A mathematician excelling at his craft

In its two seasons of existence, HBO’s Silicon Valley is perhaps most famous for an elaborate dick joke in which the members of Pied Piper mathematically examine the minimal amount of time it would take to jerk off an entire audience at TechCrunch Disrupt. Taking place in the season one finale, “Optimal Tip-To-Tip Efficiency,” the gag introduced such now-established metrics as “mean jerk time” and “dick to floor ratio,” perfectly exemplifying creator Mike Judge’s signature balance of highbrow and lowbrow humor.

Unsurprisingly, it’s also the kind of humor that probably doesn’t register with NASA scientists at all. According to Vulture, Silicon Valley stars Kumail Nanjiani and Martin Starr tried a version of the joke out at the NASA Ames Research Center, where they were presenting one of the awards for scientific breakthroughs in front of many respected physicists, scientists, and mathematicians—all of which could probably figure out optimal tip-to-tip efficiency pretty quickly, if they didn’t have far more pressing issues to solve. “You guys are mapping the world around us and the world inside us, solving mysteries that have plagued us since the dawn of consciousness,” said Nanjiani. “Our biggest accomplishment is a joke about how fast we could masturbate every guy in an auditorium.” It all went downhill from there.


After mentioning they wanted to bring that joke to life again right then and there, Starr quipped that such a dick-jerking exercise would take “thirty-seven-and-a-half minutes, maybe, between that and 14 hours. So, if you guys are onboard.” Nanjiani then added, “depending on how drunk you are…get ready,” the two picked sides, and finally, a couple excruciating seconds of total silence ended the bit. Ever the professionals, they quickly bowed out with Nanjiani reminiscing that one time they told “told a room of scientists that we would masturbate them.”

“Yeah, I do [remember], it just happened,” said Starr, presumably ditching his “this guy fucks!” joke before introducing the next winner, an optogenetics researcher.