How did musical comedy pick up its bad reputation? (Bill) Bailey fingers the "folk singers who did wacky songs" in the 70s – people like Billy Connolly, whose Welly Boot Song was a staple of that decade's entertainment. The era's novelty singles – the Barron Knights' oeuvre; the Goodies' Funky Gibbon; Benny Hill's Ernie (The Fastest Milkman in the West) – likewise cast a long shadow.I noticed when I was watching I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue this week that I laughed most at the musical bits: One Song to the Tune of Another, that one where they fade the tune in and out, Audience Humming, and of course the immortal Swanee Kazoo. Bill Bailey's musical act is frickin hilarious. It's just tummy-achingly funny from start to finish.
The Guardian also has a little list of 'top five comic songs ever'. I was going to link, but I can't find it online (ETA now added thanks to brisingamen). From memory they chose 'Modern Major General', 'Cheese and Onions' by the Rutles, 'It Would Never Work' by Victoria Wood, something by Flight of the Conchords (ETA 'The Humans are Dead'), and I forget the last one (ETA - If I Didn't Have You, by Tim Minchin).
Here are my top five funny musical numbers.
Let's Do It by Victoria Wood ('I'm on Fire, with Desire/ I could handle half the tenors in a Male Voice Choir')
The Intro and the Outro by the Bonzo Dog Doodah band ('Looking very relaxed, Adolf Hitler on Vibes')
Exactly Like You by Morecombe and Wise (with Tom Jones)
Lydia the Tattooed Lady By Groucho Marx
I'm Fucking Ben Affleck by Jimmy Kimmel and various - I could only find a beeped version
Just the first five that came to mind - can you suggest some?
ETA I am also a big fan of the Benny Hill/Eminem/Doctor Who mashup that I linked to in an earlier post - always makes me laugh