There’s a term you learn in Comedy Business School, “five percenter.” This refers to a joke that only five percent of the audience will understand. They can either be very smart jokes that require a lot of fancy education, or an obscure inside joke that requires an in-depth understanding of the history behind the Comedy CEO making it. A lot of Comedy Corporations will use these jokes as a wink towards their loyal fans (customers), or to make the few people who do get them feel superior (the ROI of all jokes). In general, if five percenters are used sparingly, they provide an extra level of enjoyment for the people who get them while not confusing or upsetting the people for whom the joke goes over their head. Take, for example, the episode of 30 Rock when Liz Lemon’s family comes to visit her at work and her dad says “It wouldn’t be a Lemon party without old Dick!” That is a classic five percenter.
That being said, most of Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job! is made up of either five percenters, or zero percenters. In the joke biz that should mean Chapter LOL Bankruptcy, but some rules are made to be broken. Season 3 begins July 27th at 12:30AM on Adult Swim. A poop tube full of T&EASGJ! promos after the jump. Buy it now!
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