Comedy and Music: the Peanut Butter and Jelly of the art world.

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August 18, 2010 by Señor Hellsquid

Since the dawn of man, when cavemen grunted out beats while their friends mimicked getting thrown around by a mammoth, music and comedy have been inseparable. Well, except for all that non-comedic music, and the comedians who don’t sing. But other than that, you won’t find them apart. Some artists, like Weird Al Yankovic or Flight of the Conchords, have managed to parlay their musical stylings into some great albums and tv shows. Others, like Tenacious D, have used their successes in music to inflict Jack Black movies on the world. (To be fair, only Tenacious D has used its success to inflict Jack Black movies on the world.  So far.)  But for the most part, it’s a good thing. Today, I bring you some of the funniest music you’re likely to hear until you click to a different page.

Before he got into directing curious motion pictures like “Being John Malkovich”, Spike Jones was a big band leader who brought comedy and music together in as chaotic a way as was possible. His son, the unfortunately named Spike Jones Jr, once said “the thing people never realized about my father’s genius is that when you replace an A# with a gunshot, you have to replace it with an A# gunshot.” He then drank close to a fifth of vodka and cried himself to sleep. In the early days of television, networks starved for programming relented and gave Jones his own television show. The song “Cocktails for Two” celebrated the repeal of Prohibition. I will leave it to you to decide whether the existence of this song makes up for the creation of the mob.

Sensing a need for miscreants and lowlifes to have a role model in the music business, mathematics professor Tom Lehrer sat down at a piano one drunken afternoon and began cranking out some of the most depraved and antisocial songs that the 1950s could handle. Songs like “Masochism Tango” and “Poisoning Pigeons in the Park” may have stood out among the more danceable numbers in his oeuvre (shut up, it’s a real word), it’s his tender love ballad “I Hold Your Hand In Mine” that really speaks to the romantic in me.

The “Axis of Awesome” are a group from Australia, which means their careers go down the drain in the opposite direction as American acts. Before they go, however, they decided to take pop music with them, spreading its dark secret like a paparazzi porn layout. Enjoy “Four Chord Songs”, and then later, see if you can ever enjoy those songs again.

Tim Minchin is ALSO from Australia, but lives in London, because that’s where his house is. I’m swiping that joke from the end of the clip I’m about to show you, but it’s really really long, so maybe you wouldn’t even know if I hadn’t told you. It is, however, one of the most subtly hilarious songs about rock, nerds, and unholy intersection of the two. If you don’t like it, I’ll give you your money back, and then promptly forget that I know you, because it’s clear at that point that you suck.

Brett Domino was a talented young performer in a New Wave band circa 1983 when he was frozen in a tragic slushy accident. By the time the technology to defrost him was invented, music had passed him by. Undeterred, he updated to the latest, greatest old-tymey synthesizers, and threw his talent at “Britain’s Got Talent”, and YouTube. Here is his tribute to nature, and how it will inevitably kill you.

Finally, here’s Rachel Bloom, and her desire to sex up a guy in his nineties, “Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury”.

Oh yeah, I probably should have warned you. There may have been some salty language. That probably wasn’t safe for work.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this trip down the musical highways and byways of comedy. And I hope that you use this information to impress your colleagues, your teachers, or your priests.

Be seeing you.

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