• Followup: The Last Laugh

    Hurray! The Hiatus for both the season and the followup are over! No more waking up aimlessly on Saturday morning, we have a whole second half of a season to watch! Are you excited; because I am!

    We get to start off with a truly side-splitting episode. Pinkie Pie and Cheese Sandwich, jokes, gags, factories, soul searching, unambition, despondency, tears . . . wait.

    We’re entering the dreaded What is My Life’s Purpose question with two party ponies? This sounds like it will get deep, silly, touching, and filled with me rambling. Enough of this setup, let’s hit the punchline below!

    We start off the ep with most of the mane 6 waiting in great anticipation for some rather pressing news from Pinkie. They can't contain their excitement.

    But they have to because Pinkie hasn’t-

    Pinkie: Y'all need to open your eyes I've been here the whole time waiting quietly as y'all gathered.

    That’s right, Pinkie, gaslight your friends. Also, how did Pinkie call them? Tin can and string? Cause I could see Pinkie making that work extremely well. Or balloon messaging! You tie a note to a balloon and whoever gets it gets it. Again, I could see this working well for her.

    Luckily, we have Twilight to keep us on track. She asks what Pinkie’s “important” news is and Pinkie, demonstrates her writing prowess, choosing to Show Not Tell.

    Pinkie will tell her news from the table. Be honest, the only appropriate place to share news that will shake the foundations of perception is standing on a table.

    And there it is, roll credits, end the series here. I am thoroughly shaking in the presence of that styrofoam cupcake!

    Oh wait, it’s an invitation to Cheese Sandwich’s Chocolate- I mean- Amusement Factory!

    What fun, what excitement. I’m totally ready to laugh!

    Sigh, it seems someponies weren't listening when Pinkie gave the episode itinerary. So let's recap:

    We’re gonna tour the factory, hear about everything Cheese’s been doing, solve Pinkie’s existential crisis, and learn a few gag tips!

    Pinkie explains every pony knows what they want to do next in life, but that she’s kinda runnin’ blind.

    Also, look how excited AJ gets when it’s her turn to have her life’s purpose emphasized just to hears it's her hat. Silly Pinkie, everypony knows the answer is apples.

    Apples and Hats! Double Life Purpose!

    Serious times: Pinkie’s one of those characters that’s always happy around others. She’s busy doing the save Equestria thing, teaching, baking, party planning, babysitting and making everypony happy.

    Through it all, she usually perks herself up! Neither we nor her friends get to see her more somber moments very often as she does well to deal with her own issues alone.

    Admitting she has an internal problem she needs help solving is actually monumental for her character. It’s understandable why she tried to play it off as no big deal; it’s unfamiliar territory for her.

    And to feel stuck while everyone else moves on to bigger and better things . . . I don’t need a tissue box, I in no way know what this feels like!

    But Pinks is up to the challenge as well as eating whatever this cupcake is made of.

    Spike: I called poison control, again, and it turns out it’s not harmful to eat styrofoam, but still not recommended, Pinkie. ( I had a student(4) recently eat styrofoam while telling me about his love for lawn mowers...art imitates life.)

    Pinkie heads to the factory remembering everything Cheese was to her. Meeting him will doubtlessly build upon the collective happiness they both have.

    Pinkie arrives at the well-secured, locked up tighter than a prison, completely gray gag factory. My hopes are still high for fun . . . hey! They pushed her. Rude.

    Guard 1: Nopony goes in or out of this place.

    Pinkie: Wait, if nopony goes in and nopony comes out, Then how are deliveries being made from here? And what about employees; do they never go home?

    Guards: NOPONY goes in or out! Now Leave.

    Pinkie: Okay, since nopony ever leaves, my guess is you haven’t had a lunch break in a while. How about you give me access and I’ll give you this real cupcake?

    Guards: Y-you have food! Well, why didn’t you say so! Go on in!

    So Pinkie is let into the desolate factory to the sound of warming alarms. Not a bad idea actually.

    And she is immediately attacked by a red carpet. Those things can be very heavy, so her reaction is justified.

    Look how happy she is to see ‘Cheese Sandwich.’ There’s so much to ship here; friendship that is.

    Sadly, it turns out this isn’t Cheese.

    Sans Smirk: Projecting a large object at you and then posing as a dear friend of yours only to rip my face off should have produced a laugh. Wonder what I’m doing wrong.

    This pony is the Vice President of Amusement Integration! His cutie mark is a wet blanket! It doesn’t get better than that!

    He takes Pinkie into the factory to begin the first item on the itinerary: Factory Tour!

    He’s showing her their very serious approach to comedy at the factory! And he lets Pinkie have a chance to share some of her thoughts.

    Pinkie has a whole host of wacky ideas or at least mildly more fun ideas that originally presented. And her ideas are great!

    Oh but, just now, he said, that was literally the funniest thing ever spread,

    That makes me literally want to quote Al songs through this entire thread.

    But I won’t.

    See, this is why Mr. Smirk is great! He took Pinkie’s seemingly crazy idea and then worked to figure out how to make it a reality.

    If I knew how to get even a fraction of my ideas out into reality . . . actually, let’s be glad I can’t. Moving on.

    So upon discovering Pinkie is an idea-generating machine, Mr. Smirk gets his staff to start probing her mind for new material.

    Grant it, his name-generating skills rival the greatest wordsmiths in Equestria. In fact, I think he won a classifying companion a few years back and he even got to name like thirteen cities; no lie. Look him up, he’s a legend.

    But leave it to Pinkie to get things back on track.

    That sentence felt wrong to type.

    She wants to get to Cheese’s office.

    Sans: I know you really want to see this friend of yours, but can I flatter you into divulging more comedic content?

    Pinkie: I don’t know what kind of pony you think I am . . .

    Sans: No, no. I just want you to look at this banana and tell me what you think.

    Pinkie: Oh, you want me to break cartoon physics. Cool, just make the banana sticky.

    So finally fixing all of Mr. Smirk’s problems, Pinkie is rewarded with going to Cheese’s office and . . .

    The other super-duper party pony is sulking in the dark.

    Also, clap on lights! May that joke never die!

    What is that I spy with my little eye sitting in the background of Cheese’s office!

    It’s another one of those cupcakes!

    Oh wait, important dialogue is happening here. Um, Pinkie finds out Cheese lost his laugh, very tragic.

    To test the theory of losing laughter, Pinkie,

    Hits Cheese in the face with a toy snake. The test results come back positive (or would it be negative?). Cheese has lost his laugh.

    Pinkie’s still skeptic and I don’t blame her. Laughter does a lot of important things. It’s a bonding tool, it boosts the immune system, it even naturally triggers endorphins in the body, and I recently learned that rats can laugh.

    In short, laughter isn't a set of keys, you can’t just lose it.

    We’re treated to a flashback that shows us that Cheese used to laugh all the time when he was helping at parties.

    He also seemed happy to make all those extra bits for his party props.

    So he started inventing more and more gag stuff and before long,

    He needed a factory to keep up with all his great ideas!

    And as the money continued to pour in and the smiles were massed produced, Cheese began to find he had lost his own happiness.

    Cheese’s own best friend doesn’t seem to recognize him anymore.

    Thought the answer seems an easy one, it can be hard to do self-reflection.

    So Pinkie pulls all the stops to get Cheese Sandwich laughing again. Guess slapstick isn’t his thing.

    So Pinkie tries to get Cheese to just smile, she even offers to help.

    Pinkie: I’m gonna get a smile out of you if it’s the last thing you ever do.

    Good thing that didn't end up the last thing Cheese did.

    So having failed to produce laughter the good old fashion way, Pinks and friends decide to use Real Science!

    Of course, studies on ‘funny’ aren’t perfectly conclusive, and humor is very much a personal thing. I favor situational comedies to slapstick for instance. Or a well placed dark joke could tickle me for days, but I'm sure Pinkie hates those.

    There are legitimate studies on laughter though.

    But I can confirm that the Rule of Threes is completely scientifically sound!

    Related image

    Y’all, a whole team of humor scientists could replicate Pinkie Pie’s supposedly unique abilities. Let that sink in for a minute.

    This scene is great because we get to see Pinkie organizing and strategizing for something other than a party. Party horse can effectively communicate complex ideas around a topic that interests her.

    Pinkie may not be a linear thinker, she does in fact think. But let’s be honest, we’re throwing science at the walls here to see what sticks. No idea what it’ll do.

    I also love how when Pinkie is going through the list of comedy she demonstrates them. Little details like this make me happy.

    But Pinkie can't even break a smile from the stallion And just like that Cheese gives up. If Pinkie Pie can’t make him laugh, nothing ever will again.

    How awful! Cheese will become one of those old grumpy ponies that yell at foals to get off his lawn!

    It’s super sad because these two are possibly Cheese's only living, constant friends. He honestly feels he’s exhausted his last resource, friendship. Poor guy.

    Pinkie: I can’t believe Cheese is going to give up on his life’s purpose which was clearly to sit at a desk and never see the fruits of his labor.

    Sans: Yes, it would also appear that with Cheese no longer committed to gag making, my dreams of running a gag factory die as well. Not that I am only concerned with the continued growth of this establishment and not in any way heartbroken that this factory managed to squeeze the joy out of an otherwise optimistic idealist, which you also seem to be.

    Sans: Could I possibly entice you to think for me?

    Pinkie: No, 'cause I value my sanity and I know my life purpose must somehow involve my love of making others happy in real-time.

    Sans: Ah yes, just like Cheese used to do. Well, bye-bye.

    Pinkie: Wait. . .

    Pinkie: We just need to fill up his cute-spiration meter! You know, the reason he got his cutie marks.

    Ok yes, Cheese Sandwich has a sandwich for a cutie mark, but his purpose is to engage others to be happy. Like any aspiration, if you don't act true to yourself (being a party pony), you can't feel complete even if you reach the goal (making others smile).

    Pinkie: Cheese! I figured it out! You started this factory because you didn’t want to disappoint smiling faces but in here you can’t see any. Also, you’ve skipped lunch!

    Cheese: Should I grab a Snickers?

    Pinkie and Mr. Smirk convince Cheese to try making them laugh instead of the other way around. And Mr. Smirk is so enthusiastic!

    Of course, Cheese uses an anti-joke. These can be funny, but yeah...

    Pinkie promises to laugh at Cheese’s joke, but he says it wouldn’t count because Pinkie laughs at everything. It would be a cost lause, sorry, he meant lost cause.

    But Cheese’s word mix up happens to tickle somepony’s funny bone, because Cheese finally gets a snicker.

    Look it’s Oh-What’s-His-Face telling Cheese that his verbal blunder made him giggle.

    And just like that! We start a song toot sweet!

    Were you expecting a clever Willy Wonka reference here? So was I but the universe said no, so have this Chitty Chitty Bang Bang one instead! They sing about toot sweets!

    Don’t waste your levity on some all-day pleasantly,

    And don't try a tragic comedy.

    If you seek perfection in the laughter direction

    Well here's something great to be seen.

    A mouth full of cheer
    A joke without peer
    A musical morsel supreme!

    The 80’s! The 80’s!

    So Cheese gets Sans Smirk to laugh at a pun. I don’t agree that puns aren’t smart, but they do fall under ridiculous.

    And so, Cheese Sandwich learns a valuable lesson.

    A human nose and glasses are funny. Not a pony nose, but a human nose . . . wait, making ponies laugh is about thinking out loud in song explaining to ponies the exact joke you’re gonna use on them, no . . .ah, laughter comes from within?

    The moral: quit jobs that make you unhappy. Life is too short!

    Love how honest Cheese is when he quits. There’s no need to feel bad about it; it is not what he needs to be doing. The only thing keeping him there was he thought it was his purpose.

    Leaving the factory in very capable hooves, Cheese is going out to do what he loves. He’ll still send his gag ideas back to the factory, but he plans on getting out before the guards finish their cupcake and lock the gate again.

    Pinkie: That’s great you got your life’s purpose back. I mean, I came out here to find mine actually, but you completely ignored me to burden us all with your problems, but hey, you got your purpose back let’s celebrate!

    Cheese: I was the one who invited you, but okay, wanna go find it now?! You could travel with me and we’ll grow closer as friends and-

    Pinkie: Nah, I’m good.

    So Pinkie heads home and gathers the girls again. She is ready to tell them all she's discovered about herself.

    And Pinkie lets her friends know she is no longer worried about purposing all over the place. She’s making others smile and that’s all she needs. [Insert Smile Song Here]

    Rarity: We're so glad you figured out your life purpose, dear, but had you just listen to Twilight earlier you could have saved yourself a lot of trouble.

    Pinkie: Haha, I'm so glad you feel comfortable trivializing my life purpose journey!

    Pinkie: I’m throwing snakes at your faces.

    The End!

    There was a lot to love about this episode! But before we go into the comments. Look at this kind, cute, kind, lovable and kind Fluttershy.

    She's not mad at me for posting late, and neither are you. So what are your thoughts about The Last Laugh?