A Humorous Look at the Milestones of 2011
Our humor editor's rollicking roundup — from top comedians to late-night TV — of the year that was
from Reader's Digest | February 2012
Courtesy Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau
New York City ushers in the New Year by dropping a sparkling Waterford crystal ball. Here's what other towns lower:
• Key West, Florida: Sushi, a female impersonator, nestled in an oversize, red stiletto (above)
• Mount Olive, North Carolina: a three-foot-long glow-in-the-dark pickle
• Plymouth, Wisconsin: an 80-pound cheese wedge
Plus: See our picks for the funniest videos of 2011!
Bill Clark/Getty Images; Illustrated by John Corbitt
REPUBLICANS GET THE KEYS TO THE HOUSE
"(New Speaker) John Boehner chose a huge gavel. I think somebody's compensating for his small government."
-- Stephen Colbert
Gabirel Bouys/Getty Images
THE OSCAR FOR WORST OSCARS GOES TO …
James Franco and Anne Hathaway, who have a rough night at the Academy Awards. (Tweets Roger Ebert during the show: "I'm beginning to feel nostalgic about Rob Lowe dancing with Snow White.") But funny lines at the movies this year help dull the pain:
• Bridesmaids Lillian: "Why can't you be happy for me and then go home and talk about me behind my back like a normal person?"
• The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Henrik Vanger: "I need your help. You would be investigating thieves, misers, bullies, the most detestable collection of people that you will ever meet: my family."
• The Hangover, Part II Alan: "I'm a stay-at-home son."
Noel Vasquez/Getty Images; Bill Clark; Getty Images
ONE AND A HALF MEN
William Shatner, to the hard-living CharlieSheen: "I'm 80. You're 46. How come we look like we went to high school together?" From Comedy Central's Roast of Charlie Sheen
March 19: LIBYARATION!
• "We're fighting three wars now. Imagine how many we'd be fighting if President Obama hadn't won the Nobel Peace Prize."
-- Jay Leno
• "Let me get this straight. We invade a country with oil, but gas costs more? Now, I didn't go to no fancy school or nothing, but I'll tell you this right now: If I invade Kentucky Fried Chicken, wings will be cheap at my house."
-- Chris Rock
Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photobank
THE OFFICE GETS DOWNSIZED
Mindy Kaling tells Reader's Digest what her character, Kelly Kapoor, would do if she replaced Michael Scott (Steve Carell) as boss of Dunder Mifflin: "Kelly's number-one priority for a year and a half would be to make the office look like the inside of her favorite store at the mall, Anthropologie. She'd get Nate Berkus to make the furniture sleeker, and she'd put a big contrast wall in there. Kelly would fire people she deemed uncool so she'd have more money to make the office look great. But she'd think of a reason for doing it. I mean, she's smart enough to know you can't fire someone for being uncool."
Carl De Souza/Getty Images
• Pippa's bottom attends the royal wedding and becomes all the rage: A Miami plastic surgeon reports that of all the patients who want work done on their posteriors, 20 percent use Pippa Middleton as their model.
Chris Jackson/Getty Images
• Princess Beatrice's hat also attends the royal wedding. It, too, goes viral.
Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images
CROSS OFF OSAMA BIN LADEN
"The U.S. government said they didn't want bin Laden's grave to become a shrine for terrorists. But wouldn't that have been a great way to catch terrorists?"
-- Comedian Glenn Wool
FIRST OF 1,527,849 REPUBLICAN DEBATES
"The candidates looked like a town council that was outlawing dancing."
-- David Letterman
Saul Loeb/Getty Images
OPRAH IS TALKED OUT
"President Obama is slated to appear on one of Oprah's last shows. He's hoping it's the one on which she gives away 14 trillion dollars."
-- Conan O'Brien
CUPCAKE WARS VISITS THE MIDDLE EAST
It's revealed that British intelligence hacked into an Al Qaeda online magazine and replaced bomb-making instructions with a recipe for cupcakes.
Courtesy Nutt Communications
PLANKING JUMPS THE SHARK
You know a trend is over when celebrities, like hoop stars Gilbert Arenas and Dwight Howard, hop on the bandwagon. But don't fret, planking (lying stiff as a board in an odd place) begat owling (perching like, well, an owl), Tebowing (posing like Tim Tebow after a touchdown), and teapotting (posing short and stoutlike). Up next, ignoring (as in ignoring the next "it" trend).
RUPERT MURDOCH GETS PIE-EYED
"Rupert Murdoch was testifying in his phone-hacking case today, and a man attacked him with a pie. Fortunately, Murdoch knew to move out of the way because he heard about the plan on the guy's voicemail."
-- Jimmy Fallon
THE PRESIDENT AND CONGRESS BUTT HEADS
Obama Turns 50 Despite Republican Opposition
WASHINGTON — After months of heated negotiations and failed attempts to achieve any kind of consensus, President Obama turned 50 years old Thursday, drawing strong criticism from Republicans in Congress. From the Onion
STANDARD & POOR'S NIPS U.S. CREDIT RATING
"Who's going to listen to a company whose name translates to Average & Below Average?"
-- Jon Stewart
Jules Frazier/Getty Images
"Lieb Cellars is selling 'September Mission' wine for$9.11 a bottle
— because a novelty drink price point is the most tasteful place to commemorate tragedy."
John Shearer/Getty Images
OCCUPY WALL STREET OCCUPIES WALL STREET
The 99-percenters have branched out from Lower Manhattan. These righteously angry tweets come from the satirical site occupysesamestreet.org:
• Cookie Monster can no longer afford cookies on his fixed income.
• Guy Smiley is not reporting on #occupysesamestreet. What is he doing?
• Wages at Mr. Hooper's store have been frozen since 1982!
• The few prosper, while others live in garbage cans!
Courtesy Peter "Hopper" Stone/ABC
THE EMMYS GO MODERN
Modern Family wins Outstanding Comedy Series.
Cam: "How would she know I'm gay?"
Mitchell: "Um, maybe it's the way you ordered a drink-a-doodle-do?"
Robin Bartholick/Getty Images
MILITARY SAYS GO AHEAD, ASK AND TELL
Office humor site meetingboy.com thinks the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy still has merit outside the armed forces, but only if the sexual orientation aspect is removed. For example, here are some things no one needs to hear about at the workplace:
• Whether a married person "wants to have kids" or is trying to
• How that outfit makes Susie over in accounting look like such a slut
• How hot Susie over in accounting looks in that outfit
• Tattoos I can't see
• Tattoos I can see
• All your boyfriend's annoying habits
• Your cat. A hundred times, your cat.
• Your other cat
• Any additional cats
• About how you're going to start a blog
• All the stupid mistakes you make in your personal life
• Anything you saw on MTV, E!, or Dateline
JOBLESS GET SOME LOVIN' FROM HALLMARK
Hallmark introduces a line of sympathy cards for the recently unemployed. The Week asked its readers to create their own cards. Here are the results:
• You may have been fired, but don't despair For I was hired and sit in your chair.
• It could be worse You could be racked with guilt like your CEO for firing people and then taking a huge bonus.
• When life gives you a pink slip Make a negligee.
TROOPS TO USE FREQUENT FLIER MILEAGE TO LEAVE IRAQ AT THE END OF THE YEAR
"Obama Says U.S. Not Deserting Iraq: 'We Will Continue to Follow You on Twitter.'"
Headline from the satirical newsletter The Borowitz Report
Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images; James Devany/Getty Images
KIM AND KRIS KAPUT
To commemorate their 72 days of wedded blitz, novelist Salman Rushdie penned this limerick:
The marriage of poor Kim #kardashian
was krushed like a kar in a krashian
her kris kried, not fair! Why kan't I keep my share?
But Kardashian fell klean outa fashian.
Tweet by Salman Rushdie
Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images
Sure, basketball team owners and players alike miss out on a lot of money, but fans are the real losers. We miss out on B-ball announcer Charles Barkley's gems,like:
"My initial response was to sue her for defamation of character, but then I realized that I had no character."
(After being misquoted in his autobiography): "That was my fault. I should have read it before it came out."
Regis Philbin leaves morning TV after 28 years. David Letterman and The Late Show send him off with a Top 10 list — "Thoughts That Went Through My Mind When Regis Announced His Retirement from Live!" — presented by Philbin's wife, Joy:
10) "He better be kidding."
9) "I don't remember giving him permission to quit."
8) "If he thinks he's going to be home all day, I better stock up on Advil and Kahlua."
7) "Does this mean I have to play Travel Trivia with him every morning?"
6) "I heard they caught him stealing makeup."
5) "So much for my one hour a day of peace and quiet."
4) "Kelly gets paid to chat with him every morning. Not me."
3) "If I put him in a wig and a dress, maybe they'll hire him on The View."
2) "God, why are you punishing me?"
1) "Couldn't he just keep phoning it in like Letterman?"
The New Year is already booked up with the Olympics, the election, and the Red Sox collapsing in September again. Here are events we hope get cleared up in 2012:
Population: 7 billion-plus
— Getting into your favorite restaurant just got tougher.
— If our kid learns "Chopsticks" on the piano, we're good.
"It's the End of the World!"
— More like the end of the week.
— Don't urologists handle this?
— Sounds perverse.
— Can anyone tell the difference between Gosling and Reynolds?