dear language and/or comedy people: when and how did the phrase "is this anything" become a thing

@lifning I would love an answer to this. But I think it might require an invasive dataset from social media to trace the spread of. In order to find the origin place.

@lifning Hmmmm. My awareness of it doesn’t, but that doesn’t mean much.

@lifning I don't know if he started it, but it was one of David Letterman's standard segments several years (maybe longer). Kind of a three-minute gong show where 90% of the time was Letterman and Schafer speculating followed by some sort of sideshow, clown, or burlesque performance.

Eventually, grinder girl and hula hoop girl became regulars, and almost always they were better than the performers in chicken suits clucking Wagner.

@lifning To be entirely honest, Grinder Girl and Hula Hoop Girl were often more entertaining than Letterman and Shaffer's banter.

@lifning oh.

I think it started as a David Letterman segment. Intro, curtain lifts on a strange whatever; Dave and Paul debate whether that was, in fact, something.

Fun segments. Hamsters in habitrails; women taking angle grinders to their steel-plated nethers. Just whaaaaatever some producer found to go on-stage with five hours' notice.

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