(Originally published on Yahoo! Voices on January 25, 2011. Links in this article were extracted then)
In this article, I list what I think are the four funniest videos now available on youtube.com. This is intelligent humor- meaning that it is funny while still being relatively dignified. Much of the comedy has to do with the words that are said. There is no slapstick or bodily functions to be found in these videos, only good, clean fun. And each skit just improves with repeated viewing! Each description includes who posted it, whatever description the poster put with it, and a brief idea of what to expect when you click the accompanying link. They are listed in order. Get some tissues to wipe your eyes, sit back, and laugh until you can't breathe! The object here is enjoyment- and remember, laughter has in fact been scientifically proven to be the best medicine.
1. Jedimaster0096 shares with us the funniest sketch. From the second season of "A Bit Of Fry and Laurie", this is Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie discussing "Beauty and Ideas". This sketch proves beyond all doubt that these two actors are comedic geniuses. The discussion itself centers around an actual philosophy and this sketch has been used in college classes for perusal and dissection on this and similar theories. What other sketch can boast of that? Fry leads the discussion with an overwhelmed Laurie struggling to keep up. Fry continually changes Laurie's name throughout- even calling him 'lovelet' at one point- and exhausts himself with passion for his subject. There are times when you can see both of them struggling not to laugh. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RQzRhH67Q0
2. Albanbytyci gives us Victor Borge's "Phonetic Punctuation". Just what show this sketch came from is not listed. But this hilarious jewel is just what it says: what if we spoke punctuation as well as words? After demonstrating the sounds of various punctuation marks, Borge reads a short story with these sounds. If you do not fall out of your seat, I'll be very surprised! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lF4qii8S3gw
3. Johal91a has posted another Victor Borge moment. This one is Borge's "Inflationary Language" where he inflates the numbers that naturally occur in the English language with one number higher. Thus, as Johal91a points out, anyone becomes anytwo, etc. Again, he reads a short story to demonstrate this language. Imagine the practice that had to go into this sketch before he could perform it! Again, you're certain to fall out of your seat! My favorite line: "Get out of here, you three-faced triple crosser!" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YY6kElOYcd8&NR=1
4. BBC gives us the longest sketch in this article. At the time, David Tennant and Catherine Tate were co-stars on "Dr. Who" and here Tennant is Tate's new English teacher for "Comic Relief" in 2007. First she jibes him for being Scottish, brilliantly throws out some "Dr. Who" references, and finally lampoons Shakespeare in a fashion that will have you crying in merriment in short order. Perhaps the best bit is at the end where Tate quotes the entirety of "Sonnet 130" as if her mouth were a machine gun designed to slap Tennant hard in the face. You've never heard the Great Bard like this before and likely won't again any time soon! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxB1gB6K-2A
5. BrokerTim uploaded this brilliant video of his "dad at Comedy Barn" in Tennessee. This is for those of you who feel the need for less intellectual comedy at this point. This video became so popular that a ringtone was derived from it and a website was launched at http://thelaughman.com. I could watch this all day and I'll still laugh! Poor guy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4Y4keqTV6w