Joke Amazon Reviews: Sidesplitting Works of Uproarious Genius
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It used to be that if you wanted to be humorously entertained, you could perhaps go to a comedy club, read anything by Dave Barry, or watch your parents try to figure out how to program their DVR.
In this golden age of Internet trolling, however, the hotness is the joke Amazon review. Unless you’ve been hanging out under a rock (although I would also like to say that I am in no way prejudiced against people who do hang out under rocks), you should know there is a new genre of humor writing that is not only entertaining to read, but that anyone with Internet access can take up as a hobby.
I know; you’re thinking, “Deb, is it really possible that I, a non-professional, can actually have my twisted thoughts published online for all to see?” And the answer is “abso-frigging-lutely.” All you have to do is find a product on Amazon.com and leave a satirical review of it.
Why would people spend time doing this? Kyle von Bose, the writer of the Uranium Ore review below, told me, “I was prompted to start because [in 2009] I wasn’t working. … It was mostly to amuse myself and also partly to just prank the newly emerging e-shopping world.
“I think it’s just a new form of telling jokes. People don’t tell jokes face to face anymore; they read funny stuff online. Amazon reviews are a silly way to just poke some unexpected fun into a strange or off product. It’s a free audience.”
And you never know when it could lead to something bigger. Von Bose told me that while Amazon had previously removed some of the humorous reviews he’d left, it eventually had a change of heart and started curating them: “Amazon contacted me and said they might use the review in a book they are making about their funniest reviews and that if they did they’d give me a free book. Oh yeah, now they think it’s cool!”
You can play along. Let’s take a look at some of my favorite products and their sometimes-inappropriate reviews. Some of them have been edited for brevity so my editor’s head doesn’t explode.
One of the things that inspires humorous reviews is a product that evokes the question “Who in the hell would possibly need this contraption?” That’s how the Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer made its way to the forefront of legendary Amazon reviews. And just in time, too. I tried all 570 of the previous incarnations of the Hutzler, and they don’t work at all.