Funny Songs - My top Comedy Song Performers
Just some musings here on the greatest comedy songs, singers and soundtracks around. Please have a read and let me know about any I've missed. Also, be sure to check out my accompanying funny dances hub.
Adam Royston Sandler was born on August 12 1963. More importantly, though, Adam Richard Sandler, the American comedian, actor, musician and screenwriter was born on September 9 1966. Many of his movies grossed over $100,000,000, and his song Medium Pace grossed out almost as many people. Tragedy nearly struck Sandler's career in the late 1990s when a bomb was placed under his agent's desk. The bomb became armed when the actor made over 50 formulaic sports comedies in a year and was set to blow when he dropped back under this number. Never one to stick to the script, however, Sandler has also found the time to play some subtler roles, in movies such as Punch-Drunk Love (2002) and Reign Over Me (2007.)
Sandler of course also likes to rock. His first album, They're All Gonna Laugh At You, features some of his best-known tracks, such as LunchladyLand, At a Medium Pace and The Thanksgiving Song. His second, What the Hell Happened to Me?, includes the Jewish festival favorite, The Chanukah Song. His lyrics contain a wonderful mix of pathos, bathos and... who was the other muskateer, again?
Sandler has made a total of five albums, each one featuring his two distinctive vocal modes: a cutesy falsetto and a kind of demented, drunken version of the Al Pacino blast.
To stream some free, legal Adam Sandler songs go to his official website.
Along with poison gas, cluster bombs and Mr Bean, Benny Hill is one of those exports that we Brits don't like to talk about. The late English comedian has come to represent an pre-feminist era when anything from an unsolicited slap on the ass to full digital penetration could be dismissed as 'having a bit of fun.' But is the Benny Hill show itself still any fun? It is, according to a test conducted for the 2006 Channel 4 show, "Is Benny Hill still Funny?" They proved it with science.
The Benny Hill Show is still airing on prime time slots in much of the world. Hill died in 1992, but still lives on of course - in every pinched ass, every innappropriate wink, and every building site wolf-whistle that floats on the breeze.
Flight of the Conchords
Flight of the Conchords, composed of Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement, claim to be New Zealand's 4th most popular folk-parody duet. Bret is also apparently one of New Zealand's two rappers. New Zealand, a fictional place which the duo jokingly refer to as a 'country,' is said to be somewhere near Australia (I'd check this before adding it to the site – Ed.)
Flight of the Conchords have produced some of the best comedy songs of the decade - both musically intelligent and often lyrically brilliant - including The Most Beautiful Girl in the Room, which features the immortal line 'You're so beautiful you could be a part-time model (but you'd probably have to keep your normal job.)'
The Conchords have had two HBO seasons. The first 12-episode season first aired in 2007, and the second premiered in 2009 with 10 episodes. The show follows the band's efforts to conquer America, hindered by their own social incompetence and the ineptness of their manager, Murray, who juggles this role with his job at the New Zealand consulate. Among their compatriots, the band has been credited with putting New Zealand on the map. It has since been removed, and the museum curators have agreed not to press charges.
Along with their TV shows, they've also had a BBC radio series, released two studio albums, cured 17 diseases and founded a leper colony.
Check out their official site http://www.hbo.com/conchords/
Okay, so this is a movie rather than an artist or band per se...
Team America made it impossible to hear the word 'Aids' or the name 'Matt Damon' without laughing like a Canadian. Genuinely impressive puppetry and venomous satire combined to make a movie that entertained, provoked and even aroused, if you watched the extended version.
The songs too, were awesome. From the unashamedly spiteful 'The End of An Act', which features the line 'I need you more than Ben Afleck needs acting school,' to the relatively subtle 'Freedom Isn't Free,' the soundtrack is almost as funny as the movie itself.
The movie follows its hero, Gary (which in itself is quite funny), from acting in the broadway show 'Aids - The Musical' to taking on terrorists as part of an elite special forces unit. Gary has to endure a total physical transformation procedure, some intense periods of deep self-doubt and the taste of another man's c**k in order to defeat the ***holes in the name of the dicks and the pussies. If that last part didn't make sense to you, you just have to watch the movie.
Here’s the official site: http://www.teamamerica.com/
The Mighty Boosh
The Mighty Boosh is the chemically-enhanced-brainchild of comedians Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt. Originally a BBC radio series, the TV show has run to three seasons since 2004, each one shifting the focus of the action from a zoo, to London apartment, to a kind of antique shop run by a shaman and his assistant gorilla.
The show manages to be genuinely surreal without becoming smugly self-congratulary - with none of that 'I'm crazy, me - I'm a mentalist!' stuff that can often spoil this brand of humor. Across the three seasons, the duo have come face to face with, amongst others: a dwarf who's face had turned largely to cheese; a sea-monster in a tutu with a 'downstairs mix up'; a crack-addicted fox who moved from Cambridge to check out the London gay scene, and a bunch of hippy yetties that try to breed with the Boosh during the mating season.
The comedy revolves around the interplay between the happy-go-lucky fashion victim Vince, played by Fielding, and the dark, often pretentious Howard, played by Barratt. Naboo, the shaman, is played by Fielding's brother, Michael, who is either a comic genius or merely a terrible actor - it's just impossible to tell. The show also features the hilarious Bob Fossil, played by the American comedian Rich Fulcher.
The show's music contains a mixture of pretty-much complete songs like 'Love Games' and 'Electro Boy' to short crimps - surreal acapella numbers usually performed as a twosome - except during a third series 'crimp off' - when a historical four-way crimp is attempted.
If you're reading this from outside the UK, and haven't yet come across the Mighty Boosh, then this is probably the best of Britain at the moment. This could be your first step into a larger world.
Here’s the official site.
Ah, the Python. Monty Python. The Mont. Monto P'thon. Aunt Monty. The Pythe. The ensemble that gave witless teenage boys the ability to make all the girls laugh - simply by copying the voices, faces and of course the walks, from their collective genius. 'Getting into Monty Python' is a development stage in everyone's childhood, spoilt only slightly by the realization a few years later that your high school geography teacher is also a big fan.
The movies and a few choice sketches are their greatest claim to comedic immortality, with the songs forming an integral part of And Now for Something Completely Different, The Holy Grail, The Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life. My personal favorite is 'Every Sperm is Sacred,' which reportedly used most of the budget for The Meaning of Life due to its massive cast and set.
The songs have seen new life in Eric Idle's Spamalot, the stage musical based on The Holy Grail now showing in the UK and on Broadway. The show also includes new songs written by Idle, and has received much critical praise.
The message of the D is to set the artist free - so the band claims in their hilarious live version of 'Cosmic Shame' from BrixtonAcademy. Living proof that fame is more than just a beauty contest, the duo of Jack Black and Kyle Gass combine fairly sophisticated rock guitar with gross-out lyrics to produce some of the best comedy songs of the decade.
Pick of Destiny, their 2006 movie, received mixed reviews, and truly bombed at the box office. The Head of the US Federal Reserve recently accused the movie of starting the global financial crisis with it's paltry takings of $13m, but it's the songs that really demonstrate the duos talents.
A third album is currently on the cards, with details yet to be announced. In the meantime, if you haven't listened to at least the first album and watched the Brixton Academy DVD, then you deserved to be double-teamed by the D themselves.
Check out the D’s home on the web.
From 1970 to 1982, The Goodies TV show was enormously popular in the UK during its 70 episodes. Featuring the comic 'talents' (come on, the quotation marks are a bit cruel - Ed) of Tim Brooke-Taylor, GraemeGarden and Bill Oddie, the show remains inexplicably popular in Australia, but in the UK it has not seen extensive repeats since the show finished.
Whenever I see any Goodies clips on those retrospective TV shows, I feel an urge to start googling Goodies news, expecting to read about some fire in an archive somehwere that must have destroyed all evidence the funny bits.
Meanwhile, there has been much campaigning in Britain to get re-runs on TV. No, no, no, no, no, no, NO!!!!!
Of course, that's just my opinion. Please feel free to disagree.
Weird Al Yankovic
Weird Al is the King of the comedy song. Since 1979, he has given us more than 150 recorded tracks from the obvious to the truly inspired. According to Wikipedia, Weird Al makes it a point to ask all the artists he parodies for their permission. This reportedly became his policy after Coolio was upset about Yankovic's spoof record Amish Paradise. And Coolio probably has a gun so his concerns should be taken seriously. Most artists have responded positively, however, like Dave Grohl, Mark Knopfler, Madonna, Michael Jackson and Chammillionaire, who are all reportedly fans.
As well as parodies of popular pop songs, Yankovic has also recorded an equal number of original tracks. (Nobody cares - Ed).
Bill Bailey is the son of Klingon warrior, Mogh. When Bailey was a child, his parents and family were killed by the Romulan attack on the Khitomer outpost. Bailey and his nanny Kahlest survived the attack. Bailey was then adopted by a human couple, Sergey and Helena Rozhenko, who raised him on a small farm colony on the planet Gault, a world of about 20,000 inhabitants, almost all of them humans.
Due to his unusual appearance, the comedian is commonly confused with the Star Trek character Worf, who is from Bath, Somerset in the south west of England, and first came to prominence in the UK comedy scene when he won Best Live Standup at the 1998 British Comedy Awards.
He is a talented pianist and guitarist and has written some great comedy songs, which he often performs as part of his live act.
His site is imaginatively named http://www.billbailey.co.uk/
Despite Gervais' best efforts to make me hate him (and yes it is all about ME!) I still admire the 'chubby funster' as a journalist apparently referred to him. He can move to Hollywood, refer to Robet De Niro as 'Bob', make jokes about his swimming pool and $2m house and even pick on ME sufferers, but he remains a sublime comedy actor.
Taken out of context, his songs aren't particularly funny - but within the Office scenes they are so crinch-inducingly perfect that one shudders to recall them.
Here’s his huge, detached web mansion, located in a digital gated community in a suburb of LA (sell out!): http://www.rickygervais.com.
Since the Spinal Tap movie was released in 1984, the semi-fictional rock band have made recordings and played concerts, and toured the US once more in April/May 2009. If all comedians want to be rock stars and all rock stars want to be comedians, then almost everyone must want to be a member of Spinal Tap.
They have released two actually-existing real tangible physical albums: This is Spinal Tap (1984) and Break Like the Wind (1992). Alas, their album Smell the Glove does not fall into this category.
Ready? Time to crank it up to 11.
Visit their homepage.
Adam and Joe
Adam Buxton and Joe Cornish are the rarest of double acts, in that they make no secret of actually liking each other's company. They attended WestminsterSchool along with their friend, the documentary maker Louis Theroux, and have been working together professionally since the mid 1990s.
Originally a TV series, The Adam and Joe Show ran for four series on Channel 4 between 1996 and 2001. Now, they have a radio show on BBC 6Music, on which they compete in a 'song wars' competition every couple of weeks.
You can download their podcasts via iTunes or check out their show page.
So that's it - here are some notables, but what have I missed and what shouldn 't have been included? Please send me your comments.