Sometimes – okay, often – when I can’t handle the regular news without screaming or feeling like everything is doomed, I rely on the various comedy news programs – The Daily Show, The Mash Report, Last Week Tonight, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, and so on.
And sometimes the world is so on fire that I can’t even with the news when it’s being made fun of.
You know, like last week and this.
At these times, I find comfort in the light entertainment of UK comedy panel quiz shows (often you can find clips or entire episodes on the internet, go figure). And since many comedians and actors will guest on several of these shows, it makes them not just funny, but oddly reassuring as you slowly get to know them.
Here’s some of my favorites:
NOTE: There’s bits of language and rude humor in many of the clips below.
QI (Quite Interesting): With each series (season) themed with a specific letter, each episode has all sorts of bits of trivia and debunkcommon misconceptions. Sandi Toksvig took over the hosting duties a series or two ago, and has done a smashing job.
Taskmaster – Hosted by Greg Davies and Alex Horne, comedians are set at all sorts of wacky tasks. Sometimes they’re designed to just be silly, sometimes they require a bit of cleverness, and sometimes a bit of lateral thinking thrown in.
Would I Lie To You – This show could be viewed as an extended parlour game. Each player (and sometimes the host) will be randomly chosen and presented with a card that has either an unusual truth or a complete lie. The guest will then have to read it out loud and convince the other team it’s true or a lie. Amazing stories – both true and false.
8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown – I’m omitting 8OO10C itself here because of the topical nature of the show, which is exactly what we’re trying to avoid. Instead you get the irreverence of 8OO10C mixed with the nerdiness of Countdown (where math and word puzzles are solved).