The starting point for many an Alan Coren feuilleton was some scrap of a story from a newspaper. Which then triggered the soaring flight of fancy. The discovery that perhaps the Pentateuch really was written by the one person led to a quite wondrous story of how Moses and Aaron had to get it together overnight for example.
At which point:
MIT scientists hope to talk to spiders after creating music from their webs
We can imagine varied basic jokes here. Can’t they tune the damn thing? Or never did like modern jazz perhaps. Or an extended play upon Chinese whispers. The difficulty, the thing missed by the absence of Coren, is the 1200 words playing upon that joke, each line of which adds to it.
As is so often true in the wider world, ideas are easy, it’s execution that matters.