IF YOU HAVE a certain beloved newspaper section in mind, you would be almost correct. This columnist has just been informed that an on-campus, award-winning, student-run newspaper’s satire section has run out of jokes. Again.
Apparently, the editor was too busy on TikTok conducting “pitch research” for jokes that will be dated by the print deadline. However, according to student contributors, the section is scrambling to fill page space in the face of a dire humor shortage. What (few) fans of the paper had hoped would be a robust semester of cheap dirty jokes and half-hearted pop culture references is being called by insiders a “stale and uninspired slate — like, even more than usual.”
“We came into this year excited,” said one sophomore who declined to be named. “New President, lots of construction, another huge freshmen class … It was really promising. We could put new spins on old favorites and riff on the newness that construction has brought to campus.”
Another, much more important contributor who also asked to conceal their planetary, deity-evoking name, confirmed the intended direction.
“Maggie’s was supposed to be replaced with a bar for Christ’s sake!” the contributor said. “But none of that has materialized. And while at first I was inclined to blame happenings on campus, I’m starting to think we may have dug this grave ourselves.”
Indeed, a cursory glance at last year’s headlines confirms this perception. Every joke these kids want to make has been made already. Punchlines about freshman CORE classes, inexperience with rain, and the sardine cans they are passing off as dorms return like clockwork every September. Particularly in the fall of 2021, the barrel of content has been scraped down to the dregs. We get it, freshmen wear their lanyards. You were one too, once! And if your writing skills are any evidence, you might very well still be.
Even with such rich veins of shared campus experience to mine, the writers in question are at a loss. Sources report silent, awkward meetings as the shared realization of their own failures stops their Onion rip-off prose in their throats, and the contributors must accept reality. In the face of a freshmen class even bigger than the Class of 2025, they used up all of their best jokes, all of their good jokes, all their decent jokes and a half dozen more on top of that last year.
Luckily, they will be able to pivot gracefully. Right?
One would think that humor writers, historically so highly-paid and alarmingly clever, would have foreseen this coming. Perhaps spend a summer participating in a “Rocky”-style training montage learning to draw out complex humor instead of forced puns and low blows. Alas, this columnist’s dreams of highbrow laughs were thwarted by the shortcomings of college students. Inconceivable. Having had no way to see this coming, the devoted readers of this satire section can only swallow our disappointment, and hope that these writers get their shit together.