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Episode 140 — Don’t Be A Dork


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#1 July Diaz

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 11:16 PM

Aloha! Charlie Sanders, Eugene Cordero, and Dan Lippert create an authentic Hawaiian experience on today’s improv4humans with Matt Besser! They’ll also play a game of Dungeons & Dragons, meet the famous famous footwear hermit, and find out what really happens when someone gets erased from existence. Plus, everyone discusses the difference between nerd and dork in another edition of What’s Bothering You. Make sure to get the UCB Comedy Improv Manual, Matt Besser’s new comedy album at mattbesser.com, and Dragoon’s new album at dragoongalaxy.bandcamp.com! Check out improv4humans with Matt Besser LIVE at the Del Close Marathon on Saturday, June 28th at UCB East! Go to www.delclosemarathon.com for more info.

#2 Joe Lerini

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 12:36 AM

Editing/adding stuff as I listen:

"Follow the one you love, not..."
"-the one you're with?"

I let out a loud laugh at that exchange.

"To Melanie, from Dracula" also made me laugh.

Thank you, Thomas, the cobalt/kobold confusion was bugging me, too. And then the nerdy Charlie character being into his own sister was so bizarre and silly.

Uh, I think this is my new favorite episode. Thanks Matt, et al.

#3 Dorkopotamis

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 01:44 AM

This episode features the return of slime boy.

I'll also go to bat that I've only heard the word "dork" used as a term of endearment. I think that "nerd" and other words, formerly used as insults or terms of derision, fall out of use, or are reappropriated, out of culture's move away from name calling.

#4 Jacob C

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 07:51 AM

The pig :lol:

Yeah I'm not sure what the right word is to substitute "nerd." The kind of people that Matt was describing I usually just call jerks or goobers.

#5 Shannon

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 07:59 AM

I want that "Matt Besser is on the internet" song to be a permanent part of the show please

#6 Talalaban!

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 10:50 AM

Did you notice that when old school improv was mentioned, ne of the first references was a short-form game? Just sayin... X

#7 Matt E

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 11:24 AM

The way I've always seen it, a nerd is super-knowledgeable about some niche topic (comics, music, history, etc) while a dork is someone acting awkwardly in a way you don't like.
So Thomas correcting "kobold" was kinda nerdy,but if he had interrupted some strangers at a bar to correct them, it'd be dorky.

Also I found the introduction and immediate retraction of the pig very funny.
So I drew a little picture of it.

Posted Image

Quickly pan back.

#8 logorrhean

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 12:38 PM

As a D&D player, I was very disappointed by how wrong their portrayal of actual D&D dynamics was in this episode. Very funny episode, but please, ahem, get your facts straight, gentlemen. Might I recommend perusing the 3rd edition Player's Handbook? *pushes up glasses*
"You just Cosmos'd in your pants."

#9 Matt E

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 12:42 PM

View Postlogorrhean, on 26 June 2014 - 12:38 PM, said:

As a D&D player, I was very disappointed by how wrong their portrayal of actual D&D dynamics was in this episode. Very funny episode, but please, ahem, get your facts straight, gentlemen. Might I recommend perusing the 3rd edition Player's Handbook? *pushes up glasses*

DORK!

#10 Corky Kneivel

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 01:41 PM

View Postlogorrhean, on 26 June 2014 - 12:38 PM, said:

As a D&D player, I was very disappointed by how wrong their portrayal of actual D&D dynamics was in this episode. Very funny episode, but please, ahem, get your facts straight, gentlemen. Might I recommend perusing the 3rd edition Player's Handbook? *pushes up glasses*



Holy shit I swear Ithought I was in the Nerd Poker forums as I read this. I was like "haven't you learned by now..."

#11 Logan Swanson

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 07:32 PM

As a D&D player, I have come to terms that my hobby is the most nerdy of the nerdiness, and will always, continually be made fun of. And that's fine. So it was, so it shall be.

#12 AlamoBasement

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 09:24 AM

wait till star goyle hears about this.. but seriously fantastic ep i loved the opening soo much soo many great parts!

#13 geneparmesan

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 05:37 PM

While it's not used often, "pedant" describes what Matt was talking about. Definition from m-w:
A person who annoys other people by correcting small errors and giving too much attention to minor details. One who is unimaginative or who unduly emphasizes minutiae in the presentation or use of knowledge.

#14 Kevin Irmiter

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Posted 28 June 2014 - 02:26 PM

I think the person who said a dork was someone awkward with poor social skills. The examples Matt gave are pedantic dorks, and the ones he dismissed as nerds sound more like nerdy dorks to me. These are situations where we would expect a normal person to know that no one gives a shit about what they're saying, and keep their mouth shut. But because these people are dorks they feel like they absolutely need to announce their feelings, to everyone else's annoyance.

#15 Benjaminjb

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Posted 28 June 2014 - 04:27 PM

Matt, I am ready and willing to debate you about the whole "dork" thing, partly because your examples are incoherent, but mostly because you end up sounding like a jerk about that.

The worst part is, I get what you mean about the person who has a specific idea about what's the right way to have fun or to do something and how annoying that can be when you don't share that idea. A dumb, but clear (hypothetical) example:

It's boardgame night at the Besser-Schneider household and you two are playing Scrabble. You just want to spend time with your wife, while she wants to play Scrabble seriously. You're just joking around, not taking the game seriously--but she really wants to play the game and makes sure that you're playing according to the official Scrabble rules.

In that scenario, she's a dork, which is a bad thing to be. But also, in that scenario, you're also being kind of a jerk. I'm not entirely sure what to call you here--a flake? The point is, you are both ruining each other's nights because you have different and inflexible ideas of what boardgame night is about.

So, yes, being a dork is bad, but so is being a flake. You're both equally at fault here, right?

Now take this (hypothetical) scenario: a bunch of people come over for boardgame night, but it's really just an excuse to hang out with some friends that you don't get to see too often. But Danielle still really wants to play according to the rules. And so she keeps badgering people to play in her dorkish way, which kind of ruins the mood for everyone there.

In this scenario, you all had a clear idea of what would be fun--hanging out with each other--but one dork just wouldn't let people alone. In that scenario, it's clear that the one dork is making everyone else's life a little less pleasant.

We could flip that around: everyone came over to play seriously, but one person insists on getting drunk and having their own kind of fun. That person's the asshole, right? Do we agree so far?

When a group of people get together for a reason, someone who intentionally comes over to do the opposite is kind of an asshole.

Now let's get to your examples:

1) Bringing keyboards to a drum circle: it could be a funny sketch--but everyone else in the group agreed about what they were doing there. The guy with the keyboard isn't some brave protester speaking truth to power. He's just being kind of a dick.

2) Getting high at a wedding: The guy who pissily says "come on guys" is a dork since, as you said, you're being discreet and not really getting in any one's way. We're agreed on that. But if you were to light up in the middle of the wedding ceremony, that would be you being an asshole. I mean, you're at a wedding, so I assume you're wearing a suit or dressed somewhat nicely? Because we all kind of agree that there's a way to behave. By going to the wedding, you've sort of already agreed to the rules of the wedding. [Note: edited this example slightly for clarity.]

3) Going to the library during the big game: And here's where I think you're being really kind of a hypocrite unintentionally: when you say "go to the fucking game... show your spirit" you sound like a big old dork. Because you're saying "there's a right way to have fun on game day." You're telling people that your idea of the way to behave is the right way.

Now wait, before you try to accuse me of hypocrisy, here's where I would agree with you: if someone went to the game and played distracting music--or even sat in a very visible spot reading Proust--that person would kind of be a jerk. Because everyone else came to the game to have a good time; so going to the game to conspicuously not have a good time is bringing a keyboard to a drum circle.

You might argue that going to the library is a form of visible protest, so it is kind of like bringing a keyboard to a drum circle--except, of course, you can see how it's not. I mean, if you agree to go to a drum circle or a wedding, you agree to a set of social norms and behaviors for a little while. And if you go to the big game, you also agree to that set of social norms. But there are bigger, multi-headed institutions where agreeing to one aspect doesn't mean agreeing to all. If you go to college, you're not signing on to everything about that college, anymore than you moving to Texas means signing on to everything about Texas.

(I'm especially concerned about this point because I'm an atheist living in Texas, in a small city with a lot of churches. But just because I moved to a very Christian city doesn't mean I've suddenly signed on to all of that. Similarly, if you go to a big sports school, it doesn't mean you have to love sports.)

4) The secret show and people feeling ripped off: I don't blame you--yes, when someone asked if you wanted to do the "secret show" and you weren't sure what they meant, you could've asked; but also, the organizers could have told you. This would seem to be one of those cases where some communication about what was expected could've solved the problem (much like hypothetical boardgame night could be saved if you and Danielle talked about what you wanted from it).

But that doesn't mean that the audience-members who were upset didn't have a right to be upset--depending on how the show was advertised. I mean, if I hear the UCB is going to be performing and I get to the theater and you guys are putting on interpretive dance, I'm going to feel a little misled, just as if I had gone to see the Cubs and they were doing improv. This doesn't really have to do with dorks vs. flakes directly, though you can see how it revolves around some of the same issues of expectation and communication.

Like I said, I'm ready to argue with you about this on air sometime, though really it would just be me reading you this long comment.

In conclusion, when is boardgame night at your house and what game should I bring? Because I really don't want to be here in Texas much longer.

#16 greggy

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Posted 28 June 2014 - 05:15 PM

View PostBenjaminjb, on 28 June 2014 - 04:27 PM, said:

Matt, I am ready and willing to debate you about the whole "dork" thing, partly because your examples are incoherent, but mostly because you end up sounding like a jerk about that.

The worst part is, I get what you mean about the person who has a specific idea about what's the right way to have fun or to do something and how annoying that can be when you don't share that idea. A dumb, but clear (hypothetical) example:

It's boardgame night at the Besser-Schneider household and you two are playing Scrabble. You just want to spend time with your wife, while she wants to play Scrabble seriously. You're just joking around, not taking the game seriously--but she really wants to play the game and makes sure that you're playing according to the official Scrabble rules.

In that scenario, she's a dork, which is a bad thing to be. But also, in that scenario, you're also being kind of a jerk. I'm not entirely sure what to call you here--a flake? The point is, you are both ruining each other's nights because you have different and inflexible ideas of what boardgame night is about.

So, yes, being a dork is bad, but so is being a flake. You're both equally at fault here, right?

Now take this (hypothetical) scenario: a bunch of people come over for boardgame night, but it's really just an excuse to hang out with some friends that you don't get to see too often. But Danielle still really wants to play according to the rules. And so she keeps badgering people to play in her dorkish way, which kind of ruins the mood for everyone there.

In this scenario, you all had a clear idea of what would be fun--hanging out with each other--but one dork just wouldn't let people alone. In that scenario, it's clear that the one dork is making everyone else's life a little less pleasant.

We could flip that around: everyone came over to play seriously, but one person insists on getting drunk and having their own kind of fun. That person's the asshole, right? Do we agree so far?

When a group of people get together for a reason, someone who intentionally comes over to do the opposite is kind of an asshole.

Now let's get to your examples:

1) Bringing keyboards to a drum circle: it could be a funny sketch--but everyone else in the group agreed about what they were doing there. The guy with the keyboard isn't some brave protester speaking truth to power. He's just being kind of a dick.

2) Getting high at a wedding: The guy who pissily says "come on guys" is a dork since, as you said, you're being discreet and not really getting in any one's way. We're agreed on that. But if you were to light up at the wedding, that would be you being an asshole. I mean, you're at a wedding, so I assume you're wearing a suit or dressed somewhat nicely? Because we all kind of agree that there's a way to behave.

3) Going to the library during the big game: And here's where I think you're being really kind of a hypocrite unintentionally: when you say "go to the fucking game... show your spirit" you sound like a big old dork. Because you're saying "there's a right way to have fun on game day." You're telling people that your idea of the way to behave is the right way.

Now wait, before you try to accuse me of hypocrisy, here's where I would agree with you: if someone went to the game and played distracting music--or even sat in a very visible spot reading Proust--that person would kind of be a jerk. Because everyone else came to the game to have a good time; so going to the game to conspicuously not have a good time is bringing a keyboard to a drum circle.

You might argue that going to the library is a form of visible protest, so it is kind of like bringing a keyboard to a drum circle--except, of course, you can see how it's not. I mean, if you agree to go to a drum circle or a wedding, you agree to a set of social norms and behaviors for a little while. And if you go to the big game, you also agree to that set of social norms. But there are bigger, multi-headed institutions where agreeing to one aspect doesn't mean agreeing to all. If you go to college, you're not signing on to everything about that college, anymore than you moving to Texas means signing on to everything about Texas.

(I'm especially concerned about this point because I'm an atheist living in Texas, in a small city with a lot of churches. But just because I moved to a very Christian city doesn't mean I've suddenly signed on to all of that. Similarly, if you go to a big sports school, it doesn't mean you have to love sports.)

4) The secret show and people feeling ripped off: I don't blame you--yes, when someone asked if you wanted to do the "secret show" and you weren't sure what they meant, you could've asked; but also, the organizers could have told you. This would seem to be one of those cases where some communication about what was expected could've solved the problem (much like hypothetical boardgame night could be saved if you and Danielle talked about what you wanted from it).

But that doesn't mean that the audience-members who were upset didn't have a right to be upset--depending on how the show was advertised. I mean, if I hear the UCB is going to be performing and I get to the theater and you guys are putting on interpretive dance, I'm going to feel a little misled, just as if I had gone to see the Cubs and they were doing improv. This doesn't really have to do with dorks vs. flakes directly, though you can see how it revolves around some of the same issues of expectation and communication.

Like I said, I'm ready to argue with you about this on air sometime, though really it would just be me reading you this long comment.

In conclusion, when is boardgame night at your house and what game should I bring? Because I really don't want to be here in Texas much longer.

begging to appear on case closed is such a dork thing to do
podcastsarewonderful.com: this week me and gordon ramsay talk about injuries, reality tv, and Reality Show Show episode 6 featuring Hayes Davenport, Sean Clements, and Dave Holmes

#17 Jacob C

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 03:25 AM

Actually, I think the word Besser was looking for is "jerk," not dork

#18 Ghost of HST

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 03:46 AM

Wikipedia has a good etymology but I remember this poster from the late '70s I think - National Lampoon made it...Didn't remember it was originally spelled "nurd"...The use of nerd, dork, dweeb, etc. is very subjective...

Posted Image
“I thought it was ridiculous that a grown man, an educated man — by all accounts who went to Harvard — would enjoy the band Phish..."

#19 Cameronm

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 01:58 PM

When they were talking about fear of heights and being afraid of jumping off it's called "The Call of The Void" which translates from the French word L'appel du vide. Which basically means is that impulse to jump off a cliff or suddenly crash your car into something for no reason, I felt a lot more sane when I realized it was actually really common.

#20 Aaron-Freaking-Singer

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 06:31 PM

Awesome episode! Can I request Cook County Social Club to come on the show? That was so cool how some one requested Wild Horses and they actually came on an earlier episode! IDK if this is the right place to request it or anything, I'll probably try facebook too....