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Comedy Music: You’ll Just Laugh It

Comedy music has long been a part of the entertainment landscape: who doesn’t appreciate witty lyrics and clever compositions? In recent years, this genre has experienced a resurgence, with tracks that parody or humorously critique specific genres gaining popularity.

Its presence in the indie music scene has been particularly noteworthy since artists are known for their creativity and willingness to experiment. In this article, we explore the evolution of comedy music and how it’s produced artists and tracks that can perfectly blend humor with musicality.

Comedy Music: The Basics

Comedy music includes many styles and approaches; however, the goal is always the same: make ’em laugh! This genre often blends musical talent with comedic elements, resulting in songs that are both musically engaging and humorous. We could broadly categorize it into:

  • Parody involves imitating a particular artist, song, or genre, often exaggerating its characteristics for comedic effect. It’s made to entertain and highlight the peculiarities of original work. A great example is “Weird Al” Yankovic, who has built a legendary career by parodying popular songs with humorous lyrics and clever wordplay.
  • Satire is known to critique societal issues, politics, or cultural phenomena through humor; it uses irony and exaggeration to make a point. Artists like Tom Lehrer and Flight of the Conchords have mastered this approach, blending sharp wit with musical proficiency.
  • Novelty songs are typically characterized by their quirky and humorous content, often revolving around a unique or absurd concept; tracks are meant to be lighthearted and fun, so they easily become viral. Who doesn’t remember “The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)” by Ylvis?

Comedy in Indie Music

Indie artists and bands often explore unconventional themes and experiment with different styles, making comedy a natural fit.

This trend has led to the creation of humorous songs that not only entertain but also reflect on cultural and societal issues with a satirical edge. And we laugh it.

Top Comedy Music Artists and Bands

Below, we include the top artists that represent this genre followed by emerging indie artists that are taking it one step further.

“Planet of the Bass” by Kyle Gordon

Gordon’s “Planet of the Bass” is a standout example of contemporary comedy music as the track humorously critiques the Eurodance genre of the late ’90s and early 2000s, capturing the era’s distinct sound while infusing it with comedic elements:

When the pleasure is a dream on a secret love

And the people wanna make a fun

We are losing control on a floor tonight

Take your heart into a unicorn

The song’s over-the-top production, exaggerated accents, and playful lyrics offer a nostalgic yet hilarious homage to the Eurodance craze.

“Code Monkey” by Jonathan Coulton

Jonathan Coulton is a prominent figure in the indie comedy music scene thanks to his witty and nerdy songs. Coulton has gained a loyal following with his humorous takes on technology, pop culture, and everyday life.

A great example is “Code Monkey,” which humorously explores the life of a computer programmer, and is a quintessential example of his style:

Code Monkey get up get coffee

Code Monkey go to job

Code Monkey have boring meeting

With boring manager Rob

Rob say Code Monkey very dilligent

But his output stink

His code not “functional” or “elegant”

What do Code Monkey think?

“Pregnant Women Are Smug” by Garfunkel and Oates

Garfunkel and Oates, the comedy folk duo consisting of Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci, have carved out a niche with their funny and often risqué songs. Their music covers a wide range of topics, from relationships to social norms, all delivered with a comedic twist.

Songs like “Pregnant Women Are Smug” showcase their sharp wit and musical talent:

Pregnant women are smug

Everyone knows it, nobody says it

Because they’re pregnant

Effing son of a gun

You think you’re so deep now

You give me the creeps

Now that you’re pregnant

Their ability to tackle taboo subjects with humor and charm has earned them a dedicated fanbase.

“Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros” by Flight of the Conchords

Although now widely recognized, Flight of the Conchords started as an indie comedy music act; the New Zealand duo (Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement) became famous for their hilarious songs and unique brand of musical comedy.

Their self-titled TV show further popularized their music, featuring songs like “Business Time” and “Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros:”

I’m the mother flippin’ rhymenocerous

My beats are fat

And the birds are on my back

And I’m horny, I’m horny

If you choose to proceed

You will indeed concede

‘Cause I hit you with my flow

The wild rhino stampede

Their clever lyrics and comedic personas have made them icons in the comedy music scene.

“I’m On A Boat” by The Lonely Island

Originally formed as an indie comedy group, The Lonely Island has become one of the most recognizable names in comedy music, consisting of Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone, the trio’s music combines hip-hop with absurd and hilarious lyrics:

I’m on a boat (I’m on a boat) I’m on a boat (I’m on a boat)

Everybody look at me

‘Cause I’m sailing on a boat (sailing on a boat)

I’m on a boat (I’m on a boat) I’m on a boat

Take a good hard look at the motherfucking boat (boat, yeah)

While they gained mainstream success through Saturday Night Live (1975), their indie roots are evident in their creative approach and boundary-pushing humor. If you want to listen to comedic genius, listen to any of their songs or start with our suggestion.

Emerging Indie Comedy Music Acts

“Starlight Brigade” by TWRP (Tupper Ware Remix Party)

TWRP is a Canadian band known for their elaborate costumes, retro-futuristic aesthetic, and humorous songs; their music often blends elements of funk, rock, and electronic music with a comedic twist.

Songs like “Starlight Brigade,” featuring Dan Avidan of Ninja Sex Party, showcase their ability to create fun and entertaining music while maintaining a high level of musicianship.

“Danny Don’t You Know” by Ninja Sex Party

Ninja Sex Party, the comedy rock duo consisting of Dan Avidan and Brian Wecht, has gained a massive following with their humorous and often outrageous songs, like “Danny Don’t You Know” and “NSFW.”

Danny, don’t you know that you are hot as fuck on the inside?

Everybody knows the best bananas will be ripe with time

Danny, don’t you know that you kick so much ass on the inside?

Danny, don’t you know?

Danny, don’t you know?

Danny, don’t you know?

Their music videos and live performances add an extra layer of comedy to their tracks, making them stand out in the indie comedy music scene.

What’s all the fuss about?

The resurgence of comedy music in the indie scene can be attributed to several factors:

  • It allows for creative freedom. Indie artists have the liberty to experiment with unconventional themes and styles, making comedy a natural extension of their artistic expression.
  • It’s relatable. Humorous songs often resonate with listeners by addressing relatable topics and everyday experiences funnily and engagingly.
  • It’s food for virality. Comedy music’s catchy and entertaining nature lends itself to viral success, especially in the age of social media and streaming platforms.
  • It serves as social commentary. Many comedy music tracks provide insightful commentary on societal and cultural issues, using humor as a lens to examine and critique various aspects of modern life.

Conclusion

Comedy music in the indie scene is a testament to the genre’s versatility and enduring appeal. Artists like Jonathan Coulton, Garfunkel and Oates, Flight of the Conchords, TWRP, Ninja Sex Party, and The Lonely Island demonstrate the power of humor in music, creating tracks that entertain, engage, and are thought-provoking.

As comedy music continues to evolve, its presence in the indie music landscape will undoubtedly remain strong, bringing laughter and a carefree atmosphere to the world. Which we kind of need, right?

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