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The Late Movies: Flight of the Conchords

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New Zealand hunkthrob band Flight of the Conchords recently recorded a brilliant new song, "Feel Inside (and Stuff Like That)," for charity. Seeing Bret and Jemaine back in action, I thought it was time to look back at some of their greatest hits (and stuff like that).

"Feel Inside (and Stuff Like That)"

In order to write the song, the guys interviewed a bunch of kids. Favorite lyric? "The? kids who are sick cannot do their hip-hop anymore." In case you don't catch the reference part-way through, Bret wrote the songs for the recent Muppet Movie. Also note that I skipped this video forward to the cute part with the kids -- if you want more Conchords skit action, back it up to the start.

The charity is Cure Kids. For links to buy the song, check out the notes on the YouTube video.

"Business Time"

"I might go to bed, I've got work in the morning." I know what you're trying to say, baby.

"If You're Into It"

"You could bring your roommate...Stu."

"Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros"

They invented rap in New Zealand.

"Most Beautiful Girl"

"In the whole wide room."

"I'm Not Crying"

Oh hell yes.

"Bowie's in Space"

"This is Bowie to Bowie -- do you hear me, man?"

"I Told You I Was Freaky"

"Stick some money to the honey, now I'm covered in money, honey!"

"Sally"

With subtitles in French for no reason.

"Robots"

"Even the Honey Buckets are domed in the future." Live at Sasquatch, 2008.

"Rambling Through The Avenues Of Time"

"So did you get the bread or what?"

"Life's a Happy Song" (ft. Kermit the Frog)

Although not strictly a Conchords joint, here's Bret and Kermit singing a Muppet song.

What's Your Favorite?

I'm just scratching the surface here. Post links to your favorites in the comments!

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The Funniest Word in the English Language? 'Booty,' According to New Survey
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Some words, regardless of their meaning, are simply more chuckle-worthy than others. To determine which expressions in the English language are truly the most comical, Smithsonian reports that psychologists at the University of Warwick in the UK conducted a survey in which they asked people to rate the “humor value” of a sampling of chosen words. They recently published their findings in the journal Behavior Research Methods.

The researchers selected nearly 5000 words, and then used Amazon’s online crowdsourcing tool Mechanical Turk to ask more than 800 individuals to rank the humor value of 211 randomly chosen words from the list, on a scale from 1 (humorless) to 5 (humorous). Likely not surprising to anyone with younger siblings, the funniest word ended up being “booty,” with an average ranking of 4.32. In descending order, the remaining top 12 words—which all received a score of 3.9 or higher—were “tit,” “booby,” “hooter,” “nitwit,” “twit,” “waddle,” “tinkle,” “bebop,” “egghead,” “ass,” and “twerp.”

Why these words are so funny remains fuzzy. But when they analyzed their findings according to age and gender, the researchers did find that sexually suggestive words like “orgy” and “bondage” tended to tickle the funny bones of men, as did the words “birthmark,” “brand,” “chauffeur,” “doze,” “buzzard,” “czar,” “weld,” “prod,” “corn,” and “raccoon.”

Meanwhile, women tended to laugh at the words “giggle,” “beast,” “circus,” “grand,” “juju,” “humbug,” “slicker,” “sweat,” “ennui,” “holder,” “momma,” and “sod.” As for people under the age of 32, they were amused by “goatee,” “joint,” and “gangster,” while older participants liked “squint,” “jingle,” “burlesque,” and “pong.” Across the board, all parties were least amused by words like “rape,” “torture,” and “torment.”

Although humor is complex and dependent on elements like syntax and delivery, the study's researchers say that breaking comedy down to single-word units could demystify its essence.

“The research initially came about as a result of our curiosity,” said Tomas Engelthaler, the study’s lead author, in a press release. “We were wondering if certain words are perceived as funnier, even when read on their own. It turns out that indeed is the case. Humor is an everyday aspects of our lives and we hope this publicly available dataset allows future researchers to better understand its foundations.”

[h/t Smithsonian]

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Watch the Original Spinal Tap Short Film
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Chris Weeks // Staff // Getty Images

Spinal Tap formed in 1979, five years before the classic film This is Spinal Tap premiered. They performed on TV and began developing their personas as idiotic heavy metal monsters.

When the band, along with director Rob Reiner, went to pitch their mockumentary to production companies, nobody "got it." It wasn't clear what an unscripted comedy pseudo-documentary would feel like. So Reiner asked for the screenplay fee—$60,000—to be paid up front as a budget for a short proof-of-concept film.

That skimpy budget went a very long way, allowing the group to produce The Last Tour, a 20-minute Spinal Tap film exploring some of the plot (and many of the songs) that appeared in the later film This is Spinal Tap. There's a surprising amount of concert footage, as various bits that were repeated in Tap (some interview clips were even used in Tap unaltered).

The Last Tour is delightful because it shows a well-developed idea being implemented on the cheap. The wigs are terrible, the sound is spotty, but the vision is spot-on. The characters and the core story of the group (including a string of dead drummers) is already in place, and we get to see the guys improvise together. Tune in (and be aware there's plenty of salty language here):

(Note: Around 4:38 in the clip above, we see Ed Begley, Jr. as original drummer John "Stumpy" Pepys in the "Gimme Some Money" video. Stumpy died in a gardening accident, of course.)

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