elcome to The Occasional, Funny Or Die’s digital humor magazine. We’re very excited to have you here as we transition our sporadic iOS publication to a regularly updated website. Though let’s drop the word “magazine.” It’s become an outdated word, used only by those unable to move on from the past. Let’s call ourselves a “journal.”
Before I dive into what’s going to fill the pages of this journal, I have a quick story I would like to tell — one that my father used to tell me as a boy.
He was living in Florence at the time, studying medicine. It was the late ’60s, and while the rest of his generation was succumbing to the hippie culture and the hedonism of the era, he was overseas preparing for the future. Which meant working his tail off to become the best goddamn doctor he could, and would, become. On a perfect spring afternoon, he found himself walking the streets and seeing the sites he’d taken for granted while his head was buried in textbooks. The Uffizi, The Duomo, and L’Accademia, home of the David.
After taking in Michelangelo’s masterpiece, he found himself in a public restroom. As my father stepped out of the stall, the door swung open and a man entered and headed toward the urinal. But the man mistimed the unzipping of his pants, leaving him a full six-feet away from the urinal with his penis already hanging out. He quickly realized he wasn’t alone in the bathroom and had to act like it was normal and that he intended to begin the unzipping process from that distance. Then he calmly sidled up to the urinal and relieved himself.
On his way out, he caught eyes with my father — frozen by what he’d just witnessed — and mouthed something in Italian: “Tu sei un volto ora ho visto,” which translates to, “You are a face I have now seen.”
My father told me this story on my Bar Mitzvah. Just to me. Right before I read from the Torah.
I took the story to heart. And it’s moments like my father’s experience that will guide The Occasional as we create whatever this former digital magazine-turned-journal ultimately becomes. In this life, sometimes you’ll take your penis out before you should. But that’s okay as long as you play it cool and act like you meant to do so. It’s what you do with it once it’s out that’s important. And in our case, our penis is humorous articles, videos, interactive features, and spotlights on your favorite comedians and writers. Maybe we’ll take it out at just the right time, maybe not. But that’s part of the fun: the suspense.
Our goal is to try to raise bar for internet comedy with high-brow humor. This site will be a curated, lean-back experience that’s not afraid to experiment. Not every written piece of comedy on the internet needs to be in list form. Not everything needs to be a quiz. No pandering. No cheap laughs.
You will never see us go for the easy joke.
And if we do, trust us that we’ll hoist it back in our pants and carry on. It’s what my father and that sage Italian man would have wanted.
Italian Culture Expert