Confessions of a TV Addict: Mulaney, Michael Caine Impressions, & Things That Make Me LOL

I like to think of myself as a serious person. I storm down the sidewalks, headphones in, with the Spring Awakening soundtrack blasting, Jackie O shades on; the sheer force of my stride causing the throngs of plebeians in front of me to get the hell out of my way.

In reality, I am less Claire Underwood and more Elle Woods. The serious side of me does cleave desperately onto my cultural snobbery, as I latch my manicured claws onto any and all prestige drama I can.

However, the non-serious side is game for an audible laugh every now and again.

It takes a lot to make me actually laugh out loud, as I strive to encapsulate that soulless glamzon vibe as I sulk about the earth looking moody and fashionable, but the following Netflix stand-up specials and other various funny TV accouterments certainly do the trick. 

Aziz is all kinds of brilliant. He wrote a fantastic, and I mean truly fantastic, anthropological book about the nature of modern dating and love, aptly entitled Modern Romance. Plus, his show Master of None is a stylistic, comedic dream.

That being said, all of his stand-up specials bring me a specific kind of unbridled joy. However, this one happens to include an entire delightful bit about how pedophiles were intimidated by how cute he was as a kid, so that’s why he was never molested as a child.

“Confidence. Kids like confidence. Hey, Aziz!”

Comedy gold.

  • John Mulaney: New in Town

John Mulaney is the best human. That is the only correct opinion.

My best friend is equally obsessed. Not only does he physically resemble Mulaney, as he, too, is a lanky Irishman, but also has adopted the cadence of Mulaney’s comedic timing and it is pretty much the only reason I’m still friends with him. (Just kidding, Shane.)

Anyway, the opening 20-seconds of this stand-up special that spoofs a late 90’s sitcom may be the funniest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.

He does a bit about scary eighth graders, ordering fries at a restaurant, and also one about how easily he is taken advantage of by horrid airlines because he’s such a pushover. As a fellow pushover, I relate to this spiritually.

I just had to give a shout-out to both of his specials because he is the most ingenious soul. I think I have watched this every other day for the past two weeks.

I have reached peak Mulaney.

From the troubles of making a “Happy Birthday” sign to being told to “eat ass, suck a d*ck, and sell drugs” by a woman on the street in New York to meeting Bill Clinton in the early 90’s, this entire special is a magnificent follow-up to the genius of New in Town.

  • The Trip and The Trip to Italy

Before The Lobster and Jackie, my “thing I recommend and also never shut up about” was The Trip.

My mom “doesn’t get it,” and I have never been more convinced of her and my father having stolen me away from some royal, more culturally literate brood.

You know what I “don’t get”? What there is to “get” about this at all. It is wonderful. That’s literally all there is to “get.”

Anyway, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon trek around the English countryside in a massive Land Rover and go to all of the finest restaurants Northern England has to offer. All the while, they are complaining about receding gums and other lamentations that are accompanying them in their middling ages, doing proper Michael Caine impressions, belting out ABBA’s “The Winner Takes It All” in the Nidderdale Valley, and wittily commenting on the delicious, Michelin-starred food they are being served.

What is not to love and delight in here?

The follow-up, The Trip to Italy, involves even more of this, but in Italy! The most startlingly difference is that they wear a lot more button-up shirts in this one and less sweaters. It is equally, if not more, hilarious and amazing. Plus, they do more Michael Caine impressions. Coogan and Brydon doing “choked up Alfred from the Batman films” is brilliance.

It originally aired on BBC Two as a 6-episode series, and if you have the opportunity to watch it like that I suggest it. You really get the full effect.

However, on Netflix, it is shown in its film format. Another thing, only stateside can you watch both The Trip and The Trip to Italy. On Canadian Netflix, only the latter is available.  That being said, you, the radiant individual that is mindlessly scrolling through this article in the middle of lecture, are a smart and capable person who is intelligent enough to find other outlets besides the obvious to watch things.

The third series, The Trip to Spain, is airing on Sky Atlantic in the UK April 6,thif you’re so inclined.

Whenever I think about Donald Glover, I am first reminded of the time they were doing the Hollywood Reporter round-tables this Oscars season:

This photo alone makes me LOL, but in reality, I think he is such a multi-talented spirit and I am continually impressed by all of the excellence he exudes in all facets of his artistic career.

This stand-up is unfortunately the only one of his on Netflix and that makes me feel some kind of way.

It is as hilarious and marvelous as one would expect from him, but I just want more of it. The best bit of this is when he talks about how his mom growing up wouldn’t allow him and his brother to have sugar cereal. I find people that don’t let kids have sugar cereal to be morally reprehensible than the GOP, so just the sheer premise of this is sidesplitting to me. #(Vaguely)PoliticalGabby

I was recently discussing with a friend why this woman isn’t more famous. She is one of the funniest stand-ups I have ever seen and I feel more people should know of her. Her commentary on women is incredibly on-point, while never feeling cruel.

She also manages to get through a set without crudely discussing her genitals, which seems to be something that popular female comedians do to pretend to be funny when they really aren’t. (This is a specific dig. So if you get it, then yes, I went there.)

Watch this and give this beautiful lady more attention.

I love Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. I could stop there, but this program about their enemyship (definitely not a word)-turned-friendship after their husbands leave them to be with each other is a freaking dream of a show.

It is a warm hug of senior adult problems and shenanigans, and if that isn’t my brand, I don’t know what is. The writing is whip-smart and charming. This show is just good! I only recently discovered that I love it when I was super bored a month or two ago and had nothing to watch. I deeply regret not falling for it sooner.

Honorary Mentions of LOL-worthy Stuff:

  • Ali Wong: Baby Cobra
  • Anytime David Schwimmer says “Juice” on the American Crime Story: The People v. OJ Simpson

  • Aziz Ansari: Live at Madison Square Gardens
  • That scene from The Office when Dwight and Jim both get bad customer reviews, so they have to role play a scenario where Jim is a client named “Bill Buttlicker” and Dwight screams at him “Buttlicker, our prices have never been lower!”

  • Ilia Schlesinger: Freezing Hot
  • When Jon Hamm, playing the reverend on The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, said, “If being bad at math is against the law, well, then lock me up!” (Obligatory Jon Hamm reference. © 2017 Gabrielle Lee Gabauer)

  • Anthony Jeselnik: Thoughts and Prayers
  • That one time on 30 Rock when Liz is dating Jason Sudeikis, and while they’re discuss what it’s like living in New York at the same time as this stylish older New York lady gets pushed into a pile of garbage.

Happy watching! xx




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