By Guest Blogger: Anna Graizbord of Critical Mob
Fun fact: I was actually there for the aftermath of Sage’s Saturday night spill that inspired her Nice Trip post. I tried to over up all her blood (don’t worry, she wasn’t in any pain) with makeup at the bar we were at, which in no way actually worked to camouflage jack shit. It was actually pretty funny.
But, you see, no one more than I had the right to laugh, as there has not been a month of my life gone by without me either wildly tripping all over my own shoes, a weird step I took, or avoiding a trip to the point that it’s possibly even more comical than the potential fall itself. Now, this makes me sound like I’m mentally and physically handicapped, but let’s leave that to the professionals.
The point is, I know a funny pratfall when I see one, and Sage’s incident as well as her post got me thinking about the best TV pratfalls of all time.
And since this blog is all about “feels,” I must also mention that the #1 choice on my list had me laughing so hard, I was practically crying and had to actually pause my Netflix to finish laughing it out.
5) Blanche Deveraux sings Marilyn – The Golden Girls
The Golden Girls have experienced a relatively recent (semi-ironic) resurgence in popularity due to the ubiquity (and persistence of the alive-d-ness) of one Betty White — but for a long time since the show has been off the air, it was generally under-rated and dismissed. Sure, many of the jokes were of a Babaloo Mandel production sensibility, but what do you want? It was the ‘80s/early ‘90s — Bonnie Raitt was the height of “cool” older lady aesthetic/distressed leather wear and everyone owned at least one piece of jewelry that looked straight out of a kiln.
And no one at the time, aside from the Designing Women Sugarbakers, gave the world “Something to Talk About” more than Blanche Devereaux.
Watch as Blanche tries and fails to pull a Marilyn:
4) Calvin Kramer — Seinfeld
How can you even have a pratfall list and not mention Kramer? Impossible. And it was nearly impossible to choose just one moment.
But I did it. And it’s only because these & nearly all the other clips on this list exemplify best what is so funny about pratfalls, besides the inherent lizard brain face-value hilarity of it: nearly nailing something and then totally blowing it.
Here, Kramer’s being evaluated to become a model for Calvin Klein. I forget why exactly, but I think it had to do something with that “beach scent” he wanted to pitch from earlier in that episode. Just when he’s really laying it on thick, he leans as sexily as he can manage against the wall, and….boom goes the dynamite.
3) Basil Fawlty’s on fire– Fawlty Towers
This one’s more about the buildup to the pratfall rather than the fall itself. Fawlty Towers as a whole basically took all the elements of a panic attack and somehow turned into comedy.
Plus, it’s satisfying to see Manuel finally catch a break here, even though it’s only because Basil’s a trainwreck.
2) Jack Tripper on meds – Three’s Company
I miss John Ritter every day, you guys. Not only that, but I have watched every.single.episode of Three’s Company at least twice. It was one of the only shows I was allowed to watch as a young child, and that moment in the opening credits at the San Diego Zoo in which Terry lifts her leg up like a flamingo IS EVERYTHING.
Ok, ok, but what you really need to know is the set up for this clip: in order for Jack to fly on a plane to get to a cocktail party (on Catalina island, maybe?), he has to take a ‘lude or whatever pills they had in the ‘70s, and when he gets to the party and starts drinking, things get even wackier! I know that sounds ridic, but think of every single time you’ve ever been pretty drunk, super high-energy and also overly confident at the same time. Wouldn’t you wanna pull some shit like this off? And also give a tip o’ the hat to Fred Astaire at the same time?
It’s the best case scenario, essentially, and I keep it dear to my heart.
1) Dee Reynolds tries to play Sex and the City – It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
I’m currently watching the entire It’s Always Sunny series because it’s on Netflix Instant, and I’d only seen most of Season 4, and a couple of episodes from Season 3. I’m still currently at the end of Season 4, but I have to tell you, after watching the notorious “poop” episode I cannot remember the last time I’ve laughed so hard in my life.
ESPECIALLY at the entire concept of Dee’s attempt to “play” Sex and the City – and no joke, this faceplant is maybe the funniest piece of physical comedy I’ve ever seen in my life. Sorry, I Love Lucy.
Honorable mention: Technically, this is a videotape, but there is this like 10 second sequence in the Bam Margera skate video series CKY, I think it was in CKY2K specifically, in which this dude has a hair metal wig on, jumps from around a corner out of nowhere, scaring someone as he lip-synchs The Scorpions’ “Rock You Like a Hurricane.” And it’s hilarious, and I can’t find the video ANYWHERE.
Please let me know if you know what I am talking about.