5 Comedians Share The Things That Actually Made Them Laugh This Year

Mary Beth Barone, Quinta Brunson, Karen Chee, Caleb Hearon, & Meg Stalter share the memes, shows and memories that brought them joy.

As 2020 comes to a close, remembering the moments of joy and humor that happened provides a glimmer of hope in an otherwise dreary exercise in reflection. To celebrate the little things that made life better in 2020, NYLON asked five comedians to share the things that actually made them laugh this year — from shows, to memes, to tweets, to memories.

Karen Chee

Karen Chee

A book: Ayoade on Top, by Richard Ayoade — this is an analytical deep dive on the 2003 cabin dramedy View From the Top, which stars Gwyneth Paltrow and scored 14% on Rotten Tomatoes. I've never seen the movie, which, as Ayoade emphasizes multiple times, is totally fine. This book, on the other hand, is hilarious and should be read by everyone. It's absurdly sincere and very dry, and I almost wish he'd turn it into, like, an academic mockumentary. Ayoade's a magnificent joke writer, and he's honed his voice so well that practically every sentence made me laugh.

A moment: Four Seasons Total Landscaping — this still makes me laugh. What an utterly idiotic and unbelievably incompetent move. I really just adore it as a moment in history. Seems like it was taken straight out of an Armando Iannucci film, you know? This was truly the first and only time the Trump administration was ever "good for comedy."

A special: Michelle Buteau's Welcome to Buteaupia — this made me cackle gleefully and forget how terrible the world is for an hour. Michelle Buteau is hilarious and extremely precise and just so dang good at both writing jokes and performing them. She's a true professional: you can tell, even through the screen, that her confidence and joy put the audience at ease. They're drunk on her good energy! Everyone watching feels welcomed and delighted, and trusts her to give an amazing show. Which she DOES!

Caleb Hearon

Caleb Hearon

1) One of the funniest things to happen in 2020 was those twins saying "davinky." Davinky isn't just a moment on the internet. It's a way of life. A choice to live your life completely free of the burden of being knowledgeable. A rallying cry for the utter dumb ass. An ode to those of us whose brains are filled with worms.

2) Sorry to say it but... Herman Cain's Twitter account continuing to tweet that COVID-19 isn't that big of a deal. After he died from COVID-19. Which he almost certainly contracted at a Trump rally. This is absolutely impeccable comedy. If you wrote it in a script it wouldn't be as funny because it would feel too heavy-handed. It's funny in the way Mike Huckabee is funny -- not because of true humor or technical skill or any amount of charisma, but because it's so stupid and insane that we can't help but laugh.

3) This video from Election Month 2020. I spent election week at a cabin in Big Bear, CA with my friends Chance and Shelby. I watched this video 300 times and laughed harder each time. I am laughing right now remembering it.

Quinta Brunson

Quinta Brunson

"Where the money reside" (video and song).

Ted Lasso

America's Funniest Home Videos (funny home videos just never fail)

Mary Beth Barone

Mary Beth Barone

As the year winds down and we take some time to reflect, I definitely cherish the things that made me laugh the most. Here are some things that brought me joy this year:

It's difficult to pick a favorite video from Benny Drama this year (his mind!) but I'm going to have to say Jenni the TMI Hairstylist. I hope Jenni reconnects with her dad soon.

I watched Gavin & Stacey for the first time and I flew through it in just a few days. It's a rom-com TV show (which we desperately need more of) that is the perfect balance of sweet and edgy and the cast just gives such amazing performances all around. It's almost escapist in its simplicity.

I think about this tweet from Sydnee Washington every day. I need to know everything about this person's life that led them to post such an egregious Facebook status.

Meg Stalter

Cole Escola’s YouTube Special, "Help I’m Stuck!“ Cole has always made me laugh uncontrollably and there’s something so special about everything he does it makes me cry. He did this whole special in quarantine and even the way he styles himself in character blows me away. Love my estranged husband Cole.

Sydnee Washington’s insta stories! I love this woman and she makes me absolutely scream laugh every day. Her cooking show on IG, Syd Can Cook, is incredible and should be on TV. Another thing that lives rent free in my mind that she posted was a full Insta story about how she bought this extremely expensive curling iron from this woman just because the sales girl was hot and she regretted it — GOD it makes me cry laugh just thinking about it.

I can’t do a list of things that make me laugh without mentioning my siblings. My brother and sisters make me cry laugh keel over every time we are together. We quarantined for most the year together and one thing I will never stop laughing about is we spend hours making up the worst dance in the world it was basically us just rolling around the floor and at the end we lift up our mother and pass her around till we get her to the couch so strange but I’m in love with it. Video below!