The WWW (or World Wide Web, in case you needed ‘splaining) has been around for so long now, believe it or not there are even children today, YES CHILDREN, unaware of a time before electronic mails, messageboards, and dial-up tones. Show them the Angelina Jolie/Fisher Stevens mega-smash Hackers, and the characters might as well be riding around from LAN party to LAN party on penny-farthings for all they care.
Now, the “kidz” of today get their Christmas comedy kicks not from the likes of bona fide TV gold such as Knowing Me Knowing Yule with Alan Partridge, and the Bottom, Father Ted and League of Gentlemen Christmas specials, but from YouTube, College Humor and Funny or Die. However, just as we return to those television classics time and time again, so too do I find myself watching this trio of gems from the internet archive during the “holiday” “season” as well.
Nick’s Winter Wonderland (2006)
Having previously wowed us with his Girls Costume Warehouse commercial, salty New Joisey discount emporium magnate Nick branches out into the world of Christmas paraphernalia in this faux advert from College Humor. The phrase “limp dick” has never been delivered with so much disdain. Nick would later return in their series Street Fighter: The Later Years, made a return in the SF series as who else but Guile. Certainly did a better job of the character than Jean-Claude Van Damme.
The Christmas Tree (2006)
John Roberts is the character comedian behind the amazing Jackie and Debra (which remains to this day perhaps one of the greatest comedy shorts of the century), but his most successful character, Mom, came from this original video, about one woman’s obsession over her Christmas tree (which, in a stroke of genius, we never actually see). A masterclass performance in establishing a believable and hilarious personality in less than 2 minutes. Perfect.
The fake infomercial is an obvious and well-worn comedy set-up but when it comes from Astron-6, it’s best to sit up and take notice. Though their output is primarily at the grindhouse/80’s DTV-nostalgia end of the spectrum, they are one of the few to get the aesthetic spot-on, while also being funny/disturbing at the same time. Now branching off into features and working with the Troma label, this is a departure from their usual work, but still with their trademark attention to detail and dark comic streak.
And to leave you with something bang up to date, here’s a wonderful extra Christmas message for 2011 from the gleefully warped mind of Cyriak. Enjoy!