Syndication

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Syndication
Now that xkcd is carried by United Features Syndicate, there are going to be a few changes to the comic. Obviously, with the rights signed over, it will no longer be published under Creative Commons, and all previous strips will be retroactively un-CC'd and relicensed under UFS terms. All online content will be protected via proprietary DRM. I also recieved a letter outlining topics and content that would be off-limits in the new xkcd. Prohibited content includes:

- Cultural references that would be lost on the average newspaper reader

- Mathematics above the high-school level

- Obscure scientific subjects

- Overt sexual material

- Objectionable words such as fuck, shit, cunt, ass, tits, cock, scrotum, bitch, Belgium, pussy, or twat

- Same-sex relationships

- Star Wars

- Star Trek (Original Series and Enterprise)

- The home phone numbers of White House employees

- Bacon-based currencies

- Erotic use of flywheels

- Exposés regarding other United Features syndicated characters

- Exposés regarding the personal lives of United Features Syndicate executives, specifically including CEO Kenneth Lowe

- Teledildonics

- Portrayals of Johnny Cash as an Amway distributor

- Any story that ends with "and that's how my penis got the nickname 'grappling hook'."

- Computer-computer cybersex

- Swordfights between white people

- Bitch & Animal

- Sexualization of Mt. Rushmore

- Staplers as mélée weapons

- Road trip buddy comedies starring Tank Girl and William Howard Taft

- Eric S. Raymond performing in Cirque du Soleil

- Hats with buckles

- Licking of nipples atop a moving train

The internet is the past. Newspapers are the future! See you in the funny papers.
Complaints should be directed to the xkcd writing staff.
Title text: Complaints should be directed to the xkcd writing staff.

Explanation[edit]

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by an EROTIC FLYWHEEL. Needs a list explaining all the changes required. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.

This is a non-numbered April fools' comic, and is the first April fools' joke preformed on xkcd. This comic, formatted similarly to other posts such as Blue Eyes. The post describes xkcd becoming syndicated into a newspaper, changing from a webcomic. Newspapers are notorious for censorship of content, and Randall describes all the changes that would be required of the comic, the humor coming from their progressive absurdity.

List of Changes proposed by Randall[edit]

# Change Explanation
1 Cultural References that would be lost on the average newspaper reader xkcd is known for its niche cultural references, one of the main reasons this wiki exists.
2 Mathematics above the high-school level Another trademark of xkcd is its use of mathematics for humor. Simpler mathematics tends to lend itself less well to comedy.
3 Obscure scientific subjects Again, this is a common feature of xkcd comics, which turns off many would-be readers for its exclusivity, making xkcd difficult to syndicate.
4 Overt sexual material xkcd's abstract art style means that it can get away with sexual content without seeming profane, and takes advantage of this often.
5 Objectionable words such as fuck, shit, cunt, ass, tits, cock, scrotum, bitch, Belgium, pussy, or twat Newspaper comics tend to have very "clean" humor, which xkcd's usual writing style is ill suited for. Belgium is the rudest word in the universe according to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
6 Same Sex relationships Newspapers are more often read by older people, so same-sex relationships are often absent to avoid conservative backlash.
7 Star Wars Star Wars, a common reference in xkcd, is an intellectual property that would need to be licensed, at great expense to United.
8 Star Trek (Original and Enterprise) Similar case to Star Wars.
9 The home phone numbers of White House employees At this point, the list items begin to become more absurd, tipping more credulous readers off to the joke.
10 Bacon Based Currencies
11 Erotic use of Flywheels While it is hard to see how one could use Flywheels erotically, there have been attempts.
12 Exposés regarding other United Features syndicated characters Here Randall seems to imply that certain (fictional) comic strip characters are involved in scandals, of which he knows the details.
13 Exposés regarding the personal lives of United Features Syndicate executives, specifically including CEO Kenneth Lowe
14 Teledildonics A form of technology used to have sex remotely, obviously unsuitable for the funnies.
15 Portrayals of Johnny Cash as an Amway distributor
16 Any story that ends with "and that's how my penis got the nickname 'grappling hook'.
17 Computer-computer Cybersex Two chatbots cybering with one another is a plausibly real thing, and an easy target for xkcd.
18 Swordfights between white people
19 Bitch & Animal A "queercore" gay punk band, never mentioned elsewhere in xkcd.
20 Sexualization of Mount Rushmore Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a sculpture carved into Mount Rushmore features the 60-foot (18 m) heads of Presidents George Washington (1732–1799), Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826), Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919), and Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865), as for the sexualization of the mountain, See

Number 11

21 Staplers as mélée weapons
22 Road trip buddy comedies starring Tank Girl and William Howard Taft
23 Eric S. Raymond performing in Cirque du Soleil
24 Hats with buckles
25 Licking of nipples atop a moving train

Transcript[edit]

[A Cueball and his Cueball-like friend are standing in some sort of grassy area.]
Cueball: Why did the computer cross the road?
Friend: I don't know.
Cueball: I don't know either! Computers are so complicated!
Friend: LOL!
Editor's note: "LOL" is an online acronym for "laughing out loud." It alerts you to something funny, so keep an eye out!


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Discussion

Where is this coming from? was this actually online in 2007? Between comics 242 and 243? --Lupo (talk) 08:08, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

Can we discuss the jokes in this comic, like Belgium jokingly being considered a swear word?108.162.216.196 20:12, 22 November 2019 (UTC)

I think we should. :) You are free to start a list of the items, to explain them, or a discussion here in the discussion page.

Alright, nobody has touched this for quite a while now, so I might as well. I kinda expected this page to be finished, but it is amazingly not so. 172.68.47.234 09:50, 27 December 2019 (UTC)

Hello, it is I again. I have something on my mind. I believe this comic never really was a thing. I will lay out everything I know. The link to the original comic at the top is broken and returns a 404 error. I cannot for the life of me find anything on this comic on Google other than a lone post on the xkcd forums, which could just as well have been posted in either 2007 or 2019, but I can't check because the forums are down. As well, it is odd that this explain xkcd page only came into existence 12 years after the comic was purportedly posted. Taking all of this into account, I have reason to believe that this entire thing has been a fabrication, i.e. that this was made in 2019 by a fan. I'd try to gather more concrete evidence for this, but that's where I run into a dead end. I have no idea how to proceed. I know of exactly one person who could settle this conclusively, which is Randall Munroe himself, but I imagine he has more important things to do. If any of you could prove/disprove my theory, that would be great. In the meantime, sure, I'll just assume this comic did actually get published in 2007. 172.69.34.168 10:34, 27 December 2019 (UTC)
The link does work, it just has an extra '/' at the end. I agree though that there's still something a bit different about the comic to others published at a similar time. The image looks like it's been copied out of a newspaper (although this might be deliberate) and having such a lengthy section of text outside of the comic is unusual. Google claims that the forum post dates from 1st April 2007, but in the absence of any other reference on the main site my guess is that this only appeared on the forums. AlChemist (talk) 20:55, 31 December 2019 (UTC)
Someone may try to find it on a wayback machine or something like that? Never used any of those archives and don't really know how they work... --Lupo (talk) 08:07, 6 February 2020 (UTC)