In Hear This, A.V. Club writers sing the praises of songs they know well—some inspired by a weekly theme and some not, but always songs worth hearing. This week, we asked, “What song makes you laugh?”
I’m a big fan of endurance comedy, the repetition of the same joke over and over and over until it goes from funny to weird to annoying back to funny. (See “Kristen Schaal Is A Horse” and the classic Simpsons rake gag for quintessential examples.) I also love purposely terrible wordplay—groan-worthy puns, forced rhymes, and so on. T.J. Miller’s “Denver,” from his 2011 sorta-comedy, sorta-music album The Extended Play EP, combines these two things in its quixotic quest to butcher as many almost-rhymes for its titular city (Miller’s hometown) as possible, and by the time he gets to “Low obesity, no need for suspenders,” I’m giggling every time. But this one-note joke has a counterpoint in the dirt-basic, text-to-speech-based hook, which is as catchy as it is dumb. (A.V. Club Music Editor Marah Eakin and I routinely IM each other “Denver, Denver, I’m from Denver” apropos of nothing, just to get it stuck in each other’s heads.) Like a lot of T.J. Miller’s comedy, musical or otherwise, “Denver” tries so hard to get listeners to hate it that it circles back around to endearing, or at the very least, fascinatingly weird.