The Biggest Comedy Generating News Stories of 2017

Every year we report on the comedy that becomes news, but there’s also plenty of news that becomes comedy. The stories that late night talk shows write monologue jokes about– the stories that become source material for comics on stage, the stories that fed thousands of twitter jokes, the stories that become parody videos, SNL sketches, and fodder for weekend update. These 15 stories dominated social media for days, spawned Halloween costumes, and were talked about endlessly on talking head television.

In 2014 we looked back at the Fappening, Donald Sterling, and Rob Ford. In 2015, we obsessed on a liar (Brian Williams), a slaughtered animal (Cecil), and the Kardashians (Cait and Khloe). In 2016 it was more of the same, but this time a different liar (Lochte), a different slaughtered beast (Harambe), and a different Kardashian and her husband (Kimye).

This year, when we weren’t talking about Trump, these were the biggest stories.

And don’t forget to vote for the best of everything in comedy in 2017! You can vote on everything on one page here, or see all the nominees, and vote for best album, best book authored by a comedian, best comedy special of the year, best comedy album, best comedy tv series, best late night host, best comedy movie, and best stand up comedian here. You can even vote for best viral video of the year. Vote for your favorites and vote every day through January 3rd.


January: Women Knitting Pussy Hats/Women’s March

Women are pissed that America elected notorious pussy grabber Donald Trump, so the day after Trump’s inauguration, over half a million women gathered in Washington D.C. (plus millions more in cities around the country) to protest his administration and make a statement of Unity.  To help women show their unity with a strong visual, two L.A. women initiated the Pussyhat Project, distributing instructions and patterns to make pink, cat-eared, knit hats. Photographed showed shades of pink banding together across the world as Trump began his administration.


February: Wrong Best Picture Winner is read at the Oscars

There’s never been a more dramatic ending to an Academy Awards broadcast than 2017.  People are still arguing over who was more to blame, Faye Dunaway or Warren Beatty when they wrongly announced that La La Land won the Best Picture Oscar. No it wasn’t one of Jimmy Kimmel’s world-famous Twitter pranks, this was for real.  It was such a giant story that hardly anyone talked about or remembers that the Oscars broadcast a living person’s face in the In Memorium segment.  But let’s keep things in perspective here. At least La La Land didn’t actually win. Now that would be embarrassing.

February: Shia Lebouf Live Stream Fail

Shia LaBoeuf had a freak out on a bartender that went viral, and released a movie that sold only 1 ticket in the UK but neither of those stories were nearly as big as LaBoeuf’s failed art project, #HeWillNotDivideUs.  Initiated as part protest, part experiment, Shia set up a camera outside Astoria’s Museum of the Moving Image that he planned to keep live for the entirety of Trump’s term in office.  There were a number of incidents including Shia getting arrested for fighting, and a mere two weeks after it began, the museum shut down the project as being a “flashpoint for violence.”    Look on the bright side Shia, it only got shut down 3 years and 11 months early, you had a great run!

April: Passenger Dragged Off United Airlines Plane

Is there anyone in America who didn’t watch this video at least three times?  Dr. David Dao had already been seated and was asked to leave the plane when United Airlines needed some seats to transport flight crew.  He refused, and was forcibly removed despite that he had done nothing wrong other than refuse to leave.  The incident, of course, was caught on video and posted, and the incident blew up so huge that now airlines have revamped their rewards system for people who voluntarily give up their seats.  So Dr. Dao may have lost but haven’t we all won? This one dominated late night monologues for at least a week, and still gets yanked out as a reference every once in awhile.

April: April the Giraffe

A Giraffe named April became the most famous captive animal in the world last spring when webcam viewers kept a vigil waiting for the pregnant mother to be to give birth. The wait hit fever pitch levels as social media filled with anxious excitement about the impending birth. Over a million viewers lit up congratulatory cigars on April 15th as April the Giraffe finally gave birth to a calf at Animal Adventure Park in New York, ending weeks of online waiting and pacing by animal lovers.  The baby was named Tajiri, and is expected to make her zoo debut in the Spring of 2018.


April: Kendall Jenner’s Pepsi Ad

Some Pepsi ad executives had to come up with the perfect way to sell Pepsi. That is what lead them to decide the perfect commercial would feature cops and protestors in a standoff until Kendall Jenner handed a riot cop a Pepsi and at that moment everyone became friends and Pepsi saves the day. Not only is this commercial as dumb as it sounds, but it came right in the heat of the Black Lives Matters movement. Those a part of and in support of that movement obviously didn’t like the idea that Pepsi was using their movement to move sodas, and that in their world Kendall Jenner was the hero that saves the day. The following days included so much backlash on the internet that Pepsi apologized and pulled the ad. The best part of this was all the memes people created of bottles of pepsi involved in history’s greatest protests.

May: The Bro Romper is a Hit

Many kickstarter campaigns came and went in 2017, but we can’t think of a single kickstarter campaign that got more snickers than last May’s request to raise funds to launch a new type of clothing- the RompHim. Yes the Romper for men- affectionally called the Bro Romper went viral all over the internet with men and women alike arguing over the relative merits/ridiculousness of the apparel. The goal was to raise $10,000. By the time the campaign ended, 3,062 backers pledged $353,804 to help bring this project to life. Can lightning strike twice? You bet your ass it could. Later in the year, the bros behind the RompHim raised another $21 thou to give birth to the RompSuit, so that you can still feel sassy even when the weather is on the chilly side.


May: Pepe the Frog Killed Off

In the world of internet meme’s, there weren’t many bigger than Pepe the Frog. Originally just one character in an online comic created by Matt Furie, Pepe the Frog was singled out posted all over the internet as the “sad frog”. It was a harmless, silly, odd inside internet joke. Until the Alt-Right co-opted it and associated it with their movement and the Trump presidency. Trump even retweeted a cartoon of himself as Pepe. So, Pepe’s creator had enough of this and decided to kill the character off, in protest to the Alt-Right taking it as it’s own. This may all be very confusing, but what’s even more confusing is it makes perfect sense to way too many people. RIP Pepe.

May: Ben Carson Calls Poverty a State of Mind

Trump’s crazy tweets were momentarily forgotten when Housing and Urban Development Secretary (and former Presidential Candidate) Ben Carson said in a SiriusXM Town Hall Interview, “I think poverty to a large extent is also a state of mind.”  He added, “You take somebody that has the right mindset, you can take everything from them and put them on the street, and I guarantee in a little while they’ll be right back up there. And you take somebody with the wrong mindset, you could give them everything in the world, they’ll work their way right back down to the bottom.” Twitter of course, blew up, with everyone rushing to their keyboards and phones to make fun of Carson.

August: Tiki Torches and White Supremecists

Charlottesville will now forever be remembered in the same fond manner that people think about Skokie.  This August the Unite the Right rally brought white supremacists, white nationalists, neo-Confederates, Klansmen, neo-Nazis, together and they came with torches, breaking the illusions of people living in bubbles everywhere about the state of racism in America.  Odd, this story doesn’t seem that funny.

August: The Eclipse

You never thought you’d get sick of hearing about a once in a lifetime phenomenon,

September: Craig Carton Gets Busted In Ticket Scam

Holy Shit!  Did this really happen this year?  Suddenly it wasn’t just sports fans who knew who Craig Carton was. It was September 6 when the news broke that the co-host of WFAN’s Boomer & Carton, Craig Carton, was arrested for being a part of a $2 million scam. Carton claimed to be running a discount ticket broker business that the news said never existed and collected a few million dollars from investors. There were reports of massive gambling debts behind the incident. Carton’s lawyer said it was all just a misunderstanding. Carton was fired, and there’s word of a trial coming in 2018, but that isn’t stopping him from looking for a rumored gig at Barstool Sports.  Okay Craig, but no more misunderstandings.  Lets keep a low profile for now.

September: Ted Cruz Porn Mishap

Ted Cruz’s Porn Mishap was the most fun viral news story this year. US Senator for Texas Ted Cruz looking at porn on Twitter and clicking the favorite button?  Or just an intern using Cruz’s account.  This seemed devastating for the conservative politician, but most people decided this was the first thing they liked about him.

November: Eli Manning Benched

It didn’t matter if you were a Giant’s fan, a football fan or even sports fan. Regardless where you stand on any of those categories, you felt bad for Eli who just couldn’t believe he was taken out.

November: The Sex Scandals

There was no bigger story in 2017 than the ever-growing number of sexual misconduct scandals. The takedown of Harvey Weinstein set off an avalanche of revelations this year, and women are coming forward like never before taking down the mighty.  The allegations aren’t funny but you can’t hit up a comedy club, or watch a late night show without hearing reference to the white powerful men ranging from groping, to raping and everything in between.  2016 was the year of the celebrity death, where we lost more artists than we could bear.  2017 is the year that some of the celebrated and powerful wish they could have been part of 2016.

All Year: Trump

It’s too hard to create a list of the times our current Prez did something ridiculous. There were endless Trump moments in 2017, so we just wanted to share a few.  These were the moments where the second they happened you could hear comedy writers bumping their heads running for the joke: Trump calling Elizabeth Warren Pochahontas, attacking the NFL over kneeling (over and over), tweeting Covfefe and actling like it wasn’t a mistake, firing Spicer, Bannon, Comey, Scaramucci, and on and on and on, retweeting the wrestling meme clotheslining CNN, defending the Charlottesville prtesters, retweeting the Mulsim propaganda videos, “banning” transgender individuals from the military, claiming Obama tapped his phone during the election and calling Kim Jong Un Little Rocket Man, and so on…and so on….


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