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The Phenomenon of Comedy Bands

When it comes to music, I have a very diverse library. I love nearly all types and forms of music; from my baby brother banging on pots, to the rhythmic sounds of the shofar blast, and tribal chanting during native spiritual sweat lodges – even Styx’s Grand Illusion album to the Best of Frank Sinatra. Music is universal to me.

There is a genre of music, however, that blend two different mediums of entertainment: comedic bands. The mixture of standup and slapstick comedy. The usually funky and synthetic sounds of synthesizers and guitars banging with drumbeats to create a laughable song to sing along with.

There have been a multitude of musical comedians over the years; the most recognizable being Victor Borge who was a comedian that was also a pianist. Bo Burnham is a comedian from the last decade who prefers composing strange stories that contain dark humor following a melodic tone. There is also Weird Al, or Alfred Yankovic, who easily has over 20 different albums of both original and parodical content.

I grew up listening to all of these artists (respectively in different households), and have found great amusement in them. 

Bands such as Flight of the Conchords, Lewberger, The Lonely Island, Tenacious D, and my personal favorite, Ninja Sex Party, and Starbomb. These bands took what some would consider either too dry or too crass comedy and turned them into songs for anyone to enjoy. All of them have their own styles, however, depending on the type of comedy they cater to.

Flight of the Conchords is a New Zealand based band about two guys who essentially just want to have fun and live an easy life in New York. They have been around for more than a decade and during their beginning stages, had a television show of the same name that ran for two seasons on HBO. I found this band through my roommate, who follows this band like it’s her religion.

Ninja Sex Party is a comedy band based on two fictional “ninja heroes”, Jewish Danny Sexbang and murderous Ninja Brian, who love (unsuccessfully) having sex and kicking ass. They’re not only doing comedic ballads of romance and violence, though. NSP also has a whole plethora of covers that they have been doing for years; so much that they have three separate albums (out of seven) full of covers that are 70’s and 80’s classics.

Then, there is Starbomb. Starbomb is a band created by Arin Hanson, Dan Avidan, and Brian Wecht who create parodical music about video games by the creators of Ninja Sex Party (Avidan and Wecht) and Egoraptor (Hanson). That description might not scream comedy, but those who are a fan of the YouTube channel Game Grumps, video games, and/or satirical theories of life will thoroughly enjoy this band.

Comedic music is, in my opinion, an underappreciated genre that deserves more recognition than it gets. There is a whole selection of funny albums by great comedians who dabble in music and there are great musicians who are just as funny as the all-star comedians. It’s a matter of choosing the type of comedy you enjoy, and then following the music

Jaicyee Brian is a queer, nonbinary pal with a lot of knowledge on pride and music. This enby uses they/them pronouns and will write about music, with little opinionated pieces and puns. “I am both happy and sad at the same time, and I'm still trying to figure out how that could be.” ― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower "We've all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That's who we really are." ― J.K. Rolling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
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