Reasons to be Cheerful

There's a great post on the AV Club at the moment where its writers discuss the things that always make them laugh. And, never wanting to miss a bandwagon, here's my list of nine things that are never not funny to me, each more predictable (or as predictable? No - more predictable) than the last.


1. Father Ted s3e3: 'Speed 3'

Hard to pick one moment from Ted, or indeed from most of Graham Linehan's sitcom career, but this episode from the final season really stands out. It has all the best things of the show: Dougal being stupid, Mrs. Doyle being adorably creepy, Jack yelling at everyone, and Ted being Ted. BUT this one also features Pat Mustard, the greatest one-episode character they've ever had. From his swarthy entrance to his karmic fall from grace to his demonic, Jeremy-Irons-in-Die-Hard-With-A-Vengeance style retribution, Pat Mustard is hilarious. Also, this episode has some hairy babies and a reference to Gene Hackman, and I endorse that. Can't embed any video files here, sadly, but I suppose you could just watch the whole ep at YouTube beginning here.

2. The Simpsons s9e20: 'The Trouble With Trillions'

Blah blah blah, isn't as good as it used to be, etc etc. According to the great site Eye on Springfield, this episode is from the last season that the Simpsons was still funny. Not sure I agree with that, but even so, this one is great. Not regarded as one of the all-time classics by most, but for me, it's got the most laughs: a joke about High Definition TV in 1998; Lucius Sweet; Homer and Burns working as a team; the trip to Cuba; Milhouse's shirt falling off.. There are literally three hundred and sixteen other funny parts to this episode of television. "Montgomery Burns, you are under arrest for grand-grand-grand-grand-larceny."

3. Scharpling and Wurster: G.G. Allin references

This one will shock and amaze any of you that have never met me before, never been to this site before, or never been in the same town as me before. Next, it's very hard to narrow down the shows appeal to just one thing, but I'll give it a go. The recurring references to the late Kevin Allin initially caught me off guard, but now I feel like I know him and his body of work very well. Whether it's Philly Boy Roy talking about driving GG around in a cab, superfan Bernie Taupin, or most memorably, a guy called Trip who was imagining 'Planet GG' - complete with skyscraper, biopic and reality show; it's amazing how much comedy mileage Tom and Jon can get out of a pretty obscure punk rock singer.

4. The writings of Charlie Brooker

Charlie's TV work on Screen Wipe, and now News Wipe, is stellar and insightful, but it's his column in the Guardian that always kill me. So when I found out that these columns have been compiled into two books, I was delighted. Read his thoughts on Justin Timberlake and enjoy.

5. "You Know How I Know You're Gay?"

It's more than just Apatow movies - 'Role Models' was my fave comedy of last year as you know - but that school of comedy almost always gets me. It doesn't even bother me that a lot of it is just references, as exemplified in the clip below. Once these guys start riffing, it's going to make me laugh. Saw 'I Love You Man' a couple of days ago, and didn't really have a lot to say about it, but my biggest laugh was when someone calls someone "Broseph Goebbels". Couldn't find a clip of the original scene from '40 Year Old Virgin' but this one does the trick just fine. Though my favourite punchline to that is still "You like Coldplay".

6. Arrested Development s2e4: 'Good Grief'

An obvious choice, and it seems like most of the AV Club writers went with something from the show. This episode features my hands-down favourite moment of the series - Tobias trying to console Michael with his speech delivered as John Wayne, before screaming "Where the fuck are my hard boiled eggs?" and storming off in a huff. Also, this is the one with all the Charlie Brown sad-sack walking, "I have Pop Pop in the attic", "I will be the corpse of my dead father!" and the obligatory Anne Frank joke. I'm really not too stoked about the AD movie, I can't see it matching the quality of the show, and it could never match everyone's expectations, so it's bound to disappoint. Prove me wrong, Hurwitz!


7. Statler and Waldorf

Last week, I called into aforementioned Best Show on WFMU to talk about how I don't want to see a Jason Segel-written Muppets feature. Not that I have anything against Segel, but I have too much love for the Muppets to see any further harm done to them, after some less-than-stellar flicks in the 90s. This past Valentine's Day, the Mrs and I went to the Jim Henson exhibition. This is what my desk looks like. I absolutely sincerely list 'The Muppet Movie' as one of my all-time top five movies. And there is nothing that the cantankerous eldery duo can do, that I won't find funny. This includes their short lived movie-review web show. They were recently on Jimmy Fallon's show, actually heckling Jason Segel, which gives this paragraph a weird sense of circularity.

8. Shaun Williamson on 'Extras'

Only in a small role, Barry from Eastenders steals every scene he's in. Despite my best efforts, I couldn't find the clip of him showing his acting range, the one where he and Smerch sing 'Mustang Sally'. But this one is terrific too. Something about his face, coupled with the lines he's given, always get me.

9. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost

Notice the boolean. Pegg AND Frost. On their own, results may vary. But put the two together and it's rarely short of comic genius. I can't write about my love of Spaced any more because the Internet actually issued a restraining order. But I could watch Spaced, Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead, and even their commentary tracks, once every month from now until 2060 when I'll be almost eighty years old. Here's a clip of them from earlier this year, promoting a charity fundraiser, and still being funny as bells.


lee said...

I should be in this POOF!

Dana said...

Just saw Role Models the other day and surprisingly loved it!! Also love the 40YOV scene. :D

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