Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Hilarity of Failure

My older brother likes to tell a story about when I was a baby, and I was watching him and my dad play badminton. He says that every time one of them missed the birdie with their racquet, I'd crack up with devilish laughter. Apparently this was one of the first recognizable personality traits I exhibited as a human being: my finding humor in watching people fail. [No, that's not a baby picture of me. It's somebody else's devil baby.]

Things haven't changed much on that front since I sat in that stroller. I still find people's mishaps utterly hilarious. Nothing makes me laugh more than seeing someone fall. I've tried to analyze this part of myself, but haven't come up with much. I don't think I'm just an evil person who enjoys watching others mess up. I think it has more to do with the fact that these falls and spills are unexpected, spontaneous, comic events that happen in otherwise mundane settings. For the record, I don't enjoy watching people get hurt. I actually am pretty squeemish about that. But as soon as I realize someone's public fall hasn't resulted in any injury other than to his ego, I cannot hold in that same cackle from my infancy.

So, naturally, the site failblog has been a godsend for me. It's a site where users upload the most extreme failures they've witnessed. Not only does it feature some of the most hilarious spills I've ever seen, but it also features other comical errors like poorly designed signs, poorly executed building plans, and countless pages of other hilarious pictures and videos. 

I pretty much wrote this whole post to lead up to the following video, which is basically the funniest thing I've ever seen.

2 comments:

Bret said...

That's funnier than this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THfiHQZVSw0) and this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxSKmtHJ5lo)? I don't think so.

Eli said...

Absolutely funnier than both of those. I'd seen the grape one, and I did laugh really hard at that one, but it just can't compare to the ladder guy. The ladder guy's fall is amazing for these reasons:
1. He's dressed funny and seems like the prototypical douchy salesman.
2. The ladder buckles a little bit first, and it's clear it's not locked, but he says, "Now it's locked," and proceeds to climb.
3. The product itself is ridiculous.
4. He lands in such a cartoon-like fashion.
5. He tries so hard to play it off like it's no big deal, and continues to rave about how safe it is.
6. Toward the end of the video, he starts talking more slowly as if he's just then starting to realize that he has a concussion or something.
7. The whole video is just so perfectly ironic.

I don't even feel like I need to acknowledge to port-a-potty video. It's just gross-out humor, not a perfect storm of comedy like the ladder guy.