The Multiphasic Phlyarological University

Here’s a question I’ve never been asked:

What exactly is The Multiphasic Phlyarological University?

Well, in a nutshell, it’s a virtual school for studying nonsense.

Why ‘nonsense’?

Because nonsense is such fun! Think of Jabberwocky, for example:

… or Vogon poetry:

… or almost anything by Monty Python:

That all seems very silly. Is that all there is to it?

The University is also a collaborative effort to build a website detailing, and attempting to analyse, classic humour, such as that created by inimitables such as The Goons, Douglas Adams, and ‘Professor’ Stanley Unwin. Comics are excellent phlyarologists by nature: they know what makes people tick as well as how to tickle their funny bones.

One of the paradoxes of humour is that the best of it, at its heart, involves truth. Comedians often present us with the truth about ourselves or our situation in such a way as to make us laugh about it. And, as they say, laughter is the best medicine.

OK, you’ve got my attention — for a while at least — how do I find out more?

The University’s website is at It’s (currently) a private site; to see more you would need to request access — you’ll need to set up a account to do that, assuming that you don’t already have one. Note that although WordPress will want you to sign up for your own domain (they are, after all, here to make money), you can have a free account if you choose a domain of the form:

After you’ve been granted access to, you can take a look around the site. Nothing is hidden: but note that it’s all under constant development by the students, so much of it will appear to be incomplete. There’s a FAQ section where you can get help (once you’ve got access).

OK, so there’s a website. Looks like any old blog, to me. What’s with the ‘University’ bit?

Assuming that you’re interested in participating, you would then need to Enrol at the University. This isn’t difficult; you just have to provide your name, email address and a short bit of blurb to indicate why you’re interested in joining. This last can really be anything: its main objective is to test that you actually understand English (yes, much as we’d like to be multilingual, it may be some considerable time before that happens). If your application is approved, you will gain access to the site as a ‘contributor‘.

What are the benefits of enrolling at the University?

Ideally, you’ll primarily get a lot of laughs. If you contribute to the design of the site, you will earn credits towards certificates: diplomas, degrees and even doctorates.  (None of these — currently — have any academic standing, though. It’s all nonsense!)

What’s the catch? How much does it cost?

Membership of the University is totally free. There is no contract, and absolutely no obligation to do any more than you wish to do.

OK… so how do I get this ball rolling?

Just visit!

See you there?A picture of a man with his head up his backside: the emblem of phlyarology

About peNdantry

Phlyarologist (part-time) and pendant. Campaigner for action against anthropogenic global warming (AGW) and injustice in all its forms. Humanist, atheist, notoftenpist. Wannabe poet, writer and astronaut.
This entry was posted in ... wait, what?, Education, Just for laughs, Phlyarology and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to The Multiphasic Phlyarological University

  1. Just dipped in to this post, I will watch the videos later when I have more time. But just to say that I love the theme!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. msjadeli says:

    When I listened to The Jabberwocky I remembered Robin Williams in “The Fisher King.” Now there’s a movie full of nonsense but with a profound message. He was also delightfully nonsensical in Mork & Mindy. You’ve got me interested :)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. mistermuse says:

    Such nonsense! ;-)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Let’s Get Inspired by pendantry of the blog called Wibble – Part 1 of 2 – ThoughtsnLifeBlog

  5. Pingback: Creating content collaboratively | Wibble

  6. I put my application in for consideration but I fear that I’m not funny at all :/

    “One of the paradoxes of humour is that the best of it, at its heart, involves truth.” I completely agree with that. However, how do you feel about comedians in today’s day and age when everyone is so sensitive and anything can make people boycott a person/product/ company?

    Liked by 1 person

    • pendantry says:

      This is a tad concerning. You hit the button to request access to I’ve not had an email advising that :( I do hope that hasn’t broken anything. Again.

      I think you’re absolutely right to suggest that political correctness may have done irretrievable harm to the concept of humour. And technological complexity, together with demonstrable ineptness on the part of those ‘experts’ who insist on continually ‘upgrading’ it without acknowledging the reality that any change runs the risk of introducing bugs makes me feel like crying, not laughing :(

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Forestwood says:

    Visiting here on a random raid! All links check out. That final image is a classic. Lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. rawgod says:

    Ooooh, I wish today was not a “time-strapped day for me. Your “whatchamacallit” University sounds like a worthy project. I don’t know if you Brits know much about American baseball, a mixture of rounders and cricket, but my ultimate comic sketch is this Abbot and Costello sketch from back when I was knee-high to a grasshopper:

    And then if songs would have to be studied phlyarologically, I’d definitely nominate The Lovin’ Spoonful”s

    One last thing I am sure you will appreciate, I have a cat whose name rhymes with Jabberwock–Halverstock (with a silent “l” of course.)
    More later, if I’m not dead, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pendantry says:

      Although I’m a Brit, I am somewhat familiar with baseball. And I’m very familiar with that Abbott and Costello sketch — in fact I made a post that included it (not the same clip as yours) way back in 2012. A true classic, it never gets old :)

      As for the second clip: oh, yes, the MPU would most definitely benefit from a phlyarological music analyst! Terrific idea; can I persuade you to apply for the role? ;) (I admit that I had some trouble making out the lyrics of that clip. I went searching for them but was hampered by not being sure about the title of that song.)

      ‘Jabberwock-Ha{l}verstock’ is a truly barmy name for a cat. My own cat has several monikers. I think my favourite is vIghro’wIj.

      Here’s hoping you’re not dead (pure selfishness: I’ll have wasted my time responding to you if you are).


      • rawgod says:

        Apparently I am not dead quite yet.
        The title of the song is “Jug Band Music,” and here are the lyrics, though lines may be written differently in the origina
        I was down in Savannah
        Eating cream and bananas
        When the heat just made me faint
        I began to see cross-eyed
        I thought I was lost
        I begun to see things as they aint
        As the relatives gathered
        To see what”s the matter
        And the doctor came to see was I dyin’
        And the doctor said “Give him jug band music
        It seems to make hi feel just fine.

        I was told a little tale about a foot rail cowboy
        Who was hung up in the desert
        Swatting rats and tryin’ to get a drink of water with his knees a-gettin’ mud-caked
        Let me tell you in a sentence
        How he stumbled into Memphis hardly crawlin’
        With his knees a-lookin’ dust baked
        They gave him a little water
        A little bit of wine
        He opened up his eyes
        But they didn’t seem to shine
        And the doctor said “Give him jug bad music,
        It seems to make el just fine.”

        So if you every get sickly
        Get sis to run quickly
        To the dusty closet shelf
        And pull down a washboard
        And play a guitar
        Gonna do a little do it yourself
        And call on the neighbours
        To put down their labours
        And come to play their harps —— time
        And the doctor said “Give him jug band music,
        It seems to make him feel just fine.”

        I was floatin’ in the ocean
        Greasin’ sun tan lotion
        When I got knocked ou by a beach boy
        Kid was surfin’ when he hit me
        Kid jumped off his board and kicked me
        Then he grabbed me ’round the arm
        Just like a child”s toAs we stumbled in to land
        With all the waiters eatin’ sandwiches
        And tryin’ to mooch a towel
        From the Harbour Light
        He emptied out his eardrums
        I emptied out mine
        And everybody knows that the very last line is
        And the doctor “Give him jug band music,
        It seems to make him feel just fine.”

        And the doctor “Give him jug band music,
        It seems to make him feel just fine.”

        All that from memory, as I memorized it when it came out. I think the missing word is “ev’ry” but that makes even less sense than the rest of the song, lol. Also Harbour Light may be harbour buoy, but Harbour Light was a charity organizational in those days and moochin’ a towel off them seems right.

        I will apply for the position (I hope it is paid) but with the caveat that if I die before the job starts my pay goes to my partner. Unfortunately she is not able to fulfill my responsibilities, but still, she could use a small income.
        (No, I am not hung up on dying. I have nothing in my life to suggest it will be soon. But being a senior, even you must agree, we do not always get a warning. Chaos happens.)

        Liked by 1 person

        • pendantry says:

          I fully sympathise (and offer commiserations in advance to both you and your partner) about the chaos.

          This explains a lot; in more ways than one: For some reason — even though, I now see, the title is visible on the title of the video — I was convinced that the line in the song that I now very clearly, thanks to you, hear as ‘jug band music’ I had thought was ‘just bad music’. I was searching for the wrong thing….

          Oh, no, you misunderstand. The position of ‘phlyarological music analyst’ isn’t a paid one. Nobody in the MPU§ gets paid! /eyeroll

          § Largely explained by the fact that, despite my best efforts, there is still, um, nobody but me active in the MPU. I live in hope (until the aforementioned chaos puts an end to that).


          • rawgod says:

            I knew it wasn’t paid, but there was always a chance you are a multi-millionaire who had money to throw away. Chaos theory, you know!
            But here are two more songs for you, which you need to listen to in order. The first is by Napoleon XIV:

            And the second is by The Emporer:


          • pendantry says:

            I’ve heard the first, many years ago. It’s superb; I give it 11/10. As for the second, I feel obliged to deduct a baker’s dozen points at present. It’s new to me; does it grow on you? (It feels like an attempt to bandwagon on Napoleon XIV’s piece, though I have to admit I don’t know which came first).

            BTW, I edited your post to put the URLs on their own lines (which WordPress then renders as an embedded video rather than as a bare link). I hope you don’t mind.


          • rawgod says:

            It”s your blog, do as you wish. Napoleon XIV came first, and climbed high on the charts for a novelty record. The Emperor’s work was a deliberate bandwagon showboat which I included because it was there. Your point judgment was pretty much to be expected. Just consider yourself lucky I did not include the return of NapXIV, which he did from the dog”s point of view. It was so bad as to take away any points he received on the original song.

            Liked by 1 person

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