funny videos of the month

Atsuko Okatsuka Is ‘Bold Enough,’ and This Month’s Other Must-see Comedy Shorts

Photo-Illustration: Vulture; Photos by Atsuko Okatsuka/Twitter, Big Grande/YouTube, Jack Bensinger/Twitter, FilmFreeway and NoBudge/YouTube

Each month, many funny videos are posted to every corner of the internet — from Twitter and Instagram to Vimeo and sometimes other weird places we’ll have trouble embedding. Because you’re busy living your life, you might miss some of these funny videos and feel left out when others bring them up in conversation. Well, worry not! We’re here to make sure you’re not listening in on conversations but leading them … as long as those conversations are about funny internet videos. Here, our favorite comedy shorts of the month.

“Big Grande: Live on Set,” by Big Grande

Improv is rarely preserved for posterity in a form worth recommending, which is why we were so tickled by the recent series from Big Grande, the sketch-and-improv group comprising Dan Lippert, Drew Tarver, Ryan Rosenberg, and Jon Mackey. In “Live on Set,” they up the stakes on single-location improv scenes by fully decking out the set and performers in hyperspecific decorations, then unleashing them onto the stage without telling them about any of it beforehand. Suffice it to say, it’s a lot more to take in than a one-word suggestion.

“Bold Enough,” by Atsuko Okatsuka and Netflix Is a Joke

The explosive stateside popularity of Old Enough! — a devastatingly adorable Japanese TV show that follows toddlers on their first errand — produced a slew of parodies this month. Our favorite featured Atsuko Okatsuka running errands for Arsenio Hall and was put together by such talents as Emily Maya Mills, Sara Schaefer, Brodie Reed, Subhah Agarwal, and others for the Netflix Is a Joke festival in Los Angeles. Can Atsuko complete her various comedy-related tasks without getting overwhelmed and having a breakdown?

“Close Ties to Home Country,” by Akanksha Cruczynski and Felicia Ferrara

They’ve got festival appearances and accolades (including, ahem, a Student Academy Award), and you still don’t know Akanksha Cruczynski and Felicia Ferrara’s names? Well, neither did we until we found this short, but it’s high time we started recognizing them, and we hope you will, too. “Close Ties to Home Country” is one of the most beautifully directed, painfully funny additions in the history of this column. Stars are born, and we ain’t talkin’ Gaga. (Watch it here.)

“Cool Blue Car,” by Alan Resnick

Ring in the summer with this new Adult Swim short from filmmaker Alan Resnick, which features (in addition to an excellent turn from Patti Harrison yelling at a befuddled Jared Larson) one of the most stunning sunsets you’re likely to see in a comedy short this month. In fact, we’ll go ahead and say it is the best sunset you’re likely to see in a comedy short this month. In fact, we’re going to go ahead and call it for the year.

“Look, Mira,” by Kate McCarthy

This film from writer and director Kate McCarthy is one of the most exciting we’ve come across in a long time — a stylishly bittersweet coming-of-age comedy in the Todd Solondz–Wes Anderson mold that’s bursting with color and idiosyncrasy. When a young girl (Mariana Carvajal) decides to audition to be the church cantor at her high school, it has to be the moment that turns her whole invisible life around, right? Shout-out to Daniel Ferrell, who plays the sleaziest teenager since Trip Fontaine.

“Me Every Day After Having Caffeine,” by Lisa Gilroy

We’ve had this song in our heads since we first discovered it about a month ago. The indefatigable Lisa Gilroy brings more heat this month, and the result is subtle, brilliant, and maddening. If your ears are hungry for more worms, she’s got what the doctor ordered. But be warned: Gilroy does not have earworm medicine. Please don’t be mad at us … or her.

“How the Proposal Happened in a Very Jed Way,” by Jed R. Feiman and Nehemiah Markos

And the award for Cutest Short of the Year Shot in a Windy New York City Park goes to … Never Sad’s Jed R. Feiman and Nehemiah Markos for their fake-out sketch turned proposal, in which Jed literally proposes to his now-fiancée, Abby Barr. She was holding the camera thinking she was just recording some bullshit and then her life changed. Mazel tov to the pair. Also: There’s no award for Cutest Short of the Year Shot in a Windy New York City Park. Also also, full disclosure: Luke, co-writer of this column, executive-produced a show on which Feiman and Markos were writers.

“My Audition for Disney+,” by Trevor Wallace

This one’s for all the TikTok haters. Sure, it may have started as a weird dance app (still pretty cool), but it has now morphed fully into a better version of Vine, with undeniably funny bits uniquely suited for abbreviated video. Take Trevor Wallace’s imitation of a Disney bully, for instance, buttoned by the most pitch-perfect, tonally spot-on Blink-182 reference anyone has ever seen or heard.

“That Couple Who Hung Outside the Theatre in High School,” by Blake Rosier and Mitsy Sanderson

Blake Rosier and Misty Sanderson will be SNL contenders if they keep collaborating — there’s not much more to it. Check out Blake’s Instagram for more examples of why. Did someone say “nuanced character performances”? We did.

“There’s Red Checkmarks Now,” by Jack Bensinger

“Hello! I’m out of my fucking mind,” says an indoor fisherman (Jack Bensinger) to introduce himself in a NowThis parody that introduces a feature that could either save Twitter or tear it apart for good. The innovation is red checkmarks, which confirm that a person is crazy (regardless of whether they are real or not). If you’ve ever wanted to hear from a dude who thinks the Earth is a bowl, he finally has a platform that recognizes him for who he is.

Like what you saw? Want to be on this monthly roundup? Show us your stuff! 

Luke Kelly-Clyne is a co-head of HartBeat Independent and a watcher of many web videos. Send him yours at @LKellyClyne.

Graham Techler has contributed writing to The New Yorker and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. Send him your videos at @gr8h8m_t3chl3r.

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