Saturday, September 09, 2006

Quick laughs: short, funny video podcasts

Sometimes you need a good laugh, but don't have the time for watch a whole episode of your favorite sitcom... or to search through the zillions of videos on YouTube, etc. Here are a few short, funny video podcasts that you can subscribe to on iTunes and other services. All will give you some laughs–and maybe even useful knowledge–in about five minutes.

Hope is Emo: Life is tough for Hope, a teenage goth/emo girl. She feels your pain–and everybody's, for that matter–as she emotes about modern teen angst. Parents who don't understand her, mean classmates, the emptyness symbolized by a discarded pizza box–pretty much anything can make Hope feel the suffering of the world. A funny podcast from two of the guys behind "Ask A Ninja;" Hope is played by Crista Flanagan of MADtv.

Tiki Bar TV: Doctor Tiki and his cohorts provide laughs and jokes as they cavort around their barroom and offer useful prescriptions: how to make a different cocktail in every episode. Includes special guests, from the occasional real-life celebrity to "the bastard illegitimate son of the father of the Internet." Consistently zany and informative. Who says educational TV is only for kids?

French Maid TV: Three buxom ladies in frilly French maid costumes cavort around a hotel while instructing you on how to undertake a range of handy tasks, from how to do a video podcast to administering CPR. After the lesson is over, the maids engage in a friendly pillowfight while jumping up and down on the beds. What's not to like? New episodes appear infrequently these days.

Rocketboom: This pioneering vidcast rocketed to fame quickly, even being featured in an episode of CBS' "CSI" last season. Yes, original host Amanda Congdon has left in a falling-out with RB's founder, but temporary replacement Joanne Colan does an admirable job as successor. This three- to five-minute weekday video blog sometimes covers technology issues and real news, but usually presents a comical view of current events, along with a generous helping of bizarre or amusing bideo clips sent in by viewers. Colan has the nerve and comic timing of Congdon, and while some viewers have complained about her British accent, I like it just fine.

Comedy Central Stand-Up: Video of a live routine from Comedy Central, each running about two minutes. I enjoy stand-up but can't be bothered to tune in to TV shows to try to find comics I like; these clips give me a quick glance of different performers so I can seek out longer performance by the ones I like.

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