Saturday, February 19, 2005

Cubing and Matt LeBlanc's new TV show

Matt LeBlanc's new show, Joey, has started airing in the UK. I initially wasn't planning on watching it because Joey was was not exactly my favourite character on Friends, and I thought a whole show about him might be a bit much.

However I'd heard, via a post in the online speedcubing group, that there was a speedcubing joke in the first episode, so I decided to give it a go.

I was surprised to find myself laughing at various scenes. I had pretty low expectations so it can't have been too difficult to exceed them.

The funniest scene, to me, was the one that involved the speedcubing comment. Before I run through the scene I should point out a few statistics about speedcubers so you can appreciate why I found it so amusing. The vast majority of speedcubers have the following three things in common: (i) they are male, (ii) they are in their teens or twenties, (iii) their profession (or course of study if still at school/university) is related to maths, engineering, IT or some other area of science.

The background to the scene is that self-confessed ladies' man Joey and his highly intelligent, but socially awkward, nephew are getting ready for a night out. Joey is offering advice about how to talk to girls...

Michael: Great, let me just make sure I’ve got everything. I’ve got some money. I got my fake ID...

Joey: Ah...

Michael: Yeah, these are cool. Some guys at CalTech made these. They’re impossible to tell apart from the real thing. But, I did have a little fun with it. Check out the name. (Shows Joey)

Joey: Neils Bohr?

Michael: The famous physicist. He developed the -

Joey: No thanks, nope. Look, uh, Michael, as your teacher, I feel like we should talk a little bit about your rap. Okay? Now, we have to take your greatest weakness, your intelligence, and turn that into a strength, okay? Now, what kind of stuff are you smart about?

Michael: Uh, I know physics.

Joey: No. Next.

Michael: Maths.

Joey: No. Next.

Michael: Uh, I enjoy cubing.

Joey: What’s cubing?

Michael: That’s when people share different strategies to solve Rubik’s cubes.

Joey: Ehh. Next.

Michael: Uh, also, speed cubing.

Joey: Ehh! Ehh! Ehh! Next!

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