Does Comedy Have Its Place In Music?

By Caellin Rodgers

Spread The Word

Much like peanut butter and jam, comedy and music are both fantastic art forms alone, but when correctly combined (add bread) and the combination can be far better than either individually

Recently, I visited Edinburgh and managed to catch a few of the pre-comedy fest shows (half-price tickets, yo!) – and a fair number of the comedians I saw featured musical parts to their acts. It’s not really any surprise, given the growing popularity of comedy music – Weird Al Yankovich’s Mandatory Fun topped the charts last year, the first comedy album to do so since 1963. And like Weird Al’s work, parody was popular amongst the Edinburgh Fringe Festival’s comedians including Lydia King parodying works such as Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream to explain her friends-with-benefits situation, and Megan Ford’s Feminasty parody of Iggy Australia’s Fancy.

Original musical works weren’t as frequent, perhaps as they are less accessible new audiences, perhaps they’re harder to write for people who are comedians first and musicians second. The highlight of these was The Kitten Killers: Woof, who had written a musical number on charging VAT for tampons. If you’re into comedy music, however, YouTube has a wealth of fantastic artists on it – from the ever-popular party-rockers LMFAO, atheist Tim Minchin (trust me, the atheist part is important, he’s particularly anti-religious) and The Flight of the Conchords, to less well-known acts, like the Axis of Awesome’s Four Chord Song, Lawrence Owen (check out his Dr Who bit) and rising star Bo Burnham (try Repeat Stuff).

Comedy music isn’t a new phenomenon though, from Tom Lehrer (Masochism Tango, Poisoning Pigeons in the Park) in the 1950s and 60s, and Monty Python’s comedy moments (thanks Eric!), music in comedy is a well established art form – so established that college humour even has a video of it’s history (
Regardless of musical tastes (and preferred giggle-causing subjects), there is comedy music out there for you!

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