Tom Cashman: the 10 funniest things I have ever seen (on the internet)

Before I share my “funny things”, there are some distinctions I’d like to made. I’ve split my “funny things” into categories, and the distinctions will help explain the categories.

The most important distinction is between people who are trying to be funny and people who are not. People who are not trying to be funny, but are nonetheless being funny, will always make me laugh the most. The best laughs come from unexpected places. Just think back to the class clown at school – do you remember any of the jokes they made? I bet not. What about when that other kid stacked it down the stairs? You remember every detail.

This list will start with some unintentionally funny things (the best), and then focus on people who are doing it deliberately (also fine).

For the “unintentionally funny” clips, I’ve focused on two subcategories. The first is people trying to navigate awkward scenarios. The second, people becoming pissed off.

Here’s why these are my favourite genres of online clip:

People trying to navigate awkward scenarios

Why I like it: Awkward scenarios are super relatable. Post Covid-lockdown, everyone says they’re “awkward now”. When people say this I either think, “No you’re not, you just heard other people say that” or, “Now? You’ve always been awkward.”

As someone in the second category, I watch these clips like sportspeople studying game tape: to learn from my competitors’ weaknesses.

People becoming pissed off

Why I like it: I’m fascinated by furious people. Particularly if I’m clicking around the internet, in a chilled mood myself.

Unless you have an anger problem, this style of clip is hopefully less relatable to you. But that’s also appealing.

We watch the Olympics to witness humanity push its physical limits, and I’d encourage you to watch clips like these to understand how pissed off we can get.

“People trying to be funny” speaks for itself as a category, really, so it doesn’t require an explanation.

To summarise my categories, here’s a hierarchy chart:

, Tom Cashman: the 10 funniest things I have ever seen (on the internet), The Nzuchi Times Guardian
Tom Cashman’s heirarchy chart summarising categories of funny. Photograph: Tom Cashman

Category A: people trying to navigate awkward scenarios

1. Star-Spangled Banner

I don’t want to spoil this. All I’ll say is someone chooses an ingenious way to navigate an awkward scenario.

2. Kid orders bong

This is an example of someone absolutely flailing as they try to navigate an awkward scenario. It’s an impossible situation, to be fair – he was doomed from the beginning. But he gives it a crack and good on him.

This video won’t embed here on a webpage because the BBC website sucks (it’s a BBC report from 2013). Definitely click through though if you want to watch a very silly and very cute awkward scenario.

Category B: people becoming pissed off

This clip – which also sadly will not embed – really has it all. It might be my favourite of all time. Like all great art, it has a symmetry and balance to it. It also involves realistic and compelling characters, and it plays out in such a satisfying way. It’s beautiful. (Watch to the end.)

5. Man yells at trumpet player

A hall of fame rant. Every line tops the last. Usually people screaming at the top of their lungs are too overcome with anger to get their point across. This man manages to make very well-expressed points about the nature of creativity, all while he’s furious. And he’s earned the right to make them.

6. Samir … You’re breaking the car

I’m convinced Samir is just doing his best here and the constant negative feedback is unhelpful. That’s what makes it so funny though.

, Tom Cashman: the 10 funniest things I have ever seen (on the internet), The Nzuchi Times Guardian

Category C: people being funny on purpose

7. Instagram

Here are highlights from my two favourite types of Instagram accounts (comedians and meme pages).

Sam Campbell (comedian):

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Fletcher Lowe (memes):

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8. TikTok

This is my favourite TikTok. Patti Harrison is hilarious.

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9. Twitter

It seems like no one tries to be funny on Twitter anymore. It’s mainly just journalists abusing each other, and journalists complaining about online abuse.

So it’s refreshing when people still have a crack. Here are highlights of my two favourite Twitter genres:

Sketch:

Just words:

10. Fantastic Trump impression

Imagine if Trump quibbled about 90s minutiae. Amazing.

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