PopList: 5 Clever Comedy Acts that will make You Laugh Out Loud
One of the best ways to kill time when you're surfing the Internet would be to watch something that makes you laugh - in my opinion, it's one of the most powerful psychological therapy - it makes you feel euphoric, you can administer it yourself, and it won't cost you a dime - I just realised that the 3 advantages I named for watching comedy acts can also be readily applied to pornography - save for the guilty feeling that sets in after.
"One of the many benefits of laughter and a sense of humor is that they buffer you against the negatives of life that could lead to depression... people who use humor to fight stress also feel less lonely and more positive about themselves." - http://www.everydayhealth.com/
And literally, without further ado, I present to you our first clever comedy act -
The comedian featured in the video above is Seth Macfarlane - he is an American actor and screenwriter, but you'd most probably recognize him from his voice - which you might find reminiscent of a popular animated sitcom called Family Guy - well that's because he's the producer and the voice actor of said sitcom :)
The Roast of Donald Trump is a great example of Seth Macfarlane's unapologetic and brazen style of comedy - he makes painful pokes at his subjects but they can't get angry at him because he's funny and most of it is true. This style of comedy - direct and in your face - is particularly popular in countries like America and U.K., where it's citizen strongly believe in their freedom of speech and are consequently not afraid to mouth off their real opinions and thoughts - in contrast, people in countries like China are more measured in their communications and the things they say - this can be attributed in large part to a country's culture and policies.
Here's another video that embodies the idea of clever comedy - it ironically features one of the biggest ignoramus -
Ali G is a satirical fictional character created by English comedian and writer, Sacha Baron Cohen. In the clip, the explicit comic addresses the Harvard University students at their graduation ceremony - I felt that his entire speech was comedy gold.
Who is Ali G?
Ali G is a stereotype of a white suburban male from Staines who imitates rap culture as well as urban British and Jamaican culture. (Sacha wants to portray the character as) a boorish, uneducated, faux-streetwise poseur with a deeply stereotypical view of the world.
Like Seth Macfarlane, Sacha Baron Cohen (who in contrast to his silly characters like Ali G and Bruno, is a Cambridge University graduate) executes a intelligent style of comedy - one in which he's always a step ahead of his audiences - both of these individuals (and the next few ones after) are experts at misleading their viewers into a desired response; they're also masters of the backhanded compliment.
If there's one person that has perfected the art of indirectly belittling and ridiculing others through his comedy, that individual (supported by his brilliant team of socially critical writers) is none other than Stephen Colbert of the Colbert Report.
This video of American political satirist and TV host, Stephen Colbert, roasting the former US president has been viewed over 5 million times (there are 2 similar clips on Youtube, each of them have been watched over 2.5 million times) - this roast is one of the ballsiest comedy performances I've ever seen - Stephen Colbert's comic genius lies in his unflinching delivery of his sharply written jokes and searing routine targeted at mocking the American president and mainstream media.
Meanwhile in Singapore, I'm really proud to say that we too have our very own political satirist - he goes by the popular moniker of mrbrown -
mrbrown is the foremost blogger and comedian in Singapore - he's a pop culture icon who's synonymous with gutsy political satire in a state where any media relating to politics is strictly regulated.
The video above was created in response to news (in the first quarter of 2012) that Singaporean ministers were going to have to take a considerable pay cut - this news was significant because Singaporeans are particularly sensitive to matters concerning economic equality and social welfare (but then again, who isn't) - the disparity in income between the country's ministers (which are some of the highest paid in the world) and the rest of the nation's citizens has always been a hotly debated topic.
To end off, I'd like to recommend one last comedy act (I could go with at least a dozen more videos, but then it'd be a really long article) performed by one of my favourite British comedians, Ricky Gervais.
Ricky Gervais is living proof that if you're funny and clever, you can do or say almost anything you want and still get away with it - almost anything because I've yet to see any comedians get away with actual murder - not that they're many (if at all) cases of stand up homicide to begin with.
It's a liberating feeling knowing that you can be a narcissistic dick and still be loved and adored by many people - in my opinion, what these writers, comics and personalities got right would be to ensure that their jokes and commentaries came from a good place; these people are not genuinely mean spirited and they do not have insidious intentions behind their messages - their comedy is funny because despite their being rude and socially inappropriate, these clever comedians are actually just trying to tell us that we shouldn't take ourselves too seriously or be afraid to criticise ourselves - for it is with this open mindedness that we're able to really grow and become better people.
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By Herman Soh