It’s been a year full of fun, joy and relentless good news. Oh sorry, that was my copy for this column if it was written in 2015, which now feels like the last time we weren’t all living in Charlie Brooker’s imagination. There has been some humour in the darkness, though, so here are the things that we still managed to laugh at during a global pandemic. Some of these, granted, are less ‘ha ha funny’ and more ‘if we don’t laugh, we’ll cry’, but at least we’ll actually be crying, unlike our ‘what would a human man do?’ drone of a Health Secretary.
Celebrities sang ‘Imagine’ to save us all from Covid
Remember this? It feels like a lifetime ago. And we all wish it was. The likes of Gal Gadot, Jamie Dornan and Natalie Portman singing John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ to us in a series of linked home videos was weird enough, but you expect it from them. Kristen Wiig and Sarah Silverman though? Why? I kept waiting for a punchline from my comedy heroes, but it never came. Thank God the song cured COVID, though – all worth it in the end.
Four Seasons Total Landscaping
The world rejoiced as some genius in the head office of Old Evil Right Wing Men booked the wrong Four Seasons and let Rudy Giuliani hold a press conference in a car park beside a dildo shop and about nine people. They now have merch and comedian Tim Heidecker has penned a beautiful ballad about the debacle. I hope the Four Seasons Total Landscaping joins the FTSE 100 by 2021.
Alan Johnson was revealed on The Masked Singer
I cried actual tears when someone told me to watch this. The US version of this quite frankly batshit TV show, where celebrities dress as football mascots and sing whilst a panel of judges have to guess who it is, featured Joey Fatone, Dionne Warwick and other people that we’d heard of. The UK show however, didn’t have the same budget, with Teddy Sheringham revealed as the face behind ‘Tree’ and former Labour MP Alan Johnson revealed as a pharoah. Watching Ken Cheong react as if he had any clue who he was will take up hours of your day. Season two has been commissioned. I hope Edwina Currie is ready.
Matt Hancock tried to cry
Truly one of the most horrifying things you’ve ever witnessed. Like a mannequin trying to mimic how humans act, the Health Secretary has been grilled every morning on breakfast TV since the pandemic began, and last week looked like he was forcing himself to cry on Good Morning Britain while discussing the virus vaccine. Anyone with the year he’s had should be crying every four minutes regardless.
Dominic Cummings and Barnard Castle
We all know what happened here, and now he’s gone! But where? Maybe the gift shop. Keep your eyes peeled for him popping up in the upper echelons of a company near you soon. In the meantime, play the shit out of Sleaford Mods‘ delicious takedown, ‘Short Cummings’.
The unemployment even extended to the mascots this year, with Arsenal’s beloved Gunnersaurus being let go after 27 years in October. The idea that a mascot was too expensive for a Premier League football club really brought the realities of COVID home for a lot of us. A costume was too decadent for this year. Why couldn’t they furlough him? Let’s hope he gets a role in the next Jurassic Park.
Kim Kardashian held her 40th on a private island
In a way I sort of love this. In the very definition of ‘tone deaf’ Kim flew her ‘closest inner circle’ out to a private island to celebrate her 40th birthday. Spawning a generation of memes. Even better, though, was when it was revealed that Kanye had bought her a creepy hologram of her deceased father, who among lots of touching messages, also spent a lot of it calling Kanye a genius. Can’t wait to resurrect nan for Christmas.
Ben Shapiro thought a WAP was a medical condition
Right wing commentator Ben Shapiro was so disgusted with Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion‘s Song of the Year ‘WAP’ that he read out the lyrics on TV, with all the finesse of a Tory MP at a funeral. He replaced “pussy” with “p-word”. In what was surely the biggest self-own of the year, he then insisted on Twitter that his doctor wife had said that a WAP was in fact, a medical condition. No words.
Madonna’s Instagram Feed
Just have a look. Unreal.
Elton John went a little too hard on his piano
In the celebrity equivalent of a zoom gig, all the stars got together to perform for us for Lady Gaga’s One World concert, where stars entertained us from their much bigger homes. Elton John got extremely into it, giving us this rousing performance of ‘I’m Still Standing’. A friend of mine pointed out that it sounds like “I’m Jill Dando”, and now that’s all I can hear.
This gang of maniacs were in the grip of our nation’s imaginations at the start of lockdown one, as we gawped at the whole thing. How was it real? Why are there more tigers in captivity in Texas than there are in the whole of the rest of the world?
Elon Musk and Grimes’ baby name
In the most unlikely pairing since Channing Tatum and Jessie J (what do they talk about?), evil billionaire genius and rocket-shagger Elon Musk and so-cool-you-don’t-even-know-what-she-really-is singer Grimes revealed the name of their newborn child as X AE A-XII. Which sounds like a number plate.
The Rock pulled off his own gates
If you follow Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson on social media, you’ll know that he eats a lot and lifts a lot. He’s a mountain of a man. Which was made all the more apparent when he ripped off his own electric gates in order to get to the set of his new film after they stopped working. Surely he could’ve stopped COVID single-handedly?
Taylor Swift necking wine at the NME Awards
Pop darling Taylor Swift launched a mood at the start of the year when she snubbed the Grammys and made a surprise appearance our very own NME Awards to accept her Best Solo Act in the World award, talked about how she has her other one in her kitchen – meaning a middle finger greets her every morning – and necked wine. We really have adopted her as one of our own. That photo of Robyn throwing Vs pretty much sums up how we feel about 2020.