Comedy music has earned a reputation as a series of fart jokes aimed at easily amused middle-schoolers. While this is sometimes not far off, during the season of shopping, relatives and fruitcake people of all ages could use a laugh. Tackling topics like assault on the elderly and nuclear holocaust, these ten novelty numbers serve as a timely reminder that the holidays needn’t be all boughs of holly and goodwill towards men.
Elmo & Patsy Shropshire – Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer
Everyone knows to watch out for drunk drivers during the holidays, but this song illustrates the underreported threat posed by drunk pedestrians.
Funniest line: They should never give a license to man who drives a sleigh and plays with elves.
Ray Stevens – Santa Claus Is Watching You
Santa as a C.I.A. agent hired to spy on a straying lover? Sounds like a bad Tim Allen movie.
Funniest line: Where’s Rudolph? He’s on a stakeout at your house.
Stephen Colbert – Another Christmas Song
On his 2008 The Greatest Gift of All Comedy Central special, the Colbert Show host opened the show by mulling over the profit potential of Christmas music.
Funniest line: Public to whom I’m so proud to have pandered / Please save my family and make this a standard.
Lou Monte – Dominick the Donkey
Rudolph may get all the glory, but Lou Monte wants the world to know it’s ugly-ducking cousin Dominick who does the real heavy lifting.
Funniest line: When Santa visits his paisons, with Dominick he’ll be / Because the reindeer cannot climb the hills of Italy.
Arrogant Worms – Santa’s Gonna Kick Your Ass
This Canadian trio ponder what happens to the kids on Santa’s naughty list. A stocking of coal is so 19th century.
Funniest line: Reindeer coming and they’re gonna eat your begonias ’cause Santa hasn’t fed them in a month.
“Weird Al” Yankovic – Christmas at Ground Zero
The master of parody actually has two holiday originals, but morbid cheer gives “Christmas at Ground Zero” the edge over the more predictable “The Night Santa Went Crazy.”
Funniest line: We can dodge debris while we trim the tree underneath the mushroom cloud.
Daddy Bone – Zombies Eating My Brain
Vampires may be all the rage this year, but Daddy Bone wants the undead on his wish list!
Funniest line: Good little girls and boys want dolls and electric trains / But I just want zombies eating my brains.
Tom Lehrer – A Christmas Carol
Comedy sensation Tom Lehrer didn’t just portray a Harvard professor in his songs, he actually was one, teaching courses on math and musical theater before retiring in 2001.
Funniest line: Kill the turkeys, ducks and chickens / Mix the punch, drag out the Dickens / Even though the prospect sickens / Brother, here we go again.
Lore Sjober – Nine Inch Noels
Melding the lyrics to Trent Reznor’s dark and angry Nine Inch Nails songs with cheesy holiday melodies shows a perverse sort of genius. After one listen to this you’ll never hear “Little Drummer Boy” the same way again.
Funniest line: Head like a hole, black as your soul, I’d rather die than give you control/ You’re going to get what you deserve / Ho, ho, ho!
The Lonely Island ft. Justin Timberlake – D*** in a Box
The Christmas miracle of how, with one three-minute skit on Saturday Night Live, Justin Timberlake instantly earned national forgiveness for N’Sync.
Funniest line: Follow these steps: One, cut a hole in the box / Two, put your junk in that box / Three, make her open the box / And that’s the way you do it!
Gayla Peevey – I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas
When Peevey released this in 1953, an enterprising Detroit radio station raised enough money to actually present Gayla with a real hippo. She donated it to the local zoo, where it lived for nearly fifty years. Wishes do come true!
Funniest line: There’s lots of room for him in our two-car garage / I’d feed him there and wash him there and give him his massage.
No, Christmas comedy music isn’t particularly profound, but these ten songs could be just what someone sick of “White Christmas” blaring over department store speakers needs to induce some holiday cheer.