Not to add to the general air of fatalism that’s permeating The Discourse, but: aaaaaaahhhhhh, fuckfuckfuckfuck!!!! The president has barely been the president for two weeks and it feels like two and a half. Every ten minutes contains twenty minutes’ worth of terrible things. They’re gonna put coal back in the water? A Milo supporter shot a Milo detractor and the police let him walk?? Steve “Literally Said Out Loud And On Record That He Wants Civilization To Collapse” Bannon is gonna run foreign policy probably??? You guys, I am starting to think comedy will not save us. And if not comedy, then what?!
I don’t know what you are doing to maintain your sanity these days but here is what I am doing: eating, sleeping, using that 5 calls website, etc. Another thing I am doing is watching funny videos. There’s a lot of them on the internet and some of them are pretty boring but other ones are pretty good if you want to distract yourself for three to six minutes before getting back to work/outrage/action. We love to talk about comedy here at Paste Comedy, but there’s a lot of great comedy we don’t talk about because it’s not on television and/or Seeso and/or the Earwolf network and/or nobody’s publicist emailed us about it, like, four days in a row. Media is a scam! Ha ha, just kidding maybe.
Well, folks, the days of only famous people getting press are over for the next five minutes or so. Here, now, for you, are some of the funniest under-the-radar comedy videos, as judged by me, Seth. If it seems like many or all of them are made by comedians who live and perform in Brooklyn, that’s just because I live and see comedy in Brooklyn, and I can only remember so many people’s names. Are there funny videos of which you are particularly fond and have been watching often in these dark days of darkness? I would love to know what they are! Please share them in the comments. Or tweet at us. Or tweet at me! Okay, here we go.
1. Good Cop Great Cop, “Art”
This is my favorite sketch. It is by a group called Good Cop Great Cop, which I have previously profiled for another comedy website. They have made many sketches, and also a Comedy Central web series, and I’m not sure why this one is my favorite other than this reason: It’s so funny! I especially like the bit when Charlie (the dancing guy’s name is Charlie) yells a lot. Also the bit where Matt (the other guy’s name is Matt) is eating a melon on a couch. You know what—I like all of it. Gold!
2. Catherine Cohen and Patti Harrison, “Slurp”
This is a sketch about a pair of old friends catching up over ice cream. It was written by and features Catherine Cohen and Patti Harrison, two Paste favorites. It is mostly structureless and mostly dialogue with just a little sprinkling of prop-based humor. We don’t talk prop comedy often here on Paste Comedy but prop comedy is alive and well. For instance, the president loves props. But Cohen and Harrison are much funnier than the president, perhaps due to their naturalistic dialogue and organic characterization. If you like this sketch and if you also live in or near New York City, good news: Cohen has a solo show featuring Harrison next freakin’ week. The arts are alive and well for the next couple months at least.
3. Dan Arnes and Ana Fabrega, “A Tour of Williamsburg with Ana Fabrega”
Ana Fabrega, another Paste favorite, made this video with Dan Arnes, aka Leapling of the band Leapling. Like much of Fabrega’s work, it has that improvisatory feel we all love and crave these days of post-post-modernism and late capitalism and everybody more or less knowing how conventional jokes work. I like the part when she says she feels nothing, because it reminds me of how sometimes I feel nothing. But, other times, I feel something. This is one of those times.
4. Friends Who Folk, “Relatable Breakup Song”
Rachel Wenitsky and Ned Riseley, aka Friends Who Folk, are a crazy insanely madly unbelievably inconceivably unthinkably good faux-folk band. Those voices! Those harmonies! Those melodies! That camerawork! The lyrics! The heightening of a joke over a series of beats, but also in song! Is there anything better than when things are really confidently great at being the weird things they are? Yes, probably. But it’s still great anyway! They’ve also done some great work for the New Yorker, such as this song. Enjoy!
5. Horrible Insane Girl, “Lil Lady Doctor”
Horrible Insane Girl is in fact three nice reasonable women: Kady Ruth Ashcraft, Hayley Kosan and Alise Morales. They made a handful of sketches for IFC’s Comedy Crib digital platform thingy and this is one of them. I like all of them but I have selected this one because it is a nice short sweet character piece with funny props, and also there’s a bit where a character pops onscreen then immediately pops off, which is one of my favorite type of jokes. It’s like, where’d he even go??
6. Ziwe Fumudoh, “Baited”
You probably know Ziwe Fumudoh from Twitter. Well, here she is on YouTube, too. In this web-based series, produced by the Above Average network, she discusses race and diversity with white people. In this particular episode, the white person in question is Dan Chamberlain, whom you may also know from Twitter. He has a very deep voice which, if you’re anything like me, will remind you of your father, who just sent you a bunch of pictures of the dog and some birds which you really ought to hang up so you can tell him you hung them up. But that’s just “Baited with Ziwe” for you: banter, social commentary, Christmas lights and people who remind you of your own failings. Check out all four episodes today! Or whatever.
7. Mary Houlihan and Sam Taggart, “Mary and Sam!”
Okay, yeah, this one’s a fifty-minute-long recording of a live show, and thus a larger emotional and temporal investment than everything else on this list, but nonetheless: It’s real good! Mary Houlihan, who you may recognize from this website, and Sam Taggart, one of Brooklyn Magazine’s 50 Funniest People, performed this show last month at the Comedy Central Corporate Retreat showcase at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. It’s got everything: music, slideshow-based comedy, friends doing stuff, zany costumes and someone in the audience turning out to be part of the show. I think?
8. Joel Kim Booster, Conan
This one you have probably seen. If you haven’t: Here it is, Joel Kim Booster on Conan! Just some good old-fashioned autobiographical standup that speaks to a compelling individual experience but also grander social concerns. I like the line about six-year-olds crushing puss, but that’s a punchline, so, sorry. Watch the rest!
9. Video Frogs, “My Wife”
You probably know John Reynolds, star of this sketch from Stranger Things and Search Party. He’s also one of the five-to-ten funniest comedians working in New York City right now. His sketch, improv and longer work—like the transcendent Sadie Hawkins Day, a play he wrote and performed with Matt Barats—is among the best I’ve seen. This video was produced for IFC’s Comedy Crib with the Video Frogs, a collective of a bunch of great Annoyance comics. I’ve selected this video because I love the delightfully simple premise—a guy came up with the phrase “My wife” long before Borat, and it ruined his life—but all of the Frogs’ videos are worth checking out. Especially “That Planet.” Also “Town Mayor.” Okay, moving on.
10. Joe Rumrill and Tynan Delong, “Big Email”
I don’t know what else to say about this sketch but that it’s about big email and I love it. I love big email. If this sketch ran for office I would vote for it, at least on the down ballot. There are lines in this sketch that I mutter to myself on the reg, usually when I’m sending my own personal emails, or ignoring them, or just walking to the train. It’s so stupid and good and dumb and great. I hope you like it too.
Seth Simons is Paste’s assistant comedy editor. Follow him on Twitter.