It’s a great time to be writing and reading online humor. In the years since The Onion went online in 1996, publications like McSweeney’s and The New Yorker followed suit, increasing opportunities for countless writers, while cult favorites like ClickHole and Reductress have become cultural icons for the 2010s in their own right. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, so today we’re spotlighting seven other sites on the rise, ones that are raising the level of the game and well worth your attention.
Established in 1999 as a college humor column at Emory University, Points in Case now publishes daily humor under the direction of Founder and Editor in Chief Court Sullivan as well as Managing Editor James Folta. Consciously broadening the tonal scope of the pieces they accept, the site runs the gamut from stuff like “I’m Marie Fucking Kondo and You Can Keep All Your Fucking Books You Ingrates to “The Alphabet, Ranked”. On top of that, the site stands out for its inclusion of dramatic readings of many of its pieces, and its promotion of books from its contributors like Paul Ryan Magazine. If you’re looking to read something particularly weird and ambitious, this is a good place to start.
Run by Mary Cella and Ginny Hogan and slyly billed as “Comedy That Matters (To Us),” Little Old Lady is most recently responsible for pieces like “Why I Decided to Give My Baby A Stupid Name Even Though I’m Not A Celebrity” and “Kevin Wrote His College Essay About What Football Means to Him and He Says It Was So Good His Parents Cried”, as well as regular columns from Cella and Maggie Lalley. It’s all hilarious stuff, and—at this point—easily matters as much to others as it does to the site’s editors.
First of all, big congrats to The Belladonna for recently celebrating its two year anniversary of publishing work by “women writers of all definitions!” Edited by Caitlin Kunkel, Brooke Preston, Fiona Taylor and Carrie Wittmer (also responsible for last year’s riotous book New Erotica for Feminists), the site has featured pieces from more that 250 writers since its inception. Some of our personal favorites include “Lede-Buried Voicemails From Your Mom” and “Congratulations On Your Promotion to the Position of My Boyfriend”. It’s a site that’s both continually increasing the standards of internet humor while pushing back against the patriarchal status of the comedy industry at the same time.
Headed by Milly Tamarez, Alex Gonzalez and Taylor Gonzalez, alongside a host of other talented editors, Flexx (“The Most Urban Website in the World”) has some of the most biting parodies of clickbait out there—most recently the excellent “5 Sexy and Subtle Ways to Get Your Crush to Apologize for Being White”. It also regularly resists the familiar patterns a lot of humor writing can fall into, with pieces like “I Was Today Years Old When I Realized You Were A Little Bitch”, and satirical headlines like “SNL Still Most Progressive Show Trump Hosted During Campaign”.
In sheer defiance of its name, Weekly Humorist publishes daily humor thanks to Editor in Chief Marty Dundics, Managing Editor Kit Lively and a murderer’s row of contributors. On top of that, it maintains an active Twitter presence and high engagement with its readership, creating a real sense of community, as well as the most consistent output of cartoons you’ll find outside The New Yorker. It’s a prolific enough site that it can cover topical political material as well as “A Note to Ringo Starr From the Association of Octopus Gardeners” in the same day. You can only imagine what they get done in a week.
Slackjaw, “the #1 destination on Medium for all-things humor and coherent think-pieces on cats,” is another one worth a daily check. The site’s variety and flexibility opens it up to everything from almost-serious dives into silly topics like “Is Falling Food More Appealing? An Investigation” to the Six Characters in Search of An Author-esque existentialism of “An Emergency Meeting Between the Apps on My iPhone”. Across their whole spectrum of content, Slackjaw pieces read fast and furiously.
This web trifecta satirizing punk and alternative culture from every angle has already had a cult following for years, but there’s no time like the present to hop on board if you haven’t already. The Hard Times (which generally parodies punk subcultures), Hard Drive (which generally parodies videogames and nerd culture) and Hard Style (a lifestyle blog parody) is catnip to DIY kids of every conceivable stripe. If for any reason you’re vehemently opposed to reading anything on a website despite making it to the end of this article, they’ve also branched out into podcasting! If for any other reason you think the focused nature of the site’s targets might leave you out on the joke, fear not. I’ve laughed aloud at Hard Drive headlines mocking videogames I’ve never heard of, so you should be all set. They find a ton of freedom within the margins they’ve set for themselves, which is the mark of a real pro.
Graham Techler is a New York-based writer and comedian. You’d be doing him a real solid by following him on Twitter @gr8h8m_t3chl3r or on Instagram @obvious_new_yorker. A real solid.