I hear it all the time, “Political punk is dead. Where’s the new millennium equivalent to Reagan punk?” And although I think that’s horseshit because there are tons of great bands that meld the personal and political, where’s the lament about punk’s acerbic humor waning? Partially, the answer’s right in front of us. Political correctness—for better or worse—has hammered a lot of the fun out of punk. Another part of the reason is that humor is a totally personal experience. I find Red Foxx and footage of people getting whacked in the snacks hilarious. Your mileage may vary.
The best jokes are also often ones based in some sort of tragedy. To help deal with those dark corners of human behavior—all forms of abuse, death, racism, warfare, sexism, terrorism—humor can provide inoculation shots. There may not be easy solutions here, but, at the very least, some endorphins from the very act of laughing, smiling, or chuckling can be released. I do know this: it’s no fun—to you or those around you—being a dire blowhard with the weight of the world on your shoulders all the time.
Listening to Daryl and me, you can witness firsthand that humor’s fuckin’ hard. We’re not naturally funny dudes. We also realized when compiling this batch of songs that it takes a certain type of quick smarts to pull funny punk off. Not only that, the songs we picked also had to fulfill the criterion that guides all of our podcasts: we have to like the music beyond the lyrics. Everyone knows that you can only listen to a traditional comedy album—no matter how brilliant—five times, max, before it gets old. Some of these songs are classics. Classics!
I shouldn’t have to do this, but here goes. If you’re easily offended, don’t play this podcast. I’m not kidding. If you don’t take this warning, listen to it, and then get pissed at us, we’re only going to laugh if you email us about it. Use that energy to start something yourself instead of telling other people how they should behave. That way, we all win.
We’d like to thank the following folks for helping us locate some of these songs and think of some of these bands: Jimmy Alvarado, Designated Dale, Marcos Sireff, and Juan Espinosa.
Here’s a list of funny bands that we didn’t play for some reason, but thought of:
Anal Mucus, Anarchy Six, Butt Acne, Atom And His Package, Caninus, Chicanochrist, Crucial Unit, Crucial Youth, Doggy Style, Dwarves, The Eyes, Good Clean Fun, Guttermouth, Hardskin, Jud Jud, Manic Hispanic, Mean Jeans, Mentors, Nip Drivers, Our Band Sucks, Pu$$ycow, Sass Dragons, Sloppy Seconds, Stikky, Stovokore, Uniform Approach, Vandals (the Stevo years), afterwards, the joke’s on the Vandals themselves and kids attending the Warped Tour.
Angry Snowmans, “Elves of the North Pole”
Angry Samoans, “Ballad of Jerry Curlan”
Toy Dolls, “Rupert the Bear”
Dead Milkmen, “The Thing That Only Eats Hippies”
Dickies, “I’m a Chollo”
Adrenalin OD, “Trans Am”
Stressface, “Cap’n Lou”
Hanson Brothers, “Comatose”
Me First & the Gimme Gimmes, “Rich Girl”
Too Many Daves, “I’m with Stupid”
Boris The Sprinkler, “Gimme Gimme Grape Juice”
Child Molesters, “Thirteen Is My Lucky Number”
Meatmen, “Crippled Children Suck”
Moto, “The Chicks Can Tell”
Bobby Joe Ebola, “I Love Drugs”
Fearless Iranians From Hell, “Blow up the Embassy”