Saturday, 29 October 2016

The Best of Funny Part 2

Rainy cold days in the fall are the perfect time to find the humour in life.  After traveling down memory lane and having some discussions on the subject with some like-minded folks, we came up with several more examples of tear-jerking hilarity.

1. Pebbles' Birthday Party

In this episode from Season Five of The Flintstones, Fred had to arrange two parties on the same night: his daughter's first birthday and a gathering at the Water Buffalo Lodge.  Unfortunately the planned entertainment for both parties ends up in the wrong places, much to Fred's chagrin.

2. The Elephant Story

The Carol Burnett Show was a staple of the 1970s and included a series of sketches known as "The Family".  In one episode of the final season, cast member Tim Conway ad-libbed a story about Siamese elephants that he saw at a freak show.  The other actors were very hard-pressed to keep their composure when they realized they weren't going to get back on script.

3. Phonetic Punctuation

I first discovered the musician and comedian Victor Borge through a sketch from the 1970s version of The Electric Company kids' show.  Here he describes how his "phonetic punctuation" works by telling a story.  Similar routines were a staple of his performances.  Another of his well-known bits was the "Inflationary Language".

4. Sharing Pillows

This classic skit from the first season of Sesame Street has Ernie trying to take a nap but is interrupted by Cookie Monster who has his eyes on Ernie's fluffy feather pillow.  One isn't supposed to ask how Cookie Monster got into the apartment in the first place...

5. Aunt Clara's Powers

The show Bewitched had many magical characters who created havoc with witch Samantha's marriage with Darrin, a mere human.  One such was the bumbling but lovable Aunt Clara who whose powers never worked properly.  One day Samantha's mother Endora has an allergic reaction after touching a Macedonian Dodo bird, and Clara mysteriously ends up with Endora's powers.

6. Broomstick Bunny

Looney Tunes needs no introduction.  Bugs Bunny is an easygoing rabbit who doesn't hesitate to completely humiliate whoever bothers him.  Since it's almost Halloween, here's a short from 1956 where Bugs is trick-or-treating and mistakenly visits the home of Witch Hazel.  She tries to put a spell on him but he expertly turns the tables.

What other shows struck you as funny?

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Trump's Terrors

I've officially had it with all the rhetoric and ugliness surrounding the U.S. election.  No matter the reason for not voting for one candidate or the other, what it comes down to is many people simply don't want to hold an intelligent conversation or to educate themselves properly on the issues.  And those who support Trump are the worst of the lot.

Last night I had the misfortune of getting involved in a conversation with someone who was quite obviously a Trump supporter.  He said the usual things about Secy. Clinton:

"When faced with the alternative of a liar, email deleting, justice avoiding, marine killing, and dirty excuse for a "woman" than yea Donald all day long.  As far as a few bankruptcies vs his successful business I think we're good."

When someone else pointed out Trump's enormous deficiencies and how dangerous the man is, he upped the ante:

"If you say so bro, yet the world would crumble to its knees without us.  We are the last remaining true super power and have spent our entire existence bailing out the world.  I have put in my time in any ways possible so I have earned my opinion.  Trust me when I say Trump is a horrible person but doesn't hold a candle to Hillary."

When I made a comment about how I couldn't believe that anyone would prefer to support a man who has openly bragged about sexually assaulting women instead of a capable woman who might have made some questionable decisions in the past, there was this little retort:

"Questionable decisions??  Multiple people killed! vs one sexually assaulted with a cattle prod... please... ppssht.  Women report when it's worth a few million dollars ... at least in this case."

Having been a victim of sexual assault myself, I was livid and I quickly took him to task for his callousness.  He didn't care and chose to return to another thread in which he boasted about how the U.S. had helped to win WWII among other things.  When faced with the fact that Canada had entered the war before the U.S. had, he went on a self-righteous rant:

"If we had not gotten involved, the world would be speaking German.  This is fact, not opinion.  France, England, etc. would not exist without us.  Or Canada."

There I disagreed.  Even if Europe had fallen, Canada would probably still have existed in some form because given the technology at the time the Germans would not have been able to mount an effective assault across the ocean.  Facing both the U.S. and Canadian military would have been very difficult if not impossible.  Then I sarcastically mentioned that in 1812 the U.S. had attempted to invade Canada with little luck, to which he shot back:

"Hahahaha you have got to be kidding me?  This is 2016.  We can walk right in if we wanted to and take what we want," and posted a photo of a pistol that he happened to be wearing at the time.

At that moment I realized that I was dealing with a person who was more dangerous than Trump is.  He was fanatical, armed, willing to resort to scare tactics to prove his point, and had just made a threat.  Immediately I ended the conversation and blocked him, but the incident left me shaken.

And so until the American election is over I'll be avoiding the circus.  These people just can not be reasoned with, at all, and as far as I'm concerned, they are no better than terrorists and deserve what they get.

Monday, 10 October 2016

The Best of Funny

Most of my friends watched the Presidential debate.  I didn't.  I was taking a much needed two-day respite in a place with no TV or Internet because I had been overwhelmed with the craziness of everything.  There's so much darkness in the world.

So today I've decided to post about good clean humour.  Here are five of my personal favourite funny moments (in no particular order).

1. Who's On First

I remember being very young and turning on the TV on Saturday mornings to see reruns of the Hanna-Barbera Abbott and Costello cartoon.  Over the years I've heard much about the duo's wacky humour but it was only recently that I discovered one of their most famous sketches.  You don't even have to like baseball to enjoy this.

2. Better Late Than Never

My parents had a recording called "You Won't Believe Your Ears" that was originally pressed in 1963 and reissued on CD in 1991.  It features comedian Wes Harrison who was famous for his vocal sound effects; in fact he did many of the effects used in the Disney films Peter Pan and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.  Here's an excerpt from the record, in which he makes fun of men who try to sneak into their house without waking anyone up.

3. I'm Just Wild About Harry

Most people are familiar with the antics of the Muppets from Sesame Street.  However it was on The Muppet Show where they truly were able to cut loose with their own brand of silly humour and gratuitous violence.  Of all the sketches they did there are a few that stuck with me, including this gem of a performance with Jean Stapleton.

4. Seeing Eye

The TV show I Dream of Jeannie, about an astronaut who discovers a merely semi-competent genie, had so many funny moments that it's hard to pick just one.  However one that stood out to me was during an episode where Jeannie attempted to give her master "perfect vision" and ended up making him blind instead.

5. Nudge Nudge

I must admit I was an adult before I could appreciate the unique and twisted humour of the British comedians who are collectively known as Monty Python.  This classic scene with Eric Idle and Terry Jones showcases a still-relevant problem: an under-educated youth attempting to solicit personal advice but is too embarrassed to speak plainly.

So what's your favourite funny moment?