Tag Archives: Comedy

Amusing Monday: “Just for Laughs: Gags” seen in more than 100 countries

Whether you think “Just for Laughs: Gags” is hilarious or inane, the hidden-camera pranks have been viewed in more than 100 countries around the world. They are even shown on airline flights between countries.

Since nobody talks in the videos, no translation is needed. At the beginning of each video segment, actors show the viewers what they plan to do to their unsuspecting victims. At the end, the pranksters introduce themselves, and the cameras are revealed.

The “Just for Laughs: Gags” webpage on YouTube contains an estimated 2,000 videos showing practical jokes of all kinds, mostly performed on city streets. (I gave up counting the number of videos about halfway through, and it would be near-impossible to figure out the number of page views.) For this blog post, I’ve chosen four water-related bits.

The original “Just for Laughs” is the name given to a comedy festival held each year in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Founded in 1983 by Canadian Gilbert Rozon, it is the largest and most important comedy show in the world, according to a 2007 story in The Guardian. (For more history, see Wikipedia.)

“Just for Laughs: Gags” borrowed the familiar name in 2000, when producers launched a new television prank show based on “Candid Camera.” It was shown first on the French Canadian television network Channel D and was later picked up by networks based in the United Kingdom, France, the U.S. and about 30 other countries. (Wikipedia)

For my taste, a few of these videos at a time is enough, but they are so ubiquitous on YouTube that you are likely to run into them at any time. Be careful or you will find yourself going down a rabbit hole and coming back with a few hours missing from your life.

Some people are perplexed that anyone would enjoy these videos. Keyan Gray Tomaselli, a South African communication professor, author and media critic, called the series “inane” in his book about cultural tourism after he watched some segments on a commercial flight. He also noted in his book that his comment elicited an apology from a Canadian friend of his.

But other people have praised the universal appeal of this type of humor, which harkens back to the days of silent films and slapstick comedy.

Major Ray Wiss, a Canadian soldier who wrote about his two tours in Afghanistan, said building a relationship with Afghan soldiers took more than just eating and playing cards with them. Television really broke the ice, he said, noting that “for pure social connection” there was nothing like “JFL: Gags.”

“The Afghans got the jokes and laughed as hard as I did,” Wiss wrote. “Yes, these people are different from us. But they are far less different than many would believe.” See the excerpt from “A Line in the Sand: Canadians at War in Kandahar.”

Amusing Monday: Pranks and games for April Fool’s

With April Fool’s Day coming up tomorrow, I’ve decided the theme for this week’s “Amusing Monday” should be games, tricks and pranks.

Let’s start with late-night TV host Jimmy Fallon, who has been playing a game called “Water War” with various celebrities, something he started even before he took over “The Tonight Show” earlier this year. The game plays like the traditional card game “War” with a bonus: The winner of each hand gets to throw a glass of water on his or her opponent.

The first video player on this page features a game of “Water War” between Jimmy Fallon and Lindsay Lohan, in which you will notice that Lindsay gets the upper hand. Other celebrities engaging in “Water War” include:

Another late-night TV host, Jimmy Kimmel, invited illusionist David Blaine on his show to demonstrate what he can do with water and fire. It seems Blaine was pretty thirsty before he started the trick. But you’ll need to watch the entire video on Kimmel’s YouTube channel to see what the magician can do with water and a flammable liquid.

I was quite amused by the practical joke played by a 10-year-old girl on her father. She had him totally convinced that the roof was leaking, but the cause of the dripping was a harmless rag placed in a heater vent. Check out the second video on this page for the full prank.

Another practical joke, which was designed to drench the target of the prank, failed when the guy outsmarted the pranksters. See how he did it by watching the video on Vid Addict.

Amusing Monday: Humor in nature and bottled water

Bottled water is inherently funny, and Jim Gaffigan comes to grips with the humorous elements like few people I have seen.

I keep trying to find comedians who can speak to water issues, but it’s hard to find funny people who don’t swear up a storm. There’s plenty of nasty stuff on this blog without polluting it with dirty words. At least some comedy shows — including the Daily Show with Jon Stewart — bleep out the dirty words before they post the videos.

Gaffigan takes the unusual approach of practically swearing off swearing altogether in his routines. Here’s what he said in an article in Straight magazine:

“I’ve always felt like when I have cursed in the past that it’s been kind of cheating. That’s not to say that dirty jokes aren’t funny. It’s just that I feel like it’s a bigger mountain to climb….I’ve always been like, I wouldn’t want to do a joke that would embarrass my mom. Like, there are Def [Comedy Jam] comics that are talking about eating p —-, then they’re like, ‘I love you, Mom!’ There’s this ironic twist there.”

Gaffigan’s take on Christmas and other holidays seems appropriate for this time of year.

Gaffigan has a kind of an indoors-outdoors thing going, and he calls himself “indoorsy” as opposed to his wife, who is always trying to drag him outdoors, or so he says. Check out his description of camping.

This comedian does not seem to understand nature at all, which comes out in his brief discussion of a male seahorse and his much longer expert analysis about whales.

Amusing Monday: It’s so hard to be Goode

Did anybody watch the cartoon series “The Goode Family” while it was on television? Did you like it? I’m not sure how I missed this cartoon with an environmental bent, but it had come and gone from the air before I knew it existed.

The Goode Family
Saving the Narwhal Through Pottery
www.comedycentral.com
Tosh.0 Funny Jokes The Comedy Awards

“The Good Family” was created by Mike Judge, best known for “Beavis and Butthead” (1993-1997) and “King of the Hill” (1997-2009).

Situations in the half-hour series revolve around Goode family members, most of who are obsessed about something and politically correct about everything. One reviewer called it “satire light.” I’m still trying to decide if it’s worth watching this entire series online when I get time.

The show ran on ABC-TV from May 27, 2009, to Aug. 7, 2009, according to an entry in Wikipedia. In 2010, reruns were shown on Comedy Central, which considered ordering new episodes but never did.

The full shows, around 22 minutes each, can be viewed on Cast TV. Four additional two-minute segments can be viewed on Comedy Central — including the one above, which has something to do with saving narwhal whales through art.

Amusing Monday: ‘Onion News’ is in the news

It has been a while since we visited the Onion News Network in this “Amusing Monday” feature, so I’m offering four video segments for your amusement.

Do I need to warn you that some people’s sensibilities are bound to be offended by one or more of these fake news stories? I think not.

Besides the video at right, which raises questions about biased coverage on The Weather Channel, check out these news segments:

Christian Groups: Biblical Armageddon Must Be Taught Alongside Global Warming

Survivors Of Gas Station Explosion Mourn Tragic Loss Of Gasoline: Community members who didn’t burn to death are struggling to accept the devastating loss of so much premium fuel.

Paleontologists Discover Skeleton Of Nature’s First Sexual Predator: Intact skeleton could shed light on the bizarre fetishes of this pervert dinosaur.

It is worth noting that the Onion, which has been producing these video news segments for years on its website, leaped into television earlier this month, not once but twice.
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Amusing Monday: Save time with ‘Water in a Bag!’

Here’s a new product that will help harried cooks save time and avoid confusion: Water in a Bag!

Click here
to view a commercial demonstrating this amazing product. This commercial was shown on the Canadian comedy show “This Hour has 22 Minutes.”

The satirical program has been around on CBC television since 1993. Because it is written for a Canadian audience, U.S. viewers may not get some of the political references. Also, we may not realize when U.S. politicians and political groups are being mocked — such as when Americans worry about government-run health care, which is relatively popular in Canada.

On the other hand, Americans and Canadians have plenty of silliness they can share, ranging from random fees charged by the airlines to concerns over global warming. Here’s a sampling of the various styles of humor.

Tsunami Early Warning

Climate Change Time Capsule

Air Canada

Obama’s Peace Prize

One Million Acts of Green