It was a dark and stormy night. Lightning scorched the sky and wind slashed the air, as the witches enacted their dark ritual. From the pits of the nether realm, Jeff Bezos’ heinous cackle was birthed into this unsuspecting world.
Or so we’d like to imagine.
One thing is certain, though: Amazon.com’s CEO Jeff Bezos has one ridiculously evil laugh:
When did this laugh first emerge? What havoc has it wreaked? Here, we investigate.
As early as the year 2000, BBC News published a statement describing Bezos as a “chuckling maniac” running a miserable company that was doomed to fail. While the prediction about the company proved wrong, the myth of Bezos’ spine-tingling laugh would indeed hold firm.
In 2009, Gawker referenced the BBC story in a new article about an appearance Bezos had on the Daily Show earlier that year. The article described Bezos’ “hooting laughter” as his “most distinctive personal quality,” something that many people in the tech community are well aware of. The article further explained that Bezos deliberately uses the laughter as a strong-arming technique to throw people off balance, and that Bezos has a number of rowdy tricks he pulls such as making sex jokes or just flat-out insulting people in order to harass them into doing what he wants.
In 2013, StartupBook continued this thought of a cruel, pushy Jeff Bezos when they published an article likening Bezos to a vicious lunatic who insults his colleagues and manipulates his supporters. The article implied parallels between Bezos and the Joker (The Dark Knight), Loki (Thor, The Avengers), and Patrick Bateman (Psycho). All in all, not a flattering portrait. The article’s icing on the cake was of course the commentary on Bezos’ cackle, which was described as “punishing” and an “evil-villain laugh.” (As opposed to all those not-evil villain laughs???)
So, whatever the otherworldly origins of Jeff Bezos’ laugh might be, that cackle is well-documented and likely here to stay. It has become an institution, and a symbol of big corporate bullying.
As monologist Mike Daisey once said, “Jeff's laugh defies description. He is constantly laughing: it defines him. Many have tried and failed to capture that laugh in words, but all the similes and metaphors come up short. Let me cry: Keep a child in a lightless box for a number of years and play the sounds of hyenas and Henny Youngman on a constant loop. Every couple of hours, whenever he seems relaxed, strike this child with a wooden stick. When you release this child at eighteen from the box, he will sue you for inhumane treatment and win. The noise the box child will make on the courthouse steps as he delights in the victory that sends his sadistic tormentor to the poorhouse for the rest of his life will sound a bit like Jeff's hooting, barking, and genuinely disturbingly arrhythmic guffaws.”