Tuesday, June 3, 2014

How Creepily Funny Are Doll Jokes?

I went back to Notre Dame last weekend for my five-year college reunion, and my buddy Matt shared this photo from his phone:

The doll is creepy as hell, I know. There are just so many uncomfortable things to process at once. But here are my favorite features, in order:
1. "Real Pregnancy Action" gives this toy the feel of an action figure, theoretically making it just as appealing to boys as girls.
2. Baby's pregnant baby means that there are three generations of baby in one box. Talk about value.
3. The back of the box actually says "Waters really break." For some reason, the plural "Waters" kills me.
4. The tiniest baby bottle is so cute.

In actuality, Baby's First Baby isn't really a toy. Artist Darren Cullen created the doll to make a statement about the idea that "toys intrinsically train girls to have and care for children while they are still only children themselves."

Whether or not Mr. Cullen intended for the doll to be funny, my friends found it hilarious. It looks like Chucky, has a pregnant baby, and boasts of "Real Pregnancy Action." If you don't find that hysterical, then I guess you're just a little too "normal" for me.

Despite the creepiness inherent in all doll jokes, there have been a bunch of funny ones throughout the years. With Baby's First Baby as a jumping-off point, let's count down our five favorite doll jokes:

5. Dwight Schrute's Bobblehead Dolls
Dwight's bobbleheads are a running joke throughout The Office, underscoring his weirdness and often serving as a plot device. It's no Baby's First Baby, but the replica bobblehead Angela gives Dwight for Valentine's Day is plenty creepy.

Photo via tvtownmemorabilia.yolasite.com
And when Jim impersonates Dwight during Season 3, a bobblehead doll is obviously part of the prank.

4. Red Forman's Disdain for "Dolls"
In That '70s Show, Eric's G.I. Joe and Star Wars action figures aren't exactly "dolls," but Red calls them that as a way to make his son feel feminine. It's an aspect of parenting familiar to most Korean War vets.

3. The "Uncle Frank" Blow-up Doll
This is one of my favorite scenes from the Home Alone movies:

"Get out of here, you nosy little pervert, or I'm gonna slap you silly!" Kevin's use of the doll as a prop is pretty genius.

2. Malibu Stacy
Malibu Stacy is a parody of Barbie and appears in a bunch of episodes of The Simpsons. Stacy's famous catchphrase is, "Don't ask me. I'm just a girl." Dolls like Malibu Stacy and Barbie provided the impetus for Darren Cullen's Baby's First Baby masterpiece.

1. The "George's Mom" Doll
"The Doll" episode of Seinfeld is the granddaddy of all doll jokes.

While it might not feature "Real Pregnancy Action," the Estelle Costanza-lookalike sure is haunting. The only thing that could top that episode would be a 30-minute origin story of Baby's First Baby.

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