Friday, November 11, 2011

What Is the Funniest Moment in Television History?

We could use a break from our usual tales of legal corruption. And that has me thinking about the funniest stuff I've ever seen on television.

Volumes have been written about TV's negative impact on society--and I even have been known to weigh in on that subject. But in a world of Ponzi schemes, corporate greed, political wimpiness, and university scandals, the boob tube helps promote mental health by providing, at least in a few instances, comedy for the ages.

When you need a break from everyday drudgery, does your mind turn to classic TV moments--the kind that make you laugh until milk comes out of your nose (assuming you are drinking milk)? Mine does, and at those moments, I give thanks for the writers, directors, and actors who bring us nuggets of brilliance.

My No. 1 moment probably would have to come from Scrubs, a series that we have touted many times on this blog. I can think of at least two dozen scenes from Scrubs that deserve consideration, but one that would have to be near the top involves two guys discussing a topic that is so awkward it's painful to watch--and hysterical.

Dr. John "J.D." Dorian (Zach Braff) has accidentally put himself in a position to view a penis belonging to his hospital nemesis, The Janitor (Neil Flynn). As a doctor, J.D. is obligated to tell The Janitor that he spotted a possible skin cancer, a melanoma, while viewing The Janitor's junk. Braff and Flynn deserve Emmys--perhaps Lifetime Achievement Awards--for this scene alone:

We can't leave this subject without mentioning at least two of many classic moments from Saturday Night Live. These are a little sad because they involve some major talents who no longer are with us. But I suspect many people still remember exactly where they were when they first saw these. First, is a Chippendale dance off between Patrick Swayze and Chris Farley. How they managed to keep straight faces during this is beyond me:

Patrick Swayze - Chippendale by tressage

Finally, we have "The Sinatra Group," featuring the late, great Phil Hartman as Frank Sinatra, moderating a panel discussion on cultural issues of the day. We have "The Chairman" telling Billy Idol (played to brilliant effect by Sting) that "I have chunks of guys like you in my stool." Talk about a line for the ages. Enjoy.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the smile. Phil Hartman was great, and he was at his finest as B-movie actor Troy McClure on The Simpsons. I loved the way that he always introduced himself, "Hi, I'm Troy McClure. You may remember me from such films as..." and he'd name two or three awful sounding movies. One of my favorites was "They Came To Burgle Carnegie Hall."

legalschnauzer said...

Thanks for the reminder about Troy McClure. Phil Hartman was one of the most talented folks to come from SNL. I've read in several places that Hartman also was a genuinely nice guy. Sure do miss him.

Anonymous said...

Archie Bunker and his antics on All In The Family!

He was a character!

James Greek said...

I wold say the cheers episode where Cliff Clavin was in Jeopardy! As well as the boneheads on Famiy Feud on SNL.

James Greek said...


Anonymous said...

A bit off topic but one of my favorite SNL skits is Celebrity Jeopardy, featuring Sean Connery.

"I'll take CATCH THESE MEN (read 'Catch the Semen') for 800, Alex."

"I'll take Therapists (read 'The Rapists') for 400, Alex."

There are several on Hulu. Check them out if you have time.