Monday, December 21, 2015

Page 128: Wikibard

I don’t know if it’s possible to list all the Star Wars and Shakespeare jokes, puns, and references on the Wikibard website. The banner at the top of the page is modeled after Wikipedia. The section “News from around the Globe” (“the Globe” being the famous Shakespearean theatre) consists of actual Shakespeare news stories mixed with fictional news from The Billionth Monkey. The page introduces us to the new Hamlet Special Edition comic book, as well as the opposing viewpoint in “Ham Stabbeth First” paraphernalia. Visitors to Wikibard can actually vote in the poll at the bottom of the page.

Some people disapprove of Shakespeare's revisions in Hamlet Special Edition.
Here is a list of puns on the home page:

Prominent Shakespeare Scholars Speak Out
  • the short and the long of it: This phrase, which lives on as an idiom in modern times, is commonly attributed to Shakespeare, who used the phrase in The Merry Wives of Windsor, A Misdummer Night’s Dream, and The Merchant of Venice. The OED says the phrase predates the Bard, but he certainly popularized it.
  • biggest of the biggs: Reference to Biggs Darklighter, friend of Luke Skywalker in Episode IV.
  • secret plans to force it into being a Wedge issue: Three more Star Wars references: secret plans (of the Death Star…what Episode IV is all about), the Force, and Wedge Antilles.
  • doth protest too much: From Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Act III, Scene II.
  • Frances Beye-Cohn: Pun on Francis Bacon. We met her back on page 89.
  • anger leads to hate, and hatred leads to suffering: Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back.
  • If you prick us, do we not bleed?: The Merchant of Venice, Act 3, Scene 1.
  • Randy Goodyear: Shakespearean vocabulary from the phrase Randy=horny. Goodyear is from the phrase “What the good-year?” i.e. what the deuce or devil…making this a Shakespearean #DevilReference.
  • Wyoming University for Social Sciences: See page 87.
  • Hamlet Holiday Special: Refers to the notorious (and repressed) Star Wars Christmas Special.
  • Jack Guardant: In Shakespeare’s works, “Jack” is a contemptuous term, while a guardant is a guard, protect, or keeper. Thus “Jack guardant” is a “Jack on guard” or a “Jack in office.” See Coriolanus, Act V, Scene 2.
  • Central University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne: This references the urban legend about colleges with unfortunate acronyms; see my blog post about page 59.
  • Yowza: Not just a common expression of surprise, it is also the name of Joh Yowza, a character added to the Max Rebo Band in Jabba’s palace in the special edition of Return of the Jedi.
  • song and dance number: Reference to one of the “enhancements” made to the Special Edition of Return of the Jedi.
  • ooh la la: Reference to Oola, then Twi’lek dancer in Jabba the Hut’s court.
  • threepenny space opera: A  play on the Threepenny Opera, as space opera is the genre of film/story that Star Wars falls into.
  • What a piece of work: A line from Hamlet, Act II, Scene 2, famously set to music in Hair. The phrase “piece of work” has quite a different meaning in modern vernacular!
  • Thanks for ruining my childhood: Common fan over-reaction to Star Wars Special Edition.
  • Holly Malkin: Holly was a common plant in Shakespeare’s time, and is recommended to those trying to do a “Shakespearean garden.” Malkin was a familiar form of “Mary.” (Also: the model has a Complete Works of Shakespeare balanced on her head.)
  • “I come to bury the Special Edition, not to praise it”: Based on the famous line from Julius Caesar, Act III, Scene 2.
  • Bob A. Fettinger: Contains the name “Boba Fett.”
  • has seen better days: The earliest documented use of this phrase is in the play Sir Thomas Moore (1590), which has been partially attributed to Shakespeare. It also appears in Timon of Athens and As You Like It.
  • Bono Bodkin: Not only is “bodkin” a reference to a blade in Hamlet, but the name contains the word “bonobo,” which is a #MonkeyReference.
  • This is the worst: From King Lear, Act IV, Scene 1.
  • Bart Lederhosen: Rhymes with Darth Vaderhosen..
  • winter of my discontent: The famous opening line from Richard III,
  • Luke Gorgas: Spoonerism of George Lucas.
  • Of all base passions… From King Henry VI, Act V, Scene 2.
  • Mort Duvinaigre: “Mort du vinaigre” means “a ridiculous oath,” from All’s Well That Ends Well, Act 2, Scene 3.
  • angry dexters and the jet-setters who have too much time on all their hands: This means something, but I’ve forgotten what. Sigh, sometimes I’m too clever for my own good. Please let me know if you figure it out!
  • Sly Snotless: A play on “Sy Snootles,” the singer in the Max Rebo Band in Jabba’s palace in Return of the Jedi.
Whew, and that’s just the main page! WikiBard’s first three news stories (at the time of this writing) are also loaded with jokes likes these. The rest are actual Shakespeare news stories, for that added sense of truthiness.

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