Five Literal LOL TV Moments
The previous two entries I’ve posted dissected a really crappy right-wing comedy show where the other talked about how comedians in Canada are consistently expected to not get paid for their work. So, let’s talk about something fun for once.
I have a thing where I will remember jokes, entire sketches, or just a two-second funny moment from anytime in my conscious history. My mind just keeps them in a box somewhere and will throw one of them at me at the most inopportune moments to make me laugh.
“What are you giggling at?”
“I just remembered Kyle Kinane’s joke about gentrification.”
“Well, stop it.”
May we continue having intercourse?”
This happens to me all the time, and I hope artists in other art forms have this as well. I picture one of my musician friends at a funeral suddenly getting hit by his aunt’s purse for humming the guitar solo from ‘Paranoid Android’.
The COVID pandemic has forced us to be left with our own thoughts. A lot. Like “Locked in a car with a guy while driving through Saskatchewan” trapped. Because of this, I’ve had a lot of these comedy moments bubble to the surface. I’ll be walking my dog in a socially distanced park and then BOOM! I’m hit with a Monty Python sketch and blurt laugh while tying up a full dog poop bag. I will laugh through my mask in a grocery store queue about a line from “Night Court” (Kids, ask a Gen-Xer) which then forces people to socially distance from me further.
For whatever reason, I’ve been tracking funny television moments for the past while, so I decided to come up with a list of five of them. They’re not in any order, and they may not even be five that I would consider the best over the course of my life. They’re just the five moments in television that recently have consistently brought me joy and make me laugh when I think of them. Let’s go.
1) Frasier Crane Dealing with Rebecca’s Diet on ‘Cheers’
This exchange probably isn’t even the funniest exchange in this episode let alone the entire series of Cheers, but whenever I think of a line from the show, it’s this moment. Frasier being thrown out of the house by Lilith is forced to sleep at the bar. I’ve been this tired and cranky myself so that if offered tofu first thing in the morning I’d have said “No, I won’t eat that crap.” as well. It sums up Frasier’s character perfectly. It also shows the thin thread he’s hanging on to is close to snapping and his formal veneer is shattered a bit. Love it.
2) “Snake Juice” on ‘Parks & Recreation’
This is just an epic scene and tells so much about Andy and April’s relationship as well as where Kyle fits into things. As hungover as Andy is, he’s still game to follow his love into a ‘Yes, and…’ that ends up on Kyle’s pants. I church-laughed at this in bed once so hard that it woke up my wife. Perfect button at the end.
3) “You’ve Been Meatballed” on ‘The Office’
This is an example of one single moment bringing me to tears. The whole cold open is fine, consistent with the comedy of the show. But the moment the camera zooms in on “Dog Shrute”, I lose it every time. I rewind that single moment thirty times or so until I can’t breathe. I adore these types of moments. My wife will typically stop my laugh-rewinds after the fifth repeat. So great.
4) “Dead Ned” on ‘The Simpsons’
Again, this is one single moment. And that moment, is “Diddly”. I can’t count the number of times I’ve thought of Homer’s side-mouth uttering of “Diddly” that makes me chortle. There are so many genuinely great Simpsons moments, but I will never not laugh at Homer’s nervous and tentative “Diddly”.
5) “Michael Hoys a Monkey” on ‘I’m Alan Partridge’
Whenever I have to explain Alan Partridge to someone, I must go back to the fact that Steve Coogan plays a fictional talk show host character who had a fake talk show “Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge” for six episodes and the second season follows him around trying to get a second series in a “Larry Sanders Show” style and manner. And every time that I explain it, it involves me acting out this scene. It shows what a damaged creature Michael is and what a self-absorbed twit Alan is. It’s perfect.
Those are five blurt-laugh moments that I’ve had hit me over the past few days.
What are yours?