When in the course of human events it becomes necessary to identify the funniest video content of 2017, I guess I’ll do it, sure. There’s a lot to sift through, really just an impossible amount, so this list cannot possibly be considered reliable or comprehensive or even well-written, but I hope you’ll share it on social media anyways. For our purposes I think it’s fair to include late night videos that had a second life online, since that’s how a good deal of us ingest those videos these days. Me, for instance—that’s how I ingest those videos these days. I also want to give an honorable mention to two pieces of video content that don’t qualify for our purposes: 1) that shot in The Last Jedi when a big scary spaceship descends from above and then turns out to be an iron ironing some First Order uniforms, and 2) that bit in Lady Bird when Lady Bird opens the door to jump out of the car and then, hard cut, her arm’s in a cast. Really great visual jokes, if you ask me! All right, here we go, in no particular order, one critic’s favorite funny videos of 2017:
Cuplicated is a real, or possibly fake series on the real, or possibly fake streaming platform Vioobu. It’s a prestige drama about comedian Craig Healy, former host of Funny Or Die’s clip show Clip Cup. But in Cuplicated, being a comedian isn’t always so funny after all—or is it? Impossible to say. No, but, it’s not.
Like any classic sketch format, “person pitches whacky ideas” is a disaster in a wrong hands and a miracle in the right hands. Ana Fabrega’s (and director Matt Porter’s) entry to the genre on The Chris Gethard Show is as good as it gets. She pitches a series of (either dreadfully mundane or laughably ambitious) digital shorts to Gethard and J.D. Amato, who respond with loving skepticism. Perhaps too loving—I can’t tell if Amato is breaking character when he’s grinning all those times he’s grinning? But I like to think it’s part of the bit, and either way it’s a fitting foil to Fabrega’s deadpan, which is one of the deadest deadpans you ever did see. Also, there’s a line about a water tower that I’ve muttered to myself probably every day since I first watched this. Very good stuff, very good stuff indeed.
I very much love this silly little lo-fi short by Tynan DeLong, featuring him and Anthony Oberbeck, Lorelei Ramirez and Colin Burgess. It’s about a group of friends making a reshoot of The Matrix, and then some other stuff happens. The jokes are all hyper-specific and totally grounded—I especially like the recurring bit about handshakes—and the piece moves to a strangely affecting ending. This is one of those rare sketches where the characters all feel 100% human, if a tad off-kilter, and the turn feels simultaneously inevitable and way out of left field. If you like what you see, I highly recommend the rest of DeLong’s channel, too.
Joe Pera on Conan
2017 was the year of the large son: Don Jr., Eric, Michael Flynn Jr., Wyatt Koch (lol). Well, no son is larger than Joe Pera’s future sons, as described in his delightful appearance on Conan last March. He also talks love, parkour and Christmas, but the highlight of the set is by far the drawn-out prognosticating, with crowd work!, about just how tall his sons will be.
Snowy Bing Bongs Across The North Star Combat Zone
I already plugged this short film by Cocoon Central Dance Team a couple weeks ago, but here I am plugging it again. It’s unlike anything else on Planet Earth and you gotta watch it! Here it is, via Topic.
The less said about this wonderful, inexplicable sketch by Tim Platt, the better.
“Beautiful: This Man Still Feeds His Dead Wife’s Parking Meter Every Morning”
It’s hard to choose just one of the many ingenious videos ClickHole published this year, but I think this one wins. It’s such a simple, beautifully executed joke, one of those so-obvious-you-would-never-in-a-million-years-think-of-it gags ClickHole does best. A close second: “Devastating: Watch This Guy Realize That When He Overhears People At Work Talking About ‘The Hamburger Dipshit’ They’re Referring To Him.”