Ideas for "laugh therapy"
September 13, 2011 4:21 PM   Subscribe

I've been really stressed lately, but a few things can make me belly laugh until I forget what I was worried about. Sadly, there are only so many Margaret Cho videos and I think I've already exhausted "Whose Line is it Anyway?" I also find Dan Savage's podcast funny and utterly distracting. What else could I listen to or watch that will make me howl with laughter?
posted by bunderful to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (58 answers total) 112 users marked this as a favorite
 
Arrested Development! All three seasons are on Netflix.
posted by sugarfish at 4:23 PM on September 13, 2011 [7 favorites]


Green Wing
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:25 PM on September 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


At the risk of stating the obvious, Eddie Izzard's Dress to Kill.
posted by ambrosia at 4:28 PM on September 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


MARIA BAMFORD
posted by liketitanic at 4:30 PM on September 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


The funniest movie I think I've ever watched is "Support your Local Sheriff". Yeah, it's pretty old, but great art is ageless, and so is great comedy.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 4:31 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Ricky Gervais podcasts, available as audio books on audible
posted by angrycat at 4:34 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


David Sedaris's books are apparently available on audio...Chris Rock standup, Dave Chappelle standup, and seconding AD and Maria Bamford.
posted by bquarters at 4:46 PM on September 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


David Sedaris Audiobooks...Some examples from NPR.
posted by schyler523 at 4:46 PM on September 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Jinx!
posted by schyler523 at 4:46 PM on September 13, 2011


If you don't mind reading a rambly and frequently CAPSLOCKED LIKE WHOA blog, the Better Myths dude pretty consistently makes me laugh until I weep helplessly.
posted by elizardbits at 4:46 PM on September 13, 2011


I can waste hours watching Mitch Hedberg videos on youtube.

Dan Savage was also recently on Bill Maher's show and I've seriously watched this clip like 28 times. I lost last Friday afternoon to youtube clips of Bill Maher, seriously. And the video of Anderson Cooper giggling.
posted by jabes at 4:48 PM on September 13, 2011 [6 favorites]


And don't forget this previously: Make 'em Laugh, Make 'em Laugh, Etc.
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:50 PM on September 13, 2011


TV shows:

Better Off Ted
Community

Stand up:

Bill Bailey
(Nthing) Maria Bamford
Louis CK
Kristen Schall
(Nthing) Eddie Izzard
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:50 PM on September 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also, Failblog.org
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:50 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


David Mitchell is funny. He does a weekly youtube thing. Some of them are absolutely hilarious; lately they've been a little...meh. Hopefully they'll pick back up soon.

Start at the beginning, since they're sort of self-referential.
posted by phunniemee at 4:51 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Doug Benson's Doug Loves Movies podcast (get the 10/1/10 John Lithgow episode before it scrolls away). Stuck in the 80's podcast has fun nostalgia if you're of the right generation. I've been enjoying The Bugle podcast since it was recommended in the UK phone hacking scandal thread on the blue earlier this year. And if you're a sci-fi person The Nerdist and WhatTheCast podcasts.
posted by oh yeah! at 4:51 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


And Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry's sketch show from years ago, "A bit of Fry and Laurie", is consistently great.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:51 PM on September 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


Comedy albums, strongly seconding Maria Bamford but I've also enjoyed Patton Oswalt, Paul F Tompkins and Aziz Ansari's stuff. Podcasts are good too, I love Judge John Hodgman. The AV Club's Podmass feature is a good weekly rundown of comedy podcasts, which seem to be going through a bit of a Renaissance right now.
posted by yellowbinder at 4:53 PM on September 13, 2011


Superego podcast
posted by bonobothegreat at 4:54 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Podcasts My Brother, My Brother and Me and Stop Podcasting Yourself are current favorites of mine.
posted by goggie at 4:54 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Peep Show
Misfits

both British shows
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:54 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, and for TV shows Community and Parks and Recreation are somehow both the best thing ever.
posted by yellowbinder at 4:55 PM on September 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


QI! Stephen Fry and a bunch of British comics being smart and clever? Love it.
posted by pised at 4:59 PM on September 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


P.S. Your Cat Is Dead by James Kirkwood is the funniest book I have ever read.
posted by pH Indicating Socks at 5:00 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]




nthing things, I'm sure:
Dave Chappelle's "Killin' 'Em Softly" or any of the skits from his show featuring Charlie Murphy, Paul Mooney, or Wayne Brady.
Eddie Izzard anything - "Dress to Kill" is the intro most have to his work, and it does not disappoint.
Mitch Hedberg - "Mitch All Together" is him at his best, but "Strategic Grill Locations" is more endearing.
John Leguizamo's standup is a mix of comedy and pathos, but I find it all the more endearing for that - your inclusion of Margaret Cho made me think you might like him.
Finesse Mitchell has a Comedy Central Half Hour Special and several SNL appearances that are hilarious.
Kid History - I think #5 & #6 are the best.
Bill Bryson's audiobooks are hysterical.

...so many others come to mind, but I think this might be a lot already.
posted by batmonkey at 5:20 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Whether you have a GED or a PHD, "You Don't Mess with the Zohsn" WILL make you laugh.
posted by defmute at 5:21 PM on September 13, 2011


Have You No Shame by Rachel Shukert is kind of hit-or-miss, but there's a story in there about tampons that had me howling.
posted by jabes at 5:24 PM on September 13, 2011


When I can't sleep, I have been known to watch clips and sometimes full episodes of The IT Crowd (on YouTube).

If you're feeling noncommittal, there are two to three minute clips, like this one about bullies.

It's utterly silly.
Maybe it will make you laugh.
I mean, whatever, but back when I watched it, my favorite full-length episode was probably The Work Outing.

When I can turn my brain off, I find certain things funny.
It's British comedy, if that means anything.
And, again, it's silly.

If all else fails, watch a Stephen Chow film. Those always crack me up.
posted by simulacra at 6:10 PM on September 13, 2011


Season 1 of Archer.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:12 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Since you're a Whose Line fan, have you watched any Drew Carey's Green Screen or Improv-A-Ganza? Many of the same people, and also lots of funny.
posted by booksherpa at 6:17 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Bill Cosby: Himself
posted by BuffaloChickenWing at 6:33 PM on September 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Season 1 of "Louie" solves this for me (it's kind of Margaret Cho with the bitterness turned up to 11)
posted by oblio_one at 6:45 PM on September 13, 2011


Mystery Science Theater 3000!
Start with a classic short, like Why Study Industrial Arts?, and then give one of their features a try, like The Girl in Lover's Lane or The Final Sacrifice.
posted by Oriole Adams at 6:59 PM on September 13, 2011


This is AWESOME. I can't wait to check all these out :) Keep 'em comin!
posted by bunderful at 7:06 PM on September 13, 2011


Nthing David Sedaris' audiobooks. He reads them himself.

Also the video of him reading the Stadium Pal story is pretty epic.
posted by radioamy at 7:20 PM on September 13, 2011


hyperbole and a half has made me laugh out loud several times.

the one about her getting some sort of dental procedure as a child that involved novacane is ridiculous hysterical. i couldn't read it at work because i would just laugh and snort and then sound like i wasn't working.
posted by sio42 at 7:48 PM on September 13, 2011 [6 favorites]


Cracked is always good. Warning: you may learn something.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:49 PM on September 13, 2011


If you're into celebrity gossip and such, Kathy Griffin is pretty hilarious. Definitely not everyone's cup of tea but she's awesome.
posted by yellowbinder at 8:08 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Check out Mike Birbiglia for some really great stand-up. He also was part of the This American Life episode First Contact, and has been on the Moth podcast as well. His delivery is priceless.
posted by just_ducky at 8:22 PM on September 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Last night I watched Bill Burr's stand up special "Let It Go," and I thought I was going to hurl I was laughing so hard.

I also adore Greg Proops' podcast "Smartest Man in the World," it makes me laugh my ass off and is just brilliant.
posted by tristeza at 9:00 PM on September 13, 2011


Nthing Archer. Absolutely hilarious.

Mike Birbiglia is great too.

And Hyperbole and a Half is, IMO, the best recommendation in this thread. So much joy there.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:01 PM on September 13, 2011


Campus.

Misfits.

Idiot Abroad (Ricky Gervais + Karl Pilkington=hilarity)

All are from the UK, but Misfits is on Hulu and they're showing IA on US tv here and there.
posted by guster4lovers at 9:02 PM on September 13, 2011


I can't believe somebody else (besides me) would ever recommend "Support Your Local Sheriff." It's a movie I've loved since I was a kid. "Support Your Local Gunfighter" -- not a sequel but involving much of the same cast -- isn't as smart or as good overall, but it has a few laughs. Both definitely fall into the light-hearted, mostly clean, family-friendly category of comedy, so if you want something a bit edgier, you may have to look elsewhere.

I'm not sure if people have left off Black Adder because they assume everybody has already seen all the episodes, but if you haven't they're worth a viewing (although the end of Black Adder Goes Forth is on the depressing side). The second and third series are typically the best regarded, although there are bits of the first season I love. Fry and Laurie (mentioned in posts above) play key roles throughout.

If you're between 30 and 50 and watched American cartoons growing up, then Harvey Birdman, Attorney-at-Law is good for some short, silly laughs. I don't know if you saw the Space Ghost post (I read and appreciated the thread even though personally I'm not a Space Ghost fan), the character has a similar history and treatment: a standard, 60s, D-list superhero given a modern interpretation and a new job. Now working as a lawyer, Harvey defends famous cartoon characters accused of crimes -- BooBoo bear as a Unibomber type terrorist, Fred Flinstone as a mafia boss -- or represents them in civil suits -- Super Friends' Apache Chief in a coffee scalding case, Dr. Quest and Race Bannon fighting over custody of Johnny Quest, etc. They're silly, ridiculous cartoons, but they're typically good for a few chortles.
posted by sardonyx at 9:49 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


The podcast Too Beautiful to Live is frequently hilarious. I recommend clicking the link and downloading numbers 875 and 840 to start.
posted by Camofrog at 9:54 PM on September 13, 2011


Flight of the Conchords!

Get the first season on DVD. I used this for exactly the purpose you stated. In fact it was "prescribed" to me by my ex-wife (ironic, I suppose) on a day when I was feeling really deep depression. She lent me the disc and told me to "take two." I was still guffawing with big belly-laughs 2 hours later in my bed that night. And it still works for me every time.
posted by spbmp at 10:20 PM on September 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


Previously.
posted by kinetic at 3:36 AM on September 14, 2011


Oops.
posted by kinetic at 3:37 AM on September 14, 2011


I am dealing with chronic pain, and found that The Nostalgia Critic has hilarious videos that take my mind off of it.

I highly recommend his review of Cloverfield, even if you haven't seen the movie. (He has 2 reviews, one of just the trailer, and one of the movie itself. The review of the movie, where he actually "recreates" the plot, had me in hysterics.)
posted by LaurenIpsum at 7:15 AM on September 14, 2011


A lot of Mel.
posted by thinkpiece at 8:32 AM on September 14, 2011


I listen to this every year and it still makes me laugh 'til I cry: Polly Anderson's Christmas Party
posted by noxetlux at 10:43 AM on September 14, 2011


Gotta have a bit of Biggus Dickus.

Sometimes these things are regarded as classics for a reason.
posted by Decani at 11:59 AM on September 14, 2011


Fun with shorts is an MST3K - like series by Josh Way. I think one of the funniest ones is this one.
posted by wittgenstein at 12:13 PM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Job Interview is hilarious in my opinion. Its a short by Demetri Martin. In it, there are two interview candidates who end up in the same room thinking they are supposed to be interviewing with each other. Hard to explain, just watch.
posted by amazingstill at 1:17 PM on September 14, 2011


I type "laughing baby" or "funny animals" etc. into a search engine, then select videos from the results. This practice has saved my sanity many a rotten day.
posted by mcbeth at 10:37 PM on September 15, 2011


...these are always good for a laugh :

Fawlty Towers
Ownage Pranks
Jerky Boys
Seinfeld
The Late Show with David Letterman
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson
Hitler Parodys on YouTube
posted by theswedishchef at 4:34 AM on September 19, 2011


I want to favorite *all* of these answers, and I'm still working my way through them. Thanks so much :)
posted by bunderful at 5:51 PM on October 14, 2011




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