Illustration of Frankenstein's monster

Answer: He was fired

Whenever I hear the name "Frankenstein", the first thing I think of is "fire bad!" from the Saturday Night Live skits with Phil Hartman (though a close second is the movie "Young Frankenstein" directed by Mel Brooks). One of the most memorable of these SNL sketches was called "Succinctly Speaking" and features Frankenstein, Tarzan, and Tonto attempting to debate issues from fire to international politics with their limited english vocabularies. Not sure why I still find it so funny, but of course I had to make a pun about Frankenstein and fire.

Explanation for the kids (and bad puns)

In the original story of Frankenstein, fire (and light) are a common theme used to show how too much of a good thing can be bad. In Dr. Frankenstein's case, the pursuit of knowledge (light) leads him to creating a monster. More literally, the same fire that gives warmth and light can also cause danger and harm.

The term "fire" is also used in business when someone loses their job. The origin of that term is debated and ranges from burning someone's hut to kick them out of a tribe/village in ancient times to burning a worker's tools to end their employment during the middle ages. In more recent history, Thomas Watson Sr (who later started IBM), was fired from NCR for suggesting that mechanical cash registers would soon be obsolete. According to the story, NCR founder John Patterson was so mad, he brought Watson's desk outside and lit it on fire.


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