Mitch Hedberg Joke Evolution

Two Mitch Hedberg jokes:

Spaghetti… I can’t eat spaghetti, there’s too many of them. No matter how hungry I am, 1000 of something is too many.
– Mitch Hedberg

I like rice. Rice is great if you’re really hungry and want to eat two thousand of something.
– Mitch Hedberg

So these two are pretty much the same joke, but for me the rice joke is better, and I think it’s obvious the spaghetti version mutated into the rice one at some point. Or God changed it, whichever. Anyway.

Why is the rice one better? Because…

1. The rice joke is more absurd. The spaghetti joke’s “I can’t eat two thousand of them” – well, who could?

2. The first one is not quite true enough – there aren’t 1000 bits of spaghetti in the average bowlful, but there are more likely to be 2000 bits of rice in a meal. Maybe. Look, I haven’t counted them (or if I have I’ve blocked that particular evening out of my memory) but it certainly seems likelier, doesn’t it? The closer a joke like this comes to the truth, the funnier it is.

3. The rice joke is a positive, which suits Hedberg’s free-wheeling persona more than the negative of the spaghetti version. Point of view is incredibly important when writing jokes for stand up. A different comedian with a different persona would be able to spend five minutes shouting about how he doesn’t have time to eat 2,000 of something, but Mitch was a happy-go-lucky one-liner merchant.

4. Fuck it, rice is just funnier, isn’t it?

5. It is.