PAULY SHORE: A CAREER IN THREE JOKES
Pauly Shore is America's Great Divider. Even his blink-and-you’ll-miss-it appearance in a popular 42-second online film is enough to make people hate the whole thing and remind themselves and the rest of the Internet how much they hate him.
In an unprecedented move, Screen Junkies has completed the first ever survey of Pauly Shore cinematic scholars, as well as a few undergrads majoring in "Pauly Shore Studies," which some of schools in the UC system have made available as a path of metriculation. The results of our unprecedented survey demonstrate that there are basically only three Pauly Shore jokes, repeated in film after film.
These are those jokes.
JOKE 1: "Pure Gibberish"
Best exemplified by the dinner scene in Encino Man, this is when Pauly goes downright indecipherable. Most Pauly Shore slang involves words that you can kind of figure out from context ("grindage" = "food," "nugs" = "hot girls") but every now and then, he lapses into psychobabble so dense that even the most advanced Pauly Shore scholars are unable to determine the meaning:
JOKE 2: "Lack of Cause and Effect"
Basically, in this joke, Pauly behaves abnormally enough that if you did it, you would probably get punched in the face, would have to pay damages, or would at least be asked what the hell you thought you were doing. But in Pauly Shore World, people just kind of ignore him and treat the craziness as normal and continue saying whatever it is they want to say. In this example from In the Army Now, Pauly Shore is playing miniature golf and does stream of consciousness quotes from movies and commercials about the armed forces while two military dudes just kind of stare at him.
Perhaps you require another example? In this clip from Son in Law, starting at about the 4:45 mark, Pauly starts to plow his character’s name in cursive in a field, ruining hundreds of thousands of dollars in crops. Of course, nobody says anything.
JOKE 3: "Language Events"
Though this is related to Joke #1 (see: "Pure Gibberish," above) Pauly Shore scholars make a distinction between the gibberish joke and the language event. That is, in this type of joke, Pauly Shore just kind of strings existing, non-slang words together in ways that sound cool, but barely make sense.
This clip from Bio-Dome is essentially an excuse for Pauly Shore to say “mahi-mahi” repeatedly:
Or take this gem from Jury Duty:
But the Holy Grail for Pauly Shore scholars? The rare triple crown: a scene in which he speaks pure gibberish slang, then uses real words in a rhyming manner that in and of itself does not make sense, all while seemingly normal bystanders do the opposite of reacting.
Amateur Pauly Shore scholars put your skills to the test: Can you point to any Triple Crowns?
-- J.C. Sirott
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