2015: The Year In Laughter

Well, we all had a lot of laughs this year. Ok cool, see you next year for another The Year In Laughter. Haha, just a little joke to open this, our review of the comedy things that the HeadStuff humour writers enjoyed this year. We won’t cover any comedy films like Trainwreck or Spy because they were already more than dealt with in our Best Films Of 2015 list here but we have sketches and tv shows and tweets and all sorts of other stuff. OK, let’s go.

Broad City – “Wisdom Teeth”

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If you only ever watch one episode of Broad City, make sure it’s this one. Abbi goes to get her wisdom teeth out and is left in the care of her less-than-responsible compadre, Ilana. She slightly overdoes it on the pain relief and goes for a hallucinogenic Big Day Out with her new best friend, a mental-looking teddy bear by the name of Bingo Bronson. Ilana, meanwhile, has launched a one-bike search party. It’s a bit of a break from the norm for Broad City, completely mental, and one of the funnier TV episodes of 2015. – Maeve McQuillan

I Can’t Feel My Face – @PrayForPatrick

PrayForPatrick’s reworking of Can’t Feel My Face by The Weeknd made me cry actual tears of laughter. This is why Twitter is great. – Ellen Tannam

Close Encounter – Saturday Night Live

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It’s not often on SNL that everyone in a sketch corpses, but Kate McKinnon in Close Encounter is enough to break the entire SNL cast. McKinnon, Cecily Strong, and guest host Ryan Gosling relive their alien abduction experiences. Strong and Gosling describe meeting a messianic figure, while Kate describes aliens “gently batting [her] knockers.” Probably the best SNL sketch of 2015 for Kate McKinnon’s performance alone. – Maeve McQuillan

DREAMGUN – Back In Town

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The Dreamgun people released several excellent videos this year but I’ve watched this one more than any other. The sheer effort and time that must have went into it is commendable by itself let alone the fact that they’ve squeezed around 200 jokes into its 2:22 running time. Also, it doubles as a fun game of Spot The Irish Comedian because literally* (*practically) everyone is in it. – Alan Maguire 


Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan in Channel 4's Catastrophe - HeadStuff.org
Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan in Channel 4’s Catastrophe. via guardian.co.uk

Catastrophe is one of the best new comedies of 2015. And they’ve done two bleerin’ seasons in one year. Catastrophe is the story of an accidental pregnancy and it’s consequences. Written by and starring Ireland’s own Sharon Horgan and American Twitter genius Rob Delaney, it’s a dark look at the effects of pressure on relationships. The two main characters are as difficult as each other, and each episode is athrong with one-liners. One to watch while doing your Christmas holiday lounging, there’s 12 episodes for you to mill through on 4OD. – Maeve McQuillan

Donald Trump Gets Attacked By An Eagle

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This is a truly beautiful moment and we are lucky to have witnessed it. That eagle is definitely voting Sanders. – Ellen Tannam

Rick And Morty

Rick and Morty - HeadStuff.org
Rick and Morty via fanaru.com

At first glance, this looked like another of those esoteric Adult Swim follies (an “out there” hook with no substance to hang off it) but Rick and Morty rapidly trial-and-errored itself into the funniest sci-fi since Futurama.  It particle collides animated family sitcom tropes against Twilight Zone sci-fi concepts with a playfulness that sends both genres to new reaches.  In one episode, the family have been infected with false memories so they can’t tell who is a loved one or an alien impostor – the alien impostors turn out to be the monsters they have no horrible scarring memories of.  And somehow that’s hearthwarming.  It’s mighty.  – Diarmuid O’Brien

John Mulaney – The Comeback Kid

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Several of us HeadStuff people saw John Mulaney at the Vodafone Comedy Festival this year. It was transformative. You can get a sense of how blown away we were by his twenty minute set by reading Alan Bennett’s review here. Alternatively you could watch Mulaney’s brilliant, brilliant Netflix special The Comeback Kid as all twenty of those lifechanging minutes feature in it.

David Cameron Allegedly Has Sexual Relations With A Pig

Pigs - HeadStuff.org
Two pigs, relieved to be nowhere near David Cameron (ALLEGEDLY)

Good God, do you remember the absolute GLEE that night when we all thought that the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland may have put his penis in the mouth of a dead pig’s head as a college student? We’ll never see the likes of it again. What was more fun? The hundreds of memes or the right-wing media types all saying things like “Who hasn’t stuck their penis in a dead animal in college?” and revealing something very dark about the upper echelons of British society. It turned out not be true unfortunately but it felt true and that was the greatest thing of all.

Last Fuckable Day – Inside Amy Schumer

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Tina Fey and Patricia Arquette gather to celebrate Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s Last Fuckable Day, when Amy Schumer stumbles across them in a kind of Alice in Wonderland meadow banquet scenario. Julia’s over 50 and therefore bound to long sleeves and mother roles in the future, and so gathers some pals for a celebratory glass of wine, thankful that she’s managed to remain feasibly fuckable in the media’s eyes into her fifties. Schumer learns what’s coming for her. A fresh, funny take on Hollywood misogyny from Amy Schumer. – Maeve McQuillan

Gravity Falls

The main characters in Gravity Falls. l-r Soos Dipper, Stan, Mabel, Wendy - HeadStuff.org
The main characters in Gravity Falls. l-r Soos, Dipper, Stan, Mabel, Wendy.
via gravityfalls.wikia.com

Gravity Falls is a Disney Channel cartoon but it’s as funny if not funnier than any other sitcom on this list. 12-year old twins Dipper and Mabel go to stay with their Granduncle Stan for the summer in mysterious Gravity Falls. Dipper finds a mysterious book which contains information about the mysterious creatures that populate the surroundings of Gravity Falls. I’ve used the word mysterious three times there and that’s because the mystery in Gravity Falls is a huge part of its appeal. If you loved the first two seasons of Lost and also enjoy laughter and Kristen Schaal then Gravity Falls is the show for you. The show debuted in 2012 but because of the inscrutable way that Disney schedules it, it’s still currently in season two. Creator Alex Hirsch has announced that this will be the final season so gobble up all thirty nine existing episodes while you can. –Alan Maguire


#ExplainAFilmPlotBadly was one of 2015’s simpler Twitter ideas, of the kind that makes you realise that ordinary Twitter folk are comedic geniuses. Just a load of very good ideas, really. – Maeve McQuillan


Chelsea Peretti – One Of The Greats

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Chelsea Peretti is a treasure. As well as stealing every Brooklyn Nine Nine scene she appears in, writing for the likes of Parks & Rec and The Kroll Show, and being the only person to use Periscope in an interesting way, Peretti produced one of the best standup specials of the year. One Of The Greats plays with the conventions of standup specials without ever letting it get in the way of the jokes. And the jokes are excellent, Peretti jokes about social media, fedoras, and mansplaining like only a person who spends most of their life online could. – Alan Maguire

The Marriage Referendum

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Finally, although it was a pretty harrowing time, the referendum brought a lot of frankly preposterous and highly amusing thought processes into the public eye. One that sticks out for me is a certain columnist’s assertion that equal marriage would see women being allowed marry their mams. I would never marry my mam. We don’t agree on anything and she asks too many questions when we watch a film. – Ellen Tannam

So there we have it. A long but by no means exhaustive list of the funny things that happened in 2015. I hope you enjoyed this, The Year In Laughter. Bye now. Bye

Main image via thelaughterworkout.com