2011 was a pretty shitty year. However, while some of us struggled with unemployment, others had embarrassing public meltdowns that will ensure unemployment for years to come. Since things could always be worse, let’s take a schadenfreuderrific look back at a year of funny, high-profile fails.
Serene Branson’s Grammy Coverage
The YouTubes are full of news reporters making on-air gaffes, but this one by an Emmy-award winning reporter for KCBS goes on for so long and makes no sense whatsoever. Was it nerves? Sudden possession by The Dark Lord Satan? A clever ruse to get referenced on 30 Rock? Sadly, we may never know the meaning of “tearis tasin losh flabette bahend the pet.”
Herman Cain’s Smoking Ad
What were they smoking? It couldn’t just have been cigarettes. This is the kind of ad concept you come up with when you’re high.
Herman Cain: Dude, you should totally… like, you know how you smoke? Heh heh. Well… what if you did that, but like, in one of my campaign ads? That’d be f***ing amazing, dude!
Mark Block: Okay… What?
Thessa’s Sweet 16
Thessa was just a German teenager who wanted to celebrate her birthday with close friends and family. What. A. Mistake. Actually, her real mistake was making the Facebook event page open-invite, because the internet being what it is, the invite went viral and 15,000 random people RSVP’d for the party. 1,500 people actually showed up, cops were called in, and an official party anthem was composed. Oh, and the mortified girl didn’t show up. I thought all teen girls wanted to be popular.
Tim Tebow Praying, aka “Tebowing”
Denver Broncos fans know their starting quarterback as a guy who likes to come back from behind. If that sounds vaguely sexual, it shouldn’t! Tim Tebow is a self-proclaimed virgin with an intense relationship to The Big G (Gilbert Gottfried). Which is perhaps why so many people made fun of his frequent praying this year in a planking-style meme called “Tebowing.” [image via]
Pepper Spraying Cop
The Occupy movement was front-page news this year. One of the oddest stories was the scenario seen above. Lt. John Pike casually pepper sprayed a row of peacefully demonstrating students at University of California Davis. The absurd calmness and unnecessary excessiveness in the way Pike treated the protesters resulted in a spray of funny internet memes hitting the web. [image via]
The Trailer For Jack & Jill
When I first saw this trailer, I thought it was a parody, along the lines of Adam Sandler’s fake trailers for Funny People. Then it kept going. The cliché music. Sandler in drag. “Twister with your sister.” I know Happy Madison movies ain’t Oscar winners, but this felt like Sandler daring me to stop liking him. Hilarious train wreck accomplished!
Jon Kyl’s “Not Intended To Be A Factual Statement”
Senator John Kyl lied about Planned Parenthood, saying that abortions make up “well over 90%” of what the organization does, when the number is really 3%. In response to critics, his people said that the remark was “not intended to be a factual statement.” This astoundingly lame excuse led to a hilarious Twitter ass-kicking. Also, I hear Kyl powers his evil spaceship with human babies. #NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement.
Kim Jong-il Looking At Things
The Tumblr page “Kim Jong-il Looking At Things” first took off in popularity in December 2010. The still expanding gallery shows recently deceased North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il looking at, well, things. However, since his death, the site has become very popular and probably more relevant than ever. I wonder if they have fabric samples in hell. [image via]
Rebecca Black’s “Friday”
Rebecca Black’s mother paid Ark Music Factory to make her the star of a music video. Over 160 million views later, Black is a star… of sorts. “Friday” is one of the most hated videos on YouTube, has been dubbed “the worst song ever,” and the track became a national punchline. And she’s only 14! Who knows what kind of damage she’ll do to pop culture as an adult.
Charlie Sheen Going Insane
Tiger Blood! Adonis DNA! Vatican Assassin! Rock Star from Mars! Sober Valley Lodge! My Violent Torpedo of Truth! Defeat is Not an Option! Sheen’s Goddesses! A crazy, drugged out sitcom star who clearly needed professional help turned into an attention-hungry, catch phrase spewing party monster. It may not have been “winning,” but it was hilariously baffling.
Geoffrey Golden is the Editor in Chief of The Devastator: The Quarterly Comedy Magazine For Humans!