There is something about Musical Comedy which enables it to shove social commentary, satire, ridiculousness, and pure joy into a concentrated dose of hilarious wonderment. Musical Comedy is a crazy man jumping around and wiggling his butt at people while singing a perfectly crafted song about loving a panther at the zoo named Phil. It is that warm feeling of absolute glee in your chest fully realized. It is intelligent, silly, sometimes a bit mournful, and has the dirtiest mind ever encountered. It is that which fuels a need to dance in a pink tutu, unselfconscious and completely free in the moment.
There are different types and degrees of Musical Comedy, each with their own tutu worthiness. Those done on television tend to be featured in a clip on a sketch show. Movies can have some scattered numbers, or keep it going the entire run-time. Some songs from a Musical Comedy entry are not very funny seen separate from the whole. Others are just as perfect without any added context as they are originally. As the number of Musical Comedy movies has dwindled down to a depressing lack of releases, the genre has grown more and more on television. This relieves me greatly, for this is a genre that is so obviously the best one.
To start us out on this curated journey, here is Neil Patrick Harris, Anna Kendrick, and Jack Black in the Oscars opening number written by Frozen songwriters Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez. It is an example of the craftsmanship that goes into making a number work on stage, and is a moving and funny tribute to movies. Full on tear-stained tutus for this!
Now let us venture into the land of television and movies, full of musically talented comedians and the overflowing vaults of Saturday Night Live. ‘Tis a rich land that hopefully shall become ever expanding until encompassing as much programming as possible while maintaining a quality standard.
Saturday Night Live:
This. Is. The. Best. So, for the 40th anniversary special of SNL Bill Murray brought back his Frank Ocean character to sing a love song from Jaws. Yes, that’s right. Love song. Jaws. Bill Murray. Winner of all and everything!
Dongs all Over the World
Anna Kendrick, please become a regular SNL host. This “nasty girl” satire song brought it hard.
What Does My Girl Say?
Kerry Washington is a host who fit so well into the skits that she felt like another cast member. I adore seeing this side of her talent after becoming so famous for the drama Scandal.
Garfunkel and Oates:
Weed Card ( Web Version )
The lovely and talented Garfunkel and Oates sing about the process of getting a weed prescription, and all of the wondrous benefits that pot can bring.
Fade Away ( Web Version )
There are surely mature ways to break up with someone, but all of those are still embarrassing and horrible. Let’s just ignore these soon to be exes until they fade away!
29/31 (Web Version )
Riki and Kate play the same woman at the ages of 29 and 31, and it is glorious. Sing the truth ladies, you kill me with your pointed melodies:)
Key & Peele:
Just Stay for the Night
Key and Peele felt ( like many other people ) that the song “Baby it’s Cold Outside” can sound a bit rapey. In reaction to this realization, they made a parody song and sang it beautifully. Such style, class, and sense of justice.
This is the ultimate in Les Miserables parody done with obvious love of the source material. Love these guys!
Wendell just wanted to make a fantasy themed music video, but a realistic budget keeps getting in the way.
The Muppet Movie – Man or Muppet
Jason Segel’s Muppet Movie is one of the best musical comedy movies in years. It was freaking beautiful, bright, and real. Gorgeously done, Jason.
Into the Woods – Agony
Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods finally gets the feature treatment, and Chris Pine goes full-on Shatner in this piece!
Life of Brian – Bright Side of Life
Oh, nothing, just Eric Idle singing a happy tune on a crucifix. Life of Brian is the best Monty Python movie, although Holy Grail was the most laugh-out-loud funny. If that makes sense?
South Park Bigger Longer and Uncut – La Resistance
This song from the South Park movie feels so Les Mis that I am obsessed with it!
Forgetting Sarah Marshall – A Taste For Love
Jason Segel is a man who works quite well with puppets. This number added even more awesome to one of the most refreshing romantic comedies ever. As another bonus, Bill Hader puppeteers Van Helsing!
My Fair Lady – Why Can’t a Woman Be More Like a Man?
I had to include a selection featuring the masterful Rex Harrison as Henry Higgins. Pure bliss.
Pirates of the Penzance – Is There not One Maiden Breast?
Have I watched the 1983 film version of Pirates of Penzance on a regular basis my entire life? Yes, indeed. This is one of the main reasons that I am who I am. Pirates is pure musical comedy theater, and Kevin Kline is the pirate king!
Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog – Everyone’s a Hero
Nathan Fillon has one of them elastic faces like Bruce Campbell. It is one of the traits required for an actor to ham it up to eleven!
The Producers – Springtime for Hitler
A fitting endcap to our journey. Watch John Barrowman as a blonde join the heck out of the Nazi party! Yes, that John Barrowman, he can sing!