During 2020’s first lockdown, Guardian Australia launched The funniest things on the internet, a weekly column to bring joy to readers who very much needed it.
For each column, a famously funny person picks out the links, videos and tweets that have made them laugh the hardest. We thought it would be short-lived, but as the pandemic kept going, so too did our need for levity – and now the Thursday spot has become a mainstay.
And we’d like our readers to take part as well.
Please join us in the comments with a link to the funniest thing you’ve seen online in the past year: it can be a tweet, an Instagram, a TikTok, a video, a headline, an article … anything that isn ‘ t offensive, defamatory or mean-spirited, really.
To get you started, Guardian staff have picked theirs.
2021 in a nutshell
Although the news report is about a very serious dangerous driving charge being overturned, there’s just something about the dull thunk as face meets glass, followed by the Wilhelm scream-esque yelp, timed perfectly in between the Seven News reporter’s narration. This clip felt like 2021 in a nutshell. – Josh Taylor
This is what the ideal man looks like
As a person of pickle experience (often buys oversized novelty pickles from local convenience store and eats them wildly on the street to the chagrin of passersby), I would like to thank the resurfacing of this 2013 image of Adam Sandler for its brave and necessary act of representation. – Michael Sun.
‘I deserve pee-pee touches’
This has to be one of the best mini movies of 2021. No one could write anything this good. A man, at work, flies buzzing around his head, unbothered by anything other than his… personal domestic concerns. The nonchalance, the confidence, the indignation. And then the kicker. She left him on read. All in under five seconds. – Amy Remeikis
‘There’s a fucking goat outside’
In this truly perfect Tiktok, a New Zealand toddler, standing on a toy oven, simply wants to tell her mum about an unusual visitor in the garden. Her mother, trying not to laugh, suggests that the animal is in fact just a goat. She gets corrected. The child is right of course. It’s a fucking goat. – Bonnie Malkin
The big stuck boat
Ben Jenkins has already written the definitive piece about the Ever Given, the big boat that got stuck in the Suez Canal and held our undivided attention for a full week. “It was not just the simplicity of the problem, it was its precious literality, ”he wrote. “Big Boat Stuck was not emblematic of a deeper, thornier issue that We Really Ought Be Talking About… It was an unfathomably Big Boat, and it was Stuck, and there was nothing that anyone outside of 11 tugboats and a handful of excavators could do about it. ” – Steph Harmon
My husband accidentally going viral
In the depths of lockdown, just when it seemed like nothing new could ever happen again, my husband went viral on TikTok – fritzing out over a student’s dirty joke in a Zoom lecture.
You probably shouldn’t harvest your lecturers for content, but in this case the student did the right thing, reached out and offered to delete the clip. My husband told him to keep it up; the world needed daddy more. – Alyx Gorman
Pat Buetow’s Roman Roy impression
Like Succession’s charming Roman Roy, I also find it near-on impossible to sit on a chair the way furniture designers intended. (I also – inexplicably! – suffer from back pain.) So this TikTok hits so close to home, it hurts. – Janine Israel
Nicki Minaj’s cousin’s friend’s swollen testicles
The ongoing discussion of Nicki Minaj’s cousin’s friend’s swollen testicles was the best thing to happen on the internet since the Ecce Homo restoration.
The government of Trinidad and Tobago assures us no one’s testicles became swollen after receiving a Covid vaccine, and Nicki Minaj denies being an anti-vaxxer – but reports that the cousin’s friend’s wedding was called off remain unconfirmed. – Gabrielle Jackson
This TikTok remix of Gladys’s Covid pressers
Dance remixes of political press conferences have become something of a thing in the Covid years – Victorian premier Daniel Andrews even made Triple J’s Hottest 100 – but it’s the choreography from TikToker Bronte Crawley that make this EDM compilation of Gladys Berejiklian’s daily Covid press conferences so wonderful . Particularly the dance move for “crystal ball”. – Calla Wahlquist
The dad who can not use QR codes
There is nothing more 2021 than a frozen beer and an iPhone full of QR codes. Pour one out for this man who tried his best to be a diligent, Covid-safe citizen and just did not quite get there. – Caitlin Cassidy
Have you checked your butthole?
I only started seeing Tom Cardy in my TikTok feed around March this year as he started to go viral. He’s now racked up almost 14m likes on TikTok and 7m Spotify streams, and released a full album of his self-described dumb songs.
From the all-too-relatable big breakfast regret, contemplating anxiety, repressing your feelings or a terrifying date with Australia’s 2021 Eurovision entrant Montaigne, I have to agree with many of Cardy’s commenters – some of these songs are absolute bangers and exactly the chaotic energy I needed today / this week / this year. – Dave Earley
The parrot that sings along
The best thing I have seen on the internet this year is this parrot that sings along to classic rock and metal and makes the songs even cooler than they originally were.
I can never stop seeing it because earlier this year I quote-tweeted a tweet about it, and that quote-tweet got cropped and went viral on Instagram, and now it’s part of the internet ecosystem, and every couple of weeks or so someone messages me saying, “Are you the girl who posted about the parrot?” – Stephanie Convery
‘I’m not a cat’
Long after “you’re on mute” became a commonplace phrase, a Zoom faux pas saw Texas attorney Rod Ponton masked by a kitten filter he could not shake while in virtual court.
The viral video brought 40 seconds of joy to anyone who has fallen prey to technology, with the lawyer insisting “I’m here live, I’m not a cat”, while his whiskers twitched and eyes darted anxiously from side to side. – Maddie Thomas
Every once in a while a thread of Tumblr posts appears on Twitter, delivering a series of rapid-fire expresso shots of bizarre, extremely esoteric humor straight into my brain. I have no idea if these scan as funny, or even halfway comprehensible, to people who have not been terminally internet-poisoned like myself, but hey – a laugh’s a laugh. – Patrick Lum
ABC’s accidental satanic ritual
Amidst the endless Covid updates, political announcements and your daily dose of crime, ABC News threw in something special one August evening.
While some conspiracy theorists claimed it had something to do with their crackpot ideas, it was, according to presenter Yvonee Yong, a mix-up involving footage from another story about the church of Satan in Noosa. – Rosemary Bolger
This tweet during the Olympics was extremely stupid and childish, and it no doubt reflects poorly on me that I could not stop laughing at it. Johannes came 11th in the decathlon, so he definitely deserved better. – Mike Ticher
Why mammoths went extinct
Adrian Bliss creates a range of hilarious one-person sketches. My favorites are the one that provide a fresh take on your favorite Sunday school stories – like this one going behind the scenes on Noah’s Ark. – Ellen Leabeater
Francis Bourgeois spots trains
Trainspotter Francis Bourgeois may be the most delightful person on TikTok. One day I hope to love something as much he loves a visit from his old friend Gordon. – Joe Koning