TOAsk any of my friends and they will confirm that I can only type with two fingers. I am a writer. I wrote a doctoral thesis and a novel with two fingers. I don’t know how to get AdBlocker. I once typed “funny videos” into YouTube’s search bar. I love the Internet, but I’m bad at it. You’ll notice that my Top 10 Funniest Things exude a certain “early Internet” aesthetic. I’m not making a statement, I just don’t know how to use TikTok. Bear with me, dear children.
1. Kim Cattrall talks about her husband Mark
We all know that Kim Cattrall is an out-of-place icon, someone who doesn’t want to be in a situation for even an hour where she isn’t having fun. This video is crazy. It’s amazing. Kim is serious about her relationship with (now ex) husband Mark Levinson. They disperse together. She reads poetry and sonnets and he plays the double bass. It’s Kim’s sincerity combined with the improv session footage of her completely unaware that makes this comedy gold. To quote Kim: “The city never knew such a commotion!”
2. Hey, sir! You, me, dad? doll
This meme is originally attributed to Twitter user @KeatonPatti, and it has never failed to make me laugh out loud. It’s a screenshot of a haunted-looking doll at Antiques Roadshow that has since been photoshopped with the caption: “Oi, Mista! You, me, dad? Doll.” You have to say it to yourself in a cockney accent. Just trust me.
3. Liza Minelli tries to turn off a lamp.
This shouldn’t be as funny as it is, but Kristen Wiig’s physical humor is like smoking a joint at a Country Women’s Association meeting: a guaranteed good time. Jonah Hill (yes, I know, canceled) plays the straight man to Wiig’s Liza, as the pair try to get out of her apartment and attend a screening of Cats. The problem is that Liza can’t turn off the lamp! She dazzles him, pulls on the cord as if she were an endless clown scarf, but she can’t get it off! As usual, the more committed Wiig gets, the funnier it becomes. It’s crazy, pure crazy.
4. Let me borrow that top
YouTuber Liam Kyle Sullivan is probably best known for the success of Shoes, but I think this one is stronger. Sullivan plays Kelly, an unpopular high school girl living in the middle of America whose main mission in life is to borrow her friend Caitlin’s new t-shirt. (Side note: Caitlin is played by 2000s legend Jill Ritchie, who also shines in the underrated lesbian spy movies DEBS) This video is a musical, it’s a critique of heteronormativity, it’s a fever dream. It also features a cameo from Margaret Cho and, most importantly, introduces us to two total queer legends: lesbian aunt Susan and her girlfriend Maria. It is very simple!
5. Tony Abbott is called an idiot
This clip goes straight to the pool room. Abbott (the Prime Minister at the time this was filmed) tries to play the role of an ordinary politician by boldly walking into a Miter 10 and asking a civilian about his day. The civilian is having none of it and returns with the abrupt force of a volley. I want him to be my grandfather.
6. Lunch with gloves
I owe a large part of my personality to this parody of the movie Carol. Starring Kate McKinnon, Kumail Nanjiani, Jane Lynch, and Wanda Sykes, this parody takes Carol’s infamous “gloved lesbian lunch” scene and turns the subtext into a queer statement. Carol tries to get young Therese to fuck her, but it’s the 50s! Thérèse doesn’t know what lesbians are! The costumes are perfect, the editing is a chef’s kiss. Land this plane, Carol, land!
7. Robert Pattinson desperately needs a New York City hot dog
Maybe this is only funny if you, like me, have retained a strange, incessant love for Pattinson since his days on the Twilight press tour. Trapped by the panopticon of self, the panopticon of fame, in this short film the actor tries to get a hot dog, like a normal person would! But he is not a normal person. This is Robert Pattinson. It’s like Birdman meets Harold and Kumar. Go to the White Castle. And he wrote it himself! What a wonderful phenomenon.
8. Robbery and Bush by Bob Mortimer
My British housemates introduced me to this clip while I was locked down in Manchester, so maybe I was just delusional. But lockdown is over and this clip still kills me. It’s a segment of Would I Lie to You? a British comedy show where the contestants have to convince their fellow panelists that the story they are telling about themselves really happened. Bob must convince his comrades that when he was a teenager he used to play a game called Theft and Shrubbery. What follows is the most charmingly ridiculous explanation, full of brilliant lines: “Gary Cheeseman had a very big head. A sniper’s dream, they used to call it,” which led me to one of the best game ideas I’ve ever come across. Us do sorry, but we are in your garden.
9. Anger for women
This gem is the brainchild of Vic Zerbst and Jenna Owen at Freudian Nip. It takes commercial female perfume tropes and turns them on their head, as Owen’s model character becomes increasingly outraged by the microaggressions of the patriarchy. Zerbst’s French-accented voiceover is perfect and, as always with these two, there are some brilliant ideas. “At night she screamed: ‘Enough! Enough! Has it all! Literally everything!’” She shouted this regularly.
10. High School Theater Show
I know this is another SNL number, but it’s too good to skip. This sketch is a perfect, chilling parody of a high school drama exhibition, in which a group of lycra-clad teenagers, clueless but very serious, attempt to dramatize social problems while their dumbfounded parents look on. Transition music between scenes! The black boxes on the stage! Emma Stone kills, as does Aidy Bryant. My favorite moment is when the lights come on and Bryant says with a sad shrug, “Yeah, you guessed it. I have AIDS”.
Madeleine Gray is a writer and critic from Sydney. Her debut novel, Green Dot, is out October 3 ($32.99, Allen & Unwin)