A listicle?!?! Don’t worry folks, it’s not just mediocre click bait littered with number-by-number advertisements. It’s my all-time favourite funny articles that I’ve read online, and I feel like my little preamble here isn’t going to even do them justice no matter how much I wax on poetically, so let’s just go straight to #1.
In which Wait But Why blogger Tim Urban talks about that thing we all know: the Average Bar is a horrible place (as in: they’re too loud to talk, full of predatory characters, and a breeding ground for social discomfort). This article could have been painfully cynical, but it builds humour gradually in such a delightful way that it honestly kills me every time I read it. Tim Urban’s poorly-drawn illustrations and perceptive knack for making every-day observations hilarious make him one of my favourite people to read online. I first found him through his Ted Talk (Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator) which is 100% worth your time.
In which author Harrison Scott Key pens what I would call HANDS DOWN the funniest story I’ve ever read on the internet. If someone knows of something better than this, please send it to me ASAP. This is his recounting of a four-day Greyhound bus saga he underwent in 1995. It’s the kind of wordsmithing that makes you think: if I could write like that, I would literally be a god of some kind. Maybe I’m hyping this up too much. Just read it.
3. Need for the Steed – Andrew Hussie
In which webcomic creator Andrew Hussie reports on his efforts to obtain the most mysteriously overpriced novelty artwork of a buff flaming horse facing off against a football player from the most mysteriously named artist (simply, “T”). It sounds made up. It’s a real story. I hadn’t read this in a long time, and when I went to find it for this listicle, I discovered that…THE IMAGE URL IS BROKEN. This is like, the first true tragedy of my lifetime. Okay, so there are two steps to this experience:
You will not regret it. Even though it was first written in 2009, this article has staying power and I still love it today.
You know when something makes you laugh more than anyone else in the room, and you can’t stop, and even you don’t understand why this thing has tickled your funny bone so much? That was Left Shark for me. It killed me every single time, for me it was definitely the funniest thing the internet produced in 2015. If you don’t know Left Shark, quickly peruse here before delving into the hilarity of Kelly Stout’s fictional diary entry she penned for the New Yorker. The sheer earnestness and under-dog inadequacy of this character is simultaneously hilarious and heart-warming. There’s just something too spectacularly futile about the struggle of coordinated dancing in a massive cumbersome novelty costume…like, I’m sure others have had issues and they should all form a support group for costumed dancing inadequacy. ANYWAYS
I think this might be the only thing I’ve ever read online that actually put me in STITCHES laughing. Allie Brosh of Hyperbole and a Half has a magical way of combining MS Paint cartoons with dramatic writing to create a unique sense of humour that’s in its own league when it comes to comedic online writing. Unfortunately this blog hasn’t seen an update in a long time, but this re-telling of her obsessive power-tripping childhood fixation on a dinosaur costume still stands as one of the best things I’ve ever read.
I plan to continue this as a series of posts, so in the future you can expect to see a list of recommendations on things to read about science as well as my favourite politics/culture pieces. It just occurred to me that I read a lot of stuff online, but I usually just read and move on with my life and forget. I realized that I was starting to even forget about things I’d read that I thought were genius, and so a curated list felt like a good solution as a sort of “scrapbook” for my own sake! But hopefully we share the same weird sense of humour and you enjoy reading through my suggestions here. I know I pretty much said each one of them was “the best thing I’ve ever read” but it’s honestly really hard to pick a favourite so I’m just gonna blanket them all in admiring superlatives. Which I’m sure we could all use more of in our lives – imagine swaddling yourself up in a blanket that just gave you exaggerated compliments all the time. I want that object to be invented. At the very least it should be doodled.
‘Til next time!