King Of Comedy

April 27, 2008

“King Of Comedy” evolved from another unreleased song from the Monster sessions called “Yes, I Am Fucking With You.” I assume that there are two reasons why that title did not carry over to the finished product: First, and most obviously, it would have caused some problems for the band at retailers such as Walmart. Secondly, that title would’ve made it a little too easy for the listener because yes, Michael Stipe is fucking with you in this song.

There’s a great deal of irony on the Monster album, but “King Of Comedy” is by far the most ironic track, to the point that it’s very difficult to discern whether or not there’s even the tiniest moment of uncomplicated sincerity in its three minutes and forty-one seconds. Throughout Monster, Stipe distorts his voice in order to distance himself from his characters, and this song is the most extreme example, with his processed, mechanical staccato delivery rendering him nearly unrecognizable. The lyrics overflow with cynicism, not just in its advice for advancing a career in the arts, but also in how an artist relates to their audience. It’s easy to take it all as being a simple mockery of ambition and celebrity, but the reason the piece works comes down to the reality that on some level, Stipe relates to the pragmatism and pessimism in the song’s advice.

“King Of Comedy” speaks to a deep ambivalence about the singer’s motivation, and a conflict between self-image and public image. In a way, it picks up where “Turn You Inside-Out” leaves off, with a performer who has become acutely aware of the power he wields over an audience, and attempting to feel out a way to hang on to it while clinging to his dignity, ethics, and pride. At the end, when he repeatedly exclaims “I’m not commodity,” the emotional meaning seems to vacillate between mourning his complicity in the creation of his celebrity, and putting on a show of false modesty.

It’s worth noting that, even aside from its distorted lead vocal, “King Of Comedy” is a very strange sounding song. Monster is often written off as a “return to rock” album that doesn’t quite deliver, but that’s only if you’re expecting a straight rock record. The truth is, it’s more of a queer rock record, full of skewed, campy glam songs with audio textures that evoke a haze of super-saturated colors. The album doesn’t sound quite like anything else, and with its odd collision of industrial rock, arty noise, and disco, “King Of Comedy” in particular is unlike any other song I’ve ever heard.

120 Responses to “King Of Comedy”

  1. 4trak Says:

    This song’s declined in stature for me over time, but it’s still a highlight off Monster. It’s the bit where it breaks into jangly arpeggio at the end that gets me, though. What’s that about?

  2. Urban Runoff Says:

    I believe Michael Stipe’s quote on this song (and on the entire Monster record) at the time was something like, “It’s a sell-out, but I like it.”

  3. Ben Says:

    I never really understood the backlash against Monster, and it always stung a bit when I’d see 8 or 9 copies of the album in used record stores in the late 90s. It was the first new R.E.M. album to come out after I discovered the band, and it’s still one of my favorites.

    And about “King Of Comedy” specifically, my favorite thing about the song is the woman who supplies the backing vocals. Nothing against Mike Mills’ abilities as a backup vocalist, but hearing a female voice adds a completely different (and in the case, oddly sexy given the subject matter) dimension.

    Yeah, great fucking song.

  4. Ubergrier Says:

    “Monster “was the last album that I bought to catch up on the R.E.M. back catalogue. By that time, I had read the posts about Monster being in the used bins, but after I heard it, I didn’t understand why it would be so – it’s probably one of my favorite albums. It was then that I identified “Strange Currencies”, a song I had heard in some anonymous restaurant long ago, but didn’t know who it was by,

    Well, I do understand why – it’s different from what people were expecting. “KIng of Comedy” is edgey, cynical-sounding and somewhat abrasive. It’s cool to the very end, redeemed by the closing line.

  5. Jerad Says:

    I believe that this is also the only R.E.M. song to be given the full-on 90’s electro remix treatment, as heard on the b-side to Electrolite. I don’t think the 808 State remix is a must-hear, but it’s an interesting curiosity in the R.E.M. catalog. I’d dance to it if it came on in a club.

  6. maclure Says:

    I’ve been waiting for this one to come along. I think I have the opposite take on this song as 4trak above – it has continuously grown on me to the point where it is one of my all time favourite REM songs and also, that arpeggioed bit with “I’m not commodity” (false modesty is right) and drum machine is my favourite outro to an REM song with the possible exception of Just a Touch.

    I was going to say that the backing vocals were supplied by Michael’s sister Lynda but a quick wiki check reveals that she only sang on Bang and Blame and on KOC it’s someone called Sally Dworsky. Either way, the more I listened to the track the more I came to appreciate the gurgles and disco drum loops buried in the mix. It prefaces the post-NAIHF albums but somehow is edgier and rockier than many of the songs of that time.

    Matthew, personally, I think you are strongest on the Monster songs. Your write ups for this album always leave me with plenty to think about (especially for “You”) and you unpack lyrics far more than I ever did. What I think it comes down to is something you mention from time to time but here you stated explicitly: “Monster is often written off as a “return to rock” album that doesn’t quite deliver, but that’s only if you’re expecting a straight rock record. The truth is, it’s more of a queer rock record, full of skewed, campy glam songs with audio textures that evoke a haze of super-saturated colors”. That is absolutely spot on analysis. Monster is a twisted concept album and when you realise that I think it becomes brilliant for what it is. If all you want is riffs and powerchords to rock to Monster will probably be adequate but unspectacular. For me, Monster is one of REM’s most thematically complete albums and I think that makes it awesome.

    There’s an 808 State remix of this which was a b-side on a NAIHF single. It’s not spectactular but was a favourite of mind on rarety mix CDs for a while.

    Has anyone seen the Robert de Niro flick King of Comedy and does anyone know if this song is supposedly alluding to it? I keep meaning to see it (because of this song) but haven’t. A quick spoiler check of the plot reveals themes and subplots of celebrity, fame, obsession bordering on madness, persona, identity – all of which rub shoulders nicely with anything on Monster.

  7. maclure Says:

    Er, like Milesy a few weeks back I have also fallen victim to a cheeky winking smiley face (see above). That was unintentional although an oddly appropriate placement. If anyone wishes to take that wink personally, be my guest.

  8. Paul Beaulieu Says:

    Yes, you’re dead on with the comment that Monster is “more of a queer rock record, full of skewed, campy glam songs with audio textures that evoke a haze of super-saturated colors.” I think Monster’s great, actually. It’s almost as good as AFTP, though much, much noisier. I love the sounds on “King of Comedy”, from the heavily distorted voice to the skewed panned guitars. And does anyone else dig the chorus of Micheal Stipes chanting “I’m not commodity” at the very end?

  9. Paul Alferink Says:

    My least favorite on the album. Not bad, just not as good as everything else on a strong effort.

    King of Comedy is a Scorsece Movie about a man who imagines himself a stand-up comedian and idolizes and obsesses over a “Johnny Carson” type late night host, even going so far as to kidnap him. It is about the obsession with celebrity, and how infamy can by celebrity, possibly more than talent can. Very much the jumping off point for this song, and Scorcese most under-appreciated film.

  10. Kirsten Says:

    I was wondering what you meant by that Maclure. I was all ready to go back to You to see what Matthew wrote. 😉 (sorry, couldn’t resist)

    For the record, Monster is my 2nd favourite album (after Murmur). Not only does it rock, but it is so creepy! And I love the fact that the ‘majority’ simply wouldn’t understand it.

    As for King Of Comedy, when I first got the album I hated it. Possible due to the fact that the songs directly before and after were immediate favourites with me, making it harder for this one to stack up. But the initial put-off for me was Michael’s vocals. So distorted – I really love Michael’s voice so I hated the fact that they changed it so dramatically. However, in more recent years as I’ve given the song a chance, it has become a bit of a favourite. I would rate it higher, but the album as a whole is full of such fantastic songs, it makes it hard. Once I heard the irony in it, I fell in love with it. And that ending? Priceless.

    Not such a big fan of the re-mix though. The album version is much, much better.

    Didn’t Rain Pheonix do some of the backing vocals for Monster? Not sure where I got that information, but I’m sure I’ve read it somewhere.

  11. Michael Says:

    “Monster is often written off as a ‘return to rock’ album that doesn’t quite deliver, but that’s only if you’re expecting a straight rock record.”

    Spot on, and this song more than any other on the album fits the term ‘queer rock’. I think Monster, along with Reveal, is the most underrated REM album. I can completely understand the lukewarm reception it received though. It’s partly related to Matthew’s ‘return to rock’ observation above, and partly because REM’s audience changed dramatically in the early 90s. Most of the people who bought Monster (and subsequently gave it to the used record stores) were new fans who only owned Out of Time and Automatic. They wanted more of the same, and Monster didn’t provide it. (This is one of my favourite things about REM. They’ve never done the expected, never been content to churn out their successes over and over again.) Most of the fans that jumped on board with Out of Time, jumped back off in disgust when they heard Monster. I don’t miss them. It’s much easier to get REM concert tickets now…

    I remember a Peter Buck quote from the Monster era. I think it was in Mojo magazine. He was asked about the mixed reviews that Monster got and he said, (and I’m paraphrasing to the point of misquoting here), that he was fine with it. He suggested that in the future it would sit on the rack alongside all the other REM albums and people would say that it was a weird record that they made in 1994. No big deal.

    I think the years have been kind to Monster, it’s certainly held in higher regard now than it was at the time. Perhaps it was just crushed under the enormous weight of expectation that followed Automatic for the People. I do look at it as a weird album that they made in 1994. And I don’t know about anyone else, but I like REM the most when they’re a little bit weird…

  12. 2d Says:

    monster is brilliant, start to finish. hands-down my favourite r.e.m. album, and we all know that says it all.

    “king of comedy” was, i believe, called “the disco song” at some point – and it’s easy to understand why. it’s got a beat, it’s danceable and the lyrics are so fun to sing along to with a huge grin on your face. there are so many great songs on monster, drenched in distortion and guitars, yet this one particularly has a sexy, swaggering sleaziness that, to me, is irresistible. spot on about the female vocals, without them the song wouldn’t seem so… dirty 😉 (ha!)

    “i’m straight, i’m queer, i’m bi”

  13. Martijn Says:

    I think this is my favourite song on the album. My favourite part is the blipping noises slightly under the surface during the chorus. I think I read this song compared to Bowie’s “Low”, and there’s definitely something “What In The World” about it.

  14. milesy Says:

    Really interesting, guys, as ever. With several others above, I appreciate the accurate description of Monster as ‘queer rock’, ‘campy glam’: yes! that’s exactly what it is.

    Not a favourite song of mine, though, so surprising and interesting to hear how highly several of you seem to rate it.

  15. milesy Says:

    On Monster, Michael is right on why OOT/AFTP only fans rejected it.
    It took me a while to get into it, I have to admit, I think I was expecting more of a return to their 80s style rock and was taken aback by the ‘campy glam’ (I’m just loving that phrase). It wasn’t until I heard the songs live that I started to understand… (especially songs like I took your name and Let me in, which are now among my favourites).

  16. gluefoot Says:

    this song has the lamest bridge i’ve ever heard..
    it’s pretty cool outside of that though not amongst the best of what ‘monster’ has to offer

  17. maclure Says:

    I love the ‘campy glam’ bridge ;). It’s sort of lame in a geeky way which makes it cool. As opposed to Binky the Doormat’s bridge which is lame in a lame way.

  18. maclure Says:

    What!??? Why didn’t my cheeky, winking face work that time!!!???

  19. Dark Bob Says:

    Monster may not have been a return to rock record (I would put ACCELERATE into that catagory) But I think it was intentionally going for a harder, raunchier sound after the soft, string-laden sounds of OOT & AFTP. Monster stands apart from anything before or after it. It has a Sleazy, kinky, creepy feel. To me, this song is about celebrity as a product. Implying that fame makes you a product to be marketed and sold and not a human being. I agree that Monster is brilliant for what it set out to do and accomplished.

  20. Paul Alferink Says:


    Rain Pheonix does sing back up on a couple songs on Monster.

    I don’t know where the negative critical reviews comments are coming from. There use to be a rock critic show called “4 on the Floor” and they did their top 5 albums of 1994. Monster was on 3 of 4 list. The guy that skipped them picked albums that he admitted had to do more with what he was doing in his life than as to how good they were. A quote from one of them:
    I usually hate REM, but that album rocked so much it couldn’t be denied.

  21. Clare Says:

    I really liked your write up on this one Matthew, very intelligent & insightful. Love alot of Monster but this one is one of a handful that really leaves me cold. I know it is meant to be creepy/distorted/difficult to listen to, but to me sounds like it is trying to be too clever for its own good. Michael’s voice irritates. I skip. Sorry.

  22. Beethoven Was Deaf Says:

    I love Monster, and for me while its always been a blending of glamrock and grunge. Nearly every song on it is great, but I don’t really like King of Comedy. At first, I enjoyed it mostly because it stood out from much of the rest of the CD, but it doesn’t do much for me anymore beyond being a pleasing listen.

  23. Clare Says:

    Now I can’t get the darned song out of my head though

  24. Auctioneer Says:

    Not to rain on the parade. But a terrible song. Very simply, take away the distorted vocals and unusual production and you have one of the weakest songs in the REM canon. That said, I quite like the 808 State remix. “Monster” was a a bold album to put out after “AFTP” and “Out Of Time” but I could never really get into because I found the overall material weak. “Kenneth” and “Crush With Eyeliner” were good but most everything else sounded to these ears too forced or too familiar. “Strange Currencies” was too much like “Everybody Hurts” and the melody on “Bang and Blame” was very similar to the one from “Losing My Religion”. I think those bargain bins were a good indication of the quality of the album. How ironic that the “Monster” tour would spawn one of REM’s finest albums in “NAIHF”. One could wonder how much better “Monster” would have been if the songs were roadtested also.

  25. Monster and Up have a very similar pattern for me; I really couldn’t get into them at first, and then one day they just clicked and became favourites. King of Comedy is probably my favourite song from this record; it’s just so sleazy and evil.

  26. Meriste Says:

    I always associate this song with Dolphy, he’s called the King of Comedy in my corner of the world:

    And I like how processed this song was, robotic and artificial but still dripping sex and grime. Not my favorite when Monster first came out, and it still hasn’t beaten my favorites from that record. It’s just that good an album, the secondhand copies notwithstanding.

    “Campy glam,” “Queer rock,” “Glam grunge:” describes the album perfectly. Love your write-up. You really mulled over Monster‘s songs a lot and it shows.

  27. Steve Rachbach Says:

    I’ve never been a big Monster fan, except that WTFK and Bang and Blame are great stand-alone singles. I’ll take a more historical perspective on this one. After becoming hugely popular in the wake of Losing My Religion and then AFTP, they set out to make an up-tempo album. Call it a rock, or a glam-rock concept album, or whatever you like, but I think the album derailed REM’s popular appeal. Having loved REM since 1982, I relish every new release. Beyond the music that entertains and inspires me, I want them to be the biggest, most acclaimed, and most popular band ever (but I must admit, that desire may speak more to a character flaw on my part). In any event, after Automatic sold about 10 Million copies in 1992, REM and U2 were the “biggest” bands in the world. Then, REM released Monster in 1994 and a whopping 9 million copies were sold to the adoring populace. Certainly, between Monster’s release and 1996 (when NAIHF came out), they had health problems, not much touring, and the musical zeitgeist had turned away from REM. However, I belive that the curveball thrown at the public with Monster was the main reason why they lost their extreme popularity. I believe that NAIHF might be their all-time best album, yet it languished with little popular and even critical popularity. They finally made the album that should have been Monster…it’s called Accelerate!

  28. David T. Says:

    I’m glad some folks mentioned the remix…though I’m not a connosieur of club/dance music (in general or specifically on this track), I like hearing Michael’s voice “liberated” from the lower-octave overdub.

  29. Kirsten Says:

    Can’t believe anyone doesn’t like Monster. It’s soo sexy. Other great words to discribe it – dark, creepy, weird, sleazy and kinky. Always leaves me begging for more. (Especially that last note on the last song – Yoooouuuuuuuuuu. Can take me hours to calm down) 😉

  30. Kirsten Says:

    Just listened to the remix in my lunch break to refresh my memory and it really lacks the edge and even the cheekiness of the album version.

  31. milesy Says:

    Steve R: that’s a thought-provoking post, and I agree with the idea that Monster was not what the masses were looking for, and bears much ‘responsibility’ for the decline in REM’s popularity (although they hardly had ‘not much touring’ between Monster and 1996– half of HiFi was written on the road.

    In his excellent REM biography (‘Fiction’), David Buckley suggests that, having achieved really massive success, REM almost wilfully backed off from producing more albums that would satisfy radio and mass success, preferring to continue their long tradition of making each record new, interesting, and often completely different than the last. While it’s true that they have not been as indifferent to ‘success’ as they sometimes claimed, particularly in the 80s, they have never been willing to do ‘whatever it takes’ to be big.

    The comparison Buckley draws is with U2, who, while REM were moving further and further from the mainstream in the late 90s/turn of the millenium, went back to their roots with All that You Can’t Leave Behind: Bono himself has said explicitly, yes, we want to be the biggest AND the best we can.

    I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with either approach, and I think particularly that Bono’s position is very honest; maybe, now and then, REM have wanted to have it both ways. The thing is, they’re so good, that they have sometimes managed to achive this! While I still like U2, REM have remained a far more interesting and gripping band to follow.

    Sorry for the long post. Keeping myself from work with random musings…

  32. maclure Says:

    In the Q interviews recently Mills gave REM a B+ for their last ten years. I thought it was quite an interesting window of self-reflection on how the band see themselves since their demise from mainstream popularity. I also think it’s quite accurate – things could’ve been A LOT A LOT worse for REM and their fans since Monster/NAIHF but things have not always been perfect either.

    One way to see it I suppose is in terms of their influences. After the Nirvana route (Monster), REM really wanted to go down the Radiohead route – remain strotospherically cool, popular and relevant by starting to experiment with laptops and produce drawn-out mood pieces. That has produced some interesting results but hasn’t had the world clammering for more (as is the case with Thom Yorke et al). In a bit of a rut come 2007 they looked to their other global peers U2 for inspiration and made an earthy, rock album with a U2 producer. Results = better, because REM are ultimately a guitar band (like U2) whereas Radiohead since The Bends have operated more like a collective of experimentalists (with the emphasis on “mental”). Basically, when you ask for that REM “magic” it doesn’t need to come from machine whizzes and gurgles even if Radiohead’s magic partly stems from their use of artificial sounds. REM and U2 share this in common – what ultimately makes these bands tick is well-crafted, fairly standard songs executed distinctively and extremely well.

    It’s not the whole story, but maybe it’s a part of it.
    How did this post end up being so long? apologies…

  33. You’re painting with a brush the size of a city bus, Maclure.

  34. “You’re painting with a brush the size of a city bus”

    How very Stipean…

    Just to clarify that earlier remark, I don’t hate this song, it is very good, but it isn’t the classic that I used to hold it to be.

    I also think that the first real stumble came with ATS; Up and Reveal had their own levels of intrigue that ATS seriously lacked.

  35. ADB Says:

    Have to say, I’m with Auctioneer on this one. This is one of very few REM songs I actively dislike – I just find it really heavy handed, both lyrically and in the leaden attempt at a groove. Not a big fan of the remix either I’m afraid.

  36. Ignis Sol Says:

    From time to time I wander throughout YouTube to see and hear covers of random R.E.M. songs (“Shiny Happy People”, “Bad Day”, “Daysleeper”, “Falls to Climb”, “Hairshirt” and even “I’m Not Over You” among many others). Some kid does a version of “King of Comedy.” And it is great: stripped down and emotional. I admit that “King of Comedy” is a song that had to grow on me.

    I’m not commodity

  37. maclure Says:

    Re: Matthew’s comment above. Hahahaha, I wrote that post ridiculously early this morning. I think I was still vaguely in the land of nod. Later on I re-read it and thought “what?”

  38. jim jos Says:

    Is it Rain Phoenix on backup here, I was never quite sure. That background vocal is one of my favorite parts of this one.
    Oh yeaaahhhh.

  39. Paul Alferink Says:

    No. Sally Dworsky (sp?) does the backing vocals. Maclure said that early. I have no idea who she is, other than her brother played piano for the Prairie Home Companion show on PBS, when it was on (And is in the excellent (and prescience) Robert Altman movie based on the show). I have no idea why I know that, but I’m guessing wikipedia.

    Lynda Stipe and Rain Pheonix supply backing vocals for Bang and Blame, I think.

  40. Matt Says:

    I disagree with the comment that MONSTER was the reason R.E.M.’s mainstream popularity first slipped. It is true that longtime fans expecting their 80’s sound may have been disappointed, and that casual fans that had come onboard with “Losing My Religion” were turned off too. So the bargain bin glut does makes sense. But “What’s the Frequency Kenneth” was a gigantic hit single that attracted many new fans to R.E.M. and it has endured as a big live staple. And the other MONSTER singles received huge airplay on radio and MTV at the time. I even remember seeing the “Tongue” video in rotation for a while. The Monster world tour in 1995 was their largest, most successful tour to date, a fact often overshadowed by the band’s health issues.

    To me, the turning point in mainstream relevance was the decision to release “E-Bow the Letter” as the lead single off NAIHF. It was, in my perception, the first release that was met with general disinterest. The song is one of their masterpieces for sure, but as a single it sounded like a 6 minute drone to many ears. Imagine if that lead single had been “So Fast, So Numb,” or “The Wake Up Bomb.” NAIHF would have sold at least twice as much its first week in stores. After E-bow bombed and NAIHF sales were weak, the other the NAIHF singles were given very little push by Warner Bros – videos for “Bittersweet Me” and “Electrolite” came and went, unnoticed, unpromoted. At least in the US, it was all downhill after that sales-wise.

  41. Mr Cup Says:

    mmmm…6 minute drones

  42. Clare Says:

    I really love that particular 6 minute drone & generally like most of their other drones!! Get yer money’s worth more than with the wham bams!

  43. Tim Says:

    I’ve had those same thoughts as well Matt…

    Still..I don’t think R.E.M was going to stay on top forever, I’m just glad that they decided to come out with something as good and relevant as Accelerate in 2008.

    I remember that the Monster CD’s always really stuck out in the Used CD stores because they were sooo Orange

  44. DJ Says:

    the sad commentary is bad enough, but could you possibly do more then 1 song a week?!?!?!? THANKS!!!

  45. Paul Alferink Says:

    Yeah! Or else we are all going to demand refunds! Wait, this is a hobby and we don’t actually pay you for the privilege of reading what you write in your spare time? The profession of REM blogger isn’t as lucrative as it once was since “ATS” didn’t certify platinum?!?! I should just understand that sometimes life takes precedence over free entertainment for strangers?!?! That maybe you aren’t my own personal monkey, destined to dance whenever I clap my hands?!?! Screw that! Dance, Monkey, Dance! There’s no good t.v. on tonight and I’m too broke to go to blockbuster, so I demand my free entertainment! Now dance!

  46. 3d Says:

    why don’t my posts appear???

  47. 3d Says:

    (for the record, i am actually 2d, but the site won’t let me post comments anymore for some reason!! they don’t appear in the list but if i try to submit an identical one i get a message that it’s a duplicate post… me no comprende, senor! so 2d > 3d, upgrade!)

    does it have anything to do with me changing my website?…

  48. Ignis Sol Says:

    Paul A. – did someone put something in Cap’n Crunch?

    my flat mate always says, “dance, monkey, dance”, too.. and I dance! Too funny.

  49. Mr Cup Says:

    “Matt’s not your movie screen, he’s not commodity”

  50. Paul Alferink Says:

    Only the rat feces and bug carcuses allowed by FDA guidelines.

    Now, Dance Monkey! Dance!

    Anyone else own the REM shirt with the monkey and the parrot riding the bicycle that said “We are having a Heavenly Time”

  51. Kirsten Says:

    What’s the matter? Did Matthew forget to bark, on command?

  52. Mr Cup Says:

    Had that shirt once Paul. It was my all time fave.

  53. Dark Bob Says:

    I’ve got that shirt. Think it was from the Fables of the reconstruction tour.

  54. profligateprofiterole Says:

    Saw a bumper sticker yesterday,
    A man is not a financial plan.
    Now that guy might be the real king of comedy..

  55. Paul Alferink Says:

    I think it might have been from the LRP tour. But I think you could buy them from the Fan Club for some time after that. I think that’s where the person who gave me mine got it.

  56. Kirsten Says:

    I saw a bumper sticker for sale on ebay a few weeks ago that said:


    I sooo wanted it!

  57. 3d Says:

    hey, what’s with the little icon things anyway?

  58. Ignis Sol Says:

    I saw a bumper sticker the other day:


    i cried and then laughed and then drank and then danced like a monkey until 1 am in the morning

  59. Ignis Sol Says:

    my icon is the best… HA!

  60. profligateprofiterole Says:

    yeah , Ignis , yours is cool
    but mine is green

  61. 3d Says:

    ignis, your icon reminds me of the symbol of samurai jack from the eponymous series.

    but profligateprofiterole’s is green.

  62. Mr Cup Says:

    Love Samurai Jack!

    Mine looks like an exploding space invader.

  63. Clare Says:

    Where have they come from these symbol thingys….why are mine and Kirsten’s black?!! Who says black is our colour?! Cool idea though, very visual

  64. 3d Says:

    clare, don’t you know the traditional irish song that’s sung by andreas scholl “black is the colour”? 😉 (the deadly wink returns!)

  65. Paul Alferink Says:

    Oh course black is your color! The computer looks deep into your soul and assigned you a pattern from a logirithim based on the order in which people made there first post. . .

  66. Ignis Sol Says:

    mine may not be green, true, but it seems to be, er, electron blue! 🙂 ZAP!

  67. milesy Says:

    Yeah! Mine is G4een!

  68. 4trak Says:

    Oh yeah? Well I’m logged in, and I have a lemon with a shopping trolley orbiting it. Beat that, m*therf*ckers.

  69. Ignis Sol Says:

    mine is all tuff and martial arts lookin’ an gonna’ knock your freakin’ shopping CART off the track… YA!

    at least your lemon is cooler than the others that look like something my grandma puts her tiny tea cups on with frilly and puffy treats.

    Lemon, she wore lemon…

  70. Kirsten Says:

    Are you sure yours is black, Clare? I looks dark green to me.
    4trak’s reminds me of Saturn Return. Cool.

  71. Elliot Says:

    I want an icon…

  72. Kirsten Says:

    Hey Elliot, yours is a 4-leaf clover! Good score!

  73. Mr Cup Says:

    I hate yellow.

  74. Clare Says:

    I’m really worried that I’m colour blind now! Not seeing dark green at all, this is becoming as enlightening as discovering new meanings to lyrics!!!

  75. milesy Says:

    I think yours is green Clare. Welcome to the club.
    Yellow can be cool Mr Cup. It’s the colour of Reveal, and of Reckoning. I can’t say why it is the colour of Reckoning, but it has always been a yellow album in my mind. File under yellow.
    Eopnymous is yellow.
    Roadmovie is yellow.
    Green is yellow. I’m losing my mind.

  76. Clare Says:

    Sorry but I’ve had confirmation from my colleague, my symbol is as black as the ace of spades….I have become militant in the defence of my symbol…really is time for another song!

  77. Mr Cup Says:

    Clare, sorry to be the third barer of bad tidings, but under the microscope I can confirm that the colour of yer icon in the universally applied hexadecimal system is #3b450b.

    Its constituents are comprised of the following parts:

    As you can see, green is quite dominant and black is used to shade or accent the green. REM named an album after green. They named nothing after yellow.

    I could deal with orange. Tangerine even. Yellow? Why not just spit in my face?

    Oh hang on…the geisha gown was yellow.


  78. Clare Says:

    Er, ok !!

    Coldplay have been living off the merits of “Yellow” for the last 10 years…

  79. Clare Says:

    Er, ok !!

    Coldplay have been living off the merits of “Yellow” for the last 10 years…

  80. Paul Alferink Says:

    The man in the yellow hat wore yellow . . .

  81. Figgy Says:

    First post from me in a while. I’ve been busy recently but have visited the site whenever possible to keep up with the reading of it.

    I’m only submitting this to see what icon I get.

  82. Figgy Says:

    (Underwhelmed sigh) Back to work for me.

  83. narcizo Says:

    let me see too!!!!

  84. N Says:

    I quite like this song, but I’ll admit I’m just here for the icon.

  85. Kirsten Says:

    Jimjos’ is too light. Another Green though.
    Clare probably can’t even see it…..

    I’m Black like Accelerate. Cool.

  86. profligateprofiterole Says:

    interestingly, my ScottMalobisky and profligateprofiterole icons match but my transformerdog icon is different; is someone or something not aware that we are three equal,though seperate and distinct, etities contained within the One Majestic Godhead?

  87. profligateprofiterole Says:

    staring into the hollow icon’s eyes

  88. Clare Says:

    ……actually Kirsten if we are being really accurate I think you’ll find yours is in fact a very dark blue…

  89. 3d Says:

    people, you do realize we’re talking about icons as a very mindnumbing way to pass the time, right? we need a new song, matthew!!!

    on a side note, i like my icon but wish it were orange (actually more like pumpkin, or that very warm tone between yellow and orange), my favourite color!

  90. 3d Says:

    orange like green i mean.

  91. Clare Says:

    I think that Hollow Man has an essence of The Great Beyond about it, the quiet verses, the soaring chorus…just occurred to me this instant.

  92. Jared W Says:

    I want one.

  93. profligateprofiterole Says: got it……

  94. Mr Cup Says:

    I can concur with Clare, Kristen’s’ is indeed closer to purple:


    Icons sure are endlessly fascinating!
    Except yellow ones. They suck.

  95. 3d Says:

    i like jimjos’ the best.

  96. profligateprofiterole Says:

    yeah , it’s almost invisible
    like a gossamer butterfly wing

    did you know that all the information about the universe that modern astronomers and astrophysicists have collected with their telescopes in 100 years is deduced from an amount of light that is equivalent to the energy of one snowflake hiting the surface of the earth?

  97. profligateprofiterole Says:

    Kirsten’s is the ying and the yang
    the dark and the light
    half angel half devil
    it articulates her feisty feminine nature

  98. Kirsten Says:

    I had already thought that mine might be dark purple or blue. But I couldn’t think of anything good about that. Can’t think of any REM-related purple.

  99. Kirsten Says:

    Oh-no, we’ve reached 100. It can only go down hill from here.

  100. Mr Cup Says:

    You Am I have Purple Sneakers. That’s a good song.

  101. Paul Alferink Says:

    Clare’s is kind of a violent green, wouldn’t you say?

  102. Clare Says:

    yep, violently black….what you implying anyhow?!

  103. Paul Alferink Says:

    Nothing. It’s just that I’ve worn a shirt of violent green once. . .

  104. Beethoven Was Deaf Says:

    Wow! Been gone for 10 days and find I basically have missed nothing – cool!

  105. Beethoven Was Deaf Says:

    Oh, what’s up with all the cool symbols, and why is mine Teal?

  106. Paul Alferink Says:

    Upgrade at wordpress is the reason for the symbol. Yours is teal because, appearantly, the wordpress servers hate you.

  107. Ben Says:

    Ooooooh, we get little symbol thingies now…

    I hope mine’s a picture of a walrus!

  108. Ben Says:


  109. Paul Alferink Says:

    Do you like walrus, because I happen to be in the possession of some (slightly used) rubber walrus protectors. . .

  110. lenny Says:

    Do I have the only “true” red icon out there?
    All I can say is “File Under FIRE” beyotches.

    And nice quote, Paul — undoubtedly alluding to the Simpsons ‘Stonecutters’ episode, but no one probably caught that.

    One more thing for Paul – Go Cardinals – technically, the Cubs are percentage points ahead, boooooooooooo.

  111. lenny Says:

    (The “quote” I was referring to was from Paul’s May 7th, 12:50 PM post.)

  112. Andy Says:

    What’s with all the snowflakes?

  113. Andy Says:

    Why do I have the Iron Cross?

  114. Andy T. Says:

    Was I the only one who instead of posting new, looked back to their last post to see what beautimous snowflake was bestowed upon them?

    Oh well, now that I’ve posted to this current thread (well, not really that current… C’mon Matthew, pony up to the posting bar!), I guess now my wonderful new blue icon is on display along wiht my ZZ-Top gold tooth. 😉

  115. Mr Cup Says:

    Lenny, it’s pink.


  116. profligateprofiterole Says:

    Go Pirates vs. Cardinals tonight, and every night
    Edmonds wasn’t long in San Diego, eh , Alferink?

    Go Penguins !! I wanna say to Cup, “Lord Stanley Lord Stanley bring me the brandy…..” I wanna hoist the Cup, and Mr. Cup too, I wanna spin that Aussie around over my head…..Speaking of which , was watching the game on Sunday and during an extended video review of a possible goal the in house PA system was playing What’s The Frequency, Kenneth? and as the camera panned around the crowd they showed some Philly fans (yuk) in their Orange Crush t-shirts. It was a surreal REM/hockey juxtaposition moment , how bizarre.

    and I want a new icon, I demand a recount, er, I’m not the king of comedy although I might qualify as the master of jocularity (and puppets) …..

  117. Beethoven Was Deaf Says:

    Cue Metallica: MASTER! MASTER!

  118. Beethoven Was Deaf Says:

    Any Death Cab fans out there? Their new disc “Narrow Stairs” came out today and its pretty good. Obviously only heard it a couple of times yet, but I would place it just below “Plans” in quality, although a far cry from “Transatlanticism”, which is their masterwork. For some reason I have equated REM with Death Cab somewhat in my mind. Other than both groups have very literate and poetic lyrics they realistically don’t have that much in common, but in my head the connection is there. I think at least partially due to the fact that Death Cab mirrored REM’s career path releasing several CD’s that were critical darlings but mostly underground hits before having a CD that got a little notice (Transatlanticism is DCFC’s Life’s Rich Pagaent in terms of gaining a little more mainstream attention) and then hitting the mainstream with “Plans” (which sort of mirrors Document in that it had a couple huge indie hits that were mid-range rock radio hits. Don’t think “Narrow Stairs” will continue that career arc the way that Green did though. Anyway, if you don’t know them check them out.

  119. profligateprofiterole Says:

    BWD, they were on Letterman last night but I fell asleep before they came out

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