There's a scene in the film Funny People in which Adam Sandler, playing a stand-up comedian, tells a series of jokes about MySpace, the music and social networking site.[rssbreak]
MySpace co-founder Tom Anderson introduces Sandler's character to an audience and asks if he uses his site. "No, no, no. I fuck girls, Tom. I don't have time for that," he replies to great laughs, all the while standing in front of a giant MySpace logo.
Meanwhile, the audience in my theatre was stone-faced.
Was there a punchline missing? Has the Sandler vehicle - once immune to dumb jokes - crashed into the mountain? The movie did limp through the box office, after all.
Or had the moviegoers in my theatre also opted to "fuck girls" instead of getting MySpace accounts?
I venture to say the latter. MySpace took up five minutes of the film - five minutes that aren't as culturally relevant in Canada.
In the United States, MySpace reports 73 million accounts, compared to Facebook, which has around 60 million as of July.
The reverse is true for Canada, where there are now 12 million Facebook users compared to an estimated 4 million-plus MySpace users (though the company couldn't confirm those numbers.)
And it's even more unsafe to crack a MySpace joke in the UK, where social networking is on the decline, at least among younger users.
There, numbers of accounts among teens and people in their early 20s have dropped for the first time ever. Five per cent fewer 15- to 24-year-olds are using MySpace, Facebook, Bebo (which is more popular there) and others compared to last year.
At the same time, media regulator Ofcom reports 25- to 34-year-olds use sites like MySpace more than last year - 6 per cent more.
The obvious conclusion is that older people - perhaps like 42-year-old Sandler - are just getting into social networking and think MySpace humour is funny.
Another example: Funny People also contains a joke about the online classifieds site Craigslist.
"If Craig from Craigslist got into a fight with Tom from MySpace, who would win?"
Again, not very funny. But consider also that Craigslist isn't as big in Canada - eBay's Kijiji rivals Craigslist here, and in some markets it's even more popular.
Maybe Sandler is early proof that social network humour doesn't cross cultures? Or maybe his jokes are just not that funny to begin with?