Comedy Tonight

in musings

Sometimes I get strange urges, like, I should make my blog more like Marginal Revolution. I mean, aside from the fact that I have no interest in writing about economics or public policy. Mainly what I thought was this comedy recommendations post was itself kind of hilarious, maybe because it’s written in that brief, dry way Tyler Cowen makes all his recommendations, and I do love a good deadpan.

Anyway, nobody asked for my comedy recommendations, but whatever, I’m going to list some things I find funny anyway, MR-style. I will try for brief and dry, but it is not really my nature.

  1. TV: I find most American sitcoms unwatchable, and am more likely to enjoy “dramedy” type shows that have frequent moments of humor within larger dramatic storylines. I enjoyed watching Arrested Development with groups of my friends, but it’s not something I’d put a lot of effort into seeking out. I love the British show As Time Goes By. What I really like is sketch comedy. The Muppet Show, The Red Green Show, Monty Python of course, A Bit of Fry And Laurie, are all excellent.

  2. Movies: If I had a playcount for movies like iTunes tracks my music, The Princess Bride would be #1, as long as we don’t count the stuff I watched over and over when I was 6. I tend to watch comedy movies with friends and laugh at the time, but leave not feeling like I want to repeat the experience. The Big Lebowski, A Prairie Home Companion, Bubba Ho-Tep, are all movies I like to rewatch. I enjoyed Talladega Nights a lot more than I anticipated.

  3. Books: I have trouble finding book-length fiction funny. I think it is because my experience of humor is very social, and I like to feel…alone, when I read. I like David Sedaris, but laugh a lot more when I’m listening to him read his work. I do enjoy To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis, and Good Omens by Neil Gaiman. I read the Hitchhiker’s series a long time ago, but have lost my taste for it. I might like it better now as a radio show.

  4. Youtube: vlog brothers. Target Women and Look Around You were made for TV shows, but I think they work better online.

More Categories!

  1. Radio/Podcast: I mentioned the Prairie Home Companion movie, and of course I enjoy the radio show, too. If I’m laughing to myself on a bus, it’s probably because I’ve got Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me on my ipod.

  2. Webcomics: Kate Beaton’s Hark a Vagrant, Dinosaur Comics, Octopus Pie, the XKCD archive has some nerdy gems though it’s been hit-or-miss for awhile. Achewood is brilliant and quite funny when it’s not incomprehensibly grotesque. (the comprehensibly grotesque parts are usually also funny)

  3. Music: Tom Lehrer is classic. Moxy Fruvous’ first album Bargainville has some very funny songs. 2ge+her is technically from a TV special, but I prefer to listen to just the music. I find a lot of Billy Joel funny, but that’s probably not on purpose. P. D. Q. Bach is fun for classical music fans.

  4. Stage: I was going to say I only included this category so I could declare my love for Into the Woods, but then I remembered The Reduced Shakespeare Company, and Avenue Q. I debated whether to put Victor Borge here or in music, but he surely belongs somewhere. I’m putting Eddie Izzard here too, though I’ve only seen him on DVD. I don’t seek out stand-up comedy, so there may be more I would like but am unaware of.

Despite the post title, I don’t like A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum very much. I do like the song, especially when the Muppets sing it.

And as long as I’m ending on a musical theater note, this video is utterly hilarious, if you’re a big ol’ musical theater dork like me.