With so much toxicity on social media, anger in the social and political atmosphere and general uncertainty, I think we need a good laugh.
In trying to alternate between serious topics, like wearing masks and the pandemic, I think it’s good to take a breather and let off some steam with some comedies.
Here’s some of what has been making me laugh during the past four months:
“House Hunters: Comedians on Couches” (TV show, HGTV) — “House Hunters” has always had the appeal of being a perfect storm of ego, money and stubbornness, as couples try to buy a new house. Throughout its 21-year run, there have been a ton of episodes ripe for riffing and, through the advent of video conferencing, comedians Natasha Leggero and Dan Levy (not the “Schitt’s Creek” star), get some hilarious, G-rated goofs with fellow comics like John Mulaney and Chris Redd. Its eight-episode run is great to watch and laugh out loud with as they marvel at some of the most bizarre episodes of the show. (Streaming on the HGTV app).
“Conan Needs a Friend: Summer S’Mores” (Podcast, available on all platforms) — While talk show host Conan O’Brien’s podcast is usually him goofing with other celebrities, it’s taking several months off from that to let O’Brien and his producers/co-hosts Sona Movsesian and Matt Gourley talk about summer memories every week. There’s one story where Conan becomes the unintentional hero to a kid getting bullied because of a belt buckle that had me cackling. It’s worth a listen on short drives.
“Eurovision Song Contest” (TV-14, Netflix) — When I previously reviewed this, I thought it was OK. But the more I think of it and watch it, the more I like it. It’s typical Will Ferrell nonsense, but it’s also a ton of fun.
“Schitt’s Creek” (TV-MA, Netflix) — The best discovery of the COVID-19 shutdown for me was this wonderful Canadian show with Daniel and Eugene Levy and the brilliant Catherine O’Hara. While you have to kind of trudge through the first season, everything after is pure gold as a once-rich family tries to navigate life in a dank, poor town. It is one of the nicest, most empathetic shows on TV. Everyone is perfectly cast with a natural rhythm to all of the show’s comedic beats. Even with a TV-MA rating, it doles out the profanity in short, restrained bursts. I knew it was special when my parents started watching it (something they don’t always do with my sometimes bawdy recommendations). They’re on their second watch of it.