Comedic Artistry In Amazon Reviews

from the new-artforms dept

One of the more interesting things about the rise of the internet is how it inspires creativity and artwork in unexpected places. For example: the rise of Amazon reviews as a work of art. This "artform" probably really kicked off with the now infamous three wolf moon t-shirt, and a wacky comment left by Brian Govern almost exactly five years ago that inspired thousands of other wacky comments and, voila, virality.

I'm reminded of this as people are talking about another set of wacky reviews on Amazon, this time for a massive and insanely expensive Samsung 85" LED TV which normally runs $44,999.99, but is "discounted" to merely $39,997.99 (a bargain!) and somewhat amusingly notes that only 3 are left in stock. People have been having a field day in the comments, mocking the price, the features (free batteries with the remote!) and just the general idea that people are buying $40,000 TVs off of Amazon.

A few samples: There's Cheryl Gustafson's explanation of what pushes this over the edge:
At first I hesitated to make the purchase, but then I saw the two AA batteries were free with the remote, and I was all in! Having this really fills in that empty space we called a bathroom!
There's Hans Summers' play on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air or Scott Robertson's Star Trek reference. But, by far the one that most people are focusing on is the one from James Thach, which starts off innocently enough:
My wife and I bought this after selling our daughter Amanda into white slavery. We actually got a refurbished. It's missing the remote, but oh well-- for $10K off, I can afford a universal, right? The picture is amazing. I've never seen the world with such clarity.

Amanda, if you're reading this, hang in there, honey! We'll see you in a year.
The story goes on from there, including multiple updates and responses to "concerned" commenters. Comedy is subjective, but it's pretty damn amusing. That led me to check out Thach's other reviews, and while there are only a few, it appears that since reviewing that Samsung TV, he's really jumped headfirst into this new comedic art form, though most don't come off quite as clever as the Samsung TV (he focuses more on what might be called... "toilet humor" in quite a few of them).

Still, while the humor may be a mixed bag at times, there's something kind of amazing when you begin to realize that this is even a thing now. The ability to allow people to be creative in all sorts of new and interesting ways leads to creativity and entertainment in totally unexpected places. This is one of the reasons why we tend to think it's so important to allow for open forums for communications whenever and wherever possible, rather than focusing on top-down broadcast-style models of content production that were dominant last century. No, silly Amazon reviews aren't any form of "high art," and many people will dismiss them entirely, but there's something kind of special in seeing creativity spring up in odd places, and it's the kind of thing that the internet does so well.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Namel3ss (profile), Dec 5th, 2013 @ 3:17pm

    Holy crap Batman!

    The t-shirt in the Amazon link in the article has sizes up to XXXXX-Large (5X). They sure know their target market, don't they?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    MondoGordo (profile), Dec 5th, 2013 @ 3:42pm

    Comedy or not Americans are f'd up

    somewhat amusingly notes that only 3 are left in stock.

    As of 5:30 CST there is only 1 left in stock ... so one must conclude that 2 people actually bought this monstrosity.
    For $40K on Amazon .... oy vey!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Christenson, Dec 5th, 2013 @ 4:20pm

    High Art it's not....

    But it's sure good for a laugh! Go reviewers go!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    TheUglyOne (profile), Dec 5th, 2013 @ 4:21pm

    Copyright anyone?

    Yeah the next thing you will see is a reviewer suing for copyright infringement for reposting his review.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), Dec 5th, 2013 @ 4:43pm

    Not high art? And yet the time spent reading those reviews can be far more entertaining, creative, and applause-worthy than most of the television and movies that Hollywood produces.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Dec 5th, 2013 @ 4:47pm

    i was coming here to post exactly that, and here you are

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Dec 5th, 2013 @ 4:48pm

    The internet is all about horrible wastes of time.

    First, yes I'm guilty of it right here. My railing is about facts, though: corporatism and The Rich taking over the world, and at the least I'm on the right side. Mike is just here to cheer the wastes of time as such, labels it "creativity", and not so subtly promotes Amazon, one of his corporate sponsors.

    Think the Internet means more competition? Take a look at the graph here: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/08/30/amazon_dot_com_holds_ludicrous_lead_in_online_retail_sales/

    1 2:48:15[n-305-6]

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Chris, Dec 5th, 2013 @ 5:35pm

    Earlier than Three Wolf Moon

    My introduction to the genre was this brilliant IT review of a children's book.

    http://www.amazon.com/review/R2VDKZ4X1F992Q/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=UTF8&ASIN=0448421658& nodeID=283155&store=books

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2013 @ 5:45pm

    Re: The internet is all about horrible wastes of time.

    You really hate successful businesses and people don't you. (With the exception of your beloved movie studios/executives/overlords of course, who in your eyes are perfect angels where every over-reach, every illegal action, every immoral act is just an anomoly)

    Is it because you are such an abject failure in every aspect of life?

    Even you are welcome to compete against Amazon. Nothing stopping you, except your own incompetence/ laziness. I know, that is not how you roll, your kind wants everything for nothing.

    You do realise that Amazon become successful and popular on the internet by giving the people (you know, the customers) what they wanted, how they wanted it, and when they wanted it.

    See, if you could convince your overlord paymasters to take a page out of Amazons books, they could go back to making $200M movies and make a profit (Well, as far as their crooked accounting practices will allow anyway)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2013 @ 6:51pm

    Re:

    From a practical stand-point art is a waste of time. Creativity is largely a waste of time in the arts, because everyone knows familiarity sells.

    But sure, go back to sucking Dodd's massive MPAA shaft and shoving it where the sun doesn't shine.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    icon
    techflaws (profile), Dec 5th, 2013 @ 11:05pm

    The most hilarious review I've read so far is Arthur J Bullock Jr's of Ridley Scott's 'Prometheus' dubbed

    The Scientist's Survival Pop Quiz v2.0

    which I liked so much that I posted a German translation which of course received the very same non-sensical comments by crazy fanboys who just can't stand their favourite movie being demolished by common sense.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    haiku, Dec 6th, 2013 @ 12:23am

    Reviews for Veet

    The reviews by males using Veet to remove hair from their "delicate parts" went viral at one stage, to the extent that Amazon removed a large number.

    Definitely some of the funniest writing that I've ever come across ... 8)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Dec 6th, 2013 @ 12:46am

    Mmmm ... Janet Hubert

    The only reason I actually watched FPoBA...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Dec 6th, 2013 @ 1:51am

    Re: Re: The internet is all about horrible wastes of time.

    It's almost ironic (and sadly predictable) that the expected moron uses a comment space on an article about people using such spaces in creative ways to repeat some of the least creative trolling in recent memory. I'll admit Amazon seems to be a new target, even though his objections are as usual wrong-headed and his "source" is a site similar to Techdirt whose editorial opinion he happens to agree with. No primary sources or ideas for this one!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Dec 6th, 2013 @ 1:56am

    Re: Earlier than Three Wolf Moon

    God that was funny. Hats off to you dear sir.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Dec 6th, 2013 @ 2:00am

    Re: The internet is all about horrible wastes of time.

    You should try other business venues. You are sort of bad at clown trolling. I advise ice dryer or used socks sniffer.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    icon
    BentFranklin (profile), Dec 6th, 2013 @ 5:58am

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2013 @ 6:15am

    Even the celebs are involved

    George Takei's posted several amusing comments - including the 3-wolf shirt.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2013 @ 12:16pm

    I want one!

    Well I sold my trailer and my car but I'm still about 36 grand short. :(

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    robert spano, Dec 6th, 2013 @ 5:39pm

    Re: I want one!

    The Panasonic 152" is much better but it is a little more expensive. http://www.panasonic.com/business/Plasma/3D/3D-Plasma-TH-152UX1.asp probably around $120k

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Dec 9th, 2013 @ 9:44am

    Re: Even the celebs are involved

    George Takei's are insanely humorous to me.
    Wasted a morning reading through them all once. Well worth it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Ruby, Dec 11th, 2013 @ 8:16pm

    It's like Easter Eggs on Amazon

    I came across this delightfulness while looking for Christmas presents. ^_^

    http://www.amazon.com/Doctor-Who-Desktop-Patrol-Dalek/dp/B003ZRPN70

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This