The Atomic Playboy and the Radiation Romeo

The button below will open a new browser window displaying the Flash interface for Atomic and Romeo (Version 16 with Preloader). You will find a page of introductory text, some instructions and then the interface where you can suggest a topic for conversation.

This version 16 uses the landscape layout, updates the heckler and end-of-conversation functions with an audio sign-off. All the features from previous versions remain - scroll bar control,custId variable allows me to better log and track conversations.

The chat-bots are hosted on the Pandorabots server under the Shared Service subscription. Please note, the terms of the Updated Policy Guidelines for Free Community Server state that the “Use of automated scripts to make your pandorabot talk to itself or another bot or script” is proscribed (Pandorabots 2011). This project is being developed with the agreement of the Pandorabots Inc management and we would like to acknowledge their support. ( Pandorabots )

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After you have had a play with Atomic and Romeo please use this link to leave a comment.
Maybe you could suggest a topic of conversation or a layout suggestion.
All suggestions gratefully received.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ferguson and Geoff - a 'two-act'

I've been watching a little (under-statement) of Craig Ferguson and his robot side-kick Geoff Peterson (CBS - The Late Late Show - check Youtube). They are an interesting subversion of the comedian - feeder relationship. Ferguson often plays straight to trigger Geoff's set pieces and catch-phrases. Ferguson, for example, will ask Geoff has he every been to such-and-such a place. Geoff's traditional reply is that he has a house there, they should go up for the summer, throw beads at people, take off their clothes and go swimming etc. This spiel has become so much part of act that Ferguson now rattles through set-up, even preempts some of Geoff's replies, and tightens the sequence to the point that it becomes an in-joke.

This is important for a couple of reasons. First, it suggests that humour used in this manner is an inclusive act - Ferguson, by playing straight, is the stand-in for the audience. He is controlling the flow for the audience, even if this means trimming his role. This in-joke, where the audience has to know the joke before it is delivered, makes the audience part of the performance. The second reason is that it suggests, as some humour theories deny, that jokes and comedy in general fail after the first telling. Having heard the joke before does not limit the possibility of humour. Ferguson, from the 2nd through nth telling, gets this to work by altering the context. At the first performance the text is all - by the nth telling context is all.

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