Comedy thrived in 2018. A seemingly endless number of stand-up specials came out from Kid Gorgeous to Nanette. New sitcoms like Barry and The Conners made us laugh and comedy films like Crazy Rich Asians and Sorry to Bother You brought diversity to the forefront. However, as the year closes, it is also important to look back on the things we lost in comedy this year—a memorium of sorts for all the things that will not travel with us into 2019. From canceled shows to jokes we aren’t making any more, let us take a moment of silence for these retired past times.
We lost several outstanding shows this year: Casual, The Middle, Love, Nathan For You, New Girl, but Portlandia maybe hit the hardest. After eight seasons, the show ended in March. Fred Armisen started his new series Forever with Maya Rudolph and Carrie Brownstein was busy in films this year. She appeared in Tag, the Oath, and Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot. Maybe after eight seasons of vegans and feminist bookstores, it was time to say goodbye. All us hipsters are sad to see them go.
Comedy Couples That Called it Quits
Break-ups are always hard. We lost some iconic relationships between comedians and their less-funny celebrity counterparts this year. Lena Dunham and Jack Antonoff broke up as well as Jenny Slate and Chris Evans, but no story was more watched than Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson’s engagement being surprisingly announced and then suddenly called off. Arite Grandson, we hardly knew ye.
James Franco’s Hope for Winning an Oscar
For a fleeting moment, we truly believed that James Franco had a chance at winning an Oscar for his performance in The Disaster Artist. We thought that the best actor of the year could come from a comedy performance—and then it all fell apart. Having a #MeToo-era scandal right before the ceremony certainly didn’t help him, but going on to direct Future World may have hurt his chances for years to come. Haven’t heard of Future World? It is arguably the worst movie of the year with a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes. One reviewer said of the film, “There’s not much of a resolution for Future World, but at least it ends.” Rough.
Comedy at the White House Correspondents Dinner
The White House Correspondents’ Association announced that it would not be hosted by a comedian in 2019. The dinner has been traditionally hosted by comedians, but after the backlash towards Michelle Wolf’s brilliant set this year, the WHCA chose to go in a different direction. Instead, the dinner will be hosted by historian and author Ron Chernow. Hopefully he’ll hire some comedy writers to liven up his address.
Comedians Being Able to Make 50 Shades Jokes
For the last seven years, the go-to hack joke for many comedians was about 50 Shades of Grey. But this year, the final movie of the trilogy came out. It’s been a stale joke since 2015, but now it is finally dead. We hope.
HBO as the Home of Comedy Specials
HBO used to be where you would go to watch the best stand-up comedy specials. HBO and Comedy Central were at one point the only places you could easily watch stand-up comedy (technically you could go to Showtime, but we never seem to talk about that). But now, Netflix is pumping out specials at a staggering rate and some comedians are self-releasing their specials. HBO only produced two hourlong stand-up comedy specials this year: Pete Holmes: Dirty Clean and Drew Micheal. In 2018, Netflix solidified itself as the king of comedy.
It was time.