Malcolm Gladwell said that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at something. Now I don’t know if being an expert at “the internet” is worth the paper it’s printed on – which it isn’t, because nobody has printers any more, so please stop sending me PDFs to print and sign, this isn’t 2009, DAD.
… But I’ve been steeping in the internet’s murky depths long enough to know what I find funny. So here, without further ado, are the 10 things which helped me not to go off the deep end during Covid purgatory, and which, if technology allows, I’d like beamed into whatever is left of my brain long after I’m dead.
1. Wii shopping channel music – Nirvanna the Band the Show
Having spent an ungodly amount of time quietly grooving to the music on the Wii shopping channel, I found this number almost debilitatingly funny. It comes from a fantastic Canadian mockumentary series called Nirvanna the Band the Show, and I’ve found myself singing this aloud during moments of deep trauma. Is that weird? I was humming it during a root canal quite recently, and when the dentist asked me what I was singing to stay calm, I had to explain “well, there’s this music that plays when you’re on the Wii shopping channel, and this comedy duo did a song, and …”, at which point I realised I was inflicting more pain upon her than she was upon me.
2. Marc Rebillet
Going by the moniker “Loop Daddy”, Marc Rebillet is a man whose genius kind of frightens me. He’s built what could comfortably be referred to as a cult following, and now he’s playing stadium shows and collaborating with the likes of Tenacious D and Snoop Dogg. Essentially, he samples and loops up and up, until magic happens. This clip is one of my faves – he’s playing at what appears to be a craft beer brewery, as evidenced by A) all the craft beers and B) the clean-cut white dude wearing boat shoes in the centre of the shot.
3. Napkin – Casey Frey
There’s a real specific vibe that Vine had at the height of its powers. And although Vine is now dead and TikTok will never capture Vine’s almost fricative and manic editing style, this Casey Frey video is the kind of deeply stupid tomfoolery that used to get me out of bed in the morning. It’s really dumb, sure. But so is the world right now. Why not lean in?
4. Skate 3 glitches
Skate 3 was an open world skating game riddled with bugs, and watching some of its most egregious glitches stitched together like some kind of idiotic audio-visual quilt is – for me – almost hypnotic. Skateboarders rarely teleport through solid objects or flap around like a malfunctioning Billy Bass as they zip across the sky, but in Skate 3, this can, and does, happen! I also find the sound effects here almost as enjoyable as sneezing. If I ever win an award for anything, I plan on entering the room exactly like the skaters in this video.
5. This meme
God, this makes me happy. It is so stupid, and so niche, but honestly, this is like a lungful of fresh air to an idiot like me.
6. WUG by Chris Fleming
This might be the most stunningly relatable piece of musical comedy I’ve ever witnessed. It instantly wiped years of psychic muck off the windshield of my brain. The realisation that it might not be my fault that certain social interactions with specific people are utterly unbearable was liberating. Chris Fleming is a genius.
7. This guy’s drum score for It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
I, like 99% of other creatives, am convinced that if I put in the time, I could absolutely nail playing the drums. Will this ever happen? Of course not. I have the manual dexterity of a very, very drunk baby. But I do appreciate excellent drumming, and watching David Dockery perfectly score the infamous Pepe Silvia scene from It’s Always Sunny on his drum kit is almost therapeutic. Actually, you know what? It IS therapy! So long, Doctor Scheinberg! I’ll be seeing you never!
8. Jinkx Monsoon
Jinkx Monsoon’s latest Drag Race challenge was a revelation. I think she might be the funniest, smartest drag queen on RuPaul’s Drag Race, period. I’ve adored her since she swanned into our hearts as a shy little narcoleptic; now, she’s pure old Hollywood greatness. I would genuinely love to meet Jinkx someday. In the words of Josh Lyman in The West Wing when talking about Glenn Close’s character Evelyn Baker Lang: “I love her, I love her mind, I love her shoes.”
9. Ben Affleck’s audio commentary for Armageddon
We’re all happy for Ben Affleck right now – at least, I know I am, you heartless bastards. But if you want a reminder of why he’s worth loving (and dammit, he is), check out this widely circulated excerpt of his audio commentary for Armageddon. Armageddon is to cinema what clown meat is to wagyu steak, so hearing Affleck go in hard, even doing an impression of Michael Bay, is an absolute treat.
10. Demi Adejuyigbe’s 21 September videos
Every year, on 21 September, the brilliant Demi Adejuyigbe would engage in a game of one-upmanship with himself, releasing increasingly elaborate videos which celebrated the utterly enervating September by Earth, Wind and Fire. What started as a simple joke soon escalated into an untenable, perpetual comedic game of brinksmanship for Adejuyigbe, who is now officially done with the whole thing. But good god, for a while there, these videos got me up in the morning. Here’s my favourite – you should check out the entire series, preferably in order.