The Joy Machine

Hey Zoners!  The countdown to Rapture continues, and before I get taken up, I want to say how much I have loved being a part of this amazing community.  NFZ has been a special home for me for the last 4 years, nearly 3 of those as a Completist.  I’m tremendously proud of all the work we have done, and I’ll always be grateful to have been a part of NFZ.

When I was deciding what to highlight in my last post, I considered what aspects of the show I most enjoy.  Sharp political satireLiterary referencesA nice suit and a winning smile?  The ‘just when you thought it couldn’t get more ridiculous it does’? Or the one taping I attended, when I danced the Shag with Stephen?  But then it occurred to me that what I really love most is a great big character break.  Stephen has an adorable laugh and an infectious smile, but a good character break is more than that.  It’s the breaking of the fourth wall, the crack in the façade that lets us know he’s having exactly as much fun in all of this as we are.  And oh how much fun it has been!

Sometimes it’s brought on by an unexpected prop malfunction:

Or the paralyzing effects of nicotine:

A truly terrible pun:

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A raunchy innuendo:

Or an especially ridiculous premise:

Whatever the cause, character breaks are pure joy. I’ve picked just a few of my favorites – share yours in the comments!

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  1. Mr. Arkadin says:

    wren! Thank you for these clips, and thank you for all you contributed to this website to make it so great! Take care. *Waves*

  2. This really is a joy machine. A few hours ago I finished my 2nd exam and got a little scratched from it so watching all of these clips definitely brought my mood up and made me laugh away my stress. You can always count on Stephen to make you smile, ESPECIALLY if it’s a character break. Thanks for the clips, wren!

    (Okay, I have GOT to get off this comment bender. But it’s a bender that’s all about Stephen, which makes me feel less guilty about taking a break from more studying for the rest of my exams, since after today I have 2.5 more days of hardcore studying to do/get done before the BIG ONE on Saturday. At least I’m timing my breaks well and I intend to make sure that I make the most of my online time left here on NFZ.)

  3. Karenatasha says:

    Oh, thank you for the joy, Wren! This was absolutely wonderful. And really … if there’s anything funnier than Stephen breaking up alone, it’s Stephen and Jon breaking up together!

    My other fave that’s not here: when Jon came back with his beard and made that off-color crack about how it looked, causing Stephen to rip up his pages and Jon to blow him a kiss.

  4. Gratefull says:

    *smile* Thanks, Wren! … It has been MASSIVE fun … I hope our paths cross again.


  5. I loved watching all these clips but WAAAAAAAAAAAAAHH!! It’s sad. I don’t like goodbyes.
    We shall meet again somewhere online. Right?

  6. lockhart43 says:

    Oh, how I enjoyed watching all of these clips! Even the ones I had already seen. Wren, you highlighted one of the things I love most about the show: the pure joy of it. That Toss you posted is one of my absolute faves, next to Jon Is A Downer and Universal Health Care.

    Thanks so much, wren! Enjoy your little ones! :)

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