After a long, awkward silence, Tenacious D has announced a new album. Dropping May 14, Rize of the Fenix will be the legendary duo’s first full-length offering since 2006. Of course, while Kyle Gass and Jack Black have been on hiatus, we’ve had plenty of other musical comedians to keep us entertained. Here are a few of our favorite tracks, including one by the D themselves, for your listening pleasure. Click the button below to hear the full set on Made Man’s Spotify.
1. “Wonderboy” by Tenacious D
If there’s one thing Tenacious D is known for, it’s their ability to weave an epic and absurd tale into a legitimately cool rock song. That’s the case with “Wonderboy,” an arena-worthy anthem that follows the story of a superhero and his travels though a magical realm of oddities.
2. “Business Time” by Flight of the Conchords
When the New Zealand-born comedy duo of Brett McKenzie and Jemaine Clement first made their premiere on HBO with Flight of the Conchords, American audiences weren’t quite sure what to expect. What we got was a couple of nerdy folk artists who lay down one hell of a jam and leave us in stitches with their matter-of-fact lyrics about things like “business time” (which means “sex” in case you were wondering).
Tenacious D weaves epic and absurd tales into legitimately cool rock songs.
3. “Grandfather” by Steven Lynch
There was a time when Steven Lynch was synonymous with musical comedy. That’s because songs like “Grandfather”—about a young man waiting for his grandfather to die so he can claim the inheritance—shocked audiences with unexpected comedic twists that kept us guessing.
4. “United States of Whatever” by Liam Lynch
When “United States of Whatever” was released in 2003, it became a runaway hit, not because of the humor in the song, but because it was actually a pretty badass rock number. The funny aspects—mainly consisting of Lynch’s lyrics about being bored to death with everything—were just an added bonus.
5. “The Wisdom Song” by Demetri Martin
Between hilarious one-liners and drawings of horses, Demetri Marin typically finds time in his act to bust out his guitar and sing a song or two. Those songs are often just jokes told over a simple chord progression, but Martin has been known to write longer pieces. Take “The Wisdom Song” for instance, a spoken-word track that blends jangling electric guitar with Martin’s observations of everyday life.
Kate Micucci and Riki Lindhome of Garfunkel and Oates. Who says cute chicks can’t be funny too?
6. “Fuck You” by Garfunkel and Oates
Garfunkel and Oates is the duo of Kate Micucci and Riki Lindhome, a couple of the funniest women to come out of LA’s comedy scene in recent years. As their folk-hero inspired name would imply, they play a lot of quiet acoustic music carried by their airy vocal duets. Their tunes tend to be soft and pretty, which is what makes it so funny when their lyrics suddenly turn to the subject of rough, kinky sex, like in “Fuck You.”
7. “Turtleneck & Chain” by The Lonely Island
The Lonely Island, headed by SNL star Andy Samberg, have had a slew of music comedy hits since they first blew up a few years back (think “I’m On a Boat” and “Dick In a Box”). “Turtleneck & Chain,” the titular track off their most recent album, is a send-up of mediocre club anthems, but it’s done so well it could easily pass for one of those dime-a-dozen rap hits.
“Turtleneck & Chain” is a send-up of mediocre club anthems, but it’s done so well it could easily pass for one of those dime-a-dozen rap hits.
8. “Drowned” by Tim Minchin
Australian comedian Tim Minchin takes a slightly more subtle approach to music comedy than most of his peers. Listening to the song “Drowned”—about a horrible girlfriend—you wouldn’t know Minchin was trying to be funny unless you really paid attention to the lyrics (which are hilarious).
9. “Everyday Normal Guy” by Jon Lajoie
Jon Lajoie is best known to Amerian audiences as the perpetually-stoned Taco on FX’s The League. But Lajoie first got big in his native Canada as a stand-up comedian who frequently performed musical numbers on stage. “Everyday Normal Guy” finds Lajoie rapping in true gangsta fashion about… average sexual performance and living in a quiet neighborhood.
10. “Poisoning Pigeons in the Park” by Tom Lehrer
Tom Lehrer was one of the earliest pioneers of modern musical comedy, first launching his career in 1945. A Harvard grad and mathematician by training, Lehrer’s subject matter was often dark and frequently deemed too controversial in his day and age. Hence the song “Poisoning Pigeons in the Park,” which is about doing just that.