A few weeks ago, we presented you with a longlist of our favourite, funniest THINGS of 2014 and asked you to pick for your favourites. You voted in your handfuls and the results are in. And remember, if you don’t agree with the list, tough shit, you had your chance. So without further ado, here are the Headstuff Top 10 Funniest THINGS of 2014…
In at number 10. No Mammy! – 2014 was a year in which many, many people poured water over their heads in aid of charity. It was an exciting craze that swept the entire planet. Although it proved too exciting for some people, not least the poor mother of this gentleman, who simply couldn’t contain herself. 9. Sunday Mass – Our own Alan Bennett (not that one), the cynical sod, isn’t a religious man. But he wanted to see what the fuss was about. So he decided to head off to mass for the first time and live tweet it. 8. Frozen Girl – This young girl was not the only young girl to go ape shit for the Disney movie Frozen. But perhaps she was the only one to go ape shit about it in such an entertaining way. She was all ready to perform a song from the film when her mum, finding it adorably hilarious, struggled to keep the laughs in. The little girl was not amused by this apparent lack of respect. 7. Apparently Kid – There’s something about young boys who speak like old men that’s just objectively hilarious. This young gent briefly took over a local news report and stole everyone’s heart. 6. Bayside – Tom Walsh’s obscenely strange and hilarious opus. It’s an 11 minute pilot about a group of weirdo lifeguards who seem to have little interest in going next, neigh or near a beach. It’s sexier and funnier than Baywatch.
5. Felix Bollard
‘A woman marrying a dartboard? Is that what you want?’ Just one of the brilliant lines in this stand-out 2014 Republic of Telly sketch. Its eponymous anti-hero is a man standing up against the persecution of homophobes – someone willing to fight for a bigot’s right to deny others theirs. We’ve got a really important referendum on marriage equality coming in the new year and we have an opportunity to put right an utterly preposterous injustice in our country. And that’s what it is. Absurd and preposterous. It’s absurd and preposterous that in a “modern” country, gay people are being treated as second class citizens. And that’s what comedy has a unique power to do, to show us just how literally farcical society can be. That’s why I’m so delighted to see this sketch voted into the top five of our countdown. Made by the unsurpassable Kevin McGahern and Chris Tordoff, this is Felix Bollard – A Serious Man.
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4. Wes Anderson’s Horror Film
Saturday Night Live’s brilliantly realised spoof trailer for Wes Anderson’s imagined go at horror ‘The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders’. Ed Norton (the SNL guest host that week) does a brilliant Owen Wilson – “What the heck, there’s a bunch of crazy people standing in our yaurd!”. Complete with Paul Simon soundtrack, perfect symmetry and a nod to every little Wes Anderson-ism you could hope for, this is what SNL does so flippin’ well.
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3. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
John Oliver is a British comedian who has, over the last few years, become one of the finest voices in US comedy. He came to prominence on Jon Stewart’s massively popular Daily Show, to such an extent in fact that HBO gave him his own version of that show. The centre piece of Last Week Tonight is a fifteen minute section where Oliver usually takes a subject, such as Miss America, Drones or Scottish Independence and goes to town on it. He’s got such a brilliant way of stripping these things asunder and mining it for sheer comedy gold. One of our favourite examples this year was from the summer, when Oliver put football’s governing body FIFA under the microscope. It’s kind of beautiful.
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2. The Walshes
OK, full disclosure time, I co-wrote and appeared in this three-part series (along with my group Diet of Worms and Graham Linehan). Believe me or don’t believe me, I didn’t want this included in the longlist, I didn’t think it would look particularly good. However my colleagues here at Headstuff shouted me down and it was included. This is a show that began as a five by five minute web series funded by a sausage company and then, over a number of years, developed into a BBC sitcom (via ITV). It’s about a West Dublin family who live in each other’s pockets. It aired on BBC FOUR in March and again on BBC TWO in September. It was an inexplicable thrill to work with our comedy hero Mr. Linehan and I’m so glad that people seemed to (largely) enjoy it. The future for the show is unclear at the moment, but thank you to all who voted for it as your second funniest thing of the year.
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1. Too Many Cooks
And so we reach the zenith of our list. The apex. Numero one. And I’m so delighted that this has come out on top. It was early November when this video entered our lives and I haven’t been able to forget it for so much as a few hours ever since (mild hyperbole). It’s all at once so so funny and so so upsetting. It starts off as a fairly standard spoof on a traditional American sitcom opening credit sequence, complete with nauseating theme song, architect Dad, kitchen bound Mom, poppy teenager, jock son, nerdy daughter and all the usual high-jinks we’d expect. But then it keeps on going. And then it keeps on keeping on going and it gets weirder and weirder until it just descends in a mind bending bloodbath. You have to just watch it to see what I mean when I say that it’s one of the most original comic efforts I’ve seen anywhere for a very long time. So well done you, the Headstuff reader/poll voter, for having such discerning taste. Here it is, your funniest thing of the year, Adult Swim’s Too Many Cooks…
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