Defending the Bomb: Comic Aparna Nancherla’s Imperfectly Worded Tweet About Makeup

July 8, 2015 | Liam Mathews

Every comedian has jokes that he or she believes didn’t get the laughs they deserved or tweets that didn’t get enough faves. Defending the Bomb gives a comedian the opportunity to explain one of these failed jokes and make the case for why it’s actually funny.

Aparna Nancherla has a very unique point-of-view. No one sees the world quite like she does, which means that sometimes her observations are dead-on, and sometimes they’re a little confusing. She’s performed on Conan and @midnight, and was a writer for Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell. She’s always worth following on Twitter and catching her stand-up routine, which she can be seen doing almost any given night in New York City. Check her out next month at the Empire Comedy Biscuit Festival.

This one, it didn’t completely tank, but I thought it would do much better and it just did okay.

What’s funny about that to you?

I was putting on makeup or something, and I was thinking about how it was funny that makeup sort of highlights parts of your face, and I think the way I was thinking about it was not makeup as the product, but your face as the product, like “Oh, did you miss my eyes? Because here they are!” You’re pointing out things on your face you would miss otherwise. I was thinking about it in that way, and for some reason that struck me as very silly. But then once I wrote it, I realized that wasn’t quite I meant, but I was hoping it would still translate, and it did not.

It sounds to me like “product placement” is not exactly what you mean.

I agree. I feel like maybe the analogy doesn’t translate, and “product placement” is a placeholder for what I actually want it to be like for your face, but I also think if I explained what I meant by “product placement” I think it would make more sense. It’s a vague idea of a premise, and it doesn’t give enough information for a reader to know what I mean. The more I read it, because it’s so short it halfway reads like an unfinished idea and half like a bot wrote it.

How was it received?

There was one guy who was trolling my Facebook at this time, and he was writing, like, “you’re not funny” on my last five statuses, classic troll stuff. And it was funny, because this joke was one of them, and at the time it had maybe two likes, and he was like “what does this even mean?” And I was like, “I know! It’s truuuue!”

Do you still think there’s something to this?

Weirdly, this is one of those where even though it didn’t come out how I wanted it to, I feel like there’s still something there. There’s something funny there that I can pull out, I just haven’t found it yet.

(Photo: Mindy Tucker)