Making this list made me realise there have been way too many funny things I’ve received from the internet. It was really difficult to choose just 10 from the multitude that came to mind. Perhaps this realisation should have sent me into a spiral about how much time I spend online, but really, that kind of crisis is just so 2019.
Anyway I hope these make you laugh. And if they don’t, it’s okay. We’re all different people with hugely varying, equally valid world views and that’s what makes the world such a beautiful, dynamic, super divided, polarised and ill-equipped to fight climate change place!
It’s really hard to choose a favourite Clickhole article but Give Me Kiss is not just one of the funniest pieces of writing online, but I think one of the funniest things I’ve read ever?
It’s hard and unimportant to say what Give Me Kiss is exactly. It’s probably best to call it a love letter that begins, “Hello, spouse. This is your spouse. I have a special message for you on this, our ninth anniversary. The special message is this: Give me kiss.” And it just … escalates from there. Like Shakespeare, Give Me Kiss does things to the English language that haven’t been done before. Except it’s much funnier than Shakespeare. Honestly, people should abandon his sonnets and read Give Me Kiss at their weddings.
2. Toad Sings Chandelier
A singer with an impressive vocal range covers pop songs as Toad from Mario – this is everything that’s good about the internet.
While every Toad Sings cover is a hilarious screech into the void, Chandelier is the first one I heard, and still has me laughing. I’ve also been singing along lately – and it’s a big cathartic 2020 mood.
2. Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared
There’s nothing I can say about Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared except that it’s mind-bending, hilarious and perfect. If you need more information, Wiki says it’s a “surreal comedy web-series” that parodies “children’s TV” and includes “psychedelic content and imagery involving gore and psychological horror”. What a dream!!
(I just read the team behind Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared have been developing a TV show for years that’s getting a release soon. We are saved!)
The Lord of the Rings (LoTR) universe feels like a crucial part of early online comedy culture – maybe because it’s uniquely ripe for jokes, or maybe because the films came out when a generation of kids were getting ready to hook their brains to the internet forever. Whatever the reason, it’s still going strong and you have to respect that (also I was that kid who put their name into an Elvish name generator so just let me have this okay).
Of the many memes, Alright Then, Keep Your Secrets is one of my favourites: endlessly versatile, sometimes political, always instinctually ridiculous – I mean, just look at Frodo’s shit-eating smile. Special mentions go out to other legendary LoTR comedy bits online like Ian McKellen’s Gandalf scene on Extras and Cassie Claire’s very silly LoTR fanfic diaries.
Oh what was my Elvish name you (absolutely didn’t) ask? I couldn’t say. I must… keep my secret.
If you’ve never read Kate Beaton’s comic series Hark! A Vagrant, you now have the next week of your life sorted. Often history based, always super smart and silly, Beaton’s illustrations are genius and have made me cry-laugh many times. Straw Feminists is one of the greats.
6. Pooja, what is this behaviour?
The internet loves the trashy camp of reality TV. While there are endless memes from The Real Housewives franchise, including the legendary woman yelling at cat, to choose from, “Pooja, what is this behaviour?” has my heart forever.
“Pooja, what is this behaviour?” started as a clip from Bigg Boss (the Indian version of Big Brother). From the coincidental jazz caused by Pooja kicking a bin, to her brazen defiance – “I kicked it by mistake” – to Pooja’s inspired choice to switch accents (what is that accent? Cockney? High vamp? Pooja™?) while yelling, “You’re asking for it! You’re dying for it!” at someone who’s clearly doing nothing of the sort – every beat is a masterpiece.
The video first gained traction among parts of the South Asian internet, but now it’s everywhere, in endless gifs, TikToks, and as shorthand for when you just need to ask, what is this behaviour?
7. Chris Fleming
Chris Fleming is a kind of fae goblin whose videos have a particularly online quality. Often featuring a lo-fi score, and uh, “interesting” body language, his sketches somehow distil cultural neuroses into horribly funny and hysterical truth, which is my favourite type of truth.
8. Paris – Kate Berlant/John Early
This is the first Early/Berlant video I saw and it caused me to die on the spot. When I got to hell, I wouldn’t stop talking about the video so they returned me to earth.
9. Chris (Simpsons artist)
Yes it’s another Chris (just as strange), and another comics artist, but Chris (Simpsons artist) deserves his own entry. Chris’s images feel like non-sequiturs written by a disturbed child that nevertheless make a desperate funny sense. They’re viscerally weird, a bit gross and liable to haunt your days. Enjoy.
10. Chonky animals
They’re animals but they’re CHONKY.
Chonky animal accounts have really taken off in the last couple of years and I’m not sure why. However, I am obsessed. I want to hold all the animals and also I can’t stop laughing every time I see them.