what were the 2010s?

207 Unforgettable Comedy Moments From the 2010s

The jokes, sketches, and scenes that entered our brains during the decade and refused to leave.

Photo-Illustration: Illustration by Ari Liloan; Photos by Veronica Crespo/YouTube and Comedy Central/YouTube
Photo-Illustration: Illustration by Ari Liloan; Photos by Veronica Crespo/YouTube and Comedy Central/YouTube

The 2010s were an incredibly active and transitional decade for comedy. The world of late-night television went through a handful of changes, from Stephen Colbert’s move from right-wing parody on Comedy Central to David Letterman’s successor on CBS to the debuts of Conan O’Brien on TBS, Seth Meyers on Late Night, James Corden on The Late Late Show, Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show, and a handful of hosts coming and going on Comedy Central, like Jon Stewart, Trevor Noah, Larry Wilmore, and Jordan Klepper. Beloved comedy series like 30 Rock, The Office, and Community ended their runs, making way for new favorites like Nathan for You, Veep, Review, Barry, Atlanta, BoJack Horseman, and more. Sketch-comedy shows like Key & Peele, Kroll Show, and Inside Amy Schumer enjoyed successful runs and consistently released sketches that went viral online. A new comedy boom began, thanks in part to Netflix throwing unprecedented amounts of cash toward producing hundreds of new stand-up specials every year. The rise of social media made possible a new generation of comedians who released funny videos and bits directly to fans, while online comedy outlets like Seeso struggled — and in more cases than not, failed — to stay afloat.

It’s all too much to summarize or list in one place, so to celebrate the decade, we decided to look back on the last ten years of comedy by revisiting some of our favorite moments in alphabetical order — the videos, jokes, bits, and performers we keep coming back to and recommending to our friends. Whether it’s a single-serving Twitter account, unforgettable Comedy Bang! Bang! segment, or scene in a TV show we’ve rewatched over and over, these are over 200 moments that were created this decade, made us laugh, and refused to leave our brains.

9/11 Seinfeld Spec Script (2016)

It’s become fairly common for comedians and aspiring television writers to write and share spec scripts for famous sitcoms, often mashing them up with another show or news item. A more recent example is Eliza Cossio’s Sex and the City/Sopranos crossover script from earlier this year, but if we had to choose a standout, it would be Billy Domineau’s spec script from 2016 imagining an episode of Seinfeld that takes place in the days after 9/11. The spec instantly went viral and eventually landed Domineau, a freelance joke writer at the time, a job on Family Guy. “I feel like for many years I’d been trying to chase after what seems to be popular in the marketplace by modifying my voice in order to suit it, or by trying to tackle various media that doesn’t necessarily lend itself to my brand of humor,” Domineau told us on the project. “Eventually, about a year ago or so, I said to myself, ‘No more of that. You’re just going to write and perform and create in a manner that you’re most interested in and you’re most comfortable in, and whatever happens, good or ill, that’s fine.’” Turns out that was a very good plan. —Megh Wright

A Song About Apples (2016)

Near the end of his 2016 Netflix special Spatial, Reggie Watts tells the audience, “I’m gonna do this really small song. It’s very, very tiny — you’re not even gonna notice it at all, so don’t even worry about it … This is a song about apples.” What follows is a five-minute song/journey that’s equal parts hilarious and heartwarming and might even make you cry. It’s better experienced than explained, but “A Song About Apples” is exactly why I like to call Reggie Watts a cosmic teddy bear. Whether you’re forever single, just starting a new relationship, or hurting from a breakup, this song somehow manages to be the perfect complement to all three. —Megh Wright

Adam Pally Hosts The Late Late Show (2015)

Photo: CBS

Five years later, Adam Pally’s Late Late Show hosting gig feels like a fever dream. Clips of the chaotic night seem to have disappeared from the internet, so we’re left with only writeups, with The A.V. Club describing it as Pally “tear[ing] the entire structure of late-night talk apart” and Thrillist calling it “amazingly unorganized and unhinged.” It was, hands down, peak late-night insanity, and guess what? We found a clip of it stored on Google Drive somewhere, so watch it for yourself before it disappears. —Megh Wright

Age-Progression Reveal (2015)

Nathan Fielder’s ability to not break in the face of some of the cringiest moments to ever hit TV was part and parcel to the show’s success, but during Craigslist-sourced age-progression expert Cornelius Ladd’s first series appearance, Nathan’s ability to keep a straight face was nothing short of superhuman. Having been tasked to age a couple pee-wee soccer players to young adulthood, Ladd presented Fielder with a folder of sloppy, improbable, and misgendered Photoshop abominations. As the expert went on to explain how a combination of “science and vision” led him to these results and audiences everywhere cried tears of laughter, Nathan nodded along, stoic as an Easter Island statue. —Justin Caffier 

Andy Samberg Roasts James Franco (2014)

Norm Macdonald’s ingenious cue-card performance at the Roast of Bob Saget set the standard by which all anti-roasts are judged. In the 11 years since, only one person has scaled those same heights: Andy Samberg. Like Macdonald, Samberg used his time at the Roast of James Franco to offer a goofy, lighthearted parody of the Friars Club–Lisa Lampanelli style of insult comedy that widely defines Comedy Central roasts while quietly paying tribute to his famous friends. With his gap-tooth and glasses, he’s the sweetest dork in the room — and the funniest. Samberg’s set owned the night, and five years later, it still hasn’t been topped. —Sean Malin

“Antidepressants Are So Not a Big Deal” (2019)

Dr. Akopian (Michael Hyatt) walks Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom) into a Technicolor nod to La La Land celebrating the destigmatization of mental illness — classic Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. The giant pill container holding magical tap shoes, the titillating tap number, the abused rescue dog, the blunt lyrics — no wonder this song won Bloom, Jack Dolgen, and Adam Schlesinger the show’s first Original Music Emmy. From “Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury” to Crazy Ex’s 157 original songs, Bloom reigns as this decade’s queen of musical comedy. —Anna Marr

Anti-Islamic Stand-up (2012)

“It’s time now to mock Islam and ridicule individual Muslims,” begins Stewart Lee’s 20-joke-a-minute chunk from Carpet Remnant World on the rise of Islamaphobia in pre-Brexit Britain. Lee’s targets, of course, are the conservative fearmongers and predatory tabloids that perpetuate racial difference in an already divided country — not, as it seems on paper, any specific religion. This hollowed-out imitation of the truly ignorant is one of Lee’s best-known characters, with The Guardian calling the comic “the cleverest comedian working in Britain” for creating it. We in the U.S. don’t have the option to see Lee live, unfortunately, but we can still admire his political confidence from afar. —Sean Malin

“Art Is Dead” (2011)

Bo Burnham’s “Art Is Dead” is a great comedy moment on its own, but when he performed it on The Green Room With Paul Provenza in 2011 — with Ray Romano, Marc Maron, Garry Shandling, and Judd Apatow watching him from feet away — the song went to new, super-meta, intergenerational heights. Come for the delight of watching Burnham compare comedians to a kid throwing a tantrum at a birthday party right in front of a group of comedians, stay to have even more love for Ray Romano than you already did. (Need a chaser? “Kanye Rant” has you covered.) —Megh Wright

“ASMR for White Liberals” (2019)

When Randall Otis posted this video on Twitter, he worked as a researcher at The Daily Show. Now he works as a writer at The Daily Show, and we like to think this video played a role in that job change. What two things were bigger this decade than the arrival of ASMR videos and white liberals desperate to be seen as POC allies who would rather not reflect on their own internalized racism? Otis’s video combines them both, and the result is as funny as it is relaxing. —Megh Wright

Audience Cutaways in One of the Greats (2014)

Photo: Netflix

Chelsea Peretti’s 2014 Netflix special One of the Greats proved it was in fact one of the greats in the many ways she played with the format of the comedy special itself, mining every component and using it to make more comedy. There is no more perfect example of this than the way she uses audience cutaways. Typically, we’re shown clips of the people in the crowd laughing, because how else would those of us watching at home know when to laugh? It’s pretty much a standard for comedy specials. But One of the Greats gave us a series of brilliantly bizzare reaction shots. Some of the greats were a baby, dogs, someone (Esther Povitsky) sipping tea, a guy putting what I think is salt on what I think is a hard-boiled egg, someone (Brendan Walsh) talking on his phone, more dogs, two rag dolls, and more dogs, all culminating in the final shot where the entire audience is sound asleep. —Leigh Cesiro 

“Banana Phone” (2017)

This past decade has been dotted with a number of wonderful Kate Berlant performances, from Sorry to Bother You to Rachel. But, truly, her best acting showcase required nothing more than her talents and a single banana. Over the course of this Instagram collection, Berlant makes a series of phone calls into a banana, chatting with friends and slowly falling in love with an unseen suitor. All of it’s played completely straight, and some of it’s surprisingly affecting. Really, the funniest (and maybe only) joke here is how quickly you forget she’s talking into a banana in every single video. —Chris Kopcow 

Barack Obama on Between Two Ferns (2014)

After the botched rollout of healthcare.gov in 2013, the Obama White House worried the president’s signature achievement would fail to enroll enough people. Advisers reached out to various entertainers for ideas on how to boost sign-ups, and Scott Aukerman, comedian and co-creator of Between Two Ferns, suggested the president appear on the semi-regular web series. To the surprise of everyone, the president agreed. The result is a classic Ferns segment that perfectly capitalizes on Obama’s historic comedic timing, and it actually worked: The video became the top referrer to healthcare.gov, and traffic to the website went up 40 percent the day it posted. Perhaps because they kept in the one joke White House advisers wanted to cut. —Will Storey

“The Barkchelorette” (2017)

Everything Patti Harrison does is jaw-droppingly hilarious, but this sketch in which she speed dates various dogs at the Westminster Dog Show is exceptional. The sketch is packed to the gills with unbelievably funny lines, from her admission to opening herself up to new kinds of people “even if that means fucking a show dog” to the closer where she admits to being in the Ohio senate. Harrison’s jokes are complemented by the real-world ridiculousness of the show-dog owners, one of whom tells Patti that her dog is already “taken.” —Rachel Davies

“The Basic Ball” (2019)

Yikes. Undeniably the most devastatingly accurate sketch from the revelatory A Black Lady Sketch Show, “The Basic Ball” rips into the everyday averageness we all experience by pitting some very regular folks against each other in a ball like no other. Hosted by Bob the Drag Queen and featuring several of the show’s writers and cast members serving everything from chemical-imbalance realness, to BBQ-dad lewks, to awkward-in-the-body-yes-gawd, the sketch is a riotous (and cutting) take on being nothing special. Slay, normal hunny! —Taylor Garron

Bill Burr’s Shari’s Berries Ad Read (2013)

Amazing things happen when Bill Burr ventures into the seemingly mundane world of basic desserts. His viral step-by-step pie-crust tutorial is the fourth-most-popular video on his YouTube page, racking up over 1.5 million views. But long before that was a Shari’s Berries ad read that changed the shape of podcast marketing forever. Shari’s Berries was a new advertiser, and Burr hadn’t reviewed the copy before reading it live. With each mention of Shari’s Berries, his accent grows more and more Bostonian, as if he’s doing an impression of himself. When he reaches the call to action, which includes the number 866-FRUIT, he breaks. “I’m sorry. What the fuck am I selling … Who the fuck is gonna buy this shit?” Apparently enough people did, as Shari’s Berries remained an advertiser for four years, before pulling its sponsorship over a KKK joke. —Isaac Kozell

Bill Hader Dancing To (2019)

This parody was inspired by an offbeat SNL sketch from 2015 about a dancing android in a glass box called “the Alan” starring Bill Hader. Despite it’s being billed as “the future of casual entertainment,” to its owners’ confusion, all that the Alan seems to do is variations of the same dance along with facial expressions indicative of “being a little stinker.” The sketch was cut for time, but Hader’s readily memeable dance moves were not forgotten, spawning a Twitter parody account four years later that featured him dancing to everything from Fleetwood Mac to Harry Styles. —Stefan Sirucek

“Bill Murray” & “Guy Who Loves Credit Card Points” (2018-2019)

Dan White makes very funny Twitter videos. His first big hit featured a run-in with comedy legend Bill Murray, and — well, you should just watch the video yourself to see why it has over a million views. His more recent video, “Guy Who Loves Credit Card Points,” is a viral video making fun of guys who make viral videos and a depressing look behind the curtain of an influencer … who gets ripped to shreds by his dad, voiced by Tim Lyons. —Megh Wright

Black Justin Bieber (2016)

“Nobody Beats the Biebs,” just the fifth episode of Atlanta’s breakout first season, came at a time when audiences were still trying to nail down what the show was (besides “great”). Why a black Justin Bieber? Writer Stephen Glover explains: “Because it makes you ask yourself questions about the way you perceive Justin Bieber. Also, no black kid’s ever gonna get the job to portray Justin Bieber. This was a chance for this to happen.” The third act’s remorseful press conference turned single debut is the final note of a pitch-perfect satire of the Biebs. —Mark Kramer

“Black Lady Sign Language” (2016)

On The Nightly Show, the endlessly talented Robin Thede gives us a rundown (no pun intended) of the black-lady sign language you may encounter in your everyday life. Which is super-helpful, because black women are so used to having their supportive half-claps misread as aggressive half-claps. This segment is a must-watch for anyone with a hilarious black-lady loved one they want to understand better. —Taylor Garron

“Black Patriotism” (2017)

In 2017, Roy Wood Jr. released Father Figure, an album that largely dealt with the theme of the African-American struggle in the 21st century. The standout track is the amazing “Black Patriotism.” It is the best examination of football players kneeling during the national anthem, and it doesn’t mention Colin Kaepernick, Trump, or even the NFL. Wood addresses the social issues underneath the headlines and produces a bit that continues to be relevant (and hilarious) long after the incident itself. —John Roy

Blaze (2013)

Burning Love, a spoof of the Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise, includes many, many hilarious moments. In season one, firefighter Mark Orlando (Ken Marino) asked, “Will you accept my hose?” But in season two, former contestant Julie Gristlewhite (June Diane Raphael) returns as the bachelorette. Her ferocious horniness for villain Blaze (Ryan Hansen) — a dude who showed up hoping the bachelorette would be someone else but is still kind of down to bone or whatever — is an unparalleled genius sendup of every time we’ve watched a Bachelor Nation contestant choose the absolute worst person in the room. —Nayomi Reghay

Bob Belcher, Bisexual Icon

When Bob labeled himself as “mostly straight” in this Thanksgiving episode of Bob’s Burgers, certain parts of Tumblr lit the fuck up. Bob entered the canon of bi icons along with Rosa Diaz, Anna Paquin, and, like, half the killers in Agatha Christie novels. Bob came out in the Bobbiest way possible, playing the “straight man” in a comedy of misunderstandings at the deli. Part of what makes Bob such a funny character is the way Bob keeps the game going in a scene more than any Voice of Reason character since Zeppo Marx. Bob’s a sloppy bear with an open mind. —Bethy Squires

Bowen Yang’s Lip Syncs (2019)

A STAR WAS BORN. Bowen Yang proved he was that NYU grad when he posted a lip-syncing master class to Twitter in May 2018, with the simple caption “when u gay.” It was a dramatic portrayal of Tyra Banks’s “We were all rooting for you!” America’s Next Top Model freakout, and he went on to portray other canonical works like Miranda Priestley’s cerulean speech, Alexis Neiers’s Nancy Jo phone calls, and Reese Witherspoon’s “Do you know who I am?” traffic stop. Bowen commits to the performances, soundlessly emoting to the point of tears in his eyes, precisely landing every breath and syllable. SNL should make itself useful and just carve out two minutes for him to do this live. —Rebecca Alter

“Branchburg” (2018)

Brendan O’Hare and Cory Snearowski’s sketches feel like meditation as much as they do comedy. Along with acts like Joe Pera, Brendan and Cory seem to be pioneering something that feels genuinely new at times, where reflective stillness and ambient soundscapes feed into the jokes as much as the writing and performances. Branchburg compiles several of their sweetly oddball sketches, all of which take place in the real-life town of Branchburg, New Jersey, lovingly captured in its mundane glory in numerous wide shots. While the appeal of some of the sketches is obvious (a man gets his arm caught in a clothing donation box, for instance), some are so absurd that they’re difficult just to describe. (I have my theories, but if anyone could tell me why I laugh at the “Let me swim in the pond” song every time, that’d be great.) While, say, Adult Swim spent the past 20-plus years plumbing the innate darkness of absurdist comedy, Brendan and Cory find a shimmering, quiet warmth instead, even under Branchburg’s blankets of snow. —Chris Kopcow

The Brief and Wondrous Life of Seeso (2016-2017)

Oh wow! A streaming service devoted entirely to comedy? Finally, shows by queer women, women of color, and flyover-country podcasters are getting greenlit! What? It’s gone? Dag. Oh well. I’ve got a good feeling about this Quibi thing though! —Bethy Squires

The Brimley/Cocoon Line and Rip Torn Outlives (2018–19; 2016–19)

These two single-serving Twitter accounts kept track of celebrities’ — and in the case of @RipTornOutlives, shows’ and other current events’ — lives in the way the extremely online can understand them best: by putting them in context with underappreciated pop-culture treasures. For @RipTornOutlives, that meant tracking all of the things that outlived the beloved actor Rip Torn, while for @BrimleyLine, that meant celebrating the moment that famous people became the same age as Wilford Brimley in the 1985 film Cocoon (18,530 days old, to be exact). While Rip Torn’s death in 2019 meant the end of @RipTornOutlives, we can still count on @BrimleyLine to chronicle the magnificent moment when celebrities cross the Line, and for that we’re very thankful. —Megh Wright

Bringo! (2012)

John C. Reilly’s Dr. Steve Brule is one of the strangest creations to emerge from the Tim and Eric universe, which is really saying something, considering the competition. Reilly got his own spinoff with his Adult Swim series Check It Out! With Dr. Steve Brule, which used degraded public-access aesthetics to showcase Brule interviewing “experts” and learning about new topics. In the episode “Boats,” Brule goes down to the “marinara” to learn about “broats” even though he already has “five of boats” of his own. The restaurant at the marina is too expensive, but luckily he finds a “drumpster” out back! Bringo! He eats a bunch of seafood, shell-on, directly out of the trash, drinks a glass of salt water, and vomits. But mostly he sounds his barbaric bringo over the roofs of the world.  —Rebecca Alter 

Bruce Chandling (2017)

Kyle Mooney’s veteran stand-up, Bruce Chandling, has been in the comedy game a long time. He has the delivery and the look of a stereotypical 1980s stand-up comedian. Unfortunately, the other thing about him that hasn’t been updated since then is his material. Each time he appears on SNL, slowly but surely he comes face-to-face with his failures, such as the moment when he reveals that he can’t get a job because he “don’t know cursive.” And also that he “don’t know non-cursive, neither.” —Ramsey Ess

“The Californians” (2012)

“The Californians” is an unforgettable satire of soap operas and the SoCal lifestyle that premiered in 2012, just in the nick of time, when Fred Armisen, Kristen Wiig, and Bill Hader were all still on the cast of SNL. In the sketches, they touch on everything that unites Angelenos — an obsession with discussing highway routes, parking validation, and produce bought on the side of the road — while somehow advancing the soapy plot, rather than bogging it down. Take, for example, when Stuart’s (Fred Armisen) long-lost father was finally able to find him because he decided to take a left onto Griffith Park Boulevard. —Rachel Davies 

Cameron Esposito Does Crowd Work on The Late Late Show (2013)

On September 3, 2013, Cameron Esposito made her late-night debut on The Late Late Show. She lucked out when guest Jay Leno decided to watch her set with host Craig Ferguson. Esposito made an unbelievably risky move, unheard of for a debut performance, to drop her prepared jokes halfway through her set to do crowd work with Leno and Ferguson. The results were more than any comic could ask for. —John Roy

Candles $3,600 (2013)

Few posts have the shelf life of Dril’s budget tweet, which communicates the effect his candle-purchasing habit is having on his family’s lifestyle. In a decade with an abundance of boomers publicly groveling that millennials are ruining the economy by diverting their homeowning funds to avocado toast and $5 lattes, Dril offered an homage to the importance of the finer things in life.—Rachel Davies

“Cannibal Cop” (2018)

Jena Friedman sits down with a very, uh, special guest on her Adult Swim show Soft Focus: the former NYPD cop who served time in prison for plotting on an online message board to kill and eat his wife. And with her incredible deadpan, she almost makes viewers feel sorry for him, all the while not allowing him to feel sorry for himself. The episode ends with a mock dating show, where the Cannibal Cop is forced to allocute his crime to the date of his choice, just before the two get simultaneous sports massages. A true–to–Adult Swim cacophony of mania and mundanity. —Taylor Garron

Catchphrase Jones (2012)

Born from the minds of the inimitable members of OFWGKTA, Loiter Squad was three seasons of irreverent, Jackass-esque sketch comedy from a very dumb millennial perspective. And while the show brought so many memorable sketches to the midnight Adult Swim audience, none were as ridiculous, yet somehow immaculate as the recurring “Catchphrase Jones.” Effortlessly parodying the blaxploitation films of the ’70s, Catchphrase Jones (played by underrated and frankly pretty hot Odd Future squad member Lionel Boyce) takes to the streets to save his girl and defeat the evil Black Claw, never missing a moment to live up to his name with a nonsensical catchphrase. My personal favorite? “If a goat wanna be a goat, I guess I gotta shave your ass.” —Taylor Garron

Catherine (2013)

I don’t understand this JASH show, nor why it’s funny. Catherine sort of trades in the comedy of discomfort, but it seems to be funny because of anxious humor that comes from extreme, deliberate banality. Apart from the ongoing mystery of who ordered an apple with their lunch, very little “happens” in this “story in 12 parts.” All the dialogue is slowly, precisely, and clearly delivered; every character in this literally beige office drama, from Catherine (co-creator Jenny Slate) to her many off-putting co-workers, talks like a robot on quaaludes. The series feels like a high-school foreign-language-class video, with its slow and simple dialogue, but translated back into English. The off-key, two-note theme song fully expresses what Catherine is all about — baffling and hilariously baffling. —Brian Boone

“Celery Man” (2010)

Before we pored over images of ourselves and passed them through Facetune, before filters, before even the selfie culture of Snapchat and Instagram … there was “Celery Man.” Tim and Eric kicked off our decade of digital hell with this masterful one-man tour de force starring Paul Rudd, where he sits at a computer in a virtual void watching tiny dancing versions of himself on a screen. Now Tayne I can get into. —Rebecca Alter

Chrimbus Special (2010)

In 2010, Tim and Eric made a holiday special for a terrible fictional holiday they invented called Chrimbus. The music sounds uncannily like Mannheim Steamroller. They’re wearing spray tans and veneers. The audience is all middle-aged men in suits. The Christmas tree is replaced with a Chrimbus bush that, as per tradition, you must keep “trimmed and wet.” Instead of Santa’s, they sit on the lap of Winter Man, a greasy guy in nothing but a jean vest (his dangling privates are thankfully blurred out). The larger plot of the Chrimbus special is that they’re trying to sell it to viewers on DVD, as represented by a little scamp named “Dee Vee,” whom they serenade. The Chrimbus special is timeless and gets better each winter you revisit it. It was also, nearing the end of Awesome Show Great Job, proof that Tim and Eric’s surreal comedy can work outside the show’s highly edited, effects-heavy, microsketch format. —Rebecca Alter

“Christmas Mass Spectacular” (2014)

Whether you went to Catholic school or were dragged to church by your parents for Christmas every year growing up, this standout SNL sketch from Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider nails the experience that is Mass on Jesus’s birthday, right down to that curious but fleeting peek into the rectory. —Megh Wright

The Claw of Shame (2013)

Nathan Fielder pulled off many ridiculous stunts on Nathan for You, but only one of them involved him risking the possibility of becoming a registered sex offender. The “Claw of Shame” was a hilariously elaborate segment in which Fielder had to race against the clock to free himself from a robot programmed to take down his pants in front of a group of children, but the highlight of the whole thing was the instantly iconic line he had to deliver beforehand, thanks to advice from the late Judge Anthony Filosa, to ensure the risk was real: “Something might happen here, and if it does, so what?” —Megh Wright 

“Code Words for Lesbianism in Classic Films” (2015)

I’ll never forget the P.G. Wodehouse story where Bertie Wooster calls his (obviously gay) ex-fiancée a “healthy girl … sporting.” This list and its distaff counterpart, “Code Words for ‘Gay’ in Classic Films,” are that sweet spot between using humor to process the trauma of erasure and dumb haha words for your idiot brain. Tag yourself, I’m “a gal with her own library card.” —Bethy Squires

Conan and Jordan Go to Italy (2018)

There aren’t too many sure things in late night, but Conan O’Brien’s international segments and any bit involving his producer Jordan Schlansky are two of them. Considering Jordan constantly prattles on about his love of Italian culture, it was only a matter of time before Conan put them together. As they tour gorgeous cities and vineyards, both men play a different kind of Ugly American — one an ignorant loudmouth, the other a pedantic outsider-who-thinks-he’s-an-insider — as they charm and annoy everyone they come across in equal measure. Who knows how much of Jordan’s persona is shtick? But also, who cares? Watching him wax rhapsodic about a barista making espresso (“It’s a dance between man and machine”) is pure bliss. —Chris Kopcow

Conner O’Malley’s Charlie Rose Dance (2016)

Conner O’Malley’s interpretation of the Charlie Rose theme song on Late Night With Seth Meyers is truly one of the weirdest things to ever air on late-night television. Somehow both art and farce, the dance was later translated into a heartwarming short film directed by Joe Pera as a part of their exciting unsold pilot, TruthHunters.com. Whether he was ruling Vine, hosting a late-night show on the side of a highway, or fanboying over Howard Schultz in the middle of a junkyard covered in blood, O’Malley took the early limits of internet alt-comedy and tossed them into a river (along with himself). —Mark Kramer

“Continental Breakfast” (2013)

It’s funny ’cause business-traveler hotels calling a bunch of muffins and yogurt cups “Continental breakfast” is goofy! Who do they think they are? In this classic Key & Peele sketch, Jordan Peele plays a mustachioed man who chuckles contentedly at the cereal, calls a grape a “tiny plum,” and twiddles his fingers at Europine delights like the danish “clearly from Brussels.” The music is rhapsodic, his eating noises are orgasmic, and he sure does love being incontinent. Come for the complimentary breakfast included with the room, stay for the Overlook-inspired twist at the end.  —Rebecca Alter

“Corporate Social Media Managers” (2019)

No comedians captured the absurdities of the internet and social media this decade better than Brad Evans and Nick Ciarelli. Whether they were creating videos posing as #Resistance grifters, Barstool Sports bros, or presidential-campaign interns, the duo made work that always felt like an elaborate inside joke, and all you needed to be welcomed in was to be way too online. But no bit felt better tied to this decade than “Corporate Social Media Managers,” in which they posed as the Twitter masterminds behind Otter Pops (a real company) and Pine Breeze Urinal Cakes (a fake company) and revealed the three most successful themes for posting tweets as a brand: “fucking,” “having depression,” and “fucking while having depression.” Bleak? Absolutely. But mining original humor out of the bleakest corners of the internet is what these guys do best. —Megh Wright

The Cupliverse (2011-2019)

The Vioobu-sphere output by the likes of Scott Gairdner and Nick Corirossi seems to always be slightly ahead of the rest of the comedy world in its satire, pointing out tired trends and hypocrisies the moment before they really land with the rest of the internet. First, there’s Vioobu, a fake streaming giant with a real website, which stands in for the Silicon Valley media mediocrity driving “disruption” in comedy production today. Through Vioobu, you can watch Cuplicated, which parodies the autobiographical, self-serious prestige comedies about L.A., depression, and cheating on hot women with other hot women that were huge this decade. It’s about Craig Healy, a “troubled” comedian who’s most known in this alternate universe for a Tosh.0-style clip show centered on talking in a beyond-stupid voice over rapid-fire, one-second clips. On Vioobu, you can find some 2011 Clip Cup episodes, if you’re so inclined. The newest Vioobu original is Craigada Fixada America, which borrows from Bill Maher, Michelle Wolf, and Pod Save America to show how feckless and self-satisfied Trump-era white liberal political comedy has become. The Vioobu-verse even has its own version of Lin-Manuel Miranda in Shawn-Lopez Blumenthal. —Rebecca Alter

Dancing Horse (2013)

The decade’s definitive piece of anti-comedy, partly because it was the centerpiece of a Radiolab episode about repetition. There were few bits of stand-up that convey such virtuosic joy. It peaked as the anti-punch-line punch line of a bit Schaal, along with Kurt Braunohler, quixotically tried to pull off with her 2013 special, in which as a lead-up for weeks she said that the taping went terribly. The special falls apart, in a way that walks the line of what is actually real, all culminating to this masterpiece of silliness. —Jesse David Fox

“Darrell’s House” (2013)

The two-part “Darrell’s House” SNL sketch made our list of the best comedy sketches of the decade, and for good reason. Host Zach Galifianakis plays Darrell Sparks, who films himself starring in a video about the “three keys of entertaining,” yelling out notes to himself for how to fix the video when he sits down to edit it later. “Part One” aired earlier during Galifianakis’s episode of SNL, and sometime between then and when “Part Two” aired, the show’s team of editors scrambled together to create the “final” version — Jon Hamm cameo and all. It’s live television at its best. —Megh Wright

Dead Horse (2018)

It’s unbelievable how funny this Nate Bargatze joke is. You really cannot believe it based on premise: One time Nate saw a dead horse on the side of the road. And yet as he tells the story of what went through his head that day, a whole world of hilarity opens up. The mix of absurdity and deadpan results in a magical combination. There is even a magic-trick-like turn halfway through! —Jesse David Fox

Demi Adejuyigbe’s September 21 Videos (2016-2019)

Not since Leap Day William has someone so perfectly aligned himself with a date on the calendar. Demi Adejuyigbe’s September 21 videos are a goofy breath of fresh air on an increasingly hellish website. In a world where brands pretend to be horny, we need something this pure. —Bethy Squires 

Depends (2016)

When Mel Brooks stepped onstage at Radio City Music Hall in 2016, of course he wanted to make people laugh. That’s what the guy’s been doing for 70 years. But during an audience Q&A after a screening of Blazing Saddles, he dropped a one-liner that reminded us how he’s made people laugh for all those decades. Somebody asked, “Boxers or briefs?” and Mel immediately quipped, “Depends.” Sure it’s corny, and it’s almost definitely a joke he’s been saying for years, but so much about his sense of humor is packed into that little punch line. No wonder he pulled it out again when he was on Broadway this year. Anything for a laugh. —Chris Heller

Desus and Mero Play Untitled Goose Game (2019)

When you boil down the reason Desus and Mero are the best new talk-show hosts of the decade, it’s pretty simple: You can put any topic in front of the two longtime friends and they’ll find a way to crack jokes until their gas tank runs empty. Rudy Giuliani’s teeth? The Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scheme? A surprise hit indie video game where you play as the world’s most annoying goose? For the Bodega Boys, there’s no subject matter safe from their laser-focused shit talk. I get that Showtime execs want to justify all the money they gave the duo by having the show feel “bigger” with prerecorded sketches and interviews with Pete Buttigieg. But the show — and its online exclusives — is at its best when it plays to Desus and Mero’s strengths. —Pablo Goldstein

Drew Tarver’s Martin Sheffield-Lickley Songs (2018)

Episode #558 of Comedy Bang! Bang! marked the character debut of Martin Sheffield-Lickly, an ’80s British New Wave singer from the fictional band 2+2 = Love. He arrives having had a rough year steeped in personal tragedies, including losing his wife to cancer and his son to emphysema. He’s channeled his sadness into inappropriately upbeat tunes that he performed at his deceased family’s dual funeral, a bundled service that saved him $30. The lyrics to “Ship of Love,” “Love Jail,” and “Jesus Is My Savior (Love Casino)” would work well as romantic heartbreak pop songs if it weren’t for Lickly’s closing remarks like, “My wife didn’t make it,” and “My son’s dead!” —Isaac Kozell

Dumb Starbucks (2014)

Among all of Nathan Fielder’s questionable business ideas to come out of Nathan for You, only one received international media attention before the episode even aired. The genius of Fielder’s coffee-shop rebrand was not only in its near-perfect copyright infringement but in its simplicity: What came off to some as a subversive art piece about corporate franchises was actually just a “Dumb” idea. As Fielder notes, “It was cool that people could draw their own meaning from a business that was just there to make money.” —Katla McGlynn

The Dumpster Episode (2016)

Out of all The Chris Gethard Show’s iterations over the past decade — from UCB stage show, to public access show, to Fusion series, and finally to a live season on truTV — no moment had wider reach or appeal than the 2016 “Dumpster Episode” titled “One Man’s Trash,” in which callers and guests Paul Scheer and Jason Mantzoukas tried to guess the contents of a dumpster for about 40 minutes. The concept was simple, the participants were enthralled, and if you were watching at home, you sat on the edge of your seat with every question asked. The reveal is too good to spoil for anyone who still hasn’t seen it — and it’s hard to say if the episode would have ended anti-climactically any other way — but in the case of this near-perfect episode of a comedy talk show, it’s more about the journey than the destination. —Katla McGlynn

Dunkaccino (2011)

“What’s my name?” Al Pacino is on track to receive his ninth Academy Award nomination in 2020 for his performance as Jimmy Hoffa in Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman. But even an Oscar won’t make up for the Academy’s egregious snub of his next-level performance in 2011’s Jack and Jill. Pacino is the funniest he’s ever been (intentionally or otherwise) as a lascivious, washed-up version of himself, forced by unforgiving Hollywood into a nightmarishly peppy, Lin-Manuel Miranda–style Dunkin’ Donuts ad. The movie is lost to the ages, but the commercial has gone on to have a life of its own online as the culmination of product placement’s evil influence. —Sean Malin

“East/West College Bowl” (2012)

Jackmerius Tacktheritrix. Hingle McCringleberry. Donkey Teeth. These college-football legends and more are immortalized in the first of three Key & Peele “East/West College Bowl” sketches. Key and Peele play a combined 31(!) unique players under this delightfully simple premise. Perhaps the widest range of facial hair ever worn by an Oscar-winning screenwriter. —Mark Kramer

Eat Shit, Bob! (2017-19)

John Oliver’s two-year feud with coal magnate and all-around bad man Bob Murray reached its big finale in late 2019, after Murray finally dropped his SLAPP suit against HBO. Oliver gathered a small army of singers and dancers (including live-action Shrek Brian d’Arcy James) to celebrate the win as any rational human would. Murray allegedly deserves every insult hurled at him in the four-minute showstopper. —Mark Kramer

Elena (2012)

It was a stroke of divine web-series providence when Billy Eichner met his Billy on the Street foil, Elena. Half his height and double his (already formidable) attitude, Elena stands for approximately zero percent of Billy’s guff, throwing him off his game with her tangents and rebuttals. She’s a classic New York woman of a certain age, and her appearances on the original Funny or Die series were always a refreshing, hilarious contrast to the normal Billy status quo of throwing skittish pedestrians off-guard. Elena’s the ultimate high-status character.  —Rebecca Alter

Eva Victor’s Front-Facing Videos

The proliferation of social media over the past decade has spawned a new generation of incredibly funny Internet Comedians™️, and Eva Victor is arguably one of the greats. With the ability to express the mundanity of everyday life along with a biting satirical sensibility, her front-facing videos have garnered millions of views and won her some major fans in regular ol’ Twitter users and huge celebrities in turn. —Taylor Garron

“Everyone’s Upstairs Neighbors” (2015)

Above Average churned out one of the most relatable millennial sketches to date with this 2015 video. Written by Above Average head writer Matt Moskovciak, the sketch stars Fallon writer Dan Chamberlain and UCB’s Molly Lloyd as everyone’s upstairs neighbors — two very serious artists who believe “their ceiling is our stage.” Bowling balls, a jar of marbles, and fake sex noises are just some of the satisfying beats in this relic of the golden age of online video. —Mark Kramer 

Farts and Procreation (2011)

What started out as a Parks and Recreation special but without Amy Poehler or, as host Scott Aukerman puts it, “any of the people you might want,” “Farts and Procreation” with Adam Scott, Harris Wittels, and Chelsea Peretti quickly became not just a recurring series but a Comedy Bang! Bang! favorite. With beloved characters like the lumberyard workers Jack Sjunior and Brian Pieces and bits like “Harris’s Foam Corner,” “Farts and Procreation” may sound like it’s all over the place with what Peretti calls out as a crazy amount of “bit saturation in the room.” It is recognized by fans, however, as a complete mastery of silliness. A fourth installment called “NOT Farts and Procreation 4,” recorded just days before Wittels’s death and released shortly after, begins with Aukerman giving an incredibly moving tribute to Harris and his enormous impact, not just on Comedy Bang! Bang! but on comedy overall and the surrounding community of comedians and fans. —Leigh Cesiro 

Featuring Ludacris (2017)

The home life of Big Mouth’s Jay is already bizarre enough — need I remind you of the selection of homewares he’s had affairs with — when we’re introduced to his dog, Featuring Ludacris. Yet, even amid this landscape, the pit bull’s troubled inner life makes him plenty memorable. He uses the elliptical, repeating to himself “thin, thin, thin, I’ll never be thin” as he does so, and explains to Nick about how he connected with a neighborhood beagle but left her because she wasn’t in heat. Like the majority of the characters on Big Mouth, it’s clear that Featuring Ludacris needs therapy. —Rachel Davies

Florida Stanley

The joy of The Office was in its juxtaposition of people’s work behavior and life behavior and how often there was very little distinction. Even in the show’s lacking later seasons, this trope still offered plenty of opportunities for humor, especially for the characters who had relatively little airtime. In the eighth season, a redux of Stanley’s “Pretzel Day” happened with Florida Stanley, whose entirely different personality Jim aptly describes as looking like he’s just come back from “burning down a rival nightclub.” —Rachel Davies

“Focus Group” (2019)

Picking a favorite sketch from Tim Robinson’s first season of I Think You Should Leave is like picking your favorite child. Now, I don’t have any children, but if I did, I would pick this “Focus Group” sketch — one of the funniest of the decade — over the rest. I’d even pick any good GIF of the oddball old man (played by Ruben Rabasa) captioned with one of his perfect throwaway lines (like “Oh my God, he admit it!”) over any of my imaginary children. —Katla McGlynn

“For-Profit Online University” (2013)

With all of the issues facing American colleges, it’s time to rethink higher education. Why not enroll in a proudly unaccredited university where you — alongside a diverse student body that includes data-harvesting ad bots — can use “thoughtcoins” to buy facts for your knowledge cloud, which can be used in thousands of 45-second-long classes that, when completed, will qualify you for an entry-level career as a digital gardener, which may lead to an exciting role in the Anti-H.O.W.A.R.D. Task Force where you can combat digital terrorism? Plus no more library suicides! Written by a group of former Onion writers, “For-Profit Online University” wasn’t the first infomercial to air during Adult Swim’s 4 a.m. time slot, but it does remain one of its best. —Isaac Kozell

Found $20 (2012)

With a popular Twitter daily stand-up-tip series and a new, revealing HBO special, Gary Gulman is getting at least some of the credit he’s long deserved. But in a just world, he would have nabbed all that acclaim following this bit about finding a $20 bill in your pocket. Now, griping about being poor isn’t exactly breaking new ground in stand-up. But Gulman’s mastery is how he finds goofy, charming new ways to approach this territory, whether it’s his delivery of “My plans changed” after finding the extra cash or marveling at how Bill Gates would have to find $12 million in an old coat to have the same experience. In a decade where people grew increasingly aware of the ravages of capitalism and just how out of touch billionaires are, Gulman’s act is not only still relevant but seems ahead of its time, especially when you consider his bit comparing Gates and Donald Trump that follows later in the special. —Chris Kopcow

Frank in the Couch (2010)

Danny DeVito has given one of the brashest physical comedy performances on television throughout this entire decade, and half of the previous one, on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia as Frank Reynolds, a disgusting troll of a man who lives in literal filth in a pullout bed with Charlie (Charlie Day). In the long-running series’ season-six holiday special, DeVito scarred our retinas forever when he burst — naked, sweaty, mewling — out of a leather sofa into which he had sewn himself to eavesdrop on his employees. Watching this feels wrong and overintimate, like popping in a “Miracle of Life” VHS in some alternate-universe biology class where all babies look like Danny DeVito. The lead-up, with classic Dennis (Glenn Howerton) and Dee’s (Kaitlin Olson) exasperated shenanigans, is the cherry on the sweaty, nasty cake. —Rebecca Alter

Gabe Liedman. SEND. (Unknown-2019)

Gabe Liedman has been behind some of the best comedy TV of the decade, from Brooklyn Nine-Nine to PEN15, but nowhere is his comedic presence more evident than on Twitter with his commitment to ending tweets in “SEND.” Something about the singular additional word adds a level of urgency to his tweets, whether they’re about a visit to the hairdressers’ or his generation’s obsession with the Who’s Tommy. Unfortunately, Liedman’s tweets from prior to 2017 are deleted, but even after the Twitter rejuvenation, he’s still dedicated to the bit. —Rachel Davies 

Gas Station Rebate (2013)

Nathan for You’s Nathan Fielder helps a gas-station owner attract more business by advertising shockingly low gas prices, accessible only after customers return a rebate to a box located at the top of a mountain. When several customers prove willing to make the hike, Fielder ends up on an overnight camping trip. When he returns, he attempts to shock the gas-station owner by mentioning that one customer was willing to drink his own pee to redeem the rebate, and the gas-station owner’s response is so flabbergasting that the notoriously stone-faced Fielder actually breaks character and cracks a smile. —Nayomi Reghay 

Gay Villains (2012)

The mixture of James Adomian’s virtuosic talent and powerful social insight results in one of the decade’s great performances. It’s just such a rich, thorough, undeniable bit. And it changed culture: Never again would a gay villain in media go unnoticed. —Jesse David Fox

“Grad Student Shuffle” (2019)

To be honest, Chris Fleming’s “Grad Student Shuffle” hurt my feelings. As someone guilty of both hoarding ghee and drinking from a Klean Kanteen during grad school, I felt seen, and not in the good way. Fleming’s acclaimed brand of video comedy combines a dancer’s mojo with a highly sensitive eye for bullshit artistry, as displayed in songs like “W.U.G. (Wildly Unlikeable Guy)” and “Polyamorous.” But why did he need to come for me personally? —Sean Malin

Gun Violence (2018)

There are fewer jokes that hit harder than Kyle Kinane’s brilliant opener of his 2018 Netflix half-hour special. He masterfully used the fact that specials sit on the shelves for months to his advantage, directly confronting the complaint that it’s too soon to discuss gun control in the wake of a tragedy. It’s more formally inventive than any joke of the decade. —Jesse David Fox

“Gungan Style” (2012)

The first hints of the soon-to-come bleakness of the internet comedy landscape were in the early 2010s. Driven by click-, view-, and engagement-addicted corporate overlords, online sketch comedy had gradually drifted away from novel ideas toward algorithmically generated pop-culture-reference mash-ups. Nick Wiger’s Trojan horse of a video captures the existential crisis that both he, as a Funny or Die employee, and the industry were going through with the most obnoxious premise imaginable: a Jar Jar Binks parody of Psy’s “Gangnam Style.” Understandably, many closed the video seconds into the awful song, but those who made it past the 1:00 mark were treated to a dark comedy rumination on creating content in the digital age. —Justin Caffier

Guy Fieri (2017)

The fact that Shane Torres, a relatively unknown stand-up, completely reversed the perception of a cliché punch line of a person, Guy Fieri, is not usually the example of the power of comedy, but it definitely is one. He zigged when the world had already zagged hard, and the result was unforgettable. The day that track debuted online (cough-cough on Vulture) was one of the most exciting in the decade of comedy, when you could see the culture all at once turn a joke into a classic. —Jesse David Fox

“Half Jewish Half Italian Completely Neurotic” (2011)

Photo: NBC

There are too many great Fred Armisen SNL sketches to count, but one of the most hilariously specific is his performance as Tommy Palmese, the star of the awful, self-indulgent, four-hour one-man show Half Jewish Half Italian Completely Neurotic. The show is so terrible that the only way to get a positive review in the commercial is through the butchered Backstage quote “Audiences can’t get … enough!” The theater critics’ loss is every Fred Armisen fan’s gain. (Watch the sketch here.) —Megh Wright

HAM! (2011)

30 Rock’s pitch-perfect spoof of Bravo reality shows, Queen of Jordan, features Tracy’s wife, Angie (Sherri Shepherd), the only person who can wreak more havoc than Tracy. Angie is at her greatest when she’s riding the waves of her escalating non-career. Whether she’s announcing “My single ‘My Single Is Dropping’ is dropping” or making Jack Donaghy quiver with fear, she’s just a delight. But her funniest moment comes when she gets named the spokeswoman for the Ham Council. People do love the way she says “Ham”! In fact, someone made a video of her saying it for 15 minutes straight, and it’s art. —Nayomi Reghay

Hans Beinholtz (2010-2014)

One of the most underrated recurring bits from The Colbert Report was Hans Beinholtz, the German ambassador to the United Nations, who occasionally visited Stephen Colbert’s show from 2010 to 2014. Whether he was sampling a cupcake, exposing the true nature of Kermit the Frog, or explaining Father Christmas, Beinholtz — played by New York writer, actor, and folk musician Erik Frandsen — brought a perfectly bleak counterbalance to Colbert’s Über-sarcasm when it came to any topic even vaguely related to Germany. A standout segment aired in 2011 when Beinholtz gave stand-up comedy a try: “Love is an empty promise. Today you are young, holding hands, thinking of the future  — tomorrow you are clutching a cadaver of your lover. Am I right, ladies?” —Megh Wright

Hark! A Vagrant (2011)

Photo: Hark! A Vagrant

Maybe more responsible for shaping what I find to be funny than any other single thing out there. Although Hark! A Vagrant began as a webcomic in 2006, Kate Beaton’s book by the same name was published in 2011, collecting many of her earlier strips as well as adding new material to her body of daffy, brainy, evocative cartoons. There are so many Hark! A Vagrant strips to love — “Nemesis,” “The Great Gatsby,” her run of “Nancy Drew” comics that start from the classic covers — the definitive one will always be “Dude Watchin’ With the Brontës.” It’s one of the first pages of the book, and it works as stand-alone humor, meaningful criticism of all the Brontë novels, and as a more general observation about the way culture, as Beaton puts it, “romantici[zes] douchey behavior.” I have a framed print of “Dude Watchin’” in my living room so that I can force people to read it. —Kathryn VanArendonk

Harrison Ford Is Stoned on Conan (2010)

One night in 2010, Harrison Ford lived up to his wealthy and stealthy stoner status in a legendary late-night appearance. Ford shows all the classic signs of being as high as many Conan viewers might have been that night: mindlessly caressing the arms of his chair, giggling about blimps, and contemplating another Indiana Jones sequel. A reminder that late night can be fun without singing or dancing, too. —Mark Kramer

Have a Summah (2010)

Howard Kremer has built an entire brand around his love for summer. His “Have a Summah” philosophy, in which Jaws serves as religious source material, has birthed five musical concept albums, Summah merch, and an annual Summahfest event. The movement now has a clearly defined set of tenets, but it didn’t emerge fully formed. As he told us back in 2015, “I was having this debate in my head about five years ago, ‘Should I get some work done or should I go to the beach?’ Even when I went to the beach, I was still having the debate in my head. I just thought, ‘Hey, I got to talk about this.’ So I started kind of doing the debate onstage.” —Isaac Kozell

Herb Ertlinger Fruit Wine (2016)

Sometimes it takes a master to show the bébés how it’s done. During season one of Schitt’s Creek, Catherine O’Hara debuted as matriarch Moira Rose, who stretched elocution to new heights with her fast and loose approach to line delivery. In this early episode, Moira stoops below her dignity to star as the spokeswoman for a local fruit winery and, having sampled the supply, delivers some strange and wondrous copy about fruit. —Rebecca Alter

High School Party (2012)

The bravado and idiocy of teendom is well-worn territory, the pinnacle perhaps being the 1986 documentary Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. But a decade later, some other overconfident white Chicago teens shat on their teacher’s computer and yelled “Fuck da police!” at da police. But the best part of Mulaney’s story of pre-sobriety comes from when he’s denying all responsibility to the poor kid whose house got trashed. He says he wasn’t there, “Y’know, like a liar.” And that simple aside to the audience was the 2010s. You can just lie! It’s the easiest thing in the world, and John Mulaney will show you how.  —Bethy Squires

Ho-Ho the Naughty Elf (2014–17)

There are some hallmarks of many (but not all) Lauren Lapkus podcast characters, whether they’re guesting on Comedy Bang! Bang! or appearing on her own show, With Special Guest. They’re often either impish children and teens (Traci Reardon, Todd, Murphy O’Malaman) or husky-voiced grown women (Regina Crimp, Big Sue, Pamela from Big Bear). They like to give Scott Aukerman sass. More than one of them will fly around the room and go “Wheeee!” truly using the audio medium to its fullest. She put a few of these characters on display in her episode of Netflix’s The Characters and added some new ones, like a dead-eyed stripper who dances to “Brick.” But the best summation of Lapkus’s gleeful mischief-makers has to be Ho-Ho the Naughty Elf, who debuted in a 2014 Christmas episode of Comedy Bang! Bang! to bring knives and guns to all the bad little boys and girls. Lapkus sounds like she’s practically bouncing off the walls in this clip, and the more weird elf-logic details she improvs about her character, the more warm chuckles she elicits from Paul F. Tompkins in an adorable loop. Ho-ho! Bleh! —Rebecca Alter

“Hole” (2014)

A haunting departure from Awesome Show, this episode of Tim and Eric’s Bedtime Stories focuses on the terrifying relationship between Dennis Murphy (played by Eric Wareheim) and his overbearing neighbor Brenner (played by Tim Heidecker). Feeling slighted by Dennis missing his boy’s night, Brenner subjects him to a series of increasingly psychotic punishments, from unleashing a swarm of bees on his family, to leaving a rotten turkey on his stoop, to burning his rosebushes and cutting down his tree. Eventually, the bizarre episode devolves into a pseudo-funeral for Dennis, with Brenner having dug him a grave and stolen his family, who all wish him good-bye and he is buried alive. Is there any genre that Tim and Eric can’t do? —Taylor Garron

Holographic Teleconference (2014)

Even when the series wasn’t sure to do with his character, Matt Ross’s performance as billionaire blowhard Gavin Belson remained one of Silicon Valley’s most reliable sources of comedy. And he was never funnier than when he would explode with rage at the slightest thing that wouldn’t go his way. Case in point: When Gavin tries out an unstable hologram system to chat with Big Head, the video predictably glitches, and he races to blame the technician. That Gavin’s rants (“Fuck you, the audio’s working!”) are matched to incredible visual distortions and freeze frames of him mid-scream only makes the scene more sublime. —Chris Kopcow

Horse Loose in a Hospital (2018)

Before Trump was elected, there was this notion that, “Hey, he’ll be good for comedy.” Not really. Most late-night comedy shows have descended into fatalistic hand-wringing and a call to rise up and resist. That’s all well and good, but where’s the actual making fun of the president, through which we can all find some understanding of why he does what he does and how this moment factors into history? It’s a bit in John Mulaney’s Kid Gorgeous special. He doesn’t really do topical humor, so perhaps it’s his perspective as an outsider (reflecting on a political outsider) that makes his Trump commentary so effective. Or perhaps it’s because he weighed in on Trump so perfectly a decade ago, comparing Trump to what an old-timey hobo thinks a rich person is like. For whatever reason, Mulaney’s extended metaphor, in which he compares Trump, without ever saying his name, to a horse rampaging through a hospital, is apt. —Brian Boone

Humblebrag (2010)

Photo: Twitter/humblebrag

Ugh, we’re such nerds, but Vulture has already done extensive coverage of @humblebrag in the past. No need to be humble about this achievement: Not many entries on this list were actually added to the official Merriam-Webster Dictionary. One of the earliest forms of Twitterspeak was birthed in 2010 by one of the greatest comedic minds of his generation. RIP, Harris Wittels. —Mark Kramer 

“I Regret to Inform You My Wedding to Captain Von Trapp Has Been Canceled” (2011)

Melinda Taub’s “I Regret to Inform You …” was written 46 years after The Sound of Music was released in theaters but somehow found a dangling thread and unexamined perspective on the tale of the Von Trapps in the form of Baroness Elsa Schraeder. As the baronness breaks the news to the guest list from her canceled wedding, we quickly learn that one person’s happy ending and escape from the Nazis is another person’s jilting at the altar.  —Ramsey Ess

I Don’t Trust Like That (2016)

The Eric Andre Show’s in-studio desk segments are usually punctuated by filmed segments that are basically Candid Camera on ketamine. Andre will fill jai-alai paddles with loose Skittles and stumble through a subway car, or Ranch some Wall Street bros, or outzealot the raving zealots in Union Square. Mostly, the people who witness Andre’s performance art are disgusted, confused, or terrified, but occasionally they are so absolutely annoyed and not having it that it seems to goad Andre on. In this segment, Andre does the classic “two guys on top of each other in a trenchcoat” bit and tries to buy a car, because I guess that’s what adults do? The car dealer then utters five dead serious words that have become my life motto for anything mildly suspicious. When in doubt, don’t trust like that.  —Rebecca Alter

“I Steal Pets” (2011)

A broadcast television network allowed Rachel Bloom to make a long-form, years-long great American musical — Crazy Ex-Girlfriend — because she’d been making mini-musicals for years. “I Steal Pets” tells a complete story in just a few minutes, and it’s the extraordinarily dark story of a bullied tween (Bloom) who copes with the cruelties of junior high (and a personal tragedy, bluntly revealed in a shocking, last-minute twist) by stealing pets from the popular people, then dressing up the pets like the popular people. Come for the catchy tunes and cute dogs, stay for Bloom making out with a dog in a secret pet shed made up to look like a school dance. —Brian Boone

“I’m Like a Bird” (2014)

“Well, we promised Ms. Furtado and her people we’d have something for her by the end of the day,” Dan Chamberlain says to Michael Hartney. This is the start of the sketch “I’m Like a Bird” performed onstage at the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York in a sketch written by Matthew Star. In the four minutes that follow, the audience is treated to alternate lyrics to Nelly Furtado’s song that explain why she’s like a bird, such as “I have hollow bones” and “My house is made of garbage.” —Ramsey Ess

“iBrain” (2010)

More than any other comedy bit in recent memory, Brett Gelman’s “iBrain” story begs not to be spoiled. I hate even having to tell you there’s something to spoil, but how else can I ensure you’ll listen to the entire ten-minute segment? Beginning as a hackneyed dystopian satire about a couple named Adam and Eve watching an Apple product announcement, “iBrain” swerves hard into ludicrously profane territory about halfway through, when Gelman seems to be inventing innuendos on the fly as everyone else in the studio groans or keels over laughing. For your own good, it’s probably best not to listen to this one in public. —Chris Kopcow

An Ice-T Impersonator Prank Calls Paul F. Tompkins (2014)

It’s a tale as old as time: Paul F. Tompkins does Ice-T impersonation. Another performer, Rocwell, also does Ice-T impersonation. Rocwell prank calls Tompkins posing as Ice-T to ask him about his Ice-T impersonation. Tompkins shares his Ice-T impersonation with Rocwell, who is still posing as the real Ice-T, then admits the impersonation isn’t good enough to be able to prank call someone with it. Then, the real real Ice-T plays the prank call on his podcast (the call starts at 4:57 in the above clip). It’s the perfect full-circle comedy event. —Megh Wright

“It’s a Tear Down” (2014)

A parody of home-renovation shows called “It’s a Tear Down” where a guy just tears your house down to rubble would be funny enough. Add Brian Stack and an indelible catchphrase into the mix and you have a classic. Scott Aukerman’s self-satisfaction with his “This man cave is beginning to look more like a man’s grave” line sums up what made the IFC TV version of Comedy Bang! Bang! so fun.  Rebecca Alter

Italian Elon Musk (2018)

Photo: Italian Elon Musk/Twitter

When Elon Musk became too easy to mock and dunk on, his Twitter antagonists went in a different direction, creating a slew of parody accounts, each satirizing the guy’s tweet style through the lens of a different nationality or personality trait. Musk’s French, South African, and Bored iterations all put in great work, but the clear star of the show was the joke’s progenitor. The cartoonishly shallow Italian Elon Musk spent a glorious week tweeting A+B jokes about the world’s most online billionaire until Twitter admins stepped in to shut down the fun rather than deal with their growing Nazi problem. —Justin Caffier 

Jaboukie Young-White’s Soup Tweets (2012-2019)

Jaboukie Young-White has been publicly championing soup since 2016, when he proposed it as an alternative to cuffing season, and his celebration of the dish has only become more intense since. Take, for example, when he dedicated a thread to honoring different soups, in which he refers to tomato soup and grilled cheese as “a lesson in teamwork,” or when the Chipotle corporate account told him to “take it easy, man” because of his insistence that they begin serving soup. Wherever the ’20s takes him, we hope it comes with a Panera-endorsement deal. —Rachel Davies

“Jack Sparrow” (2011)

We were lucky to get some primo Lonely Island SNL digital shorts at the decade’s outset, and none is wackier or catchier than “Jack Sparrow,” featuring Michael Bolton. The setup is so, so stupid and so, so magnificent: Michael Bolton is guesting on their generic track about partying at the club and so forth, but every time he comes in to sing the chorus, he just wants to belt about the plot of Pirates of the Caribbean, and specifically the exploits of Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow. It’s cute and funny to just write a song about a guy who’s psyched about a bunch of old movies he just saw, and funnier to make that cinephile Michael Bolton. The language is grand and florid — he’s the “jester of the surf, the clown prince of Tortuga” — and that hook is catchy as heck. —Rebecca Alter

Jenny Slate Reflects on Her Stoner Days (2014)

By the time Jenny Slate had her first appearance on Late Night, she’d already begun winning many with her performance in Obvious Child. After her Late Night appearance, her place in our hearts was solidified with an anecdote about confusing astronomy and astrology as a Columbia freshman who had just realized that “marijuana is [her] soul mate.” In the interview, she recalls a class outing, for which she got extra-stoned, bundled up in a scarf, mittens, parka, and hat in an effort to be comfy, and unexpectedly had to do work on the blackboard in front of the entire class. The work required writing chalk while wearing mittens and was too much for her to handle — all she ended up writing was “How seems the difference … ?” —Rachel Davies

“Jessica’s Feminized Atmosphere” (2014)

Jessica Williams’s on-point ironic disbelief and uncanny ability to make even the most offensive takes seem worthy of attention make this Daily Show segment one of her funniest. From interacting hilariously with street harassers, to publicly looking like a crazy person, to getting a room full of women to recite the phrase “Shit on my tits,” Williams’s comedic chops shine despite the controversial topic at hand. Also, it’s redundant! —Taylor Garron

Jiminy Glick Interviews Larry David (2017)

Photo: NBC

NBC’s efforts to revive the variety-show format didn’t go as planned, but the lone season of Maya & Marty did give one of our greatest entertainer’s greatest characters (Martin Short’s Jiminy Glick) the chance to sit down with one of our greatest entertainer’s greatest characters (Larry David’s Larry David). Come for Jiminy’s increasingly anti-Semitic line of questioning, stay for the decade’s only decent candy fight between sexagenarian comedy legends. (Watch it here.) —Will Storey 

Joe Pera Discovers “Baba O’Riley” (2018)

There’s nothing else quite like Adult Swim’s Joe Pera Talks With You, the TV equivalent of your mom sitting at the foot of your bed and telling you to go back to sleep because, yup, it’s a snow day. And there’s nothing else quite like this scene, in which Pera discovers the Who’s “Baba O’Riley,” a song that he has somehow never heard before, and proceeds to lose his shit, dancing around his house and dragging in a pizza-delivery guy to party with him. Much is made of how heartwarming the show is — and, truly, this scene is as pure an expression of joy as you’re likely to see on TV anywhere — but that description tends to undersell just how funny it is too. From Pera wrestling away a slice of pizza from his dog to the radio DJ (Dan Licata, who wrote the episode) suggesting that perhaps it would just be easier to listen to the Who online instead of calling every radio station, the entire show is made of hilarious, humanistic moments like these. —Chris Kopcow

Joe Pera’s Late-Night Stand-up Debut

Joe Pera is one of the most unique voices in stand-up, in every sense of the word. With his distinctive languid, stutter-stop delivery, Pera has quickly established himself as a comedian’s comedian as he’s made his way from late-night show to late-night show to late-night show. However, you only get one debut, and his appearance on Seth Meyers didn’t disappoint. Couched within a unique, uncle-inspired framework, it features a lengthy, and memorable, a cappella rendition of an ’80s staple that is worth the wait. —Ramsey Ess

Joel Kim Booster’s Late-Night Stand-up Debut

As far as introductory late-night sets go, Joel Kim Booster’s debut on Conan is one of the decade’s strongest. Breaking down his curious name and what it was like to grow up with his adoptive white Christian parents in the Midwest (“I knew I was gay before I knew I was Asian”), Joel breezes through the set, coolly dropping turns of phrase like “sexually gullible” when talking about his dating life. It may be too late for him to pursue that horse-hairstyling career since he’s gotten a lot more attention since 2016, but one can always dream. —Katla McGlynn

John Early Is Horny for Impeachment (2017)

John Early is truly an angel sent from above to heal and hold us in our darkest hours. In a moment when the political landscape felt especially bleak, Early managed to spin comedy gold out of our collective turmoil, sharing hilarious videos of his perfect dancing, like this one, filmed in front of the White House on a morning when he was extra horny for impeachment. It is and always will be a beautiful video, a shining light in a very dark time. And if you’re worried that the video might have hurt Trump’s feelings, don’t be! Early has also sent plenty of love and support to the Trump administration. —Nayomi Reghay 

The Jonad Files (2015)

Cutting one-liners was Veep’s forte, and the writers always went above and beyond when it came to writing them about Timothy Simons’s Jonah Ryan, the lanky, insufferable political hack hated by all except Richard Splett. In the episode “Testimony,” a congressional panel reads off the best of the best in the form of the Jonad Files, a leaked document where Selina Meyer’s staff collected their top put-downs. It’s hard to pick favorites among the 21 disses read into the official government record, but “12 years a slave to jerking off,” “scrotum pole,” and “supercalifragilisticexpialidickcheese” rank among our favorites. It’s the closest Veep gets to giving us a glimpse inside its writers’ room, and the comedy world is all the better for it. —Dan Reilly

Jordan Klepper’s Trump Daily Show Segments (2016)

Before he went on to create his own show, The Opposition, Jordan Klepper plied his interviewing talents at The Daily Show, where his segments interviewing Trump supporters at rallies were a highlight of the 2016 election and its aftermath. With his agreeable manner and questions employing his interview subjects’ own logic, Klepper had Trump supporters and conspiracy theorists telling on themselves all day long. —Stefan Sirucek

Josh Sharp and Aaron Jackson on The Opposition (2017)

Jordan Klepper’s Comedy Central late-night show was short-lived, but if nothing else, its existence was worth it because it introduced comedians Josh Sharp and Aaron Jackson to a wider audience. Part of the show’s team of “Citizen Journalists,” Sharp and Jackson appeared together in segments as a parody of Milo Yiannopoulos–style alt-right provocateurs, with the show’s website defining them both as “a patriot, a proud defender of free speech, and a gay conservative. Deal with it!!!” In one of their standout segments, the duo took on the topic of conservative comedy. “Our motto is ‘If we’re laughing, then it must be a joke!’” Sharp says. “And if there’s one thing we know, it’s jokes,” Jackson adds. “‘Knock knock!’ ‘Who’s there?’ ‘An ICE agent here to break up your family, you smelly freeloading illegal!’ Haha! The joke is that the person’s life is ruined!” —Megh Wright

JPEGs vs. TIFFs (2010)

Eastbound and Down’s first season introduced us to Kenny Powers, a self-absorbed and delusional racist-sexist-homophobic asshole, and dared you not to root for him in his quest to make it back to the big leagues. But this throwaway joke from early in the show’s second season gave you an even bigger challenge: Is it believable that this boorish jock knows the technical advantages of TIFF files over JPEGs? If you answered yes, then you likely enjoyed the increasingly absurd hurdles placed in front of the audience as the writers explored the delicate manboy underneath Kenny’s unearned bravado. For another example, see season four’s opening line: “I love NPR.—Pablo Goldstein

Julio Torres’s Daisy Duck Story (2017)

Julio Torres’s blessing and curse is that he imbues every object he sees with drama. His first set on late-night TV includes this moment about Daisy Duck’s shiny eyeshadow that explores how heartbreaking it is to be the One Who Tries in a relationship. This tendency to find the pathos in disposable culture hit its apogee with My Favorite Shapes, but it’s been part of his comedy from the jump. —Bethy Squires 

Katie Dippold’s Babadook Costume (2016)

Writer Katie Dippold may be most famous for two things: writing the script for the 2016 reboot of Ghostbusters and authoring this tweet about her 2015 Halloween costume gaffe when she went all-out as the Babadook at a party where nobody else dressed up. The photo gets another bump every October and has been retweeted over 120,000 times, because when it comes to Dippold as the Babadook, people ain’t afraid of that ghost. —Kenneth Arthur

“Keepin’ the Beat” (2014)

“Hey it’s me the drummer / I think drumming’s really neat / Sittin’ in the back and I’m keepin’ the beat!” This Birthday Boys sketch, starring Tim Kalpakis as an emo band’s very literal drummer, perfectly encapsulates the Birthday Boys’ voice: earnest, silly, and undeniably likable. Kalpakis’s performance only gets better on each rewatch — see if you can spot him grinning in the background well before his introduction. As the spiritual successor to Mr. Show (Bob Odenkirk even wrote, directed, and executive-produced), it’s a shame The Birthday Boys only lasted two seasons on IFC. —Mark Kramer

Kevin Roberts (2016)

Before there was David S. Pumpkins (weak), there was Kevin Roberts (handsome, rad). Mikey Day and Streeter Seidell wrote this sketch for Larry David, in which he plays a “lifelike target dummy” in an FBI simulator. The game is this: Trainees hold fire when they see a harmless civilian and shoot when they see an active threat. But it’s kind of hard to get a read on Kevin Roberts, the self-proclaimed “coolest bitch in town” who just got to second base with a lady. Larry David sells this fucking weirdo, and the sketch only gets better when you see the rehearsal footage of David losing his absolute shit at lines like “Can a bitch get a doughnut?” —Rebecca Alter 

“Last Fuckable Day” (2015)

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tina Fey, and Patricia Arquette walk into a bar. Or rather, they walk into a field to picnic and toast to Julia’s last day as a fuckable woman, according to the media. Our surrogate at this gathering of silver-screen legends is Amy Schumer, who co-wrote the sketch with Jessi Klein and plays a bemused version of herself learning the sad truth about Hollywood. As Vanity Fair put it, the sketch was at the center of a perfect storm of casting, writing, and press made possible by the massive success of Inside Amy Schumer. In a series that changed the comedy landscape multiple times, “Last Fuckable Day” was a crowning achievement. —Sean Malin

“Les Jeunes de Paris” (2011)

There was always something sweet and inexplicable about the charm of “Les Jeunes de Paris,” a sketch that was more dance battle than joke vehicle. The seamless choreography set to easygoing French pop was a playful sendup not so much of French teens themselves but how we as an American audience viewed French teens: bestriped and bewitching. —Fran Hoepfner

Leslie Jones in “Weezer” (2018)

One of SNL’s best moves of the decade was hiring Leslie Jones. Full stop. Now that she’s left the cast, we’re missing her riotous “Weekend Update” bits, ever-evolving romance with Kyle Mooney, and the energy she brings to sketches like this brilliant one with Matt Damon, in which two die-hard Weezer fans get into a heated debate about when the band started sucking. As the writers later noted, there may not be an actual person on earth who could earnestly say the phrase “‘Pork and Beans’ is better than ‘Buddy Holly,’” but it’s fun to imagine that person incurring the wrath of Leslie Jones. —Katla McGlynn

Li’l Sebastian (2011)

If Li’l Sebastian is reading this from up there in horsey heaven, I hope he knows how much he was adored. Though decidedly not a pony, Sebastian was an Indiana hero with an honorary degree from Notre Dame and a beautiful wife called Coconut. The petite pride of Pawnee first rode into our lives in the episode “Harvest Festival,” only to be snuffed out — quite cruelly, I might add — at the end of the season. But he left an indelible impression on Parks and Rec fans, surfacing at Mouse Rat shows (and on real-world talk shows) for years after taking his final hayride. Bye, bye, Li’l Sebastian — gone but never forgotten. —Sean Malin

“Live Forever As You Are Now” (2013)

Live Forever as You Are Now, a one-off “infomercial” Wham City made for Adult Swim, probably features the purest distillation of what’s now Alan Resnick’s signature character type: a sort of robotic manchild whose gee-whiz innocence conceals something far more deranged. Here, he plays a young tech wunderkind who may have invented a way to digitally preserve your personality, but he’s also definitely on the verge of losing his mind. Everything about Alan feels off: his cadence, his movements, his emotions. Even more so than the premise or the great visual gags, it’s that weird, wild-card tension he brings to his performance that keeps me coming back to this special. (For example, I mindlessly mutter “Imagine the fastest computer you’ve ever seen — now double it!” to myself at least once a week.) —Chris Kopcow

Looking for Woody Allen in the Trash (2017)

Photo: Hulu

Julie Klausner famously has no patience for men who’ve done bad things. But in this episode of Difficult People, her character brilliantly lampoons herself when she unwittingly auditions for and gets cast in a Woody Allen film. She reasons that it’s okay to work with someone she’d normally boycott because she needs a leg up and she’ll do good once she’s more advanced in her career. The episode never reveals Woody. Instead, the infamous director is always missing because he’s suffering from a minor ailment. Finally, the entire cast and crew are enlisted to search for him using a special wild call (“Whoo-whoo-whoooodyyy!”) instructively hollered by Shannon O’Neill. In the beautifully bleak conclusion, Klausner finds herself whooping in a dumpster, because Woody may have fallen asleep in there. —Nayomi Reghay

“Love on Top” Dance (2011)

Eleanore Pienta, Sunita Mani, and Tallie Medel make up Cocoon Central Dance Team, and their dancing is funny not because it’s bad (GTFO of here, Elaine Benes) but because it’s amazing. The contrast between the tight synchronization and absolute goofiness of the dance moves is what makes their dance to “Love on Top” funny in a way that transcends language and defies explanation. —Rebecca Alter

MacGruber Love Scene (2010)

Will Forte’s MacGruber is calm in the face of danger: He knows exactly what to do and shouts commands to his partners, even if they can’t always get it together in time. But in the film version of his adventures, we see the softer side of the character, and while making love to characters played by Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig, the audience learns that even in these situations he is just as vocal. —Ramsey Ess

Marriage Counselor Song (2016-2018)

When Maria Bamford married Scott Marvel Cassidy in 2015, the comedy world rejoiced. Everyone — especially the best working stand-up in America — deserves love. But it was also exciting because if anyone was equipped to mine their deepest intimacy for laughs, it was Bamford. And mine she did. The earworm of a song she and Cassidy wrote about their marriage counselor, Sheryl Hersham, became a staple of her act in 2016. By the time it wound up in Bamford’s 2017 special Old Baby, it was all the richer for the insight it offered into a loving (and highly sexual) new marriage: “Fudging and wedging and lotions and potions …” —Sean Malin

Megan Amram’s Trump Tweets (2017-2019)

In early 2017, Van Jones praised Donald Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress by saying Trump “became president of the United States” in that moment, and that was all Twitter favorite Megan Amram needed to create what would go on to become the most famous and consistent bits on the platform. Tweeted by Amram every damn day, “Today was the day Donald trump [sic] finally became president” is a bit that’s been praised, ranked, and even mined for data, and during an era where most Trump jokes on Twitter are stale and unoriginal, Amram’s bit remains a trusty heartbeat. —Megh Wright

Melissa Villaseñor As Kristen Wiig (2016)

Anyone and their brother can do an Owen Wilson impression. Just say “Wow!” So even though SNL cast member Melissa Villaseñor’s Owen Wilson is the best there is, we’re going with her less-celebrated but just as masterful Kristen Wiig from Mas Mejor. She nails Wiig’s voice and her laugh and pokes fun at her post-SNL career in indie dramas. You know she’s hit the nail on the head with all of Wiig’s quirks when all of the “YouTube recommends” videos in the sidebar of this are of actual, quirky Kristen Wiig characters — mustaches, wigs, and all.   —Rebecca Alter

Memphis Kansas Breeze (2019)

There is an immeasurable amount of improvisation in any given episode of Comedy Bang! Bang!, but there are prepared moments as well, often the case with songs. Just as with Drew Tarver’s Martin Sheffield-Lickley character, his Memphis Kansas Breeze duets with Carl Tart — country songs modeled around sentient trucks, and in some cases half-humans, half-trucks, going through every day tribulations — was also penned by comedy writers Nick Ciarelli and Brad Evans. “It has been one of the most fun bits of my life,” said Tart. “What I like most? Drew and I sound good in harmony.” Toot-toot, beep-beep, honk. —Kenneth Arthur

Michelle Wolf’s Aunt Lydia Joke (2018)

Look, Michelle Wolf said it at the top of her White House Correspondents’ Dinner set: “You should have done more research before you got me to do this.” Sexist hypocritical backlash aside (where it belongs), this four-line joke was a sharp, astute, perfect little package. The resulting roast of Sarah Huckabee Sanders in its entirety was so smartly constructed, and clearly struck a nerve, but this joke was the burn all feminists needed. —Anna Marr

“Mom Commercial” (2015)

Cole Escola is undeniably one of the funniest performers of the decade. The orange-juice commercial he released to promote one of his live shows is mind-bendingly hilarious. Escola, dressed as a sunny suburban mom, shares that she’s been unwittingly loading her kids up with sugar when she serves them the leading orange-juice brand. Escola’s tone shifts dramatically as he asks, “I thought, If I’ve been doing that, what else am I capable of?” What comes next is a hilariously dark monologue, complete with chilling background music, as we follow this mom on the journey she took when she realized she was capable of unspeakable acts. —Nayomi Reghay  

“Morpheus Buress” and “Hannibal’s Hands” (2016)

Throughout all of Eric Andre’s Eric Andre Show shenanigans, Hannibal Buress played the stalwart sidekick, the Hank Kingsley to Andre’s Larry Sanders. Hannibal inhabited the set’s only chair, unless he was kicked out to hover directly behind an uncomfortable guest. Hannibal’s normally mellow demeanor made it all the more exciting when he stole the spotlight, like in “Hannibal’s Hands,” a soothing, highly GIFable one-off segment where Hannibal examines the magical mystery of his own hands. Or the Morpheus rap, where Hannibal dresses up as Morpheus from The Matrix, single-handedly makes the tiny-sunglasses trend happen, and spits fire in bars like “Red pill, blue pill, Morpheus walruses!” We’re all calling coffins “death baskets” now.  —Rebecca Alter

Mulaney and Kroll’s Monologue at the Film Independent Spirit Awards (2017)

Straight off their Broadway run of Oh Hello, John Mulaney and Nick Kroll descended upon the 2017 Film Independent Spirit Awards with one of the funniest (and most honest) host monologues of the decade. Starting off by asking aloud, “Why are we hosting this?” and lamenting that the gig is “a lateral move,” Mulaney and Kroll dive straight into Mel Gibson jokes and how hot Steve Bannon is (“He looks like if Nick Offerman drowned”) in front of the highbrow indie film crowd. Their over-it act continues with some crowd work that involves suggesting Warren Beatty and Annette Benning “got a little high before the show.” What more could you want? —Katla McGlynn

“Name a Woman” (2013)

A simple yet brilliant bit from Billy on the Street that’s been recycled on Twitter more times than we can count by now (see also “Let’s Go Lesbians!”). Hopefully by the time the next decade ends, this question will be slightly less impossible to answer. —Megh Wright

Natalie Walker’s Auditions (2016-2018)

Say what you will about the front-facing-camera-brunettes of the Twitter video era, but you can’t deny that Natalie Walker basically invented a whole new genre with her “audition” videos, where she brilliantly parodies the narrow range of roles afforded to women in most movies by hitting all of their tropes: “lady w/ British accent who so fiercely supports the difficult man she loves,” “lady we hate because she is temporarily keeping the people w/ the symmetrical faces from being together,” you name it. Walker’s been adding to the thread since 2016, and if Hollywood can muster the creativity to come up with a couple more female archetypes for Walker to skewer, you can guarantee she’ll do it to a tee. She’s also the legend behind this Christmas classic, “All I Want For Christmas Is You But Just the Alto 2 Part From When My High School Chorus Sang It.”  —Rebecca Alter

Nathan Fielder’s Instagram Porn Prank

Photo: Nathan Fielder/Instagram

Nathan Fielder is not content to only disrupt local businesses. Throughout the past decade, he has set his sights on social media in a number of memorable ways. There was the tweet that gave his followers the instructions: ““Experiment: text your parents ‘got 2 grams for $40’ then right after ‘Sorry ignore that txt. Not for you.’ Then tweet pic of their response.” And then there was the multi-part experiment in which Nathan tested the limits of Instagram’s policy to block any nudity from its platform. No one is safe from Nathan. Not even an email explaining why his post was taken off Instagram. —Ramsey Ess

Nick Vatterott’s Late-Night Stand-up Debut

In the spring of 2014, comedian and current Real Time With Bill Maher writer Nick Vatterott made his debut on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. His set is a masterpiece of absurdism, meta-comedy, and outside-the-box thinking. It’s a set of mind games that brings to mind the best of Steve Martin. —John Roy

Not Great, Bob! (2013)

I have a confession to make: I’ve only seen the first two seasons of Mad Men. So while, yes, I know that’s Pete Campbell, I don’t really know who Bob is, and I only kind of sort of know the context surrounding the line because I read about it once. Yet, at the same time, I’ve watched this clip about 100 times over the last decade, and every time I’ve laughed. Every single time. You don’t need to know a damn thing about Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce to appreciate Vincent Kartheiser’s perfectly exasperated, passive-aggressive tone, his overenunciation barely masking his impotent anger. It’s one of the funniest line readings I’ve ever heard, and its status as an immortal meme proves it works no matter the context. —Chris Kopcow

“Nugget Power Hour” With Nicole Byer and Jon Gabrus (2017)

To celebrate Doughboys’ 100th episode, hosts Mike Mitchell and Nick Wiger, along with podcast pals Jon Gabrus and Nicole Byer, attempt to eat one McNugget per minute for an entire hour. Despite the group’s extensive power-hour experience, only Gabrus manages to complete this horrific feat. But the journey is worthy of recognition. About 20 minutes in, Mitch starts feeling, uh, tingly, and by the end, the memories of three dead dads are invoked. It’s a miracle these four survived to end up responsible for eight of the funniest shows on the comedy podcast charts. —Mark Kramer

Obama’s Anger Translator at the WHCD (2015)

Meet Luther, the character Keegan-Michael Key turned from sketch-comedy stalwart to bona fide historical figure. It took brass balls and genius political strategists for then-President Obama to invite this shit-talking, foul-mouthed “anger translator” to interpret his White House Correspondents’ Dinner speech in 2015. And while Key was in top form that night, it’s Obama’s placid, impeccable deadpan that made the event a genuine landmark in American comedy. In fact, it’s the second-funniest presidential moment of the millennium. —Sean Malin

“Oh, Hello” (2013–17)

One of the strangest, most delightful corners of the Kroll Show universe is Oh, Hello, a public-access show featuring aging Upper West Side curmudgeons Gil Faizon (Nick Kroll) and George St. Geegland (John Mulaney). One of the funniest things about Oh, Hello is the voices Kroll and Mulaney adopt as these characters — a sort of vocal fry for men that heightens their complaining. The forever bellyaching duo attempt to “prahnk” their guests with a sandwich of entirely too much tuna. But the prank never lands, and they relentlessly probe their victims for a reaction. Part of what makes “Too Much Tuna” funny is its seeming endlessness. So it’s fitting that Kroll and Mulaney, masters at crafting idiosyncratic characters, expanded this sketch into a nearly two-hour live show. They ran a reading of it to uproarious response at the old UCB Theatre in Chelsea, before giving it a run at the Cherry Lane Theatre and eventually doing over 100 performances on Bruhdway. They even did an in-character interview for over an hour with John Oliver at the 92nd Street Y. A recording of the Broadway show is available on Netflix, and it is side-splittingly funny. —Nayomi Reghay

“One on One With Martin Shkreli” (2016)

Martin Shkreli, a.k.a. “Pharma Bro,” a.k.a. “convicted felon,” was the deserving butt of countless jokes when he first rose to infamy for raising the price of a life-saving AIDS medication from $13.50 to $750. But no jokes made at Shkreli’s expense stung quite as sweetly as those the deliciously dry Mary Houlihan made right to his face in this genius video for Seriously.TV. It is a thing of beauty and worth several rewatches. —Megh Wright

Our Laughter Excites the Birds Sexually (2011)

Photo: NBC

30 Rock ended its run relatively early in the decade, but thankfully one of the funniest moments of the show just made the cut by airing in 2011. In the season-five episode “Operation Righteous Cowboy Lightning,” Jack Donaghy attempts to give NBC a ratings advantage by pretaping a celebrity benefit for a natural disaster before said natural disaster happens. This leads to Robert De Niro’s ominous speech about some of the many disaster options: “We’ll always remember where we were when we heard that tornado had hit a handgun factory. Two days ago when people thought of a mudslide, they just thought of getting drunk in an Applebee’s, but now we know it as the thing that destroyed Denver. When the birds first started attacking us, we all thought it was pretty funny and made Hitchcock jokes, but we’re not laughing now, because our laughter excites the birds sexually. This devastating wildfire … This horrible flood … This wonderful flood that put out that devastating wildfire … These superintelligent sharks …” —Megh Wright

“Pancakes; Divorce; Pancakes” (2014)

Review may be the funniest show of the decade that nobody watched. Forrest MacNeil (Andy Daly) is the aggressively civil host of a fictional reality show where he reviews major life experiences based on viewer requests. In the most memorable episode, he receives a sandwich of mundane and nightmarish requests. Amused by instructions on the back of a pancake box that explain how to make no fewer than 15 pancakes, a viewer asks Forrest what it’s like to eat 15 pancakes. Watching someone dutifully ingest 15 pancakes is as horrific as it is hilarious. But the episode doesn’t stop there. The stakes heighten when Forrest is asked to review divorce. He complies, only to receive an absurd follow-up request to review twice as many pancakes as he ate before. The entire episode is a dark, nihilistic masterpiece. As Forrest, ravaged by his divorce, plows through 30 pancakes, he narrates in voice-over, “These pancakes couldn’t kill me. I was already dead.” —Nayomi Reghay

Pasta Addiction (2012)

No one captured the past decade’s growing obsession with eating the “right” foods like Portlandia’s resident well-meaning couple, Peter and Nance. In the series premiere, they badger a waitress for information about a chicken they’re considering ordering until she brings them a full dossier detailing his life on a local farm. But things really ramp up when they tackle gluten. Concerned that he’s gaining weight, Peter decides to cut out pasta with Nance’s help. But his cravings escalate and, incapable of controlling them, he spends his days seeking out a fix in secret. From Nance’s “raw Bolognese” of baby carrots, lettuce leaves, and a single orange to the lurid photos of pasta Peter consumes on his computer, the whole sketch is silly, stupid perfection. —Nayomi Reghay

Patton Oswalt’s Out-of-Context Tweets Trolling (2013)

Sometimes trolling serves a higher purpose. On August 17, 2013, the ever-hilarious Patton Oswalt demonstrated the importance of keeping things in context when he sent a series of tweets on controversial topics, split into two parts at the worst possible moment:

In July 2018, five years after the original posting, Patton’s prophecy was fulfilled: After he decried one alt-righter’s efforts to get Disney to fire James Gunn from directing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, those out-of-context tweets were taken … out of context. —Will Storey

Patton Oswalt’s Star Wars Filibuster (2013)

Patton Oswalt is the preeminent comedy character actor of our time with more than 200 credits to his name. But there may be no more famous guest appearance in his history than in season five, episode 19, of Parks and Rec. Oswalt plays Garth Blundin, a petulant Pawnee citizen determined to stymie Leslie Knope’s attempt to modernize the town’s old laws. Originally, Blundin’s famous filibuster was short but amusing; then NBC dropped the mic by releasing the full eight-minute version, a wonder of improvised world-building featuring a potential crossover between Star Wars, the MCU, and of course, Hannibal Lecter’s stories. Fan culture has never recovered. —Sean Malin

Paul F. Tompkins’s Voice (2010–19)

Photo: Getty Images

From The Pod F. Tompkast, Spontaneanation, Superego, Threedom, Comedy Bang! Bang!, and countless other podcast appearances to the affable Mr. Peanutbutter, the ’10s regularly delivered on one of comedy’s most uplifting comforts: the gentle, melodious lilt of comedian Paul F. Tompkins’s voice. Search his name in any podcast app and enjoy the hundreds (thousands?) of episodes featuring his delightfully morose Werner Herzog, his charmingly highbrow Andrew Lloyd Webber, his one-of-a-kind characters, or even just his own infectious laughter. —Will Storey

Paula Pell Sings “I Gotta Go” (2019)

We could talk about how acutely observed Co-Op is, and how Paula Pell has been the secret weapon of the Broadway Video crowd who is finally getting her time in the spotlight, and that John Mulaney in sideburns and five o’clock shadow is distressingly hot. But what makes this scene unimpeachable is that every time I want to leave a function, “I wanna go! I wanna go to the eye doctor now” rings through my head. That’s cultural impact. —Bethy Squires

Peter Serafinowicz’s Tweet to Gary Glitter (2012)

When Twitter was still young, the thrill of being able to communicate with people who were once unreachable was exciting and new. When an official Gary Glitter account suddenly appeared in 2012, the glam rocker–convicted pedophile was inundated with tweets, one of which was this subtle gem from Peter Serafinowicz, which is best read with a British accent. Glitter’s account was later revealed to be a fake, but that doesn’t take away from this perfect and concise piece of joke writing from one of the best. —Ramsey Ess

“Posh” (2019)

Photo: Alex Lombardi/Hulu

The moments when the dichotomy of two 31-year-olds playing 13-year-old versions of themselves erupts are PEN15’s most hilarious and heartbreaking. In “Posh,” Anna (Konkle), Maya (Erskine), and the popular girls film an osteoporosis-prevention video as the “Old Spice Girls” (perfect pun) for a school project, unleashing racist comments against Maya. Anna turns to Ask Jeeves for a lesson in racism, Maya vomits upon understanding microaggressions — between early-aughts references, you suddenly feel the responsibility of a 2019 adult perspective on 2000 middle school. (Watch it here.) —Anna Marr

Professor Duncan Calls in an Air Strike (2014)

By the time Community reached its fifth season, the behind-the-scenes drama had nearly threatened to consume the show entirely. But luckily, even as things remained unstable on a macro level, the show remained sharp on a micro level. Case in point: this incredible end tag from “Analysis of Cork-Based Networking.” Professor Duncan calls Greendale’s faculty supply service to reup on some staples, only to find it’s also the hotline for some sort of shady military project. Not many scenes from Community work completely devoid of context, but from the pitch-perfect code names (“For Aqua-Cerulean, press two. For Arcadia, press three”) to John Oliver’s stuttering answers, this is a mini-masterpiece of short-form sketch. —Chris Kopcow

Queen Bee Attack (2016)

When an actual bee flew into Andy Sandberg on set, director Akiva Schaffer reedited the moment purely to entertain the rest of the Lonely Island. Employing the documentary convention of an accidental live microphone and some simple text onscreen, one of the funniest scenes in one of the decade’s funniest movies sprang to life in a scene described by Jorma Taccone on the movie’s commentary track as one that “we did not necessarily think this was going to be in the movie.”  —Ramsey Ess

Rain’s Comin’ In (2017)

In 2017, Chelsea Peretti dropped this masterful reading of Rain’s Comin In, a rural family drama she wrote. Recorded live at the UCB Franklin and presented as a workshop with the Playwright’s Horizon Theatre, it featured the talents of Moshe Kasher, Kate Berlant, John Early, Xosha Roquemore, Emily Spivey, Yassir Lester, Esther Povitsky, and Dave King. It perfectly satirizes not just this genre of play, but the whole concept of these events themselves, right down to Peretti directing the crowd to clap equally for each actor as they’re introduced and, after telling them about the Q&A that will follow the reading, encouraging the audience to be thinking about their own questions throughout the duration of the reading. The way in which everyone involved, down to the audience members asking questions at the end, commits to that self-important tone and makes this whole thing endlessly funny. —Leigh Cesiro 

“Recent Articles of Mine” (2019)

It’s always exciting when a new method to deliver a joke is discovered, and it’s possible that no one has innovated more of these than Saturday Night Live’s Jack Handey. It’s been years since we’ve heard his voice delivering “Deep Thoughts,” but he still manages to create beautiful comedic gems in writing, such as this piece for The New Yorker, delivered solely through article titles and the periodicals they were published in. In a rare feat, the article conveys a story as unconventional and funny as the method used to tell it. —Ramsey Ess

Reductress (2013–19)

Reductress has taken the satire world by storm, one cum joke at a time. Launched in the wake of a conversation between comedy writers Beth Newell and Sarah Pappalardo about the way the media talks down to women, the site has amassed hundreds of thousands of fans over its relatively short life thus far. And with a book, monthly bicoastal comedy show, and such classics as “Wow! This Woman Stood Up to Gender Norms by Naming Her Son ‘Vagina,’” “8 Guys on Tinder That Have Been to Machu Picchu But Never to Therapy,” and “Calling My Representative Wasn’t Enough, So I Fucked His Wife,” suffice it to say that the next decade will be just as funny (and, ugh, feminist) for the site. —Taylor Garron

Reggie Watts’s Conan Debut (2010)

You could very easily kill a day watching Reggie Watts videos: There’s this one, this one, and this one, to name a few. But a fitting place to start, considering Watts’s current gig on The Late Late Show, is his very first performance on Conan way back in late 2010. It’s the perfect introduction to Watts as a stand-up, master of accents, and one of the most talented, uplifting, and hilarious musical geniuses alive right now. —Megh Wright

Roman’s Failed Rocket Launch (2018)

Roman Roy can’t shut up. There’s no situation too grave, no family fight too lacerating, where he isn’t ready with some smarmy quip or put-down. So for a drama series (or is it a comedy?) that relies so much on the verbal dexterity of its cast, it’s ironic that one of its funniest moments is also one of its quietest. Roman ducks inside a bathroom during his sister’s wedding to check out a livestream of a satellite launch he supervised, only to watch it silently explode on the launchpad. Kieran Culkin allows denial and shock to slowly fall over his face before he washes his hands in disbelief. For once, he’s speechless. —Chris Kopcow

Russell Brand and Noel Fielding Cheat on Big Fat Quiz (2015)

The British panel show is a thing of beauty. The BBC’s light-entertainment industrial complex steadily employs a whole platoon of comics in a way the U.S. hasn’t seen since the ’70s Match Game. (@midnight wished.) Bad boys of the Big Fat Quiz Russell Brand and Noel Fielding always subverted the format of the show, but things went completely tits-up when they somehow got an audience member’s number in order to cop answers. Then when he was caught, Brand claimed that in his anarchocommunist paradise, answers would be shared freely among panelists. Vive la révolution.Bethy Squires

Sam the Gigolo (2017)

Delightful comedy-genius friends Tim Robinson and Sam Richardson co-created Detroiters, a bouncy and affable show about two earnest guys devoted to growing their small Detroit ad agency. Sam especially is so sunny and driven that in the episode “Sam ‘The Man’” he doesn’t even realize that he’s accidentally become a prostitute. It could happen to anyone, really, the way he goes to bed with a city-council member who assumes he’s a working guy and leaves a wad of cash on his nightstand. Forever enterprising, he makes a go of this new side hustle while incorporating his main gig: He makes a cheesy TV ad for his prostitution services, and that is what makes this episode of Detroiters so exquisite. —Brian Boone

Sammy Paradise (2016)

Tim Robinson may have owned comedy in 2019 with I Think You Should Leave, but he made his Netflix debut three years earlier with the best episode in the lone season of The Characters. The tone-setting sketch of the episode was Robinson as Sammy Paradise, a Rat Pack swooner living in the lap of casino luxury, only to be “ruined” midway through, creating an unforgettable second half as Sammy must go back to the casino as a “dead man” who’ll do anything for a second chance. —Kenneth Arthur 

Santa University (2017)

Jamie Loftus has been bringing her high-concept grotesqueries to Robot Chicken and all quadrants of the internet. She ate Infinite Jest, she choreographed a version of The Nutcracker that involved butt chugging, and she gave American Girl token boy Logan a dong. Her screenplay for Santa University, read through on The Daily Zeitgeist, blended that visceral nastiness with the media critique of Loftus’s podcast The Bechdel Cast. If you’ve ever longed for (1) fully rounded female characters in film or (2) a Battle Royale of Santas, this is your flick. —Bethy Squires

Sean Penn on Between Two Ferns (2011)

Part of the appeal of Between Two Ferns is wondering just how much the interviewees are in on Zach Galifianakis’s shtick as he lobs bizarre, intrusive questions at them and how many truly are taken aback. When Sean Penn sat down with Zach’s twin brother “Seth Galifianakis,” even the host couldn’t tell if the Oscar winner was just acting mad or if he really meant it when he said, “I’ll knock you the fuck out right in your chair.” As Galifianakis told David Letterman on a 2019 episode of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, “At that moment, I thought he was gonna deck me, I really did. If I remember correctly, I went to dinner with Sean that night. I think he was just acting. I didn’t want to know.” Neither do we.  —Dan Reilly

“Seasonal Beatings” (2010)

This cringeworthy episode in the penultimate season of Peep Show’s original run effortlessly captures the unbearable tension of a family Christmas meal, complete with Jez’s woefully undercooked turkey, a “guest” named Dobby who hasn’t yet been introduced as Mark’s whole girlfriend, and Mark’s overbearing father openly berating his mother about her interest in homeopathy at the table. And with a temper tantrum about a lack of cauliflower ending with several slices of ham being fed into a paper shredder, Peep Show couldn’t have done a more uncomfortable and very, very funny job. —Taylor Garron

Seth Meyers and Rihanna Go Day-Drinking (2019)

You know, more celebrity late-night bits should involve day-drinking. The dynamic between a nerdy Seth Meyers and an impossibly cool Rihanna — a woman who both demands eye contact when taking a shot and whose best marriage advice is “Blow your wife” — is just hilarious. Shot at an empty Jane Hotel bar in New York, the two drink (and chug) an impressive amount while Seth offers up activities like drinking tequila out of chocolate bunnies. From the moment Rihanna reacts to Seth saying the phrase “It’s a nut milk” to her earnestly enjoying Seth drunkenly singing and dancing to “Work” while she records him on her iPhone, the entire 12 minutes is something special. —Katla McGlynn

Sex House (2012)

This web series from The Onion is both a parody of reality shows like Bachelor Pad and Big Brother as well as a parody of the many parodies of reality shows like Bachelor Pad and Big Brother. At first, Sex House seems like a typical skewering of the low-hanging fruit of salacious, suggestive reality TV taken to its natural extreme: Strangers are picked to live in a house and explicitly expected to have sex with each other. But then the show evolves into a deeply troubling and horrific nightmare that wasn’t telegraphed in any way. —Brian Boone

Singing Sisters (2014)

This isn’t the most viral SNL sketch, which is a shame because it’s brilliant. It’s a Christmas story as old as time: Three flirty dames played by Kate McKinnon, Cecily Strong, and Amy Adams (whose name is Frebecca) ask a couple of fellas to buy them some mystery drinks on one condition: “If we guess [the drinks] wrong, we have to find the nastiest piece of garbage and chew on it! But we don’t have to swallow, just chew, okay? Promise?” Then, they sing a frantic carol and rock back and forth in a little sleigh. And then they turn into … Well, we won’t spoil their magical Christmas surprise. SNL should spend less time making the female cast members play PTA moms and Clintons and more time coming up with this level of deranged material for them to own. —Rebecca Alter 

Skeleton Landlord (2019)

In 1989, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented Richard Williams with a Special Achievement Oscar for his groundbreaking work integrating animation with live action for Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Today, we present the chaotic YouTube video Skeleton Landlord by the mysterious Atlanta-based Skeleton Realm with a spot on this list for its own special achievement in integrating a ponytail and a weird voice with a skeleton. A capstone to a decade of ooky-spooky skeleton memes doot-dooting their way into our hearts. —Rebecca Alter

The Slap Remake (2018)

When comedian Joe Kwaczala turned 31, he celebrated by releasing 31 videos, one of which is this great shot-for-shot remake of a scene from NBC’s mostly forgotten miniseries The Slap, specifically the scene where a dad smacks another family’s kid and gives the show its name. Well, except in Kwaczala’s remake, all the children in the scene are replaced with adult Draculas (not vampires), complete with capes and goofy accents. All the overcooked melodrama remains intact. That’s all there is to it, and, yes, it’s just as stupid and brilliant as it sounds. —Chris Kopcow

Smith Takes Over The Chris Gethard Show (2014)

Something very bizarre happened on Chris Gethard’s public-access show in 2014. A Manhattan Neighborhood Network producer only known as “Smith” ended up starting a tense and incredibly awkward confrontation live on the air, insulting TCGS as “the Party City show” and Gethard as “using a public platform to further [his] own narcissism.” While I didn’t know it until later, Smith was my introduction to comedian Brett Davis, who played the bit so straight that I covered it as if it wasn’t a joke. Davis won the Andy Kaufman Award the following year and went on to star in his own public-access show, but the subtly unhinged “Smith” will always be the Davis character that’s closest to my heart. —Megh Wright

SNL Must Not Hire Rajat (2019)

You may have heard that there was a little bit of controversy earlier this year after Saturday Night Live’s newest cast hires were announced. Something about a podcast-episode clip resurfacing that was offensive? We can’t remember all the details. In any case, Jeremy Levick and Rajat Suresh posted their own version of an offensive podcast clip, and their absurdly dry humor injected some much-needed nonsense into what was, for comedy fans, an otherwise tense news cycle. But really, though: Who invented that?? —Megh Wright

“Sometimes Things That Are Expensive Are Worse” (2017)

Like Drew Droege’s Chloë Sevigny before her, Jason Greene’s Freckle is a decadent, genderfluid glamourpuss who dispenses brilliant, terrible wisdom. In Freckle’s case, it’s as a scene stealer in Brian Jordan Alvarez’s 2016 web series The Gay and Wondrous Life of Caleb Gallo. This clip has become endlessly memed for a reason: As more brands/film studios/Goop continue to try to make us covet increasingly dumb shit, this clip becomes truer and truer, and Freckle only grows stronger. —Rebecca Alter 

Sorry to Bother You’s White Voice (2018)

The trailer that made audiences say “Is that David Cross?” ends up much more than a one-off gag. Lakeith Stanfield’s expert “white voice” (dubbed by Cross) catapults him up the telemarketing corporate ladder, where Omari Hardwick’s “white voice” (Patton Oswalt) shows him the ropes. The hilarious editing gag evolves into a biting commentary on race and class. Longtime artist and first-time feature filmmaker Boots Riley created the corporate satire for a generation with this 2018 hit. —Mark Kramer

“The Sound of Silence” (2013)

“Hello, darkness, my old friend” has become meme shorthand for the moment of clarity when everything has gone wrong. It has proved to be infinitely useful for politicians trapped in uncomfortable situations or actors being confronted with bad reviews. But the joke began with season four of Arrested Development, which took the Simon & Garfunkel classic and recontextualized the track, even adding a mariachi spin to the song, as their characters realized their “huge mistakes” again and again.  —Ramsey Ess

Spike TV Presents Downton Abbey (2012)

Saturday Night Live’s recent fake trailer for the Downton Abbey movie, which was so critical of the film that it revealed itself to actually be a promo for Joker, was sly and amusing. But Spike TV’s version of Downton Abbey — a 2012 “commercial” for the British period drama that pitches it to the frat-bro network’s target demo — is even funnier. As narrated by Andy Samberg in an accent best described as “heavy douche,” the prestige series is described in terms that are both reductive and completely accurate. “It’s about a bunch of honkeys who live in a church. Or maybe it’s a museum. Either way, they don’t got Wi-Fi.” (True!) “There’s also a bunch of tuxedo people who live in the basement and their lives suck.” (Also true!) After noting that everyone on Downton Abbey communicates through letters, Samberg drops one of the many quotable lines from this masterpiece of marketing fakery: “Dear olden times, You’re boring. Love, everyone.” —Jen Chaney

“Sporty” (2012)

Two films this decade captured the stress, elation, and borderline psychosis of being a sports fan watching the big game: the Safdies’ Uncut Gems and the 2012 Kyle Mooney YouTube short, “Sporty.” The first features Adam Sandler, and the second captures the closest thing this decade has to what people liked about Sandler in his early days: an overgrown tantrum-man doing a goofy-doofy baby dum-dum voice. Like in other Good Neighbors video sketches like “Sad,” “Sporty” features an off-camera straight man goading Kyle on, trying to make sense of his increasingly histrionic word soup and chasing him when he bashfully runs away from the camera. This sort of messy L.A. living-room goofy-guy comedy is less common today than it was at the decade’s outset, and videos like this make us miss it and wish SNL treated Mooney’s sketches more like Sandler’s gems: uncut for time. Benjels!  —Rebecca Alter

“Spotted Ox Hostel” (2014)

I like to envision an alternate universe where Kroll Show is still on the air and the European Man has gotten his own spinoff. The character was first introduced in a commercial advertising the Spotted Ox Hostel, which he purports is “the coolest hostel in all of the countries of Europe” in an accent that refuses to be pinpointed to any European country in particular. He’s always absurdly dressed (he has a collection of colored pleather jackets) and backgrounded by a rotating selection of stock footage rolling behind him as he explains the European lifestyle. Most memorably, in his guide to America, he helpfully points out that by law all rental cars are PT Cruisers.  —Rachel Davies

“Stefon’s Farewell” (2013)

It makes sense that for his final episode as an SNL cast member, Bill Hader would join Seth Meyers at the “Weekend Update” desk for one last Stefon segment. But what starts as a usual breakdown of one of New York’s hottest clubs quickly turns into an emotional wedding crash à la The Graduate. Stefon’s mythical underground-club scene comes to life with cameos from Hobocops, Furkel, Menorah the Explorer, human traffic cones, Jewpids, Black George Washington, and more. It’s an absurdist romantic fever dream that will make you laugh, cry, and wonder what John Mulaney puts in his coffee. —Isaac Kozell

Stephen Colbert’s Herman Cain Ad Parody (2011)

Back when the weirdest elements of politics were still more funny than horrifying, 2012 presidential candidate Herman Cain released a head-scratcher of an ad that exploded many a pundit’s brain. Featuring a cigarette-smoking campaign manager, patriotic ditty, and tight shot of Cain’s mug as he slowwwly wound up to a smile, the spot felt more Tim and Eric than reality-based. Colbert, still at the height of his satire skills, heightened the absurdities of the ad before throwing down the gauntlet with an excruciating slo-mo smile of his own. Not featured: Mike Tyson’s far more unsettling but nearly as funny take on the grin. —Justin Caffier

Steve Harvey Doesn’t Want to Host Family Feud Anymore (2017)

The best Vic Berger videos aren’t just funny; they climb inside his subjects’ head. It’s one thing to hear that “Jeb is a mess.” It’s another to really feel Jeb Bush falling apart in front of you, which makes his videos all the funnier. Likewise, you can watch Family Feud all day without realizing one simple fact Berger’s edit makes clear: Steve Harvey is almost certainly losing his damn mind. As the host of Family Feud, stomaching euphemisms from oddball, pseudo-prudish contestants is in the job description, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t take its toll. As Berger catalogues the litany of dick innuendos and fart descriptions, you get a real sense of the Herculean task it is just for Steve to retain his composure on set. In the last shot, as the buzzer plays, you watch the lights go out in his eyes, and it never, ever gets old. —Chris Kopcow

“Super Showcase Spokesmodels” (2012)

2012’s profoundly goofy SNL sketch “Super Showcase Spokesmodels,” in which Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph continue to show a losing game-show contestant the prizes she lost, ought to go down in the pantheon of SNL cast members breaking. It’s tough to tell what exactly is making Wiig, Rudolph, and Bill Hader — SNL’s game-show host extraordinaire — laugh so hard. It could be anything from the untraceable accents Wiig and Rudolph are using to the out-of-control golf cart onstage to the seemingly endless parade of useless prizes. What’s even funnier on an end-of-decade rewatch is the stoicism of Vanessa Bayer as the game show’s hapless loser who keeps it together better than any of them. —Fran Hoepfner 

This Is How Michael Caine Speaks (2010)

Michael Winterbottom’s The Trip series must be the unlikeliest franchise in comedy history. After all, it’s about nothing so much as who, between stars Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, can out-funny the other over dinner. But revisiting this central bit from the film that started it all, 2010’s The Trip, one can still feel crackling the comic electricity that made Coogan and Brydon such a winning duo. Both do pretty strong imitations of Michael Caine (“She was only 16 … years … old!”), but it’s their squabbling over Caine’s cigar-stained nasal passages that remains truly, inimitably funny. —Sean Malin 

“Thomas Jefferson” (2010)

Derrick Comedy is an NYU comedy troupe that gave us the terrific Mystery Team but also “Thomas Jefferson,” a sketch high in sci-fi concept but low-key in execution in which a TV reporter (Donald Glover) interviews a man who claims to be a time-traveling Thomas Jefferson (D.C. Pierson). ThoJo isn’t lying, but he doesn’t want to talk politics so much as he wants to promote the Sail Away Boys, his shitty lite-rock band fronted by a mediocre guitarist named Jerry (Dominic Dierkes). But then, Jefferson is also a deeply distressed and exhausted man who must endure “infinite revolutions of time until he finds the critical Inconsistency” and ultimately defeat a “Dark Jefferson” to quiet “the chiming of the Infinity Bell.” We don’t get to see any of that, just a lot of bad music, Jefferson being a dick, and much discussion of the cyclical nature of time and how Jerry’s nephew is future Hitler. —Brian Boone

Thoughts and Prayers (2015)

Anthony Jeselnik is known for tweeting what might seem the least-sensitive reactions to sensitive news stories, but you should always take that with a grain of salt — or, better yet, take it with the titular joke from his 2015 stand-up special Thoughts and Prayers, which perfectly sums up the emotionless, obligatory, and painfully overused online and offline phrase — often uttered by pro-gun politicians after senseless and preventable acts of gun violence hit the news — for what it is: total bullshit. —Megh Wright

“Three White Feminists Screw in a Lightbulb” (2017)

Before they take to Adult Swim next year, it’s worth catching up with Three Busy Debras so you can say you knew them way back when. And this sketch is a perfect place to start, capturing Mitra Jouhari, Sandy Honig, and Alyssa Stonoha’s deadpan absurdism as they satirize hypermarketable feminist clichés and faux provocations by twisting them in on themselves. (It’s never not funny to hear them overenunciate “my va-GI-na.”) If you aren’t ready for them — and clearly, not everyone is — in the words of Honig, ”What’s the matter, boys? Scared?” —Chris Kopcow 

Tiffany Haddish’s Swamp Tour Story (2017)

After giving the world a taste of her hilarity as a regular on The Carmichael Show and in 2016’s Keanu, 2017 was the year when Tiffany Haddish really rose to stardom after appearing in Girls Trip with, among others, Jada Pinkett-Smith. Before we even saw the movie, though, Haddish told an epic story from her time shooting it on Guy Branum’s Talk Show the Game Show that involved taking a Louisiana swamp tour with Jada and Will Smith “On a Groupon” that was so funny she’d include it in her special She Ready and later tell it on Kimmel. Oh yeah, and she even became the spokesperson for Groupon afterward. It’s that good. —Katla McGlynn

Tig Notaro’s Live (2012)

In many ways, Live set the template for “prestige” stand-up for the decade. Heavy subjects with a light touch defined the 2010s, and nobody got onstage closer to their own tragedy than Tig Notaro. She started the hour letting everyone know that (1) she has cancer and (2) this is going to be a disquietingly fun night. Joking through pain isn’t new, but rarely do you see it done by a genius in real time.—Bethy Squires 

Tig Notaro’s Stool Bit (2011)

Any stand-up can appear on late-night television and command the stage with a series of well-constructed jokes. But only Tig Notaro can appear on late-night television and get laughs by dragging a stool across the stage. Then she stops getting laughs, but she continues undeterred, because she isn’t just any stand-up: she knows how to get a crowd back (it’s by dragging the stool more). —Ramsey Ess

Tim Dillon as Meghan McCain (2019)

The ripples of Donald Trump’s long-standing feud with John McCain still lingered months after the senator’s death. When reports emerged that the White House and U.S. Navy officials allegedly discussed hiding the Navy ship USS John S. McCain from Trump during his visit to Japan, Meghan McCain said on The View, “It’s impossible to go through the grief process when my father, who’s been dead ten months, is constantly in the news cycle because the president is so obsessed with the fact that he’s never going to be a great man like he was.” Then Tim Dillon donned a wig and said what a lot of us were really thinking. —Isaac Kozell 

Tim’s Kitchen Tips (2013)

Tim Heidecker’s career is largely defined by ambitious high concepts: series within series, worlds within worlds, characters within characters. But one of his best projects is possibly his simplest. There’s not much to Tim’s Kitchen Tips; in each episode of the short series, Tim makes a new sauce, which always includes a “secret ingredient” of Pitzman’s mustard, and serves it to an increasingly irritated Eric Wareheim. But it’s the symphony of small, perfect jokes — the brilliantly generic acoustic theme song, the increasingly pervasive mustard sponsorship (“I’m not getting money for the mustard; I’m just getting lots of mustard”), the implausibly huge messes Tim makes every episode — that keeps me returning to this series every few months. —Chris Kopcow

Tituss Burgess Sings “Poor Unfortunate Souls” (2018)

Tituss Burgess once played the role of Sebastian in the Broadway version of The Little Mermaid, but as he revealed onstage during a Vulture event, the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star had a very different role in mind — that of the brassy and conniving sea witch, Ursula. We all got to see what we were missing when Burgess performed his rendition of Ursula’s sarcastic classic “Poor Unfortunate Souls” live with delicacy and panache. —Stefan Sirucek

Titus’s Trident Gum Song (2017)

“Little Girl, Big City,” one of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s other delightful and unsettling songs, tells us that this is a show about a plucky individual dealing with an absurd and cruel New York City. That’s as true for Titus Andromedon (Tituss Burgess) as it is for Kimmy. Forever trying to get that big break into showbiz, he finally gets an audition for a Trident gum commercial. Through a mixture of being too sick to know what’s going on and a tendency to self-sabotage, Titus sings for the casting agents not the song he’s been given but a panicked, twisted fever dream of a song espousing the gum’s many benefits. It starts with him screaming “FIVE SIX SEVEN EIGHT” at Jeff Richmond and ends with some gruesome, non-rhyming lyrics about teeth being “outside bones” along with a thorough indictment of the Tooth Fairy. Trident! —Brian Boone

Tom Leykis and Amy Poehler on Comedy Bang! Bang! (2012)

It was a true meeting of the minds when Amy Poehler was forced to sit and deal with the disgusting, toxic, sexist shitstorm that was talk-radio personality Tom Leykis (James Adomian in a scary-perfect impersonation) on Comedy Bang! Bang!. When Poehler says she senses “a lot of pain” behind Leykis’s misogynist remarks, he snaps back: “I used to be a loser. I used to fall for women, and they used to turn me down. And let me tell you something: After I developed Leykis 101, everything came back to me. I’m scoring with chicks whose mothers turned me down, and then I’m dragging them around in front of their mothers and making a big scene about how I’m degrading their daughters. Doesn’t that turn you on, Scott?” —Megh Wright

Tom Scharpling’s Trump Tweets (2018-2019)

The Best Show’s Tom Scharpling has posted ten variations of this tweet since late 2018, and the joke gets better each time. Since the 2016 election, Twitter has become overrun with sanctimonious political hand-wringing about how whatever latest gaffe or decision by Donald Trump is the thing that will finally end him. Scharpling’s takes apply to virtually any Trump news item you want to pair them with, and they’re a lot funnier than reading the hot takes of whatever the political pundits and grifters have to say. —Megh Wright

“Too Many Cooks” (2014)

Originally airing during Adult Swim’s 4 a.m. infomercials block, Casper Kelly’s nightmarish postmodern masterpiece “Too Many Cooks” starts out like a straightforward ’80s/’90s sitcom parody, with a cheesy theme song, smiling actor introductions, and the Full House font. Then things start to get absurd: Characters keep piling on, the teen daughter is topless, there are three literal cooks, and Smarf shows up. Oh, you think. I get the joke. The joke is that it’s overlong and a little surreal. Classic Adult Swim parody stuff. But it keeps going. And going. It starts to dip into different retro genres: cop shows, GI Joe, Dynasty. At this point, the slasher who was hiding in the background of some earlier scenes is killing characters in their freeze frames. At this point it’s gone full meta horror, and it’s not even halfway through. The VHS-effect grows increasingly warped, the slasher seems to be infecting the video, and it’s up to Smarf to shut it all down or live in this eternal parody prison. There’s probably something deep hidden in here about the dangers of nostalgia. We’re inclined to agree with Knives Out director Rian Johnson who said, “No joke, this should be in the Oscar running for Best Short.” —Rebecca Alter

Troy Meets LeVar Burton (2012)

Donald Glover writes funny things, says funny things, and from time to time, raps funny things. But in this moment from Community, as his character Troy Barnes comes face to face with LeVar Burton, he proves that he doesn’t need words at all as he manages to be funny by using only the top third of his face.  —Ramsey Ess

Trump Comedy Nerd (2017-2019)

“But just think how good Trump will be for comedy!” Remember when people said that? Remember when it was even up for debate whether or not Trump would be good for comedy? In the time since the 2016 election, there has been exactly one (1) case in which something truly funny was born out of that absolute nightmare — @TrumpComedyNerd. Started in 2017 by Matt Koff and Brendan McLaughlin, the Twitter account is a perfect parody of the actual Trump Twitter account, hilariously mimicking the cadence, the erratic use of punctuation, unpredictable all-caps, and weird turns of phrases to call out things only a true comedy nerd would care about,,,/,..LIKE A DOG. —Leigh Cesiro 

Trump Truck Monologue (2017)

Anthony Atamanuik’s Trump impression is brilliant because it captures both the superficial tics that make Trump ridiculous and the deep, dark psychology that makes him so terrifying. In the pilot episode of Atamanuik’s The President Show, Atamanuik’s Trump intends to film a tour of his luxury penthouse but finds himself locked out by Melania. In order to appease his producers, they film a tour of “Trump’s New York,” which is, of course, as revolting as the president himself. The highlight of the tour comes at the end of this clip, when an exhausted Trump jumps to his feet because a really big truck is driving by. He motions for the driver to honk and then delivers a manic monologue that plunges the depths of his deep, dark soul. —Nayomi Reghay

“Two Brothers” (2015)

After the success of their season one micro-anthology episode “Interdimensional Cable,” Rick and Morty’s writers tempted fate and returned to that well the following season. Fortunately, the concept hadn’t staled, and we got a segment that perfectly captured the improvisational chaos of these episodes. As Justin Roiland stumbles through the extemporaneous narration for a film trailer about two brothers, animated absurdity unfolds onscreen as every new word falls from his lips, each as much a surprise to him as it is to the viewer. —Justin Caffier 

Tyler Fischer’s Bill Burr Impersonation (2017)

The annual Schtick or Treat comedy show has brought us many brilliant impersonations and mash-ups over the years, including “Bernie Mac Sanders” and “Demetri Martin Shkreli.” But Tyler Fischer’s pitch-perfect impersonation of Bill Burr in 2017 was so masterfully done that it’ll keep you coming back for second, third, and tenth viewings. Brutal! —Megh Wright

Vicky (2016)

John Early’s incomparable mastery of body language has made for a plethora of unforgettable characters and impressions (take, for example, his impressions of Toni Collette and Britney Spears), but the cream of the crop is Vicky, Early’s Christian woman comic character featured in his episode of The Characters. The character hits all the high points of a suburban woman jokester’s playbook, like complaints about the in laws and disobedient children, but Vicky really hits her stride when she’s backstage smoking with friends (played by Jacqueline Novak and Kate Berlant), waxing poetic about her experience on the Sex and the City bus tour. —Rachel Davies

Vows and Racism (2016)

In a decade most comics spent celebrating their identities rather than busting taboos, Ali Wong did both. While Wong’s first Netflix special, Baby Cobra, found her examining elements of who she was — woman, expectant mother, sexual beast, dysfunctional meat suit — her ability to simultaneously roast and revel is clearest in her jokes about her heritage. As someone who is half-Vietnamese and half-Chinese, Wong talked about balancing aspects of “jungle Asian” with “fancy Asian,” and how, at the end of the day, her marriage to a half-Japanese, half-Filipino husband worked in part because they could be racist together. Wong’s unique specifics and confident glee made the audience complicit in her conspiracy — and therefore less likely to get mad about on the internet. —Matthew Love 

Werewolves, Not Swearwolves (2015)

Throughout the film What We Do in the Shadows, audiences come to love the vampires that take us through their lives, despite the fact that we could easily become their victims. Though they aren’t at all friendly with the werewolves that also roam the evening New Zealand streets, it doesn’t take much more than this rhyming admonishment from Rhys Darby before we come to love them, too. —Ramsey Ess

“Which One of My Garbage Sons Are You?” (2014)

It seems so simple. Find a bunch of synonyms for “terrible” and “son,” nail down some specifics about Dad Culture, and you’ve got yourself a quiz. But, as the author of “Which One of My Garbage Sons Are You?” told Vulture in 2019, replicating the magic of “Garbage Sons” is near impossible. Re-creating that glory would be as hard as getting dead whale stink out of a Saab. —Bethy Squires

“White Thoughts” With Jon Hamm (2019)

Is it a rumination on white racial microaggression? Is it more of a parody of the hackneyed sketches that black performers are forced into doing in the mainstream? Whatever it is, in this erratic Random Acts of Flyness sketch, Jon Hamm seamlessly fits the role of both the smug accuser and the uncomfortable victim, and the writers prove yet again just how intelligent and self-aware this brilliant show is. —Taylor Garron

Who Can Never Be Sure? (2014)

Nick Kroll’s Kroll Show set itself apart in the Comedy Central sketch boom with a channel-surfing premise that allowed Kroll to channel his kooky character talents into a bunch of genre parodies. One of the most beloved of these recurring fake shows was PubLIZity, a Bravo reality parody about whiny best-frenemy publicists Liz G (Kroll) and Liz B (Jenny Slate). They look for love, they bankrupt the company, Liz G gets bangs, and in the episode where Liz B is pregnant, Slate rails off the Zen koan, “Who can never be sure?” We’d watch a full-tilt PubLIZity spinoff series. —Rebecca Alter

Whoop (2014)

So much has been written about what makes Nathan Fielder’s very specific brand of humor so incredibly funny, personal, awkward, cringey, and the next phase of what comedy will become. But this micro-moment from his show, Nathan for You, illustrates all of this in less time than it took you to read that last sentence. First there’s the overly dramatic transition sound effect. Then Nathan’s noise as he has some fun, appearing on-camera. But most important: the facial expression and hand gesture as his self-consciousness creeps back in. Sometimes you only need four seconds. —Ramsey Ess 

“Worst of Soul Train” (2011)

There’s so much in this dumb little sketch: Nasim Pedrad’s perfect backup-dancer idiot. Jim Carrey giving a subtle (for Jim Carrey) character study of a blue-eyed-soul pervert. The way Kenan says “stankey,” and another moment for Triangle Sally to shine. But the true stars are Bobby Moynihan’s hands as Coughy Robinson. The way only one hand will stray from a prayer pose to gesture toward the ephemera of Soul Train — inject it straight into my veins.  —Bethy Squires

Yes (2012)

Stephen Toast, played by Matt Berry, is thought of by some as Britain’s worst actor. But you wouldn’t know it from this moment from Channel 4’s Toast of London, in which Stephen is pulled through the wringer by Clem Fandango and the other studio engineers who attempt to coax the perfect voice-over performance of a single word from him. Toast gives it his all. Then he gives it again. Then far too many times more. —Ramsey Ess

Zendaya Is Meechee (2018)

What made Gabriel Gundacker’s ode to Warner Bros.’ Smallfoot so good that it received 8 million views on Twitter alone? At 52 seconds long, the original video — wherein Gundacker belts out the film’s credits like Patti LuPone at the Tonys — is the perfect critique of celebrity obsession, Los Angeles culture, and poor screenwriting. Then there’s Gundacker himself, a comedy star-in-the-making whose broad smile masks a deceptively savage irony. Great as it is, let’s not overanalyze it: Zendaya stans, and comedy fans agree that this thing bangs, and that’s what matters. —Sean Malin

207 Unforgettable Comedy Moments From the 2010s