If there's been a high point of this bitter campaign season, it has to have been the number of funny, viral videos that have existed as a way to cope with—and laugh at—a maddeningly long electoral process. While literally thousands have been made, I was able to narrow down 25 favorites, many of which have previously appeared as part of this fine site's peerless, Pulitzer-quality electoral coverage. And, as a registered Independent, I tried to be as bipartisan as possible in picking and ranking them. I probably failed, which will make you all angry at me. Emotions are high, I get it. Give me your hate now. Save a punchout with a Romney or Obama supporter tomorrow.
25 (TIE). Barack Obama at the Al Smith Dinner
25 (TIE). Mitt Romney at the Al Smith Dinner
Neither speech was a work of comedic genius, but both had some good zingers, both showed class to the opponent, and both took the opportunity to make fun of Joe Biden. That's bipartisanship we can all agree on.
23. Mr. Burns Endorses Romney
An obvious joke—super-rich Mr. Burns supports the super-rich Mr. Romney—made funny by use of the term “Mormon Mensch.”
22. Girl Tired of the Election
Cute kid videos are a dime a dozen on the Internet, but this one hit home for a nation tired of the election and ready to refocus on more important things. Like the NFL and what's going on with Brody on “Homeland.”
21. Larry David: “Eh, It Could've Been Worse”
Larry David, master of deadpan and awkward honesty, delivers the campaign ad Obama would probably shy away from: Hey, shit sucks, but it could've been worse!
20. Porn Stars Against Rick Santorum
Remember Rick Santorum? (If not, Google him.) Ol' Santorum ran a campaign that would've made an 1890s revival preacher proud, promising, among other things, to ban pornography. These lovely porn stars weren't a fan of that. And, neither were we.
19. Former Obama Supporter on Fox News
A troll, a credulous interviewer, a national platform = A match made in viral heaven.
18. Jon Stewart on the 47% Comments
Jon Stewart had a lot to say, obviously, about the campaigns of Obama and Romney, but for our money his funniest segment came during the 47% controversy. It was catnip for liberals, and Stewart took the opportunity to pounce.
17. Joe Biden's Gaffes
Catnip for conservatives? How 'bout a Joe Biden speech? The man was a gaffe machine, and the Daily Beast took the opportunity to collect some highlights in this clip package. Come for his talk of a “lubricated crowd,” stay for his reassurance that the president carries “a big stick.”
15. The Worst Campaign Song Ever
Let's never forget this guy, who seems to be a supporting actor on “Tim and Eric,” but really is a Romney supporter bringing down his candidate's campaign with a song, “Take the R Train,” that quickly went viral. He was also responsible for the smashing lecture, “The Obama Flag is Satanic.”
14. Boot on His Head Guy Runs for President
A man sadly lost in the fray of our two-party machine, Vermin Supreme announced his candidacy for president back in January on a platform of “stopping gingivitis” and “giving everyone a pony.” He also announced he was a wizard, and he wore a boot on his head. Mr. Supreme might be worth a vote if he made it on your state's ballot. I don't see Obama or Romney claiming to be wizards.
13. Clint Eastwood at the RNC
I happened to love Eastwood's RNC speech. It was cringe-worthy, sure, but you can't tell me you didn't watch the entire thing spell-bound, wondering what the crazy ol' coot was going to say next. I can't say the same for the majority of other political speeches.
12. Bill Burr at 'Night of Too Many Stars'
Some of most trenchant political analysis came from comedians this year, and Bill Burr was no exception. Be sure to watch 'till the end for a totally unrelated bit about Steve Jobs.
11. Romney and Obama Hang Out after the Last Debate
Jimmy Fallon may be responsible for the best Romney impression of the year. And this bit, about the two candidates bro'ing out after the final debate, was an instant classic.
10. Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog at the Last Debate
A lot of Florida and Bob Schieffer jokes here by the always-great Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. What a night, what a debate, what a campaign… FOR HIM TO POOP ON.
9. SNL's First Presidential Debate
God, Jim Lehrer had a rough go of things. I want to tell him it's going to be okay.
8. Will Ferrell Will Do Anything to Get You to Vote
Including, it seems, dressing in a smoking jacket and sporting a Mo-vember mustache.
7. Herman Cain's Amazing Ad
We can't embed the full version of this ad, which is pretty much the worst thing to ever happen to me. Herman Cain's batshit crazy commercial, which featured his chief of staff Mark Block sporting a tremendous mustache and smoking a cigarette to accentuate a point was—no sarcasm or overstatement intended—the greatest thing to happen in the history of political advertising. It was like the Cain-ster said, “You know what? My 15 or so affairs are saying that we're probably not winning this thing. Let's go out with a bang.” And he did.
6. Chris Rock's Message to White People
Vote for the white guy, says Chris. The mom jean-wearing, golf-playing, craft beer brewing white guy named Barack.
5. Obama's 99 Problems
This is on here if only for the deft editing that makes Obama seem like he's saying “motherfucker.” Now I want a president who really says “motherfucker.”
4. Jimmy Kimmel at the White House Correspondent's Dinner
Jimmy Kimmel killed at the Correspondent's Dinner, leaving the audience in stitches even when he delivered some surprisingly harsh putdowns of the president. He also kicked things off with an “Unnecessary Censorship” bit which is always fun.
4. SNL Vice Presidential Debate
Joe Biden laughed… a lot, Paul Ryan drank water like a hamster, and SNL delivered its best debate sketch of the season.
3. Jimmy Kimmel: Who Won Last Night's Debate?
Jimmy Kimmel sent a staffer out into Hollywood to ask who won the first presidential debate—before the actual debate took place. Obama was a clear winner, by the way.
2. Leaked Video of Obama at Occidental
“Key & Peele” delivered this, the best sketch of the show's short history, a little over a month ago. A great Obama impression and a very believable scene of the young president “intercepting” a joint make it well worth a rewatch.
1. Final Debate Bad Lip Reading
We couldn't leave without adding one bad lip reading, the king in surreal and hilarious campaign videos. This clip took the first debate to strange new heights, especially when put-upon moderator Jim Lehrer begins the Eastern-inspired chant and song, “Eye of the Sparrow.”
I want more like this!
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