Silicon Valley is a saga about one man’s journey into the heart of darkness of the world’s weirdest and most insular industry where everything is “disruptable” and nothing makes sense.
But also: jokes.
After each episode of Silicon Valley this season, we’re cataloguing our five favorite jokes. What constitutes a “joke” is often subjective. So don’t concern yourself too much with the proper definition of “jokes.” These are the five moments that made us laugh the hardest, ranked in order.
In “Teambuilding Exercise” we get to see what happens immediately after Richard knocks on Gavin Belson’s door. The answer as it turns out is: quite a bit. Well Gavin has trashed his mansion for one. But Richard eventually convinces him to join him on his mission to build a new internet. Not before Richard accidentally lights his house on fire though.
Richard and Gavin begin the process of finding employees for their new venture. Jared obviously comes on board first with his usual disturbing amount of passion. And he helps bring Gilfoyle into the fold through some creative means. Dinesh, unfortunately is locked into a contract with Periscope which means scouring the Internet all day for pictures of dicks thanks to a last minute “victory” from Jian-Yang’s hotdog/penis identifying software. No good deed, man. Here are our five favorite jokes.
5. “Not hotdog.”
Obviously this joke takes on an even funnier context later on when Jian-Yang realizes his hotdog-identifying app has other, loftier applications. Still, don’t discount the original laugh at the idea that rather than creating an app that can identify all food, Jian-Yang has created an app that can merely tell you if something is a hotdog or not. If there is not an identical app on the app store within 24 hours, I’ve given up all hope on humanity.
4. “Last week he referred to me as a ‘Frankenstein’s bulimic daughter.’”
Gilfoyle has a way with words. Jared has a way with being a total weirdo. You combine those two qualities by putting Gilfoyle’s words in Jared’s mouth and you’ve got yourself some killer humor. “Frankenstein’s bulimic daughter” is a fantastically funny and accurate way to describe Jared’s appearance. The context here is even strangely sweet in Silicon Valley-land. Gilfoyle is perhaps the least lovable individual in the world and yet Jared still respects him for what he is and knows the precise way for Richard to get him back on board. You’ve got to know how to speak his own colorful, hateful language.
3. “I’ll kill them with knives, I’ll kill them with guns. I’ll kill them with my hands. I’ll convince them to commit suicide. It doesn’t matter.”
We mentioned Jared is weird, right? Jared quite simply lives to serve and Richard is the “master” he’s chosen. It’s fun to watch scenes in which Jared reveals his devotion in loyalty in the most extreme ways. He’s a chill dude (who fucks, as Russ Hanneman accurately pointed out) but his “main directive” as it were is “protect Richard” and the thought that Richard could suddenly be surrounded by deceptive Hooli drones puts Jared in Mama Bear, or just straight up Jeffrey Dahmer, mode
2. “I would say not safe for work but this is your work for a year at least.”
Almost every episode of Silicon Valley ends with an Icarus-type lesson. Don’t fly too close to the sun. Avoid hubris. Never take something for granted. In “Teambuilding Exercise” Dinesh is the Icarus figure as he so often is. After his disastrous tenure as Pied Piper CEO, Dinesh settles in to life as Erlich and Jian-Yang’s app developer. When Jian-Yang pivots his app to straight-up dong identifying, Dinesh joints the staff of Periscope. His new assignment? Spending all day identifying new dongs to add to the apps’ database. Gilfoyle handles this with his usual level of respect and tact.
1. “Trigger warning: fuck you! Professor Bighett,i I’ll see you at home.”
Nothing is more satisfying to me than an adult making fun of triggered teens while being the most triggered person in the room. Though maybe calling Erlich Bachman an adult is a bit of a stretch. I love everything about the sudden revolt of Bighead’s Stanford class. I love that Bighead just decides to play movies every class period.. And when he “catches” a student texting during You’ve Got Mail, he assures her. “No, it’s ok. Your phone has technology inside it so you’re double-learning.” I love that Erlich is pressured into needing free labor by Jian-Yang buying an expensive car with their Raviga money. And most importantly I love that the Stanford students tear apart his flimsy plan with ease. They do some simple research to see why Erlich could possibly want them to spend all day looking up photos of food. Then they steal Erlich’s unpatented app idea out from under him. Erlich’s minor victory from last week immediately becomes one of the most impressively complete defeats in the span of two episodes.