Thursday, December 10, 2015

What's your all-time biggest laugh?

Dinner table conversation between comedy writers can lead to some interesting discussions. Lots of schadenfreude of course – and that’s even before we order. But there are plenty of funny takes on the world, sports, pop culture, and sex (mostly the lack thereof).

Old vintage TV shows we loved is also a semi-popular topic (I say “semi” because we don’t like that we’re old enough to have written on many of these chestnuts). But the HONEYMOONERS was mentioned recently, and everyone perked up (that show was even before “our” time). I said that the biggest laugh I ever had was for the payoff of the “$99,000 Answer” episode. I won’t spoil it in case you haven’t seen it (in which case, GO SEE IT). But suffice to say the entire episode builds to one last joke and it’s a killer.  I was ten at the time and probably laughed for ten minutes. 

That led to a discussion of “what was the biggest laugh you ever had?” Preferably sober. More fun than hearing theirs (e.g. Monty Python) would be hearing yours? So I throw out that topic today. And please, don’t feel obligated to cite an example from MANNEQUIN 2. But think back – hopefully this will be a tough choice because you’ve had many big belly laughs in your life (not a tough choice because you have amnesia) – what moment, scene, one-liner, cartoon, stand up routine, America’s Funniest Home Video made you uncontrollably laugh the hardest, loudest, longest?

This is going to be one of those days where the comments are more interesting than the post. I, for one, look forward to your responses. If nothing else I bet it will illustrate how subjective comedy is. There will be some entries that other readers won’t think is funny at all. I’m also curious as to whether your single biggest laugh came as a child (like mine) or as an adult. Anyway, it should be fun. Put on your thinking caps and I’ll see ya in the comments section. Thanks.


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404 said...

The biggest laugh that I can ever remember having was from The Far Side -- the one where Jerry the fish is sent to "sleep with the humans." It's not actually that funny, probably, but for some reason the day I saw it as a teenager it just really, really, really got me laughing. So much so that, for months later, the rest of my family would make references to it again and again, which would get me laughing all over again.

A close second would be the scene from THE COSBY SHOW where the kids do the lip sync routine. That's still funny.

A third? The broken refrigerator episode on FRIENDS, specifically where Joey shoves Ross into the fridge and then tries to get him to pay for it.

A fourth? Ryan Stiles imitating a "foal being born" on WHO'S LINE IS IT ANYWAY?

I could go on.

And yes, Ken, there are moments from your shows that I think of, too!

Barry Rivadue said...

By far, FAWLTY TOWERS when John Cleese/Basil Fawlty goes into his silly walk after embarrassing some German guests. I literally fell off my chair.

hado said...

The robot tailers from "Sleeper," and the provisions of the Guacamole Act of 1915 from "The In-Laws."

Jim S said...

I guess it's true what they say about childhood memories having the most impact. If we're talking strictly television, there was a Partridge Family where Dave Madden as Reuben Kincaid shows up for what he thinks is a costume party (it was actually a set up by Danny) dressed as a fairy princess. My siblings and I laughed so hard our guts hurt.

I suspect if I saw that show today, the best I'd do is a wry smile.

If we're talking movies, it's Animal House. Especially the horse in the dean's office scene. Whenever I come across that movie as I cruise cable, I will stop and watch it for at least 10 minutes.

Cliff said...

I have 2 TV related, laugh out loud, can't stop times that I recall. The earliest of the two was the Thanksgiving sequence on WKRP with Les discovering that turkey's really don't fly well, and doing a Hindenberg like description of the event.
Second was a non-verbal sequence from Fraiser where Niles had a series of accidents, setting the couch on fire, burning his shirt etc. all without dialog. I enjoy both whenever I see them again, but the first times were the laugh and can't stop memories.

Brian Phillips said...

"The Man With Two Brains" was uneven to me, but there was one joke that had me rolling:

There is a "b" plot about a character called, "The Windex Killer". We never see TWK, we just see women go into elevators, react with bemusement and not long after being injected with Windex, dying.

Near the end of the movie, the killer's face is revealed: it's Merv Griffin! He then talks about the conflicts of fame and his psychopathic urges.

I laughed all the way until the next scene.

Rebecca said...

The movie "Clockwise" with John Cleese. I started laughing the moment he appeared and continued for the rest of the movie until I was bent over in pain in the theatre.

LouOCNY said...

Sober/straight? Boy, that's tough....

slgc said...

The movie Rat Race was not a great one, and it doesn't hold up to repeat viewings, but there was one line that had me gasping for breath.

Rat Race was an update of The Amazing Race, and one of the story lines involved Jon Lovitz taking his unaware family to search for the fortune. During the drive, Lovitz's young daughter saw a sign for the Barbie museum and the family forced him to detour so they could stop there. It turns out the museum did not have Barbie dolls but instead was dedicated to Klaus Barbie, and this likely Jewish family was watching the presentation while fearing for their lives. They eventually talked their way out of the presentation and were finally heading to the museum exit, when the daughter exclaimed with glee, "Ooh - there's a gift shop!"

Out of context it doesn't sound like much, but the timing and delivery were perfect and I was literally struggling to breathe from laughing so hard.

Richard said...

I think this is somewhat embarassing, but the biggest laugh I remember having was during the "Who does number 2 work for!?" scene from Austin Powers with Mike Myers and Tom Arnold.

That movie is cliched and played out in 2015 but it was on point in 1999. It's potty humor (rimshot!) but it just hit me at the right spot and the right time.

Anonymous said...

WKRP - when Les Nessman says - As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.

Unknown said...

Most recently -- the first time I saw the nude wrestling scene in Borat. That was so shocking and over-the-top I burst out laughing.

chas said...

Two come to mind. The first is in "A Night at the Opera" when the orchestra turns the page and begins playing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" in the middle of " Il Travatore". The other is in "What's Up Tiger Lilly?" when the prison escapee jumps into Phil Moskowitz's car, takes off her mask and he exclaims " Ah, an Oriental". It's a Japanese movie that served as the basis for Woody Allen's dubfest.

Matt said...

"Lick my love pump."

Jeremiah Avery said...

Quite a few to pick from but would probably have to go with a scene from The Three Stooges short "Disorder In the Court" where Curly is being sworn in to testify. First saw it as a kid and I started cracking up more and more as Curly was following the instructions and was still not doing it "right" and getting more and more flustered. When "raise your right hand" kept getting repeated, I laughed more and more each time. It's still one of the few things that can make me laugh almost automatically.

A close second would be when hearing Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" - it makes me think of the Looney Tunes short "What's Opera, Doc?" and I think of Elmer going "Kill the Wabbit! Kill the Wabbit!" and I crack up.

Matt said...

BTW it was Mr. Carlton who had the infamous line on WKRP on Cincinatti as he was in the helicopter throwing out the birds.

Chris Kurbjuhn said...

"Ironballs McGinty" in "The Jerk". The Joke is far from good, but the line came so unexpectedly, I missed the next ten minutes of the movie.

Glenn said...

The "All in the Family" episode when Archie gets locked down in the basement. He finds a bottle of vodka and gets wasted. When the oil guy shows up and comes down stairs, Archie hears his voice and thinks it's God talking to him. The guy comes downstairs, and Archie sees who he thinks is God...a large black guy. The look on his face was priceless, but the ending joke nailed it perfectly..."Forgive me, Lord. The Jeffersons were right!"

blinky said...

Honest Trailers version of "300". I am still laughing.

Anthony said...

The Bridge of Death scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. There are a lot of great moments in this three minute scene, but the one that struck me like a bolt of lightning was when Michael Palin was asked what his favorite color was, AND HE GOT IT WRONG! AND HE CORRECTED HIMSELF! So ridiculous, so relatably human, and so in character.

Matt said...

"Disco Stu doesn't advertise."

Unknown said...

EVERY single moment of "Blazing Saddles".
I never stopped laughing for 95 minutes.
Funniest movie EVER.

In "Young Frankenstein".
"There.....THERE wolf".

Matt said...

It isn't a line, but in The Life of Brian when Brian opens the window, after getting lucky the night before, totally naked to see a throng of people cheering him.

Bill Avena said...

Robert Smigel's "I'm Picasso!" from SNL featuring John Lovitz. I was in hysterics the whole time. Also, as Hado said, the Guacamole Act.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Matt, you are absolutely correct about Mr. Carlson.

Rock Golf said...

Minor corrections:
@Lou: Is this a reference to the Taxi episode where Rev. Jim is applying for a hack license? If so, you've got the quote wrong. From IMDB:
Bobby Wheeler: [Bobby helps Jim fill out his test] Have you ever experienced loss of consciousness, hallucinations, dizzy spells, convulsive disorders, fainting, or periods of loss of memory?
Reverend Jim Ignatowski: Hasn't everyone?
Elaine O'Connor-Nardo: Put no.
Bobby Wheeler: Mental illness or narcotic addiction?
Reverend Jim Ignatowski: That's a tough choice.

@SLGC: It was an update of The Great Race, not The Amazing Race, (or maybe more like It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World).

@Rebecca: You are correct. Clockwise is one of the funniest films ever. The slowest slow burn in cinema history. Second choice: Bill Murray in Quick Change.

I saw the pilot of Modern Family in a web preview when I had the flu. Laughed myself literally sick.

Unknown said...

There are many that I recall, including watching Night Patrol after a few under-age beers, but since we're preferring sober moments... I would have to say watching a Red Skelton performance sometime in the late-80's. Talk about an ab workout!

dgwphotography said...
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dgwphotography said...

The first time I listened to Bill Cosby Is a Very Funny Fellow...Right! - The Noah routines still crack me up.

The Thanksgiving Episode of Mad About You where they went through five turkeys - I was in hysterics the entire episode.

The last scene in the last episode of Newhart. Only Bob Newhart could come up with the perfect punchline for an 8-season long show.

From Taxi - "What does a yellow light mean?"

ally said...

John Ritter, Three's Company, S6Ep25 "Up in the Air." Jack is afraid to fly, and takes a tranquilizer, then has a cocktail at a party. Ritter's physical performance made me laugh so hard, I cried.

FFS said...

In my mid and late twenties - the bank robbery note in Take the Money and Run and the "sock and a shoe" exchange between Archie and Meathead. Not sure if I would laugh now if seeing them for the first time but they had me on the floor back then.

gottacook said...

The second act of the Mary Tyler Moore episode in which Lou Grant, who's bought a bar, forces his customers into false camaraderie culminating in an "Alexander's Ragtime Band" sing-along ("LOUDER!!"). Just looked it up: It's a third-season episode written by Ed. Weinberger.

Rob Greenberg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrew said...

For me it was every single TV episode of Police Squad, which came out when I was a young teenager. I would laugh non-stop the whole half-hour, to the point of hyperventilating. I would laugh myself to sleep that night. My friends and I would all crack each other up the next day by talking about it. We had never seen anything like it before. The Naked Gun movies had lots of moments like that too, but the TV show was on a different planet. (And then the schmucks cancelled it!)

In retrospect, I love how Leslie Nielsen reinvented himself, from a good but not standout dramatic actor, to one of the truly great comic masters.

Anonymous said...

One word. (This isn't pandering, honest...)

The Simpsons episode "Brother From Another Series", with Kelsey Grammer as Sideshow Bob and David Hyde Pierce as his brother Cecil. Cecil is trying to blow up Springfield Dam; as he's about to press the plunger, Bart jumps onto Cecil's back, covers his eyes, and yells "Guess who?" Cecil's answer: "Maris?"

Unknown said...

In one of the sketches on The Carol Burnett Show, Tim Conway is playing the old man character, and he spends about 10 minutes trying to step up from the wood floor onto the carpeting. I made myself sick laughing at that one.

Rob Greenberg said...

Two moments. The first was the 'And you want to be my latex salesman' scene from Seinfeld. The second, and it gets me every time, was the 'Cheers' scene where Rebecca is throwing drinks at male customers. Another customer asks Woody what is going on. He explains she was just dumped. Suddenly, we see Carla gleefully tossing a drink into another male customers face (the actor's reaction was hysterical). Woody is then asked what is Carla's story. Woody replies 'she's just mean.'

norm said...

The Dick Van Dyke show about Richie being the wrong baby brought home from the hospital, and I was about 12 then.

The scene in Mad, Mad, Mad world where Jonathan Winters destroys the gas station in the middle of no-where, 10 mins of belly laughs.

Honeycutt Powell said...

The only time I ever literally rolled on the floor laughing was during THE MONEY PIT. So many scenes had me belly laughing, but the one that really got me was when Tom Hanks fell into the floor wrapped in a rug.

The Bumble Bee Pendant said...

There are those scenes that make me laugh each time I see it
Lucy at the Chocolate factory, but also Ricky and Fred cooking dinner with the Rice over flowing.
Honeymooners "Gee...I didn't know Davy Crockett was soooo fat"
Taxi "What doooooes a yellllow light mean"
Kramer smoking cigars for a weekend and looks like he's been smoking for a lifetime "Don't look at me...I'm hideous"
Jerry says to George: You want to be my latex salesman?
Kelly Kelly K.e.l.l. Why? Because you're kelly kelly kelly.
Raymond: When Robert dates the bug girl and has to go out the window, and when Raymond and Robert fight to see who gets Mom, THE SUITCASE!
Family Ties: The Dad suggests that he was almost killed by the Pop Tart that jumped out of the Toaster.
Married with Children: Peg and Al go on a game show and Peg has to try to almost kill Al. "It's for a car, Al" "Noooooooooo"
Friends: The Lightning Round
Simpsons: Monoraiilllll, and The Burns Softball team featuring Ken Griffey's Oversized Head
Southpark: The Scientology episode.
Modern Family: Cam on foot, chasing after a car that just hit his car
It's the Garry Shandling show: His girlfriend is compared to Yoko
MTM: Chuckles. Brilliant.
Carol Burnett: Harvey Korman and Tim Conway...Pick one: The Dentist? The Sheriff? Sure!
Odd Couple: Ridiculous on Password.
Three's Company: Jack gets high on prescription pills and goes nuts at a party
WKRP: As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly

Roy DeRousse said...

The opening scene to Season 2 of Sledge Hammer.

Season 1 ends with a big cliff hanger. An atomic bomb is going to go off in the city unless Sledge disarms it by cutting the right wire. There is a green and a red one. Sledge says, "Trust me. I know what I'm doing" and cuts a wire. The next scene is a huge mushroom cloud, followed by a graphic, "To Be Continued... Next Season?"

Season 2 opens by recapping the ending. The picture fades. Then the graphic "Five years previously" is displayed, and the show continues.

Barry in Portland said...

The Frasier episode with the Big Nose actors, with the perfect line "we love dogs; we have a couple of giant schnauzers". Even thinking about it, I'm spitting coffee.

Who writes this brilliant stuff?

Stephanie said...

Agree about the WKRP quote about turkeys flying - have to watch it on YouTube every Thanksgiving -it's a tradition.

Jim said...

In "When Harry Met Sally", when Rob Reiner's mothers says, "I'll have what she's having."

Tudor Queen said...

The scene in "The Bob Newhart Show" Thanksgiving episode where the very drunk threesome of Bob, Howard and Jerry try to order Chinese food. The entire scene. It can still make me double over laughing.

"Asparagus" on "Family Feud". Steve Harvey milks the moment to exactly the right point.

Kevin Kline in "Soapdish", the whole performance, but especially, "I'll take my one man Hamlet to Canada! They love me in Canada!"

Anne in Rockwall, TX said...

Any scene with Colonel Flagg. Most especially, "No, he's the wind."

Roy DeRousse said...
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William said...

"Jackie makes a phone call" on Roseanne:

I saw that when I was pretty young, not yet a teenager. I remember laughing until I cried ...

Donnie's funeral in The Big Lebowski. I saw that in a theater with a bunch of friends. We were no good for about 10 minutes after that scene. Just completely helpless, crying, unable to talk, it was glorious.

D F Graf said...

The Tourettes restaurant scene from "Curb Your Enthusiasm" tops my list.

The Bumble Bee Pendant said...

One more:

Niles has to hide that he's playing Jesus in a Christmas Play in order to stay out of sight of Frazier's Jewish Girlfriend.

Later, the Jewish Girlfriend and Mother have a fight in Frazier's apartment, then make up and leave.
The ensuing conversation between Frazier and his Dad is priceless with a great payoff of humor and warmth.
Written by Jay Kogen

Frasier: Good night. [closes door]
Martin: Boy, that was something.
Frasier: It certainly was. You know, we've had a couple of squabbles
today, but nothing like that.
Martin: No way! [laughs]
Frasier: Well, maybe I should get that Christmas tree out of the

Frasier gets the tree.

Martin: One minute they're talking about one little problem; then
suddenly it's everything else. Then it gets all emotional
and messy and then they're hugging and then it's all over.

Frasier has now put the tree in its place.

Frasier: You know, I suppose that's the healthiest way to go about it,
huh, Dad?
Martin: Yeah, yeah, I guess you can't keep that stuff bottled up.
Frasier: No, if you sit on it, you'll just get madder and madder.
Martin: Yeah, best thing is to just lay it on the line!
Frasier: Exactly.

Pause. As the following progresses, they get louder and louder.

Martin: Frasier, I want my Rudolph out for Christmas.
Frasier: What, this again?
Martin: It's just not Christmas without it!
Frasier: Dad, we had an agreement about the Christmas decorations
this year.
Martin: Yeah, but your Christmas stinks. I mean, do you call that a
Frasier: You know, would it kill you to have a tasteful Christmas just
once in your life? Every year we do Christmas your way.
Martin: And you have things your way every damn day! I mean look at
it, there's nothing of mine around this place except for my
chair and you've taken pot shots at that right from the
start because it doesn't fit in with your frou-frou knick-
Frasier: Oh that's right, Dad, go ahead, ridicule everything I do:
the way I eat, the way I decorate. Do you have any idea how
that makes me feel?
Martin: Do you know how it makes me feel to live like a guest in my
own home?
Frasier: Dad, I do everything I can to make you feel welcome in this
house, but nothing I ever do is good enough!
Martin: A strange way of making me feel welcome: taking Christmas away
from me - the one time of the year when I get to do things my
way! Like it used to be in our home, with your mother and
when you were kids! You know, that's a nice memory for me,
you'd think as a psychiatrist you'd figure that out!
Frasier: Fine, I'm not even a good psychiatrist! I guess I'm just a
big fat let-down, aren't I?!
Martin: And I'm just a burden to you, AND I HATE LIVING HERE!

Similar to Faye and Helen, Martin and Frasier realize what they said.
They begin crying.

Frasier: Oh my God.
Martin: Oh, Jeez.
Frasier: Oh God, I feel terrible.
Martin: So do I. They were hugging by now!
Frasier: We never should have tried this, we're not Jewish.
Martin: Maybe Mrs. Shapiro next door can talk us through it?
Frasier: She's out of town.

Scott Cooley said...

First time I saw Airplane! on cable TV - I hurt from laughing for 90 minutes

Watching Animal House - around the corner while the rest of my family watched (I was considered too young) - and then having to explain several jokes to my mother later.

MASH - Don't mean to pander, but the Incubator scene in Henry's office ("Thar she blows!") is perfect.

Frasier's "Everybody Wang Chung tonight" speech before the bachelor party on "Cheers" is so patient in the delivery

Arthur - Great on its own, but every word from Gielgud is a gem. "I'll alert the media" is a mainstay of my parenting technique.

Stuart said...

Two come to mind:

1) Taxi, where Jim is working on his driver license test, asks about Yellow Light, group says "slow down", he asks slower, yada yada. Everyone knows that scene. I remember watching it when it aired, and couldn't stop laughing. And we didn't have TiVo then to rewind & rewatch.

2) So many Frasiers. The one where Martin's chair falls off the balcony. The one with the noses. The one where Niles sets the couch on fire (great scene with no dialog!).

The Bumble Bee Pendant said...

Scott Cooley "I'll alert the Media". I used it last week with my MOM. She's been ill and i've been taking care of her. She finally was able to move her bowels and of course a very deadpanned "I'll alert the Media" was my response.

benson said...

A lot of my post here is "me, too".

Rev. Jim's driver's test, WKRP's Turkey drop. Odd Couple's Aristophanes...Ridiculous!" Derrr Robert Hartley

But also, Tim Conway's Siamese Elephants. I loved Frasier's Merry Christmas, Mrs. Moskowitz episode and I'm not even Jewish. (Am I?)

I loved the French Canadian goalie in Slap Shot. Saw that in college and a buddy and I laughed our asses off.

The "just a flesh wound" scene in Holy Grail and the monks hitting themselves with their tablets.

One that made me hysterical (one of those "you had to be there" moments)is from guilty pleasure movie, Porky's. The principal, Eric Christmas, has the male gym teachers in his office and Ms. Ballbricker wants to have a lineup to identify a particular student by his "tallywacker". That was funny, but what put me over the top was at the end of the scene, when they're all hysterical, the camera pans up to a picture of Eisenhower smiling. Again, you had to be there.

mriley said...

George Costanza screaming "Say Vandalay say Vandalay" at Kramer, then running out of the bathroom with his pants around his legs and falling on his face...

Michael said...

"Blazing Saddles." The campfire scene. I know. I have no class.

Terry said...

Here's my top three:

3) This is Spinal Tap - the Stonehenge Scene with the tiny Stonehenge and the dancing dwarves.

2) The Frasier episode with the big-nosed couple - the first non-news thing I watched after 9/11 and days of round the clock news coverage. I laughed until I cried because I was so grateful to be laughing again.

1) The Carol Burnett Show - it might have been an outtake of one of The Family sketches where Tim Conway started telling this story about Siamese elephants and the rest of the cast (including Dick Van Dyke) were almost falling over trying to keep from breaking up. But the capper was when Carol Burnett (as Eunice) said "Go ahead mama" (they were playing a game) and Vicki Lawrence as Mama said "Are you sure that little a-hole is finished?" The cast (and myself) literally fell on the floor laughing.

Ben Scripps said...

I was just about to post Reverend Jim taking the drivers' ed test; that's absolutely in my top five.

Others would include the line just before John Cleese's silly walk in "Fawlty Towers":
Tourist: Will you stop talking about the war!
Fawlty: Well, you started it.
Tourist: We did not!
Fawlty: Yes you did: you invaded Poland.

I still laugh out loud every time I watch Madeline Kahn in "Clue" do her "Flames, on the side of my face" scene. Also from "Clue", it's not a line but a moment (starting at 1:12:36), when Colonel Mustard (Martin Mull) has figured out some element of the mystery; as Mr. Green (Michael McKean) looks at him, the Colonel gives him a little head nod. It's not particularly funny or clever, but it absolutely sends me into stitches every single time.

Unknown said...

Gary Handling Show. Gary and Arthur are watching Hank's sex movie and are surprised at Hank's, umm, girth. To which Arthur (Rip Torn) says deadpan, "Remember, the camera adds ten pounds."

The Minstrel Boy said...

the "We're going to War!" scene in "Duck Soup." seven minutes of laughing straight through.

SimonMoon5 said...

The Christmas episode of Mr. Bean. Mr Bean's girlfriend gives him a clue what she wants for Christams when they pass by a jewelry store. In the window is a ring near a picture of a happy couple. She points at the ring, he nods.

Then on Christmas morning, he gives her her present. She's surprised that it's flat, not in a box. She opens it: it's the picture from the window of the store. She's upset but then he has one other present to give her, one that's in a jewelry box. She opens it up: and it's a ring? She pulls it out of the box... only to discover it's a screw-into-the-wall ring for hanging up the picture.

A close second is from the same episode as Mr Bean and his teddy open up their stockings.

Bradman said...

Loved the Cheers episode (not sure if it was yours or not) where Frederick speaks.
It was the funniest, cutest, most unexpected, and charming ending I've seen. And a double punch line, too!

Roger Owen Green said...

Greg Morris at the door on The Dick Van Dye Show. Niles ironing his pants on Frasier. And most of Young Frankenstein - pardon me boy, is this the Transylvania Station?" And the wordplay in Life of Brian of "what have the Romans ever done for us?'

dgwphotography said...

There are so many more...

Carol Burnett's take off of Gone with the Wind: "It was hanging in the window, and I had to have it"

So many with Frasier -
The entire episode hiding that they weren't Jewish from Fay's mom.
"My God, It's Stonehenge!"
Niles setting the apartment on fire
The look of horror on Frasier's face the first time Lilith called in
Just about any scene Bebe was in...
The couple with the large noses - David Hyde Pierce trying so hard to keep a straight face...

Justin Russo said...

Kate Hepburn as Susan Vance in "Brining Up Baby" right when she switches to 'Swingin' Door Susie'...her snapping at the inspector: 'HEY FLATFOOT!' I've seen the movie more times than I can count and once watched it 4 times in one week, solely to get to that scene.

Second would have to be Estelle Getty as Sophia in "The Golden Girls." I've come to realize that it takes both a great script paired with great delivery to truly make a line memorable and Estelle was superb with her tone just as Bea Arthur was with her double-takes. It is this Season 4 episode though that quite literally made me fall off my chair in college when I first watched:

Lastly it's the Season 1 finale of "I Love Lucy." The quick-change gag with Fred in drag and Lucy with her accents.

CS said...

There are two clips that will always make me laugh. The first is the fire drill from The Office:

The second is Uncle Miltie getting heckled on the Muppets:

My dad's favorite was from Taxi, but it wasn't Reverend Jim's driving exam; it was when the cab company was shut down and all of the regulars got together to swap stories about their old jobs.

Reverend Jim was working as a vacuum salesman and it shows him talking about the vacuum and how great it is. He starts making a massive mess all over this lady's apartment. Cooking grease, cigarette ashes, ketchup, everything is going on the floor, building up to Reverend Jim showing off this amazing vacuum cleaner. He opens the massive briefcase and pulls out a book, asking the lady where he can plug it in. She points out that it is a book and Reverend Jim scratches his head and says, "Oh yeah, I didn't get the vacuum job. I'm selling encyclopedias." Kills me and my dad every time.

Joseph Scarbrough said...

From a TV show, on AFV, when Tom Bergeron went into a monologue about how a day at the beach is really no day at the beach when you're putting up with distractions like someone playing their boombox too loud, random passerbys kicking sand into your face, and someone next you lathering suntan lotion all over their hairy man boobs (as a hairy fat guy, the latter had me in stitches, because it's true).

From a movie, really the entire movie of DODGEBALL: A TRUE UNDERDOG STORY had me howling, but the one thing that got the biggest laugh out of me was when the Average Joes could see that Kate had skills and tried to persuade her to join their team, to which Peter added, "Come on, Kate. Time to put your mouth where our balls are."

Yachnoff said...

On television, I have to echo others on the WKRP turkey drop. In a movie, the funeral scene in Heathers for the two football players.

The hardest I have ever laughed, however, was a Second City show. A man in a labcoast says to a woman "I'm sorry Ms. Jones, but I discovered a lump in your breast during your last exam." And she responds, "But you're my dentist?!"

Matthew said...

The Christmas episode of Married With Children, season 2. I had to pause it to get my breath back. There were a few episodes like that in the first five seasons, but that was the best.

Unknown said...

Sometimes it's the little moments, perfect timing, either perfectly in character or slightly out of character. My favorite is in King of the Hill when Bobby tells Hank about the concept of doggie dancing and Hank says, "Shut Up." Perfect line delivery. A little off kilter, serious, perfect.

Mike Schryver said...

Individual moments or lines -

Kids in the Hall did a takeoff of "Who's on First" where Kevin MacDonald struggles to get the routine going while Dave Foley fails to cooperate. After MacDonald feeds the "Who? Who's on first?" line for about the fourth time, Foley upends the whole thing by saying "Oh, I see your problem!"
Never laughed harder in my life - they actually did something with that sketch I hadn't seen done before.

Another favorite moment was on The Simpsons, as they're doing the awful musical version of Streetcar. Marge delivers the line about depending on the kindness of strangers, and the cast gives a little look to the audience just before they burst into song. It's the best comic timing I've ever seen drawn into a cartoon. I had to wait till next time to catch the rest of the episode, I laughed for so long.

Astroboy said...

The entire "Palestinian Chicken" episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm is solid laughs, but the sex scene of Larry David and the Palestinian woman had me dying ("I'm going to f*** the Jew out of you!") and the look on Funkhauser's face when he overhears the anti-semite love making! Oh man.

Ellegee said...

Frank Kelly's version of "12 Days of Christmas" has me rolling around on the floor every Christmas. It's an audio piece but it is on YouTube -

Earl Boebert said...

All of "The Wrong Box" with the peak being Peter Sellars' "fur ball" line.

Julia Littleton said...

That Thanksgiving episode of Mad About You when they ended up lowering a turkey outside of the window. The stakes got higher and higher, and I just about burst a seam. I've had lots of laughs from Frasier, but nothing quite beats those turkeys.

Kirk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
stanman said...

This will date me also, but the first thing that comes to mind for me on this topic is a scene from "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World". For those who aren't familiar with this movie, it concerned a mad race by various teams of people to try to figure out where a large amount of money was buried, and the cast consisted of a huge collection of well-known comedians and actors. The scene in question has Arnold Stang (the classic "98-pound weakling")as the owner of a gas station, which an enraged Jonathan Winters is going berserk in. With Jonathan Winters, this huge bear of a man, single-handedly tearing down the gas station in the background, Arnold Stang comes into frame in a tight closeup and says "We're gonna have to kill him". The idea that this skinny little man could ever do any harm to the much bigger Jonathan Winters, much less kill him, is so absurd that I can break out laughing just thinking about the scene.

Kirk said...

Laurel breaking down and confessing that he and Ollie lied to their wives as Ollie himself stoically pretends not to know what he's talking about in "Sons of the Desert".

Can't remember the name of the cartoon, but some cats dressed as aliens say to Porky Pig, "Goodnight, butterball!" and kiss him on the lips. Porky blushes, of course, cuddles up next to the aliens and goes to sleep, suddenly realizes what happened, and freaks out (Kudos to Bob Clampett's animation)

Granny forces Mr Drysdale to say "I love you" to a bird (whom the former mistakenly believes is Mrs Drysdale) in an episode of The Beverly Hillbillies.

In an episode of Taxi, Jim Ignotowsky tells Alex Reeger that he was raised by a black women who for some reason kept calling him Scarlet O'hara". When Alex mention Gone With the Wind, Jim replies "Yes, those days are gone with the wind."

On All in the Family, Gloria asks Archie, "Don't parents always want kids to live better lives than they did?" Archie replies, "Yes, little girl, but it doesn't always work that way. A gorilla wants a better life for his kid, but when the kid grows up, he's still a gorilla!"

In the cartoon "The Barber of Seville" Elmer Fudd comes after Bugs Bunny with a cannon. In response, Bugs holds up a bouquet of flowers. Immediately, and apparently instinctively, Elmer runs off and returns dressed up as a blushing bride (kudos to Chuck Jones animation)

On Get Smart, Ziegfried explains to Max why he chose a life of evil:

Ziegried: "All I ever wanted when I was a child was a sled. Yet my parents would never get me one. Why, Smart, why wouldn't they buy me that sled?!"

Max (sadly): "I don't know, Ziegfried"

Ziegried: "Could it been because we lived in Florida?"

Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn singing "I can't give you anything but love, baby" to a leopard in Bringing Up Baby.

Finally, for weeks on Match Game, Brett Sommers had been accusing Charles Nelson Reilly of stealing her answers. A question comes up where the answer (actually the "match") is obviously Ronald McDonald. Brett's answer is "the clown whose name I can't remember" Charles announces that this should prove once and for all he has not been stealing from Brett. His answer?

"The clown whose name I CAN remember."

Marc Prey said...

So many to choose from, but for me the funniest episode of television has to be the episode of Seinfeld in which George pretends to be a marine biologist and has to save a beached whale with an obstructed blow hole. When he tells the story to the others in the diner and finishes by producing Kramer's golf ball from his pocket, followed by Kramer remarking "A hole in one!", I lose it every time.

Diane D. said...

The Episode of CHEERS where John Cleese, as a renowned marriage counselor, visits his friend, Frasier, is my favorite. Diane and Sam are on the brink of marriage and Diane wants to have a session with him. After 5 minutes, he says they are totally unsuited. Diane drives him nuts by repeated visits to his hotel room with different ideas of proof they are meant for each other, but Cleese persists in his opinion. Finally, when Sam and Diane come back for the fourth time, John Cleese, dressed in terry robe and shower cap, goes berserk, shouting that he was wrong, that they are perfect for each other. He opens the window and shouts it to the world, records it and gives them the recording, etc. His final word is, "Everyone, you can stop getting married. It's been done to perfection by Sam and Diane." When Diane looks at Sam, smiles and says, "See", I thought I would die laughing.

YEKIMI said...

Rodney Dangerfield special on cable. Pretending he was on the Tonight Show [think Dana Carvey was doing Johnny], said "I finally made my wife scream during sex. I got up and wiped my dick on the curtains." Laughed for a solid ten minutes
Rodney & Bill Murray in Caddyshack.
Any Kids In The Hall episode. If it came down to me watching the or SNL, I'd pick them any time. John Candy as Devine was an absolute screamer.
Blazing Saddles.
First time I saw Steve Martin on The Tonight Show. Laughed so hard I actually wet myself. Damn you, bladder.

mrwipple said...

There are many cerebral laughs, wry smiles, feelings of bemusement, singular trumpet blasts of laughter and surprise ... but the best belly, rolling-on-the-floor laugh?

Archie Bunker trying to explain anything to his son-in-law, Mike ...
Don Rickles on any Dean Martin Celebrity Roast ...
John Wayne & Fabian in "North to Alaska" ...


YEKIMI said...

them or SNL, I'd pick them.* Damn fat fingers.

philip said...

Probably rare here, and admittedly lam,e but I don't think I've laughed harder than a few times at THAT 70s SHOW when

1) Eric tries to be bad-ass and kicks Donna' door (after reading she wishes he were more dangerous in her diary) and launches himself backwards into the wall. Great physical comedy


2) when Red kicks Hyde out of the house and Eric responds with: "You know what? You're....You're bull....I'm....You're very....I'm...I'm very mad at you! (he walks off)"

Anonymous said...

Somewhere around 1990 or so when I was still in LA there was an incident where an airliner lost a door and cabin integrity over Hawaii. Tragically, one of the crew was pulled from the plane in the sudden cabin depressurization.

I was watching TV when a well-known LA anchor came on to do the evening news blurb. With a perfectly straight face, and with perfectly matter-of-fact delivery, he said: "A stewardess was sucked to death in Hawaii today. Details at 11."


Johnny Hy said...

-Seinfeld "The Contest" with Kramer's "I'm out!" After being out of the room for one minute
-Modern Family with Cam doing the school play and the sign drops down "We Love the F Word"
-I agree 100% on the Dick Van Dyke show about Richie being switched at birth
-MASH with Hawkeye and Trapper dressed up in Monkey Suits and Frank asks them to fix his hernia and Hawkeye responds "We'll do it. Me and the Missus"
- Art Carney on The Honeymooners "Heelllooooo Ball"
- The scene from Cougar Town when Travis's girlfriend is about to meet the Cul de Sac Crew for the first time at Thanksgiving and he's talking to them "Alright, some suggestions, Mrs. Torres, Kiley runs cross country, don't ask her if she has an eating disorder. Mr. Torres, let's try to keep the pants buttoned. Lauire, your boobs are bigger, there I said it, you don't need to point it. Fruity Neighbor Guy, I see you brought your guitar, let's keep that holstered. Dad, I think we can all agree that it's just best if you don't say a word and Mom, if you are thinking of saying something, stop and tell yourself, that's probably not a good idea" The way Travis delivered it and the reactions on each of their faces was awesome
The payoff on Friends from the backpacking story Rachel used to seduce Ross. "I'm Ken Adams!"

Dan Ball said...

Damnit, there are too many times that I do this anyway that I can't remember. I read through some of these hoping one of them would spark a memory. Then I finally got it:

"Stonehenge" from SPINAL TAP.

Also, I'd add Curly Howard shaving the ice in "An Ache in Every Stake". "Hey, Mister, did you have a pink tie when you came in? Oh, well then here's your lip. Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk." The whole sequence is just ridiculous and it seems like it was 100% adlibbed. Reminds me of Jonathan Winters's stick routine. It's like they just locked down the camera, left it rolling, and let him work his magic.

Philip said...

@Johnny Hy:

Totally forgot about the "We Love the F Word" - so simple but i didn't see it coming. I laughed forever after that. My wife got mad at me!

Jerry Krull - Link to SNL sketch said...

Instead of a long past laugh, I can't believe I laughed so hard at a Saturday Night Live sketch just this past Saturday (12/5/2015). The clip already has 9.8 million views on YouTube in just 4 days! It is a simple premise; three small town young adults are interviewed by the government after being the first verified alien abduction. Click on my name for a link to the sketch. Saw it live and my wife and I laughed through out - and we are way too old to be SNL's target demographic. Kate McKinnon drives this sketch which, going forward, will be included whenever they show the all-time best sketches. If the link does not work, then just search YouTube using "SNL Close Encounter" as the search term.

Stephen Marks said...

Archie Bunker gets locked in the basement, gets drunk and when a black man comes to refill the oil tank and comes downstairs Archie thinks he's God and just before turning around says "This is it" and the look on his face when he thinks God is black is priceless, Archie then says "The Jeffersons were right"

Jeff R said...

MTM - Chuckles episode
WKRP - Thanksgiving episode
Newhart - final scene with Suzanne

BrettJ said...

Oddly, for me, it wasn't a comedy, it was an episode of "St. Elsewhere". Dr. Craig's wife Ellen (Bonnie Bartlett) has hired some domestic help. Their names - Boris and Natasha (I believe Natasha was played by Elke Sommer). The normally dour Dr. Craig in a later scene walks up to Natasha and says "Say Moose and Squirrel". She does a fairly close interpretation of the great June Foray's Natasha fatale, at which point Dr. Craig answers "I thought so" and walks away. I still smile when thinking about it.

Dan Ball said...

Also, I'll add the scene where Slim Pickens' "Holly" Wood escapes the U-boat by throwing his boots in the toilet to make his Japanese captors think he's passed the devoured Cracker Jacks compass they need to find Hollywood.

Markus said...

By far most things by Chaplin, Keaton, Laurel & Hardy. You know what's coming, but as the madness progresses, I keep laughing to the point of tears. Every time. So brilliant.

Of course Monty Python, but on a similar rail, "A Fish Called Wanda" - technically you should find funny stuff less funny the better you know it and the more often you see it, but that one is just so remarkably well written and well played by everyone. Gets me every time.

There's a somewhat little-known gem from Australia called "The Dish" (Sam Neil, Patrick Warburton, etc.), which in itself is a thing of beauty and somewhat sentimental, but interspersed with some wonderful deadpan comedy that just makes you crack up. Hard.

Jerry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RobEB said...

LOVE Laurel and Hardy, and I think I laugh hardest at the gag near the beginning of BEAU HUNKS where Ollie (propelled by a spring attached to his posterior) absolutely destroys an upright piano. Oh my God, it gets me EVERY TIME. I just laugh my ass off.

auragoneboy said...

"Chuckles Bites the Dust" MTM Show.

Bill Slankard said...

W.C. Fields from My Little Chickadee:

Cuthbert J. Twillie: I'm tending bar one time down in the lower East side in New York... a tough felona comes in there by the name of Chicago Molly. I cautioned her, "None of your peccadilloes in here." There was some hot lunch on the bar comprising of succotash, Philadelphia cream cheese and asparagus with mayonnaise. She dips her mitt down into this melange - I'm yawning at the time - and she hits me right in the mug with it. I jumps over the bar and I knocks her down.

Squawk Mulligan, bartender: [walks up] Where's the funnel?

Cuthbert J. Twillie: I don't know. It's up along there somewhere. You were there the night I knocked Chicago Molly down, weren't you?

Squawk Mulligan, bartender: YOU knocked her down? I was the one that knocked her down.

Cuthbert J. Twillie: [to the barfly] Oh, yeah, yes, that's right. He knocked her down. But I was the one started kicking her!

Squawk Mulligan, bartender: Here's the funnel.

Cuthbert J. Twillie: [to Squawk] Yeah, OK.

[to barfly]

Cuthbert J. Twillie: I starts kicking her in the midriff. D'ja ever kick a woman in the midriff that had a pair of corsets on?

Barfly drinking Panther: No, I just can't recall any such incident right now.

Cuthbert J. Twillie: Why I almost broke my great toe. I never had such a painful experience.

Barfly drinking Panther: Uh, did she ever come back again?

Squawk Mulligan, bartender: I'll say she came back! She came back a week later and beat the both of us up.

Cuthbert J. Twillie: Yeah. But she had another woman with her... an elderly lady with gray hair.

Anonymous said...

I second the motions on "Blazing Saddle's" eating beans around the campfire and Art Carney's addressing the golf ball with "Hellloo, ball."

I would add Cato attacking Inspector Clouseau in Clouseu's apt. as part of a training regimen. It just comes out of nowhere. Add the shock value of calling Cato "my little yellow friend."

"10" when the beloved old serving woman farts. The Great Dane runs off and you think it's just going to be a bad smell joke, the dog offended by the horrible stench. But the old lady's loving employer (and the dog owner) explains, "When Mrs. Kissell breaks wind, we beat the dog."

In Mel Brooks' "Silent Movie." Mel is explaining to the board of directors of the movie company how sexy his new discovery is and what a big star she'll be. They're sitting around a conference table when he unveils her picture and says, "Well, there is, boys. Whatta ya think?". They stare at the picture. Nothing happens for a few seconds, but then the table starts slowly rise. It took me awhile to realize their collective erections where pushing the table up.


Mark said...

My wife is not noted for a finely-tuned sense of humor, but when she saw the train sequence in Wallace & Gromit's "A Close Shave", she laughed so hard she fell off the couch.

I remember seeing, on one of the old cable stand-up shows, a Dennis Wolfberg routine about his wife giving birth that made me laugh as hard as I ever have.

Ross Brown said...

My biggest laugh was on The Bob Newhart Show. Bob had a patient who was a very angry black man who felt all white people discriminated against him. The man had a huge dog - a Great Dane. After the session with Bob, we follow the man and his dog into the elevator. Jerry the Dentist gets into the elevator as well. The black man turns to his dog and firmly shouts, "Sit, Whitey!" And the dentist instantly sits on the floor of the elevator. Not only hilarious, but a fantastic insight into how powerful white guilt is.

Anonymous said...

On "News Radio," I can't stand Andy Dick, but the"Dancing Matthews" bit had me crying from laughing so hard. And everything the greatly missed Phil Hartman did on that series.

Jack said...

Every time the Human Being mascot shows up on Community. It's so ridiculous yet part of me can see something similar being the mascot somewhere in order not to offend somebody.

Doug in Dallas said...

Woody Allen buying a pornographic magazine in "Bananas."

ScottyB said...

Anytime Mr. Carlin showed up on 'The Bob Newhart Show'.

The scene that always cracks me up is in 'WKRP in Cincinnati', when Herb is dressed in a carp costume, has to use a pay restroom, can't get to his pocket for change, and gets stuck crawling underneath the stall door.

Also, one of the first episodes of 'All In The Family':

Archie: Now that's where I got you, mister liberal, because there's a black guy who works down at the building with me, he's got a bumper sticker on his car that says 'Black is Beautiful', huh, so what's the matter with black beauties?

Edith: It's nicer than when he called them coons.

Jeff Maxwell said...

Earliest memory of really laughing at TV - Sid Caesar, Howard Morris and all the rest on "Your Show of Shows."
"Arsenic And Old Lace" - Cary Grant's total shock and bewilderment.
"The Carol Burnett Show" - Tim Conway & Harvey Korman with Tim as a clumsy dentist missing his patient's mouth and shooting up his own body with novocain.
Laughed out loud for a solid hour at Red Skelton live on stage in Reno, Nevada. The purest hour of laughs I've ever experienced.
Jennifer Tilly - Everything she said in "Bullets Over Broadway." She should have an Academy Award.
"Bullets Over Broadway" again - Dianne Wiest shoving her hand over John Cusack's mouth and saying, "Don't, don't speak."
"Frasier" - David Hyde Pierce trying to iron his pants.

Feels good just to write about this.

wackiland said...

The hardest I remember laughing was when I literally fell out of bed watching WKRP. Amazingly, I remember the laughter more than what actually made me laugh. It may have been the turkeys flying, but it was more likely something relating to one of my all time favorite characters - Dr. Johnny Fever.

Jack Leyhane said...

The final scene of the final episode of the Newhart series -- when Bob wakes up next to Suzanne Pleshette -- talk about a looooong set-up.... two whole, long-running sitcoms -- but that was the biggest laugh I think I ever had.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ken,

Oh man too many to chose. One that always sticks out in my mind is an episode of Three's Company where Jack & Chrissy are handcuffed together for some reason and Janet comes through the kitchen door. Chrissy is hiding under the table feeding Jack pieces of cake while both of them are wearing these long, yellow dishwashing gloves (hiding the handcuffs) The cake is all over his face & table. It's more of a visual joke than a written one but it makes me smile every time, --LL

CRL said...

Taxi when Jim gets a job as a door to door salesman. He is invited into a woman's hope to demonstrate his powerful vacuum cleaner. He proceeds to ruin the woman's carpet. When he finishes, he reaches into his case, pulls out an encyclopedia, turns to the woman and asks "Where do I plug this in?"

Victor Velasco said...

Saw this when I was about 12 or 13, have seen it just a couple of times since. An episode of "Dragnet" where numerous citizens stop by the precinct to tell Friday and Gannon, or really, anyone they see, about all the great work done by officer Gideon Dengel. First, a shop owner who says, 'you guys need more cops like him' older woman comes down to thank officer Dengel personally for saving her cat; a couple more people give testimony and finally a teenage couple turn themselves in - for violating curfew the night before!

Turns out there is no officer Dengel; just some guy who gets his kicks as a cop impersonator...Friday and Gannon have to find him, using citizens for leads WITHOUT saying too much as to why they need to find him, cause, after all, why should they have a problem with that, right?

At long last, Dengel is tracked down- to a fire of all places (now he's moved on to impersonating firefighters) Upon seeing the shields, he assumes these two are arson cops but, no, the jig is up for the Gannon begins to read him his rights, Dengel interrupts and says:

"That's OK, I used to be a cop"

Mike in Seattle said...

Not from something scripted, from real life. And from memory because I can't find a clip, so apologies if this isn't accurate. But I remember it well. In one of Chick Hearn's last years broadcasting Lakers games, they are on the road and Chick and Stu have their table at courtside. Coming back from halftime they do their intro, a hand held camera person on the court floor in front of them. Somebody walks between Chick and the camera. Without hesitation, Chick says, "And ladies and gentlemen, I'd just like to apologize for your having seen the world's biggest ass ever on television just now..." Poor Stu had to be picked up off the floor and so did I.

tb said...

The sex scene from 'Team America-World Police'. Meg Griffin on her abortion stance. Chris Farley living in a 'Van down by the river!' Dead parrot sketch. "Nice beaver!" from Naked Gun.
Too many really

Eric J said...

God, so many great comedy moments on this list. I youtubed the $99,000 Answer episode. It doesn't even rate a spot on this list. The Honeymooners is tedious now, it was tedious then. Art Carney was great, but Gleason's character...ugh.

Jeff M. said...

Long form: seeing AIRPLANE! at the age of 12 with my best friend and his mom. Even mom laughed herself sick.

Short form: the CAROL BURNETT SHOW sketch in which Lyle Waggoner is a POW being interrogated by Harvey Korman, then Tim Conway, with a Hitler hand puppet. "I've been working on the railroad....all the live long day!" Oh, man.

Greg Ehrbar said...

There are so many...

The intermission in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" I cannot hear that music and not laugh.

Every time someone mispronounces "Honoria".

The "Colon Blow" cereal commercial with Phil Hartman, Chevy Chases's Knock Knock jokes in the Uvula sketch and Candice Bergen's "We're not all as brainy as Fern, here" flub on SNL.

Sooooo many SCTV moments, but the one that stands out right now is the parody of Perry Como with Eugene Levy: "I like the night life, I want to Bogie..."

The Laurel and Hardy film "Saps at Sea" in which Stan leaves the gas on, lights the stove and, during the explosion, slowly rises vertically. Just so silly.

Isn't it interesting, though, that so many mention the WKRP "turkeys" scene? One of the all-time favorites from a still underappreciated series that rarely comes up in discussions or lists about great comedies.

Chris said...

One from the movies and one from TV.
Movies: the big chase scene in "What's Up Doc?" (with Streisand and O'Neal), especially when the big pane of glass shatters. I laughed so hard in the theater I actually hit my head on the seat in front of me and had a lump for a week.
TV: The Dick Van Dyke Show episode "Coast to Coast Big Mouth" when Alan Brady asks Laura what he should do with all of his now useless toupees and she replies that "There must be some needy bald people."

Anonymous said...

WKRP Turkey show and Rimmer's farewell on Red Dwarf

Chris said...

Movie: Midnight showing of The Aristocrats in a packed theater at the Seattle International Film Festival. Holy hell! I think everyone missed a good third of the movie because everyone was howling with laughter. I swear, my lungs hurt watching that film because the crowd made it better and funnier. "So there he is with *ROAR!!!!*"

TV: The outtake of a Mama's Family sketch featuring Tim Conway talking about the siamese twin elephants, joined at the trunks. It's on YouTube, you'll thank me.

Close second? A lot of episodes of the British news quiz "Mock The Week". Start with great comics with the ability to think on their feet and point them towards topical events. Watching them as they go from talking about a NATO summit to playing the harp with your genitals, enacted with great vigor. "Well, that's the NATO summit covered!" *dies*

KerryLM6 said...

Sgt. Bilko being the lawyer for a monkey.

estiv said...

Woody Allen's Love and Death: there's a scene where Napoleon is showing his double how to act like him, and for some reason they get into a fistfight. Hard to explain unless you've seen it. My friends told me later that the audience in the theater at first were laughing at the movie but eventually were laughing at the loon (me) who couldn't stop laughing.

David Das said...

Two Seinfeld ones. The obvious is the pinnacle of the Marine Biologist episode, which has already been noted in the comments and might be the apex of the entire series.

But the less obvious one, and the one that made me fall in love with Seinfeld in the first place, is the end of the Frogger episode. I didn't see it coming at all. "I've been waiting for this moment for my whole life..."

Brian said...

The Seinfeld where Kramer mails Jerry's broken stereo and Newman has a pictures of George without a shirt and another of a black (can I say black here?) guy from the photo store who thinks George is trying to hit on him. The scene where Jerry walk in and Newman has the two pictures blown up to almost life sized.

Mike Danner said...

One of the biggest laughs I've ever had came during the episode of Cheers where Cliff goes on Jeopardy. The punchline during the cold open is one of the classic moments in TV.

An old man comes in and starts talking to Woody about how he used to come into the bar all the time in the '60s, but then his job took him to Alaska and he hadn't been back to Boston in 20 years. Nothing in the bar looks the same. The stairs are different, the floor was made out of ugly green tile. Everything has changed.


Old man: I guess everything changes in 20 years. They even changed the paneling.
Woody: Where?
Old Man: Over there, behind Norm.

Hahahahaha. Makes me laugh even just typing it out.

Thanks for the blog, Ken! Going backwards through the archives has been my reading material for the past month or two. :)

Anonymous said...

Hello again Ken,

I'm cheating here with a second post, hope all the readers forgive me, but how can I forget "Space Balls"???

"I'm surrounded by assholes!", "I'm half man, half dog- I'm my own best friend.", "She gives good helmet", "Scotty beamed me twice last night. It was wonderful", "Why didn't someone tell me my ass was getting so big?!", "I have a virgin detector. I'm set to go off before you do.", "A Druish Princess.", "Jam his radar!"

Too many to quote- the movie just kills me every time, --LL

Liz W said...

One that immediately comes to mind is the Frasier episode "The Matchmaker," when Frasier invites Tom, a new co-worker, home for dinner to try and set him up with Daphne, but Tom is gay and thinks Frasier is too, and that they're on a date.

The whole scene at the apartment is fall over laughing funny.

Tom: You live with your dad? I can't even imagine that. Well, I mean it's great that you get along so well, but doesn't, um... having him here put a crimp in your love life?
Frasier: Oh, not at all. Except when I bring my dates home, he tries to steal them.

Jon B. said...

Reverend Jim taking his driver's test on Taxi. He cheats by whispering to his friends, "What does a yellow light mean?" The answer, of course, is "Slow down". Which causes him to repeat the question over and over, each time slower than before.

Still brings me to tears. I know others who think it is hilarious, too, but still others who think it is just plain stupid.

I apologize if I repeated someone else's answer.

Unknown said...

Several scenes from "The Pink Panther Strikes Again" are memorable. First, the scene in which Chief Inspector Dreyfus has been declared cured of his insanity, and in a few minutes, Inspector Clouseau drives him mad. Also, when Inspector Clouseau tries to cross the moat to get into the castle. In a different movie, when Chief Inspector Dreyfus has to conduct Inspector Clouseau's funeral euology.

Unknown said...

The previous comment should have been by KathrynALibrarian.

Steve Bailey said...

The first Preston Sturges movie I ever saw was THE PALM BEACH STORY. Like you and the "Honeymooners" ep, I don't want to spoil the ending for anyone. But when I saw it, it was the only time I ever found myself laughing through and after the closing credits. That movie is a gift from God.

Elrond said...

A Seinfeld episode, the one where they pitch the show to NBC. It's the subplot with Kramer and Newman. Kramer is on the witness stand, but he's forgetting the story they agreed to, where he wanted to be a banker when he grew up. Newman is asking leading questions, and Kramer is clueless. Wayne Knight is just terrific in that episode. "You were going to... you were going to... you were going to do something to yourself?!" while he acts out different ways to commit suicide.

scott said...

2 Simpsons episodes:

1)In the Citizen Kane episode, Smithers arranges to have Australia spell out "happy birthday" to Mr. Burns.

2) In the where the family sees the huge wooded plane Homer saying something like "it's about time pine trees did something instead just standing there like JERKS!"

Guaranteed laugh: The Graduate when Dustin Hoffman says to Elaine "Don't cry".

In Tit For Tat, Oliver Hardy says to Charlie Hall's wire "I've never been in a position like that before."

scott said...

Charlie Hall's wife, not wire.

Cedricstudio said...

Only once have I ever literally fallen out of my chair laughing. I was a in a theater with an old high school friend watching "Rat Race". I know it will never be considered a classic film, and maybe I was just in the right mood, but I laughed a lot during that movie. There's a scene where Jon Lovitz accidentally imitates Hitler at an event for WWII veterans. There's a long, ridiculous setup that already had me laughing hysterically so when the payoff hit there was nothing more my body could do except crumple out of my seat onto the floor.

TonyV said...

There is a scene from the TV series SOAP I remember seeing when I was about 11 or 12. Chuck and Bob, a ventriloquist and his dummy) show off their new Mind Reading trick. A clip is available on You Tube and I can still watch this scene and laugh until I cry at how Danny Cambell doesn't understand how the "trick" works.

Peter said...

It's hard to choose one, so I've gone with two, one visual, one verbal.

I remember laughing so hard my stomach hurt watching the April Fool's episode of The Simpsons in which Bart gets back at Homer's pranks by taking a beer can and putting it in a device that shakes it an insane amount so that it will spray in Homer's face when he opens it. When he does go to open it, Bart starts to say "April Fool's" just as the beer can explodes causing the entire house to blow up.

I laughed so hard I had to stop the video I'd recorded the episode on so I could compose myself. 

A close second is Frasier's reply to a boring caller:

"Roger, at Cornell University they have an incredible piece of scientific equipment known as the Tunneling Electron Microscope. Now, this microscope is so powerful that by firing electrons you can actually see images of the atom, the infinitesimally minute building blocks of our universe. Roger, if I were using that microscope right now, I still wouldn't be able to locate my interest in your problem."

McAlvie said...

Oh boy. this is a tough one. Just off the top of my head, the DVD 'switched baby' episode. Not a single word spoken and yet the very best punch line ever. EVER.

The In-Laws ... "Serpentine, Serpentine!" Gets me every time. The original was the best, but the remake wasn't too bad.

The Sunshine Boys ... hard to pick just one line.

DrBOP said...

Interesting that, with the exception of Rodney, not much in the way of stand-up favorites. Here's three:

Richard Pryor at some NYC hole-in-the-wall late 60s.....some black guy on stage and he's talking about LSD (NOT a standard stand-up subject)....talkin' about what would happen if somebody dosed Frankenstein with some Sunshine acid (WHO is this adult who's hip to the lingo?).....he goes into a physical routine, twisting his body around, making unbelievable contorted faces for about a full minute....and all of a sudden straightens up, clear-eyed ; and an a Texan accent says.....

" My fellow Amuricans...."

I swear a third of the audience hit the floor. (LBJ reference for 'da yoots.)

Robin Williams ENTIRE first show for HBO , live at LA Improv 1977.
Brought a tape of the show to a poker game as food break entertainment.....2 tables....watched some fairly serious dudes slobber ALL over themselves for an hour....people ROLLING on the floor. A moment of communal hilarity I'll never forget.

Sam Kinison SLAYing hecklers. ALWAYS a treat!

dgwphotography said...

I keep coming back - here's one more.

George Gobel, on the Tonight Show, after sitting next to Dean Martin and Bob Hope:

"Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a tuxedo, and you were a pair of brown shoes?"

Jim Pettinger said...

For me, it has to be the first time I saw "The Gods Must Be Crazy." In a movie with pretty much non-stop hilarious insanity, the gate sequence had both my friend and I almost falling out of our seats- and in actual pain from laughing so hard and so long.

Mark P. said...

Wings S2E1, The Puppet Master. Funniest half hour of TV I can remember.

Snoskred said...

In recent history, I found a lot of out takes from Seinfeld on youtube, some of which I had seen before but the majority I had not, and they were hilarious and awesome.

Previous to that, I created a bed earthquake laughing while reading So Anyway by John Cleese.

And before that, it would have to be Fawlty Towers. I love that show.. :)

LouOCNY said...

Blazing Saddles - "The Sheriff is a ni-BONG" "What'd he say?" "He said the Sheriff is near!" "No godamit damblamit - I said the Sheriff is a ni-BONG!"
The entirety of Maeline Kahn as Lily von Schtupp (the name ALONE..) or Korman as Lamarr...
The sudden cut from the fight at the fake Rock Ridge to the filming of "The French Mistake" - Buddy Bizarre indeed!
"The William J Lepetamaine Thruway?? What will that asshole thivie with FUNNY gags from stem to stern.

Newhart finale, especially: "Have you ever thought about wearing more sweaters, Emily?" The last freaking line of the series is a killer!

The whole second act of Barney Miller's "Hash" "Did you know you make a noise when you close your eyes? They go 'squish squish!' "Mushy....mushy....muuuushy!"

Fish: You sure those brownies had hashish in them?
Barney: Verified by the lab....
Fish: It I've felt on twenty years (sigh) and it has to be illegal!

And related - on That 70's Show, Red and the other parents accidentally eat Kelso's 'special' brownies, and they then cut to the the basement..using the same pan around that they use when the kids are smoking.."I jumped out of a cake once!"

Mike Moody said...

I don't know why it got to me so much, but on Everybody Loves Raymond when Marie walks in on Robert and Amy's first time, I laughed so hard I felt faint. Especially when Amy comes up in Robert's pants. I was dying.

The Bumble Bee Pendant said...

estiv said...
Woody Allen's Love and Death: there's a scene where Napoleon is showing his double how to act like him, and for some reason they get into a fistfight. Hard to explain unless you've seen it. My friends told me later that the audience in the theater at first were laughing at the movie but eventually were laughing at the loon (me) who couldn't stop laughing.

ESTIV, Love and Death is among my top 5 favorite funniest films (Airplane!, Arthur, Blazing Saddles, Tommy Boy)

Jake said...

RAYMOND: Patricia Heaton and turkey, Robert's mother-in-law (Georgia Engel) is revealed as a smoker.

MASH: Klinger, pretending to be a civilian, blows the discharge by answering "Corporal" when Potter asks him for his rank.

Frank: The pen's used to the way I write.
Hawkeye: It's used to stupid?

CHEERS: Thanksgiving food fight

3'S COMPANY: Larry attempts to seduce an elderly woman the girls mistakenly think is going to marry Jack

TAXI: Alex dancing in the gay bar, Louie destroying a high-school reunion, John meets the humorless father (Dolph Sweet) of a girl he impulsively married.

COSBY: the Monopoly scene, Clair tries to explain a foreign film to Cliff

WKRP: Mr. Carlson dueling with a window blind and a stuck desk drawer, which flies out the window, Sam Anderson as an immigration officer, anything said by Hirsch ("Mardi Gras, Madam") and the last scene of the show when a badly hung-over Andy ends up with a lap full of cake.

ALL IN THE FAMILY: Edith helps Archie prepare for night school by pasting his crib notes on a board, Archie explains to Mike why your bed covers need a flap, a sequence when Archie tries to call Information to retrieve his stolen watch from the jewelers.

MTM: Sue Ann and cake, Mary's party when Rhoda brings an extra guest (Henry Winkler) who has to sit by the window because there aren't enough seats at the table.

404 said...

Two more: the scene in SO I MARRIED AN AXE MURDERER with the wedding, where the father is singing Rod Stewart, and then the piper passes out.

and the bit in OFFICE SPACE where they kill the fax machine.

LouOCNY said...

There is a scene from the TV series SOAP I remember seeing when I was about 11 or 12. Chuck and Bob, a ventriloquist and his dummy) show off their new Mind Reading trick. A clip is available on You Tube and I can still watch this scene and laugh until I cry at how Danny Cambell doesn't understand how the "trick" works.

Just watched this - OMG!!

DBenson said...

Biggest non-ironic laugh I can remember was during a UCSC showing of Chuck Jones cartoons in conjunction with his appearance before a class. It was in "Feed the Kitty", where a bulldog adopts a tiny kitten and struggles to conceal it from his housewife owner.

At one point the bulldog mistakenly thinks his kitten was in the dough the housewife is using to make cookies. Banished to the yard, he looks in the window and watches the process in horror. Then, finally, the housewife lets him back in and we see the bulldog motionless, wearing a face of hilariously abject misery. The housewife cheerfully offers a kitten-shaped cookie. The bulldog's lower lip trembles. That was the biggest laugh of the evening.

Since this is for a single laugh, I'll leave for another day a theatrical showing of Harold Lloyd's "Safety Last." On video it's a funny film, but on a big screen with a full house the building-climbing finale had people literally screaming.

RyderDA said...

1) Almost anything from "AIRPLANE!" -- I want every light you've got poured on that runway" and a dump truck pours lamps on the runway. "Don't call me Shirly". Whipping sunglasses off to reveal... sunglasses. Endless.

2) SNL: Dan Akroyd and the Bassomatic. Or doing Julia Child bleeding on a chicken.

3) SNL: Just a one liner. A debate featuring Will Ferrell as George W. Bush. Moderator asks candidates to sum up their platform in one word. Ferrell looks at the camera, does the Bush scowl, and says: "Strategery"

4) Monty Python: "My hovercraft is full of eels."

Gary West said...

"Second City TV" - A take-off of watching old movies on TV - with edits due to film breakage.

John Candy & Co. doing a skit which was supposed to be an old movie with so-called "edits" (supposedly due to old film) - the scene would be set up saying one line then (edit) and finish with a a completely different line that sent the whole meaning in another direction. Dust and all - it was totally hilarious.

Unknown said...

What does a yellow light mean?

Gene F. said...

In the Dick Van Dyke episode where Rob gets annoyed with Laura for opening his mail, she promises not to, and the next day a package arrives. She can't help herself, opens it, and it's a self-inflating raft that fills the living room.

Also, the 'keed' insults in "So I Married an Axe Murderer."

Gary said...

In Airplane, the scene when the automatic pilot (Otto) begins to deflate, and has to be reinflated by the stewardess. . .

And on Cheers, someone at the bar (probably Cliff or Diane) is talking about the origin of the necktie, explaining its original purpose was to give men something to wipe their mouths with. Coach replies "You mean they're thinking of changing that?"

Cheers bonus: Sam and Diane are throwing a Christmas party in a very warm house, with Sam dressed as Santa Claus. Sam is ready to quit, but Diane says "You can't, we haven't roasted the chestnuts yet." Sam lifts his jacket and says "Guess again."

And whenever Ralph loses his temper with Norton, I still laugh like a fool.

Bob Smith said...

Great time reading the comments and remembering all the laughs. One that I recall absolutely falling out of my chair laughing was from the first season of the John Larroquette Show. Haven't seen it in years and can't find it on youtube but I believe one of the regulars came into the bus station and announced his home had just been robbed. He was asked what was taken and his response was:
Everything. They got everything. They only thing left is my crucifix, and they would have got that too if it wasn't nailed down!

Gene F. said...

OOh, Larroquette. Bobcat Goldthwait is pulling on the door to Larroquette's office, and he is unable to open it. From the counter Liz Torres yells "It's a push!" As Bobcat is leaving the office he pushes on the door to no avail. Liz, from outside the office (unseen, as I remember it), yells "NOW it's a pull."

Klee said...

Cheers: Diane's best friend (Markie Post), Diane pretend to call cops when Sam broke into her apartment, Diane's jumping from the boat.
MTM: Chuckles and Sue-Anne's sister.
Munsters: Herman has insomnia and goes to the park alone at night.
Jeannie: Amanda decides to redecorate Major Nelson's house for the wedding. Jeannie decides to find a mate for Major Riley, Mrs. Sadelko and everyone shares love potion. Major Nelson is paired with General's niece and she gets unconscious.
Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Doll's Head and so many wonderful and funny ones. I love the one when he becomes friends with Ted Danson's wife and he drinks her mothers drink by mistake. Also, when he meets the "gay" kid.
Lucy's Hollywood Movie, she gets shot as a Showgirl.
Lots of George and Jerry's pet peeves. Man Hands, for example.

Phil said...

Two immediately come to mind:

- the end of the Only Fools and Horses episode "A Touch of Glass" with the falling chandelier - first time I saw it I couldn't stop laughing
- the nude fight scene in Borat, especially the bit in the lift - I've never seen an entire cinema laughing so much

Anonymous said...

Plane trains and automobiles, trying to get a rental car,
Also going the wrong way between 2 semi and Steve Martin looks
Over and John Candy is the Devil.
Cartoon, Daffy Duck as Robin Hood, yikes and away, wham into a tree.

Craig said...

Hey Look! It's Enrico Pallazzo!

Craig Russell said...

From the Simpsons: Lisa becomes a vegetarian. She and her classmates in school watch an "educational" film starring Troy McClure, the great, late Phil Hartman. He explains to little Timmy about the "food chain"...

"Just ask this scientitian"
(Doctor looking guy in a lab coat) "uhhh"
McClure: "He'll tell you, In nature one creature invariably eats another to survive"
Cut to film of a Lion chasing a deer...
an eagle grabbing a sheep out of a field
Santa's Little Helper catching a frisbee...

and then...

A shark coming up out of a river and grabbing a gorilla out of a tree....


I cried laughing at that so much..the most preposterous thing I ever saw...

Written by the great David X. Cohen

crackblind said...

Gotta say I have seen and love a lot of these. Mines a bit obscure but got me to totally lose it twice, nearly thirty years apart, for two very different reasons.

Sometime in the late seventies or early eighties, it might have been on the game show Make Me Laugh or some other comedy show, this guy says he's going to test gravity by dropping two pillows and seeing if they fall at the same rate. He lets them go and one falls while the other one flies straight up - it was the first time I (& pretty much everyone in the audience) had seen a silver Mylar balloon (obviously filled with helium). Something about his delivery, timing, and the straight up surprise hit me. I was laughing for five minutes and the worst part is it doesn't translate at all when trying to describe it (I was a preteen then and in my forties now and I still can't fully get across how funny it was).

Flash forward to the days of the Internet when something inspires me to search for it online. Somehow I find it (which I've never been able to again) and discover that the comedian is Joel Hodgson from Mystery Science Theater 3000. I freaking love MST3K. I've always felt was one of the funniest things ever on TV and am always frustrated when I get a blank look from people who haven't seen it when I describe it to them. The fact that a one off, obscure bit I saw as a kid and never forgot how much it made me laugh was done by someone I quite incidentally became a huge fan of ten years later just cracked me up to no end.

iain said...

"The Boat" & Buster Keaton's priceless expression as he launches his boat into & under the water.

Pumpkinhead said...

Largely forgotten now, but an early episode of Perfect Strangers when they first met the girls, and they worked out too hard at the gym, woke up in pain and tried to hide it from the girls. Just one long 15 minute laugh.

RobW said...

1. MTM - 'Ted Baxter's Famous Broadcaster's School' as the entire newsroom attempt to teach a class to the one student who has enrolled in the course.
2. Mr. Creosote in 'Monty Python's The Meaning of Life'.
3. Home Alone, which I saw at pre-release screening on a Saturday morning with 500 kids and their families. To this day I have never heard an audience laugh so loudly and for so long. A perfect example of how laughter is infectious.
4. Rebecca Howe, lying on the floor of the office in the Cheers finale sniffling "After losing the only man I ever loved, lunch should hit the spot' delivered to comic perfection.

Guy Kipp said...

1) "What does a yellow light mean?" - from TAXI episode "Reverend Jim's Space Odyssey"

2) A punchline Archie Bunker utters to Irene Lorenzo about her husband's masculinity in the ALL IN THE FAMILY episode "We're Having a Heat Wave" that would never pass muster on network TV in these sensitive 21st century times.

3) The Step Brothers scene in SOAP Season 3 when four of the show's regulars disguised in blackface infiltrate the compound of a religious cult to rescue Billy, are caught and improvise a dance routine (this also probably would never make it to air in 2015).

gottacook said...

RobW: Yes, the school song! "We have no gym and we have no pool..."

Another song heard only partially, but which makes me laugh every time: Sharon Stone's song after the burning of Atlanta in Irreconcilable Differences (the portion we hear before Ryan O'Neal yells "Cut!" ends with "Atlanta, I'm gonna find myself a brand new Santa...") Lyrics by Jerry Belson.

Reading this list reminded me of my favorite SCTV bit: Rick Moranis as Mel Tormé, doing "The Star-Spangled Banner" as a station sign-off. Brilliant and unaccompanied. "Oh say can you se-be-de-be-de-be-de-be-dee, by the dawn's early / Pardon me boy, is that the Chattanooga choo-choo..." etc.

Mike Schryver said...

Mike in Seattle's Chick Hearn story reminded me of another real-life one I've probably mentioned before.
The Mets were playing the Braves some years ago on a Sunday and Ralph Kiner did a few innings on the Mets broadcast, as he would do in his final years. The crowd chanted "La-rry, La-rry" when Chipper Jones came to bat, and Gary Cohen dutifully explained that Chipper Jones didn't like being called by his real name. Kiner, who hadn't been saying much, finally piped in with "You'd think he wouldn't want to be called Chipper."
I totally lost it.

Buttermilk Sky said...

I can't really laugh at the Marx Brothers any more because I know every line and the surprise is gone. But the mirror scene in DUCK SOUP gets me every time. Great physical comedy doesn't age, hence all the citations of the ironing scene from FRASIER.

If we're talking albums, Lenny Bruce's "Comic at the Palladium" still makes me pass liquid through my nose. There is no higher praise than a noser.

VP81955 said...

I feel really late to the party after 165 comments or so. Sorry.

People have brought up many classics, but I'm surprised this isn't one of them: William Powell, trying to pass himself off as an expert fisherman in the 1936 "Libeled Lady" in order to impress both Myrna Loy and her wealthy father (the great character actor Walter Connolly). Bill, upstream from the other two, is reading from a fishing book for pointers, but some problems occur, he ends up in the water and frustrated, then sits on a log, his fishing rod over his shoulder.

A fish bites on it and knocks Powell into the water; he battles for it, and it turns out to be a huge walleye that Connolly's been trying to catch for years. Powell doesn't get the credit he deserves for his skill at physical comedy (he does another memorable bit with a stuck elevator in 1941's "Love Crazy").

The scene from the vastly underrated "Libeled Lady," which not only stars Powell and Loy but Jean Harlow and Spencer Tracy (all four are brilliant) is at (If it looks familiar, it's because Howard Hawks paid homage to it in 1964's "Man's Favorite Sport?")

Anonymous said...

In 1966 I was 11 years old and watching "A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum" at our local theatre. When Pseudolus (Zero Mostel) shot an olive, like shooting marbles, into the healthy cleavage of a very well endowed maiden, I lost it. I had the giggles for the rest of the movie. As a girl I had seen well endowed women before. My family is loaded with them, lol. But I guess it was the olive that did it for me.

Pam, St. Louis

Al said...

This one made me laugh mostly because I had missed it most of my life. I was watching one of those Bugs Bunny Cartoons where he races the tortoise. (I believe it was Tortoise Wins by a Hare, but I don't have access here at work).

The scene is the two race up to a bridge, and Bugs Bunny swims across rather than use the bridge. I didn't pay it much attention as a kid, but as an adult, I was watching it one day and realized it was a toll bridge, and Bugs swam it to avoid paying the toll.

I must have laughed myself silly for an hour.

VP81955 said...

Pam, I'm guessing that character was Gymnasia, who in "Forum" traditionally is played by an attractive tall or well-endowed woman. I once had a friend of mine who was 6-foot-6, and she told she played that role in amateur theater in Washington state.

Charles H. Bryan said...

When I was a kid in the 60s my te years older brother was dating a girl who worked at an A&W. He must have been watching me for the evening, so he dragged me along as he went to see her at work. We sat in the car and ate a bunch of chili dogs, which came wrapped in waxed tissue paper. When we were done, he looked at the collected wrappers and said to me "It looks like a used toilet paper convention in here." Little six year old me couldn't stop laughing and repeating it. Eventually, as only a big brother could, he said "It's not that funny."

Still makes me smile.

Dan Wolfe said...

I recall seeing Foster Brooks's appearances on the Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts when I was a kid. He was one of the funniest things in my memory. Absolutely side splitting!

Anonymous said...

As an adult, probably Richard Simmons on Whose Line Is It Anyway. Could not breathe.

Pam, St. Louis

Charles H. Bryan said...

"Ten years older", that should be.

Also, from one of Letterman's early Top Ten Lists - "Least Popular Kinds of Campbell's Soup" - Chicken Hitler.

And from early Letterman, Larry Bud Mel man greeting people at the Port Authority. "Would you care for a hot towel?"

H Johnson said...

Watching Animal House with a packed house at the Varsity Theater in Manoa when it was released. I was actually on one knee in the aisle trying to catch my breath. We had never seen anything like it.

The 'Wings" episode where they take the old man to Las Cruces. Whole episode was hilarious.

The scene in Mad Mad Mad World where Dick Shawn is driving and crying on the way to save his mother Ethel Merman... "I'm coming Mama!!!"

In the movie "No Time For Sergeants" when the Sergeant gets drunk and fights the Marines then gets tangled up in Andy Griffith's toilet salute in the barracks bathroom.

The scene in "Bananas" where the rebels learn how to treat a snakebite and then a topless woman runs through the camp holding her breast screaming a snake bit her. Hilarity ensues.

In "I Love You to Death" when Kevin Kline is in the hospital bed getting hit in the head by his disapproving mother"


Joseph Scarbrough said...

@David Das, that's the first thing I ever saw from SEINFELD and it too had me sold, lol!

VincentS said...

One of my great (guilty) pleasures growing up was THE LOVE BOAT. There was one episode where Fernando Lamas and Michelle Lee came onboard as a Lizzie and Dick-type Hollywood couple with Lee wearing a priceless diamond around her neck. Subsequently, jewel thieves played by Harold Gould, Karen Valentine, Larry Storch, and John Schuck come aboard to try and steal the diamond. After their first two elaborate attempt to steal the diamond fail, Gould, Valentine, and Storch are seen sitting at a table, totally dejected. Then John Shcuck - playing a half-wit musclehead - comes up hiding something behind his back. He sits down and tells them he saw Michelle Lee asleep getting some sun and he got something from her. The three look at John Shuck with great hope thinking he's got the diamond. The moment is perfectly built up, then John Schuck reveals what he's been hiding - a POLAROID snap shot of her with the diamond still on her neck! As the three look at him in shock, the clueless Schuck adds insult to injury by passionately saying of the diamond, "I could have reached out and GRABBED IT!" Then Larry Storch very dryly and very sincerely says, "Let's drown him." The way Larry Storch delivered that line had me howling!

Doug said...

Thanksgiving 1979. Doc is sitting in for Ed on the Tonight Show. He and Johnny spontaneously discuss their plans when Johnny realizes he should invite Doc over for Thanksgiving. Doc's ultimate response is perfect. Eight minutes of unscripted comedy gold. Literally fell on the floor laughing.

Unknown said...

The Simpsons when homer goes to space. Monty Python and the Holy Grail Black Knight fight.

Andy Rose said...

On "30 Rock," there's a flashback to when Liz Lemon and Jenna Maroney are in their pre-fame days, doing improv at a corporate event. They are supposed to do a two-hander where they play characters suggested by the audience. The suggestions were "Sling Blade" and Oprah.

Liz makes guttural noises and grunts, "I sure do like these french-fried potaters."
Jenna smiles, looks at the audience, and says in her normal voice, "No you don't, Oprah!"

The absurdity made me laugh out loud immediately, but there were about five jokes wrapped up in that one punchline, and as each one dawned on me, I started laughing again.

Anonymous said...

in the movie The Full Monty, when the guys are in line at the unemployment office and their "song" comes on the overhead music system, and they all start moving to the music. not a line, but great visual comedy. i laugh out loud every time I watch that movie

mhowell said...

One of my favorites in the last decade came this Summer. King Bob's speech in Minions just killed me. The rest of the movie is hit-and-miss but this speech alone is worth the price of the DVD.

Craig Gustafson said...

A lot of people have mentioned "Taxi"'s "What does a yellow light mean?" but NOBODY has come up with "This is Your Story" from "Your Show of Shows"?! Sid Caesar, Howard Morris, Carl Reiner & Louis Nye. "UNCLE GOOPY!!!!"

trail of bread said...

Fawlty Towers: Hourmet Night. "I'm going to give you a damn good thrashing"

Jon said...

I've enjoyed all the moments that others have posted here. I have a few of my own that, while maybe not the funniest things I've ever seen, are certainly memorable and in some cases fall-on-the-floor funny:

The culmination of the quick scenes of Seinfeld's "The Gymnast" last full act, starting with Kramer passing his stone at the circus, then George walking out of the bathroom shirtless at his girlfriend's mother's party, then ending with Mr. Pitt covered in ink and looking like Hitler at a board meeting.

I've never seen "Meet the Parents", but I laughed hysterically and still laugh when on YouTube I saw the scene where Grandma's ashes are knocked off the mantle and the cat (Mr. Jinx?) mistakes the ashes on the floor for something else.

There's an MTM Show episode from late in the series where Mary & Murray both become co-producers of the news, and while I don't recall seeing this episode, there's a clip on YouTube of a screw-up of theirs where the text & video of clips of Sue Ann Nivens dining out & some pigs being slopped are mixed up. I literally fell on the floor laughing when I first saw it. It was such a mess even Ted noticed it!

Roger R. said...

John Candy as Uncle Buck: "Have you got a plunger?"

Albert Brooks in "Mother" disgusted after tasting some cheap freezer-burned sherbet: "Mother - this tastes like an orange foot!"

Lou Jacobi in "My Favorite Year": "Jolson's coming?"

Pat Reeder said...

There are a lot of these that are common vernacular around our house ("I'll alert the media;" "As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly," "I saw it in the window and just had to have it;" "Moo-goo-gai-pan!" etc.) I'll try to add a few that haven't been mentioned yet that put me on the floor and are quoted regularly in our house:

Monty Python: In the dead parrot sketch, "He's rung down the curtain and joined the choir invisibyool!" In "Holy Grail," "It's just a flesh wound" and the segments on swallows carrying coconuts and taunting Frenchmen. And in "Life of Brian," "Think for yourselves!" "Yes! We must think for ourselves!" (We write jokes about the news, so that's quoted a lot around our house).

SCTV: Too many to list, but I crack up just thinking about John Candy as the guy with the snake tattoo, doing a commercial for his sex shop. His cheerful tag: "That's me, the guy with the snake on his face! When you think of sex, think of me!"

In "Helpmates," Ollie shows Stan a photo of his wife, a big bruiser of a woman in a wedding gown, scowling at the camera. Stanley's derby flies straight up into the air with a slide whistle sound. He says, "Isn't she sweet?"

Also at the end, where Ollie returns to his house that Stan was cleaning up, to find Stan using a garden hose to put out the smouldering ashes that are all that remain. Stan says, "Well...I guess I've done all I can do." Ollie: "Yes, I guess you have." We quote this a lot when talking about various politicians' ideas to "improve" things.

Andy Kaufman on "SNL," standing nervously by a record player for two minutes on live TV, then suddenly miming, "Here I come to save the daaaay!" Then back to just standing there. He was like a human Michigan J. Frog, a cartoon that also slayed me as a kid.

When I was a comedy-loving kid of about 10, I discovered the Marx Brothers when local TV showed "Monkey Business." It was a revelation. No romance or plot to get in the way, just the pure, uncut heroin of comedy. "Duck Soup" is still my favorite movie. Too many hilarious lines to recount, but one puts me on the floor every time. Harpo is burglarizing Mrs. Rittenhouse's (Margaret Dumont) mansion, but as he turns the safe knob, it starts blaring a march tune like a radio. Upstairs, Mrs. Rittenhouse says, "What's that noise?!" Groucho: "Sounds like mice." "Mice don't play music!" "Oh no? What about the Old Mice-stro?"

The closest I've found to that Marxian style of undiluted hilarity was "Airplane," "Police Squad" and "The Naked Gun." Again, too many great lines to list, but a few favorites include "Over, Under, Roger...", "There's a sale at Penney's!", "No sax before a fight!," "Is this some kind of a bust?," "It was one of those all-night wicker places that had been popping up on the west side," and the ballistics test using a stack of tapes of Barbara Walters interviews ("Complete destruction, right up to the point where she asks Katherine Hepburn what kind of tree she'd like to be.")

Peter said...

One more:

Trading Places. One bit in particular which is very brief but it makes me laugh every single time despite having seen the movie more than 30 times. Dan Aykroyd's character is told by police to get undressed for a strip search. He argues and they keep asking him and he keeps arguing until the black cop stands up and says "Strip, you little shit, before I tear you a new asshole." A simple line but delivered so brilliantly by the actor, it kills me every time

Cap'n Bob said...

About ten people cited the Taxi scene when Rev. Jim is taking the test, but no one quoted it correctly. It's what does a FLASHING yellow light mean? And I agree it's a hilarious scene.

The Seinfeld I've chosen is where Mel Torme sings to Kramer thinking Kramer is mentally deficient.

But overall, I'd pick every Three Stooges film with Curly. I first saw them when I was 11 and I still crack up 57 years later.

Up2Late said...

Les reported the event from the shopping center, but back at the station Mr. Carleson has the "...God as my witness" line...

John R said...

Basil Fawlty (john Cleese) - "a damn good thrashing" from "Gourmet Night" (S1 E5)

Watched this when it originally aired on the Beeb in 1975. I then saw it as part of a filmed celebration of the BAFTAs presented at a cinema in Minneapolis, around 1980. It was fabulous on the big screen.

Each episode of Fawlty Towers got better and better. "The Germans" was next and had a similarly funny scene that has been mentioned above.

Cleese is perhaps the epitome of British comedy from the sixties on, from his work on TW3 and, of course, Monty Python.

brian t said...

Probably my biggest laughs in recent years come from my favourite sitcom character in recent years: Dr. Beverly Hofstader, Leonard's mother, in The Big Bang Theory. In case you wonder why Leonard's as messed-up as he is, she's the explanation. The first time we meet her, she's staring at the "elevator out of order" sign in their apartment building, and when Penny kindly explains what it means, Beverly replies with something like "I'm pondering the implications".

For all-time laughs, I would have to go with something from the UK, such as David Jason's bar counter mishap in Only Fools and Horses.

Johnny Walker said...

I remember laughing so hard at the opening credits of MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL when I was about 13. It just blew my mind that anyone could be so clever and irreverent at the same time.

The biggest laugh that leaps to mind is when I was about 8 and watching BLAZING SADDLES. Growing up being aware of BONANZA and other such cowboy TV shows, they were always eating beans out of tin cans, and the scene that explored the inevitable consequence of such a diet set my brain alight. Why had I not thought about that before? Tears and aching sides.

As I got older the biggest laughs I probably had were getting stoned with friends. I loved BILL HICKS, but I don't remember aching sides (although I probably had them).

As an adult, it's harder to think of something. I saw the comedian PAUL FOOT here in London a few years ago and that was probably the biggest laugh I've had in years, but nothing quite matches the delight you had on your first really huge laugh. Thanks Mel Brooks!

Loosehead said...

1. Fawlty Towers, when John Cleese opens the silver server to serve the duck, to find...a pudding. The big laugh, for me, comes when he puts his hands into the pudding and pulls it apart, looking for the duck.
2. Niles hiding in the kitchen, parrot on his head, teacloth on the parrot, squealing as the parrot clenches its claws. My wife had to go change everything below the waist after that one.

Barry Traylor said...

What comes to mind is the very first time I saw a Roadrunner cartoon in a movie theater. Although given a bit more time I could come up with something else. Whoops, I just did. The turkey non-flying episode of WKRP in Cincinnati.

brian t said...

My biggest one-word laugh was from the very first episode of Frasier: "eclectic".

PS: your "Captcha" system doesn't appear to be working. In my last post I forgot to check the "I'm not a Robot" box, but it still posted, and if this is posted, it happened again.

Jim said...

Sad to say, what gives me the biggest laughs nowadays is some of the jaw dropping political incorrectness in Hollywood films from the Thirties. I'd swear that when I saw Tarzan a couple of years ago Jane says the line "You can't shoot him, Daddy, he's White."

Or in Eddie Cantor's Palmy Days, between a couple of great Busby Berkeley sequences, an immaculately dressed young man wants to buy a cake from Betty Grable.

"A five dollar one, a Birthday cake. Make it chocolate. All chocolate. I love chocolate."

"Would you like a little rose on top?"

"No, make it a pansy."

At which point he bites his lips, flares his eyes and walks off.

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