I enjoy German TV commercials, elaborate wigs, and anyone talking to a taxidermied animal — especially a fox or a beaver. I’m not a devotee of comedy involving the pooper, although I’m a big fan of the word itself. Humor is subjective, so I felt you should know where I stand as I discuss three sketch-comedy shows I swear are funnier than Saturday Night Live. For those missing the weird-tickle-spot humor of MTV2’s Wonder Showzen, may I suggest Adult Swim’s brilliant 15-minute sketch series, Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, starring Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim. Now in reruns that never get old, Tim and Eric is the comedic equivalent of swallowing a hair. Theirs is a strangeness so otherworldly I often break into a glistening full-body sweat: In one disturbing ”commercial,” children greedily slurp at their ”Candy Tails” — clip-on braids dipped in goo and made from genuine ponies’ tails. Somewhere, Lewis Carroll and Salvador Dalí are giggling.
MTV’s Human Giant — which launched its six-episode second season March 11 — is everything sketch comedy should be: smart, odd, and surprising. Comedians Aziz Ansari, Rob Huebel, and Paul Scheer’s laid-back personas make their comedy all the more startling. Human Giant‘s most gaspingly hilarious sketch to date featured Will Arnett as a heavy-breathing version of himself, Ansari in a Mary-Kate Olsen mask, a rubber fist, and multiple synonyms for ”lovemaking.” Human Giant‘s funniest sketches aren’t always dirty, but they’re usually a little wrong, like the recurring ”Shutterbugs,” about agents for child actors — the grown men ruthlessly berating sweet-faced ankle biters.
Is it a reaction to the grotesquely coddled kids of today? A good chunk of comedy lately springs from mildly endangered children. Over on IFC, The Whitest Kids U’ Know did a bit in which a father finds his toddler wielding a handgun: After a shocked pause, he says, ”You look so awesome right now.” Kids — headed by stand-up Trevor Moore — has an ironic-fratty vibe that turns some people off: You want to drink a beer with the guys from Human Giant. You want to drink a beer with the Kids…but worry they’ll make fun of you when you go to the bathroom. That said, when Kids drops its hetero-dude offensiveness, it’s inspiringly absurd. Manatees get molested by kings, a stripper offers very specific acts for very specific prices (for $4.37 she’ll paint a picture of a dolphin), and Moore debuts the ”first rap song about getting high with dinosaurs.” Tim and Eric: A-; The Whitest Kids U’ Know: B+; Human Giant: B+
See an exclusive EW.com Take 5 video featuring Human Giant