If you happen to read the Mere-O Abridged sidebar you’ll notice that we’ve highlighted the Telegraphs’s Top 50 Must Watch YouTube videos for some time now. The other day I sat down to review their picks, and was amazed at their amazing lack of sense of humor. Of their top ten comedy flicks, only one actually made me laugh. Notably lacking from their list were those universal favorites like Gary Brolsma’s Numa Numa or the Dancing Cadet from the Air Force Academy. If a web comedy flick can make the frontpages of news giants like CNN like these two did, it should at least be an honorable mention on any Top 50 list worth its salt.
So in an effort to make amends for accidentally endorsing some of the most un-funny comic clips on YouTube (with all due apologies to the Telegraph), I submit to you my personal list of best amateur comedy on the web. Ever.
The Cat That Went for a Spin: This is the video that started it all and has become something of a cult classic. Try showing it at your next business meeting—a cat and a fan is guaranteed to overcome even the worst case of the Mondays.
French Horn Man: No, it’s not a french horn. It’s a frenchman with a horn, or horns. Superb juxtaposition of physical comedy with music. French literacy not required.
Trombone Dance: Speaking of horns, this kid shows that you don’t even know how to play one in order to make it sound good. In fact, if more trombones were played like this one they might stand a chance of becoming more than just a slide whistle with delusions of grandeur.
Numa Numa: An instant classic, Gary Brolsma took the nation by storm as the fat kid who could sing and dance. Or not. Either way, its hard to say who benefitted from the publicity more—Gary or the Moldavian band who wrote the song.
This is Why I’m Hot: American G.I.s will have their entertainment, USO or not. Too bad for rapper Mims that both the lyrics and the video are better than the original they spoof.
Ray Steven’s Pirate Song: Remember that rakish, jaunty, and just-can’t-quite-put-my-finger-on-it quality of Johnny Dep’s comic hero Jack Sparrow? Well, as indescribable as it is, it finds its match in this video collage pairing clips from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies with the lyrical comedy of Ray Stevens. Pure genius (of the distinctly comic sort).
Dancing Cadet: Proof that, barring whatever Hollywood would have you believe, some of the best filming requires nothing but a hidden video camera and an unsuspecting individual. You can keep your Jay Leno, Saturday Night Live, and Whose Line is it Anyways?—I’ll take ameteur comedy like this any day. (Not to name drop, but apparently CNN, Foxnews, and the Secretary of Defense are of the same opinion).
Star Warz Rap: Flash animation in all its simplicity and glory. The true brilliance of this video is found in the Stormtrooper back-up dancers.
Charlie Brown Sings: I’m told that the lyrics to this song are beyond vulgar, but my inability to understand most rap music (I ain’t playa’ hatin’/just sayin’ I don’t got the skills) makes it easy to laugh at Charlie Brown and the gang “shake it like a Polaroid picture.” Parking Lot Rage: The only clip included on the list that is not amateur. Still, this scene from Malcolm in the Middle is a great stress reliever for every soccer mom after a long day at the supermarket.
Becky and Demolition Factory: While not a video, this audio clip’s combination of cute and sassy with an Irish accent is reason enough to celebrate St. Patty’s Day any day of the year.
Lt. Napoleon: If you know anything about the U.S. Air Force and the rigors its young pilots go through during training you’ll appreciate this flick. While some of the jokes on the video require insider knowledge to really understand, the universal appeal of Napoleon Dynamite humor is bound to get at least a few laughs out of the uninitiated.