So you've got Conan, Kanye, and Colbert on your feed. You were one of the first 1,500 people to follow Aziz Ansari. You're keeping tabs on everyone who ever wrote and performed on Mystery Science Theater 3000. But one thought may cross your mind every so often: What am I missing?
Twitter lends itself to short-form, rapid-fire jokes and conceptual humor even more readily that it does to Foursquare updates and weirdly hateful trending topics, so there's no shortage of legitimately funny people using the service. But that also means that there's plenty of great stuff that risks getting lost to the ages because not enough people are following the users' feeds. Here are five accounts to watch--all have less than 2,000 followers, and all of them serve their own unique but accessible niche in the Twittersphere.
[jump] Blaine Capatch (@blainecapatch)
Specialty: Envelope-pushing crudeness with an undercurrent of melancholy.
For some comedians, Twitter can act as a sounding board/idea repository that frequently feels like an unfiltered conduit into the most spontaneous recesses of their minds. Blaine Capatch's standup shows, tenure on the Comedy Central show Beat the Geeks, and long-running announcing gig for Los Angeles' burlesque/wrestling/comedy phenomenon Lucha VaVOOM! has earned him a cult following that includes his good friend Patton Oswalt. His feed displays a combination of irreverence ("remember, it's 'what would JESUS do?', not 'what would YOU do if YOU were jesus?'"), sharp gags ("what part of 'i hate cliches' don't you understand?"), and reliably batshit entries into popular hashtag topics (for #sadchildrensbooks: "dogs love chocolate," "flowers for al-anon," and "dianetics").
Bryan Lambert (@youaredumb)
Specialty: Reacting to current events with a mixture of horror, aggravation, and disdain.
Minnesota native Lambert has his work cut out for him. Or, as he put it after the Gubernatorial race resulted in a recount-inciting margin, "I am proud to live in a state that can find new and exciting ways to ruin my political day every couple of years. Fucking geniuses." As a specialist in left-wing venting and angry pragmatism, his not-technically-a-blog You Are Dumb has had its hands full keeping up with the latest exploits from Bachmann, Emmer, and company, as well as your typical rogue's gallery of pop-culture offenders and yammering pundits. Lambert's greatest strength lies in getting readers to realize that they're not the only ones who are over-the-top angry at something, and his sledgehammer prose still retains its matter-of-fact impact after being distilled into 140 characters or less.
Leonard Pierce (@leonardpierce)
Specialty: Enthusiastically dismantling and reassembling popular culture. Full disclosure: I have appeared on podcasts and had drinks with Leonard, and consider him a close personal friend and/or conspirator. That said, he's worth following even if you don't know his work for the AV Club and other freelance outlets. Pierce's sense of humor and areas of interest lean towards a deep-thinker's take on pop-cult obsessions: His feed is home to brusque but amusing reviews in miniature ("The announcer for 'Life Without People' has the amazing gift of making everything sound both world-threateningly dire and mildly ridiculous"), high-concept hashtags (#ifmusicalgenreswerecharacteractors, #dudespeare), and creative self-effacement ("If my life were a noir, I'd be a drunk reporter, a fat crooked cop, a shitty doctor catering to the desperate, or a particularly lazy thug").
Andy Erikson (@andyerikson)
Specialty: Absurdist one-liners in the Hedbergian tradition. Erikson's career in comedy is still on the rise, but her giggly, anxious stage presence has a draw to it that manages to translate well into her Twitter offerings. Her joke-tweets share the same sense of almost-logical observations ("you're not allowed to keep things at a store. which is dumb. it's like the opposite of stealing you dummy. let me keep my summer hat here.") and goofball wordplay ("I talked to a mexican about soy milk, and then he tried to put me in a glass and drink me!"). And the fact that she sometimes posts things that appear to be completely context-free non-sequitirs ("I want to change my last name to unicornpizza. For real though.") makes it one of those feeds where its biggest impact is when it just shows up out of nowhere, or as she puts it: "i like to pretend that the twitter timeline is an actual conversation between crazy people."
Everything Is Terrible! (@EIT)
Specialty: Gazing into the void of shot-on-video awkwardness. This is kind of cheating: Everything Is Terrible's Twitter is mostly just an RSS-style feed for alerting you when another video is posted on their blog. But that'd be kind of like complaining about getting Christmas presents, if Christmas was less about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ and more about unearthing VHS debris so weird it'd be hard to believe Tim & Eric didn't have anything to do with it. And even if you don't follow the links in their tweets to watch the corresponding bizarre video clips, the breathless all-caps descriptions ("WATCH OUT KIDS!"; "STARE HARDER AT YOUR TV"; "BEHOLD THE ONE TRUE SPACE BROTHER") do enough to inject a FDA-disapproved amount of weirdness into your feed.