@ProfanitySwan, @IAmEnidColeslaw, @DMStyleGuide, @ThePoke… there’s a lot of accounts on this list that fancy themselves as comedians. When writing about them, one can’t help but be reminded of that EB White quote about how analysing comedy is a lot like dissecting a frog: they’re both very easy to do and great fun.
There’s a list of Tim Vine jokes that get emailed forwarded by your parents’ generation under the belief that they’re old Tommy Cooper gags. This tells us two things about the British: one, you’re too stupid to realize Cooper fell to the floor clutching his heart long before the Eurostar opened; and, two, you love a one-liner.
@SixthFormPoet is here to kill off your love of the one-liner through any means necessary. If Tommy Cooper was the working man’s pageantry of a 1970s cup final, and Tim Vine is the slightly sterile yet still technically impressive precision of a top-of-the-table La Liga clash, then what is @SixthFormPoet? To me, he’s one of those pre-season friendlies where Chelsea’s reserve side strolls around the pitch taking on an equally disinterested “MLS Select” side in a game sponsored by a pharmaceuticals giant. A middle class bastardisation of what was once an enjoyable artform, yet still somehow ridiculously popular.
The football metaphor is apt here because, although @SixthFormPoet’s stock-in-trade is terrible one-liners based around puns nobody would ever make, he likes do a few jokes about what he, almost certainly, calls “the beautiful game” when talking to his friends. Here’s some examples:
This is the kind of material that Not Marilad Bantertelli (PARODY) accounts wouldn’t even bother to steal. And yet… you spitshine it, you market it to the kind of people who circle films they’d like to go and see in The Guardian Guide, and you get RTs. @SixthFormPoet now has a book deal. Think about that for a few seconds. Weep salt tears.
@SixthFormPoet forms an unholy trinity of terrible UK Twitter “comedians”. His compatriots are @RogerQuimbly, a man who is presumably some form of lower-tier British comedy writer from the amount of RTs from vaguely respectable comics he gets and whose account reads like death by a thousand cuts from a knife-wielding Ned Sherrin; and @Pundamentalism, a man whose work is as exactly as good as you’d imagine someone who calls himself “Pundamentalism” would produce. He got 63 RTs yesterday for tweeting “Rubbish van Penalty”.
Even with these consigliere, nobody can doubt that @SixthFormPoet is the capo of shit British Twitter comedians. A great comedian should feel no real emotions other than self-hatred and neediness. @SixthFormPoet and his ilk, on the other hand, survive on nothing but an affected smugness, the aura of men who who have a knowledge of craft beers but still enjoy the article in Shortlist magazine. I want to live in a world where this kind of lazy wordplay exists only in the Monday cryptic crossword. After @SixthFormPoet’s book is remaindered in January, that’s a world we can start building towards.