A few weeks ago, Bo Burnham released Inside, a masterfully crafted comedy which combined technical mastery with storytelling brilliance. For one and a half hours, Burnham captures the audience’s imagination with a mix of cinematic shots and his trademark musical bits. As we gathered our bearings in its wake, we were left with an urge to break out into ‘All Eyes On Me’ and ‘White Woman’s Instagram’ at any given time.
So, on the day after World Music Day (we didn’t forget we just… didn’t remember in time) we decided to make a list of videos to help scratch that musical comedy itch (there it is, that funny feeling, that funny feeling). Here are 7 comedy performances which incorporate tunes so catchy, you’ll be working out those vocal chords for days!
1. Tim Minchin – Prejudice
Australian comedian, musician and songwriter Tim Minchin cleverly plays with the audience’s expectations. The sombre, ballad-y intro builds up into what seems obviously a devastating critique of anti-black racism, but the appearance of an unexpected anagram pushes the song into hilariously left-field territory. Minchin told the Guardian in an interview that “I am imbuing redheadedness with the burdens of being black. But it works literally and ironically at the same time.” This hilarious take on the power of words will be stuck in your head all day, but be careful singing this song, ‘cause once you’ve gone ginge you can’t go back.
2. Flight of the Conchords
This classic sitcom follows the trials and tribulations of musical duo Jermaine and Bret, who have shifted to America with ambitions of making it big in New York City. The hiphopopottamus and the rhymenoceros can’t help but burst into song in each episode, with these bits serving as substantive additions to the narrative, moving the plot of the show forward. Sadly, the highly acclaimed sitcom was cancelled after two seasons despite being nominated for 10 Emmys between 2008 and 2009, including for ‘Outstanding Comedy Series’. Watch the Kiwis take flight on Hotstar, now!
3. Adam Sandler – 100% Fresh
100% Fresh is typical Adam Sandler; it’s silly and playful and it features a cameo by Rob Schneider. In this special, Sandler is seen performing short musical bits in multiple locations aided by a pianist in some and playing solo guitar in others. Each song is bite-sized and catchy, supplying the viewer with an endless amount of giggles. Sandler is honest and casual throughout, lending familiarity and warmth that’s epitomised by the hip-hop song, Phone, Wallet, Keys. The special ends with a song and guitar solo tribute to Sandler’s good friend and comedian, Chris Farley. 100% Fresh is available on Netflix and is a no-brainer for anyone looking for a light watch.
4. Morgan Jay – I Hope My Ex Doesn’t See This
Reeling off a break up? Curled up with a tub of ice cream and crying to Beyoncé? How about some break up songs that make you laugh? Morgan Jay sings for almost the entirety of his YouTube special, I Hope My Ex Doesn’t See This, employing melodies while he engages the crowd, talks about heartbreak, dishes out relationship advice and gives us insight into his love life. Jay’s charm, combined with his smooth voice make for an engaging watch, and may even help you get over your ex!
5. Garfunkel & Oates – Trying To Be Special
In Trying To Be Special, Kate Micucci and Riki Lindhome—better known as musical comedy duo Garfunkel & Oates—attempt to raise money so that they can make their very own comedy special. The duo perform quirky songs about awkward breakup texts, pregnancy, and freezing their eggs, all the while cheering on a meter that steadily increases, marking the funds they have collected. The special is witty and enterprising, and the duo employs simple animations for added context to their jokes. Catch it now on Netflix!
6. Reggie Watts – Spatial
If you’ve ever watched Reggie Watts before, you’ll know what you’re in for in Spatial. Or you may know to go into it without any expectations at all. What we can assure you is that Watts is his usual eccentric self, improvising wonderfully and mixing up a cocktail of philosophies and silliness. The special is musically driven and as if his usual unconventional style wasn’t enough to handle, the special ends with the stage becoming a dance venue. The inevitable party ensues. To join in on the madness, check out Spatial on Netflix!
7. Marc Rebillet’s Livestreams
A bonus entry to this list is YouTube livestreamer Marc Rebillet. a supremely talented musician who can switch effortlessly between soul and funk. Armed with a powerful voice, supreme self-confidence, a knack for seamlessly translating thoughts into melodic punchlines, Rebillet dishes out high octane performances wearing just a robe, and sometimes just his underwear. Watching a musical prodigy mess around in his bedroom in his underwear has never been this much fun!