A different delivery and/or context may have had a different outcome. So I guess one thing about puns I thought may come up is level of success. Isn’t a pun sort of a counter-active thing, meaning the worse it is, actually the BETTER it is? Sort of so bad, they’re good, but they have to reach a certain level of awful before coming around the circle and getting back to good again. I dunno…

    Hitler was already Fuhrer when he decided to kill the Jews, so yes, it happened after his “campaign.” Hitler coming up? Have you ever played Apples to Apples? Hitler is one of the trumps in that game, at least in the crowd I played with in college. Another trump of ours was Helen Keller. And Anne Frank.

    Lee, is Clint Eastwood going to have to come and bust a cap on your ass? ;p

    Re: Comments- Is it ironic that some people tell you you’re over-thinking things, even though the name of the sight is… well… yeah…? Or are they just dumbasses?

    I think it’s possible to make an anti-war movie so long as it doesn’t depict the war itself- if it shows, say, the families of soldiers, that could work.

    Guys, I’ve TRIED to start discussions about accents in comments before! Finally. I know I’ve brought up _Conspiracy_ at least once before; commercials, too. Argh. I feel somewhat vindicated, but seriously, that could be its own post or podcast.

    So you consider yourself the tragic hero in the story of your life, Wrather? Should we try and bring Aeschylus back to write your biography?

    Fenzel, I envy you your dreams. Made. Of. AWESOME.


  5. Gab #

    Oh, btw, Mlwaski, you reminded me of a double entendre* I used to say in hs to a friend working as a barista*: I’ll venti* YOUR latte! And c’mon, podcast it up! Pweaze?

    *Why the eff does Firefox say that’s misspelled, but “n00bcake” isn’t?!


  6. lee OTI Staff #

    @Gab, re: Clint Eastwood. I really should stay off his lawn.


  7. Gab #

    What, you don’t feel lucky?


  8. Stokes #

    I disagree with this venn diagram. Name one – one – New York Post headline that’s a GOOD pun.


  9. Matthew Wrather #

    You’re saying the yellow circle should be smaller and contained entirely within the red one?


  10. Gab #

    Well, Stokes, I’d argue that what *you* consider a “bad” pun may be *quite* “good” to someone else, and vice-versa.


  11. Rob #

    A personal note regarding puns and Big Pun – pardon if I drain Belinkie’s soul a bit more here –

    Shechner once nicknamed me Big Pun. In fact, this was within the first five minutes after we met; for in that time I had perpetrated enough awful plays-on-words that Shechner noticed my affinity for the form. And he calls me Big Pun to this day.

    Now, Shechner’s choice of nicknames for me was itself an ironic pun – i.e. he associated me with the rapper Christopher Rios, aka Big Punisher, aka Big Pun, under the assumption that i share no qualities with this rapper (I am not Latino, nor do I weigh 400 pounds, nor was Shechner aware of my mic skillz), except for the one word in the rapper’s name, Pun, that happens to represent my most frequent type (my mode?) of joke.
    In fact, since it was a pun on “pun”, and since Shechner and I were just making our acquaintance, his joke might be seen as a meta-pun. (I’m sorry, I never met a pun I didn’t make.)

    As for the rapper, Big Pun himself was a remarkably talented lyricist, but generally expressed his gifts in the form of filling lines with internal rhymes; there are very few instances in which he chose to pun. Here’s one, from the song Dream Shatterer:

    “…Feel the marijuana, snake bite, anaconda
    a man of honor wouldn’t wanna try to match my persona
    sometimes rhymin’ I blow my own mind like Nirvana…”

    … the pun being “blow my own mind”, in that Pun is not intent on committing suicide but is simply incredulous at his own talent.

    As a final note – Big Pun’s own name was not originally chosen as a pun; from the kids’ voices during the Intro track on Capital Punishment, it is evident that Rios took the name because he identifies with the comic superhero Punisher. However, by calling himself Big Punisher, he allows himself to be two types of punisher: a punisher of rival criminals (as on “Pakinamac Pt. 1”) or a punisher of the ladies (as on “Punish Me”).

    Anyway, happy new year, y’all; keep up the awesome!


  12. Gab #

    Rob, that was made


  13. Gab #

    … of awesome.

    (No idea why the whole comment didn’t show up…)


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