First of all, Russell Brand. In the Guardian, he pokes a certain red carpet full of holes. Brand was asked to leave the British GQ Men of the Year Awards—wait, isn’t that whole magazine already some kind of bound and printed award ceremony?—after reminding everyone that Hugo Boss once supplied the Nazis with their uniforms. It’s hard not to admire the put-upon celebrity who’s got enough cheek and charisma to remind us of how totally naked the emperor is, from time to time.

Why do we laugh at jokes we don’t understand? The Ploughshares Blog has a surprisingly wonderful essay up right now, about Mad Magazine and the development of a refined literary sensibility. Parsing jokes we don’t immediately understand makes us better, quicker thinkers. You’re also more likely to put in the work of analytical reading as a kid if there’s a punchline waiting at the end—or a hilarious fold-out pun.

Load more