Monday, May 10, 2010

A Slow Clap For The Slow Clap

When I was in high school, my best friend Anna and I had a pact. We didn't know how, and we didn't know when, but someday we would successfully originate a Slow Clap.

You know what I'm talking about: Someone does something amazing and poignant and/or makes an impassioned speech. This leads one rad onlooker to stand up and begin to clap, slowly and loudly and deliberately, with a super serious expression. Other people join in, and within seconds the clap picks up speed, building to an orgasmic crescendo of applause. At this point people stop looking super serious and start wolf-whistling and fist-pumping. It is awesome.

I'm going to go ahead and say that The Slow Clap is the best kind of clap that has ever been clapped. How do I know? Well:


Clearly clapping is the best kind of clap, as defined by Wikipedia, unless you have a fetish for painful urination or sound-activated light sources (or homosexual brothels--Margaret Clap sounds like a lot of fun!).

Wikipedia doesn't break down different types of claps within the realm of clapping, but luckily I am an expert. To wit:

The Standard Clap: Strong, moderately fast; hands rigid; maintains the same speed and rhythm throughout. [Examples: First curtain call at Shakespeare in the Park; keeping Tinkerbell alive.]

The Steroid Clap: So strong your palms sting; hands cupped for maximum echo; fast and furious; accompanied by cat-calls and yelling. [Examples: When your child gets their diploma; a particularly impressive keg stand.]

The Flaccid Clap: Weak, moderately fast; hands limp; sounds kind of like someone beating off under a pillow. [Examples: When someone else's child gets their diploma; the second curtain call at a three hour long modern dance piece with no intermission.]

The Physically Challenged Clap: Wikipedia says that "some people slap the back of one hand into the palm of the other hand to signify urgency or enthusiasm." No. This is retarded.

The Slow Clap: Strong and almost comically slow [not to be confused, however, with The Sarcastic Clap, a bastardization of The Slow Clap], building to fast and furious; hands reverent and expressive; comes with amazing facial expressions; gives you chills; probably makes God cry. [Examples: The Jamaican bobsled team almost dies but then gets up and carries their sled to the finish line; the coach of your small-town high school basketball team gives a kick-ass motivational speech right before you win the Indiana Regional Finals; nerdy Corey Haim (sniff) finally gets his letterman's jacket after getting out of the hospital.]

Anna and I never did succeed in starting a Slow Clap while we were in high school. I'd like to say that our hands were just too soft and frail to do the Slow Clap justice, but the truth is we were pussies. Neither one of us wanted to take it upon ourselves to make the impassioned speech that would give the other one the opportunity to Slow Clap, and it turns out, when you wait around for it, that not too many people make Slow Clap-worthy speeches in real life. Years later, when Anna told me that she'd ridden a grocery cart down a hill while drunk at college, I tried to Slow Clap, but one hand was holding the phone, robbing the moment of its gravity.

In closing, I present to you some of the greatest celluloid Slow Claps of all time (the last video features some claps that I do not feel qualify as Slow Claps, but it is also the only YouTube video with the final scene from Lucas, so I must forgive its shortcomings):




Clap.


















Clap.









Clap.








Clap.






Clap.


Clap.


Clap.

Clap.


Clap.


Clap.
Clap.
Clap.
Clapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclap.
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26 comments :

  1. Best clap is the golf clap. End of discussion!

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  2. I slowly applaud this post.

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  3. This is terrific - the slow clap is not properly understood. However, you forgot to include the "one handed clap."

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  4. I tried the flaccid clap out for myself to see if that was really appropriate for those kinds of occasions (I like to test blog theories). I don't know if it is or not, but I do know that it sounds just like someone beating off under a pillow.

    Oh, awkward blasts of laughter in my living room.

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  5. While I agree that the slow clap is the best ever clap (I feel so dirty saying clap so many times..CLAP!) you forgot the ever popular golf clap.

    clap

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  6. I love the slow clap too. Who doesn't? I've never seen it in real life though, although, now I really really want to. I'm going to do what I can to see it before I die.

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  7. The best slow clap I ever heard was on a street corner in Hamburg, Germany. A car that was clearly driving too fast came up a nearly empty street and zoomed round the corner onto a street with a long line of waiting cars. 'Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang.' That's 5 cars in a row rear ended! A long pause, until we could see that everyone was alive, and then the whole neighborhood slowly erupted clapter.

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  8. This. Is. Hilarious!! Loved the Cool Runnings reference.

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  9. LOL! my best friend and I made the same pact.

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  10. I love that you were so passionate about the slow clap that it was pact-worthy.
    Thanks for making me smile with this post.
    clap..........clap............clap....clap...clap...clap..clap.clapclapclap

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  11. "The Flaccid Clap: Weak, moderately fast; hands limp; sounds kind of like someone beating off under a pillow."

    LOL... I love these definitions! Spot on!

    Having a good giggle when I recall this post will certinaly be more entertaining than whatever I'm "flaccidly clapping" for at the time!

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  12. I live in Branson MO and it has 100 theaters with very old people singing and dancing. You never give a fast clap as the way die from the excitement.

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  13. Anonymous12:39 PM

    1. the typed-out slow clap at the end is genius.

    2. you forgot the golf clap.

    3. at my high school, every class had a "thing" that the all did (inevitably started by the baseball players who were raised to think baseball was awesome and then got to high school and realized baseball is boring and football is really where it's at). our class's thing was the slow clap. at graduation, during a boring speech given by one of the girls that was really pretty but also pretty dumb, someone started a slow clap. the parents in the stands around the football stadium didn't understand what was happening but i am told it was an epic slow clap that came out of nowhere. and drowned out a boring speech, which is also very epic.

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  14. Great post. The bobsleigh clip brought a tear to my eye! Can I recommend a clip on the same theme - it isn't exactly slow clapping as such, but it's fantastic all the same.It's Susan Boyle's first ever audition. Here is the link..... enjoy!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lp0IWv8QZY

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  15. A-mazing! Just last night my bride and I watched the DVD, "Love Happens," with Jennifer Aniston, Aaron Eckhart, and John Carroll Lynch. Lynch gave Eckhart a monumental slow clap near the end of the movie.

    It was so-so. I enjoyed getting the slow clap from you today a lot more.

    Thanks

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  16. Thank you so much for posting a written example of what the "Slow Clap" is. It made me laugh. I hope you get to do it some day!

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  17. Man, I really need to watch Cool Runnings already. I'm too worried about this to even think about starting a slow clap.

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  18. my favourite slow clap is at the end of Strictly Ballroom which also turns into another type of clap you missed - the Rhythmic Clap, where the audience will get so excited about a dance or music performance that they will start clapping along in time to the music, but then get too excited about clapping so they'll get faster and faster and eventually screw up the beat.

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  19. When I give birth for the first time, I hope the doctors and nurses give me a slow clap.

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  20. It always drives me a little crazy how the slow clap becomes synchronized right before going all wild.

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  21. Slow claps are too epic. TOO EPIC

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  22. i laughed out loud,remembering all the choreographed claps from my scool days.

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  23. No joke, I accomplished my life goal of starting a slow clap not even two weeks ago! A man who had been working really hard in our organization finally got the top job, gave an amazing speech that showed his dedication, and I STARTED A SLOW CLAP!!!

    Life= dominated.

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  24. Hahahaha this is positively fantastic!
    clap





    clap





    clap clap clap clapclap!(:
    I think everyone will slow clap with me (:
    Follow my blogs yeah? yeah(:

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  25. Let's not forget the cheerleading clap, or clasp, if you will: two hands cupped into perfect lowercase Cs snap together and apart as if secured by taut rubber bands.

    I was a cheerleader.

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