So this delicious and hilarious screen capture appeared in my Twitter feed the other day. It was early, I was groggy, and for just a tiny but perfect moment I actually believed that there really could be a group called “Christians Against Masturbation” in this our beloved America, and that they might possibly be so deeply encased in their righteous and godly bubble that they could employ (in all innocence) a sweet-faced woman named “Ellen Fapper” as their spokeswoman:

Ellen Fapper, Christians Against Masturbation

(The comedy depends on knowing that “fap” is an onomatopoeic internet verb meaning “to masturbate” while apprehending that people may exist who do not know this. Thus I have mentioned it at this time just in case you, gentle reader, were one of those people ere now.)

Alas, on the internet these perfect funny things are almost always hoaxes. Typically they are born as jokes, not intended — by their original creators — to deceive. What happens next is that somebody else will file off the serial numbers, grind away some of the obvious comedy signals, and release them into the wild with deceptive intent. Sometimes, there, they go feral.

Anyway, I can’t blog it until I check it. And my weary certainty was that checking it would be a letdown. But was it, this time? Maybe not so much. It’s not real, but it’s still funny.

First, I’ll tell ya right up front, “Fapper” is a photoshop. The screen cap is real for certain values of real, but it originally said “Farber”. I don’t know who did the ‘shop.

The screen capture itself? That comes from a video you can see at Funny Or Die. It takes the form of a lengthy point-counterpoint between Ms. Farber and the comedian Louis CK, supposedly the only person they could find willing to come on the show to defend masturbation. This he does with passion:

“Masturbating keeps me sane! I’m a good citizen, I’m a good father, I recycle, and I masturbate. And I’m proud of it! And…and God’s happy! And later I’m gonna masturbate and I’m gonna think about you. And there’s nothing you can do about it.

And what is this video, actually? It takes place in front of the Fox News logos, but the production values are nothing like a typical Fox News show. Near the end, there’s a spot where you can see the following words in a sort of show logo: Red Eye with Greg Gutfield. There really is a Fox News Show by that name, according to Wikipedia. Could it be this was a real interview? Wikipedia calls Red Eye a “late-night/early-morning satirical talk show” so, maybe?

No, nope, nopers, nyet. According to the Wikipedia, the Red Eye show was being spoofed on an episode of Louie (Louis CK’s eponymous comedy drama). That episode, titled Come On, God, aired on August 11, 2011. The Ellen Farber character is being played by actress Liz Holtan.

So, it’s just a funny sight gag photoshopped by some unknown party from a screen capture of a segment on a comedy show that was in turn parodying a Fox News show that is itself supposedly satirical. Perhaps I’m the only person in the world who is interested in reconstructing these growth rings of accreted metadata so that I can look at them closely. But everybody needs a hobby, right?

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