After I stopped using Facebook, I realized that I had been spending an unsettling amount of time on there and that I now had literally hours of “free” time. For some reason, I turned to YouTube. At the time, I was still on leave of absence from work and I’ll admit to being very bored. I mostly watched clips from late night comedy shows and since the election wasn’t over yet, I watched a bunch of clips from news shows and things like that. Sure, I was filling the hours with something other than Facebook but for the most part, what I was filling those hours with wasn’t helping my mental state.
I went back through my watch history and rewatched a video put together by Nerd Fest UK using film clips from musicals set to “Uptown Funk.” I can’t remember when I watched it for the first time, but I hadn’t heard the song at that point and I was surprised to find that I actually liked it. The editing is genius. And as I watched it again that time, it hit me that I was actually smiling for the first time in weeks. Of course, when I realized that, I burst into tears but I had the idea that I should make a video playlist of things that either made me happy or that I thought were funny so when I felt particularly depressed or overwhelmed by everything, I could get through what I was feeling by watching them.
The “Uptown Funk” video is first on the list. I loved those movies when I was growing up and I love them still. Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor might have been the first celebrities I had crushes on. This video uses several clips from “Singing in the Rain” and I don’t think that movie will ever cease to make me happy. The way this video is put together is just amazing. The clips all work perfectly. I dare you not to smile when you watch it.
The next one is another old musical that has a few clips in the above video, but when Fred Astaire tells the guys in the video that this number is the greatest movie musical sequence he’s ever seen, it deserves to stand on its own. The Nicholas Brothers are incredible. Cab Calloway is awesome, too, but it’s the dancing that makes this one of my favorites.
It should be fairly obvious by now to anyone reading this blog that I’m a huge nerd/geek. Most of the rest of this playlist are Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, or Star Trek related videos but mostly they’re LOTR. Merry and Pippin dancing on tables and singing, dwarves freaking out poor Bilbo, Martin Freeman being Martin Freeman while dressed as Bilbo, “They’re Taking the Hobbits to Isengard” original and Orlando Bloom reprise, Mashed Taters, and a medley of Hobbit and Dwarf drinking songs by Peter Hollens and Hank Green.
The Star Wars videos aren’t necessarily funny, they just make me happy. I realize a lot of Star Wars fans hated Episode VII and slammed it for being a remake of Episode IV, but I disagree. Slam me for succumbing to nostalgia, but I loved it and when this clip from Comic Con 2015 hit the internet before the movie came out, I was sold. And I think I actually squealed when I saw Simon Pegg. I have major respect for that man and his unapologetic geekiness. Which would be why one of the other Star Wars related videos is him ranking all of the Star Wars movies (and I heartily agree with the order in which he ranks them), and the only Star Trek related video is him pranking fellow cast members on the Star Trek Into Darkness set with “neutron cream.” Priceless and hilarious every time. Cumberbatch’s reaction is GOLD. The other Star Wars related video is Stormtroopers on Britain’s Got Talent.
While I was on leave of absence from work, I watched every single episode of Animaniacs on Netflix. Three times. I didn’t exactly “grow up” watching that show, I think I was in high school at the time, but I loved it then and I love it now. So that’s why two of the videos on the list are from Animaniacs. Yakko’s “Nations of the World” song and Wakko’s 50 State Capitols. I might add more Animaniacs to this playlist, who knows.
I’ll definitely add more Weird Al to the list, but I started with this song because when it was first released, no fewer than five people tagged me in Facebook posts with it because they know I’m a “grammar Nazi.” And somehow, Weird Al redeemed this song because the music itself is pretty catchy and I like it, but I will not listen to the original one because FUCK Robin Thicke and that song’s lyrics.
The last one is one of those that kind of doesn’t fit with making me happy or making me laugh; it’s simply amazing. I first heard this aria in the movie “Amadeus” and the scene it’s in shows the Queen of Night as looking sort of like that “Queen Frostine” character in the game Candyland. I remember liking the song but I didn’t know what it was about because I don’t speak German. It hit me later that she’s singing about taking revenge. Because I’m a giant nerd, I’d read the Sherlock Holmes stories and in “A Study in Scarlet,” the killer scrawls “RACHE” on the wall at the scene and Holmes knows that “rache” is “revenge” in German so that tips him off about the motive. The title of the aria is “Der Hölle Rache.” So for the filmmakers to have made the Queen of Night look all sweet and pretty didn’t make sense. And every rendition of that aria I had ever heard was somehow lacking in conveying any sense of menace. She’s singing about how she’s going to curse her daughter if her daughter doesn’t kill the guy she perceives as her enemy! Shouldn’t that somehow be obvious? I stumbled across this video and just…WOW. FINALLY! This woman is perfect. I found the DVD on Amazon and bought it immediately. She’s perfect throughout the entire production. I just sit here spellbound watching her.
I’m sure I’ll add more to the playlist. These were just the videos that immediately came to mind when I made it. I won’t put anything political on the list because honestly, politics will just stress me out even more, even if I think the presentation is funny. If you have any suggestions for additions to the list, feel free to comment on this blog entry.