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Extremely small moments in comedy that make you laugh way more than intended

Started by Tikwid, May 01, 2018, 01:28:40 AM

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Those tiny bits that are barely picked up on by the audience/laugh track/online fan communities full of bald phimotic nihilists, but which nevertheless tickle you disproportionately compared to the frequency of other equally funny but more prominent bits.

Stew Lee's routine about his experiences with Pestival has many brilliant moments ("OH!!! DEAR!!! IT'S BEEN SMASHED, IN FRONT OF YOUR STUPID CRYING FACE!!!"), but for some reason, the little detail of his then-manager supposedly being called "Don Rodeo" really gets me every time. Maybe it's the slight Tim and Ericness of it - I can easily picture that name captioned underneath a grotesque DJ Douggpound-photoshopped headshot?


Niles and Frasier are in a cafe.They see Nile's girlfriend and the boyfriend of Daphne smooching at another table.Niles stands up very angry and shouts "Nobody treats Daphne like that !"

another Mr. Lizard

This could quite easily turn into an Oliver Hardy thread. Watched 'The Laurel-Hardy Murder Case' yesterday, and there's a verbal routine about Stan's family tree that ends up with Babe Hardy venomously spitting the words "mother's side" as an under-the-breath afterthought. Sounds like an ad-lib but is almost certainly scripted (as the scene wouldn't have an ending without it), and - although I've seen the film before - really caught me unawares and got a big laff here.


Names will get me, too. On The Hour is full of really funny names but the juxtaposition makes ones like Dawn Sentinel much funnier when the rest of them (Hilliard Halliard, Peter Sisters Christmas etc) are so much more obviously designed to be funny.

Another tiny moment that had me howling the other day is when Partridge doesn't want Pete Durant to see his book stall at the train station, so he rushes up to intercept him and turns him around with a handshake, saying something like "I hope you don't mind if I just turn you around like that", and Pete replies "no, not at all". Both sides of that exchange just crippled me. Pete's matter-of-fact replies to everything are in fact very funny. He gives a very funny memorable performance even though he's essentially another straight person for Alan to interact with (like the Crash Bang Wallop woman or the tax inspectresses).


Said it before, but in the Simpsons episode Grade School Confidential when the entertainer at Martin's party tells the kids that he isn't just a magician, he's a mathemagician - Bart lets out a beautiful "oh, man!". Making me smile now.


Quote from: jobotic on May 01, 2018, 09:45:15 AM
Said it before, but in the Simpsons episode Grade School Confidential when the entertainer at Martin's party tells the kids that he isn't just a magician, he's a mathemagician - Bart lets out a beautiful "oh, man!". Making me smile now.

Nancy Cartwright is actually pretty amazing how she can make a single word hilarious.



Quote from: idunnosomename on May 01, 2018, 10:02:22 AM
Nancy Cartwright is actually pretty amazing how she can make a single word hilarious.


Ha, yeah! Actually I should have described the mathemagician better - the kids all let out a groan and then, a split second afterwards is Bart's "on, man". Like he's only just realised what it meant.


When Martin Prince talks about the ABC of Science Fiction, the quick exchange, "What about Bradbury?", "I'm aware of his work," makes me laugh way more than anyone else in the room. I'm chuckling just thinking of it.


Richie asking Eddie who won the Spot The Ball competition in the paper, and Eddie replying


It's the way he lets out that T. Fucking lovely.



"...Flipper the priest"

It makes me cry every time I see it.  I'm literally giggling just thinking about it now.


Quote from: billyandthecloneasaurus on May 01, 2018, 05:56:37 PM
"...Flipper the priest"

It makes me cry every time I see it.  I'm literally giggling just thinking about it now.

And I just giggled reading it.

alan nagsworth

One of my favourite bits of the now-famous Steamed Hams scene is where Chalmers walks in the kitchen to see Skinner climbing out of the window. That little "Ah-" where he starts a sentence and then immediately adopts that scornful expression is fucking amazing.

I love Steve Coogan playing the guy who's chased down for visiting an illegal dentist on The Day Today. The way he meekly delivers that final line:

"I've only been to an illegal dentist, I hardly think that's a crime."
"Well, it is."
"It's not."
"It is!"
"... Is it?"


Jim in Friday Night Dinner, always preparing to step through the door just as Jackie's closing it. Makes me howl every time.



The reaction shot of Johnny Two-Hats laughing and looking at no one in particular when Howard's clothes come off in the Mighty Boosh episode Electro, and the little smirk the accordion player has when he tells Alan he was indeed out the night before at the Folies Bergère in KMKYWAP.

Those definitely qualify as extremely small moments.

Basil adopting an American accent to mock Polly would be another tiny little over-in-a-flash detail that I appreciate perhaps too much.

Sebastian Cobb

Jamie Cullen struggling to unbunch his keys as he's trying to threaten Robyn with them in one of the Thick of It specials.

alan nagsworth

The way Mark says "WHAT" when Jeff says "See ya later, gays!" in Peep Show. Considering it's such a nothing-word, and the real humour of course comes from Jeff being a total childish prick, Mark's white-hot and instantaneous rage in that tiny moment is fucking hilarious.


Anytime Crow mimes eating animals on MST3K.



Two flashheart moments, both aimed at Tim McInnerny:

WHO... is that...?!  (and the headbutt later).

'Yes - twat at the back?'


Eddie, in the background, admiring the fridge after winning "Put A Bit of Sellotape on The Fridge". It's hard to notice because Richie's storming towards the camera with his "SHIT! SHIT! SHIT!" at being beaten, but it's fantastic.

Also from Bottom, Richie's cooking-induced enthusiasm fading and shifting to pain and horror after he realises he's sliced his finger off makes me almost hysterical just thinking about it, and it lasts literally no more than a second or two:

In Father Ted, Ted's intake of breath before screeching "IIIIIIIII DON'T BE-LIEEEEEEEEVE IT" in Richard Wilson's ear, to achieve the absolute maximum possible volume, makes me laugh even more than the actual scream itself.

4 arses

I've always enjoyed Graham Linehans acting contributions, his frustrated "What do they do?" In the Big Train Hall & Oates sketch, and as the customer at the fast food restaurant in Black Books.

Autopsy Turvey

Lovely sly withering emphasis from Joan Sims in Don't Lose Your Head when she refers to "My brother, the count."

The bit in Carry On Girls when Bernie introduces Sid to a donkey, and Sid starts to say "How do you do" before realising he's talking to a donkey.

The pointed stress that Kenneth Williams puts on the last syllable of "I, Roger de Lodgerley, of Beside Manor, Wilts."


Santa's little Helper saying "Chewy" in response to Homers writers block.

alan nagsworth

After the brilliant run of laughs where Homer and Mindy charge room service to the company, Burns releases the flying monkeys out of the window and they all fall to their deaths, the sound of their bodies crumpling to the earth below, the best bit is Burns' throwaway line: "Continue the research."

Sgt. Duckie

The last two seconds of Pee Pee Klette in Brass Eye. It has never failed to cheer me up.


This exchange in Father Ted, in the extremely small caravan:

Ted: Just going for some fresh air.
Noel Furlong: Don't forget to bring us back some!!
Ted: Right so!...ya big fecking eejit

The contrast between the 'right so' and the 'big fecking eejit', and the delivery of the latter. I know it's meant to be funny, but I remember being doubled over laughing at it.

Dr Syntax Head

In the young ones when Madness are playing as the riot goes on outside the house and one of madness runs up to the camera smashing his guitar over it, for some reason that small act cracked me up. That whole scene is great mind.