Having watched every season at least twice (1 and 2, many more), I’m comfortable sharing my favorites with you. You may notice there are none from Season Three. This may change, but as of yet, it just hasn’t landed with me the way the first two seasons did. There are a couple of standouts for me: “Proposal Park” and “Summer Loving,” but for now, there’s just nothing I’d include on this list.
Quick shout-out to Sam Richardson, who–after repeated viewings of all the seasons–has become one of my favorite ITYSL performers. His ever-so-slightly menacing energy in all his sketches just absolutely enthralls me and I think he is a comedy genius, plain and simple.
These are in no particular order: they’re all my babies; I love them equally.
- River Mountain High/TC Tuggers: This was one of the first sketches to really land with me. I will never stop enjoying the juxtaposition of “serious teen drama” with “absurd product that could never exist” (t-shirts with a knob on the front). And I low-key love the TC Tuggers song.
- Laser Spine Specialists The parody medical ad takes an ridiculous turn when the actor makes a detour into a small recording studio and berates the producer by saying one of my favorite lines from the season: “No more scamming adults into thinking their stars.” It underscores his life trajectory in the commerical–a divorced guy who’s estranged from his son and is perhaps filling a void with a chance at a hit song like the remarkably silly “Palm Tree Guys” or “Moon River Rock.”
- Nachos: A lot of ITYSL humor relies on the idea of a person acting in ways that flout social norms. It’s usually Tim Robinson, and his characters are often doing it in a pretty obnoxious way that will not engender sympathy. But–let’s face it–we’ve all coveted the nachos with the most meat and cheese. So when his date keeps getting all of them, he asks the server to say there’s a “rule” about hogging all the good nachos. It’s an absurd premise that only more absurd as his date figures out what’s going on and he gets increasingly more defensive and agitated. It ends with him simply squeaking out an extremely high-pitched “WHAT?” after she accuses him of enlisting the server. Instant classic.
- The Day Robert Palins Murdered Me: This is the sketch that cemented ITYSL as my favorite sketch comedy show of all time. There’s no aspect of it that is not pitch-perfect, from the dead serious, turtleneck-clad studio producer, to the *actually good* rendition of “The Day Robert Palins Murdered Me,” to the absolutely ludicrous extra lyrics Tim Robinson inserts as he “helps out.”
It was also the night that the skeletons came to life
They came from under the ground
And from all over
The bones are the skeletons’ money
In our world, bones equal dollars
That’s why they’re coming out tonight
To get their bones from you
The skeletons will pull your hair
Up, but not out
All they want is another chance at life
They’ve never seen so much food as this
Underground there’s half as much food as this
For awhile I considered this sketch a test of someone’s character. Luckily, no one failed the test, because it’s objectively hilarious.
- Corncob TV: Like a lot of ITYSL sketches, so much of what makes this funny is simply the way Tim Robinson delivers his lines. Here his character is clearly extremely on edge and angry as he makes pleas for the audience of “Coffin Flop,” to call the cable company and save the show where “It’s just body after body busting out of shit wood and hitting pavement.” After working himself into quite a froth, the sketch ends with him simply pointing at the camera and saying. “I’ll kill you.”
- Choking/Hotdog Vacuum Ad: Much of what makes ITYSL appealing to me is the sheer absurdity of each of its sketches. I’ve used “absurd” too many times in this entry, but I’m not sure any other word could capture the essence of this show as well. I don’t know how else you’d describe a scene where a man (who’s extremely aggrieved lunch has been postponed) chokes on a hotdog because he’s surreptitiously trying to eat it from his sleeve. Later, in its companion ad, Pat explains that he’s invented a “hotdog vacuum” and laments his losing his employment by saying “I had a job I loved.”
- Ghost Tour: Unfortunately, many of the ITYSL’s segments are not available online. Understandable, but when you’re trying to spread the gospel, it’s always easier to send someone to a sketch rather than an entire episode. If they were all available a la carte and someone were to ask me why I love this show I would immediately send them to “The Day the Skeletons Came to Life” and…this. An instant favorite from Season Two, this sketch is at once delightfully silly and pornographically crude. Again, there’s a juxtaposition here. A normal mansion tour and a man who simply cannot wrap his head around the idea that a nighttime “adult tour” doesn’t mean “adult content.” When the tour guide jokes that they can drink and swear, Tim Robinson’s character immediately uses the late hour as an excuse talk about repeatedly about ejaculation, “horse cocks,” and “donkey dicks.” And what more could you want from a sketch show, really?
- Brian’s Hat: After a man wears an implausibly ugly fedora with back flaps to work, he has to listen to a court transcript that describes in detail every scathing remark his co-workers made about it. I don’t know what else to say about this one. It’s just cringe-inducing perfection.
- Dan Flashes/Shops at The Creek: Again, it’s absolutely absurd premise of this that carries this skit. A man can’t function at work because he’s using all his work per diem for a business trip to buy shirts (instead of food) with “complicated patterns” at a local store. As you listen to the dialogue you wonder to yourself, “Am I really listening to people arguing about ugly shirts?” and then you realize, yeah, you are…and it’s amazing. This sketch is later followed by a delightfully surreal ad where men frenziedly shop for patterned shirts at the Dan Flashes store. I love it so much.
- People Can Change: Starts off as a solid sketch, with Tim Robinson doing his usual cringe-inducing awkward routine centering around his thinking a baby senses he “used to be an asshole,” but then veers into pure art status when he reminisces about his asshole days. In his flashback, we see him with sort of Jersey Shore guy type slicked-back hair joining his clubbing friends at an Italian where restaurant where they enjoy “sloppy steaks,” steaks with water poured all over them. As the gauzy flashback play, there’s a heavily auto-tuned track about “Dangerous Nights” playing. And suddenly the whole sketch just seems to come into focus and make absolute sense, and you wonder if there’s genius at work here. It’s silly and funny and surreal and oddly cool all at the same time…and it’s one of the reasons I adore this show.