Best in Comedy 2012: The 10 posts you read most last year

It’s the first full week of 2013, and so, too, the last real opportunity to look back on 2012 without feeling like it’s “too soon” or instant nostalgia or living in the past.

Instead, when examining what videos, posts and articles on The Comic’s Comic you clicked on most, it’s a chance to reflect on what intrigued you most, what sparked the most discussions, or what just plain tickled your fancy funny bones. So. With that. Let’s see what generated the most traffic here in 2012. According to Google Analytics, here are the 10 most popular pages viewed last year on The Comic’s Comic.

10. Some comedians push the envelope; on Conan, Tig Notaro pushes the stool

Then/why it was popular then: Tig Notaro has cut it up multiple times already on Conan during his TBS years, and when she appeared in December 2011, she promoted her CD, “Good One,” and demonstrated just how far a fart noise can take you.

Now: Who knew Tig Notaro’s 2012 would be so memorable, not just for her but also for us as fans seeing her go through a cancer diagnosis onstage — a performance Louis CK and others raved so much about that CK released her Largo set as a CD, “Live.” After surgery and treatment, Notaro is relatively healthy again and just finished up writing for Amy Schumer’s new Comedy Central series, which comes out this year.

9. What really happened in Albuquerque? Footage of Katt Williams addressing his audience

Then: Katt Williams went on tour in 2011 but often canceled shows, or when he did show up to perform, didn’t quite give his audiences what they expected in the way of stand-up comedy. Many people wondered what was going on in Katt’s life then.

Now: Ugh. 2012 turned out even worse in many ways for him. I wrote something to Katt hoping he turns it around in 2013. Let’s hope he is willing to hear and follow through on some sound advice. If not from me, then at least from someone who cares about his well-being and that of his children.

8. After 17 years, Brian McCann and his characters exit Team Coco

Then: Brian McCann was a stalwart writer and performer for Conan O’Brien on both coasts, from Late Night with Conan O’Brien to The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien to Conan. No matter the time slot, no matter the network, you could count on McCann to contribute a ridiculous character to Team Coco’s sketch comedy segments.

Now: McCann is the head writer for Nikki & Sara LIVE, which debuts at the end of January on MTV. So we haven’t seen the last of him yet!

7. Help comedian/husband/father Caleb Medley, shooting victim from Aurora massacre

Then: Caleb Medley was an aspiring stand-up comedian and soon-to-be father in the Denver area who just wanted to see the midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises with his pregnant wife when they were caught in the crossfire of the Aurora movie theater shooting. Medley was shot in the face and put into a medically induced coma. His friends and loved ones raised money for both him and his wife, as they didn’t have health insurance.

Now: Word from friends at the end of 2012 let us know via Facebook that “the hospital is planning on sending Caleb home on January 23rd, the day before his birthday if everything goes according to plan! Keep your fingers crossed! Also, Hugo will be 6 months old on the 24th!” Medley’s name and experience also came up just yesterday in court testimony in the pretrial hearing for the murderer.

6. From Second City to SNL: Aidy Bryant, Tim Robinson set to join cast of Saturday Night Live.

Then: The Comic’s Comic once again broke the news of new cast hires at SNL. Cecily Strong’s name surfaced shortly thereafter.

Now: Strong and fellow 2012 newcomer Kate McKinnon have more than held their own this season. Bryant and Robinson have done well with what parts they’ve been given so far. All in all, so far, so good for what had been anticipated to be a “transition year” at the venerable sketch comedy show.

5. Meet the new cast of FOX’s In Living Color reboot.

Then: Speaking of venerable TV sketch comedy institutions, there was great anticipation when FOX announced it had agreed with Kenan Ivory Wayans to reboot In Living Color, with a new cast including Jennifer Bartels, Josh Duvendeck, Jermaine Fowler, Kali Hawk and “Lil’ Rel” Howery. They filmed two episodes, which were supposed to air late spring or summer 2012.

Now: Didn’t air. Will never air? FOX head Kevin Reilly had told TV critics over the summer that he wasn’t all that keen on it, as it stood. And today, Vulture reported that the In Living Color reboot won’t ever air on FOX. Maybe some other network will take a chance on it? Or at least air it?

4. Grace Helbig in 2012 Lowe’s TV ad campaign.

Then: Friend of the site Grace Helbig was the original daily vlogger when My Damn Channel launched more than five years ago. After making multiple appearances on G4’s now-defunct Attack of the Show, Helbig landed her first national TV ad campaign, for Lowe’s.

Now: Helbig has made the move from New York City to Los Angeles. Going Hollywood, expect to see more of her on your TV and your YouTubes (where she has about 570,000 subscribers already) in 2013.

3. SNL’s Abby Elliott in Maxim.

Then: Have you seen the pictures? Enough said.

Now: Abby Elliott since has left Saturday Night Live after four seasons there, but she hasn’t left teasing you on the TV — she’ll appear in 2013 (and beyond?) as a love interest and therefore potential mother on the long-running CBS sitcom, How I Met Your Mother.

2. Dane Cook confronts Louis CK in an honest way about joke theft. Read the transcript! Watch the video!

Then: The first and only recorded exchange on camera between Louis CK and Dane Cook about the widespread allegations by comedians and comedy nerds that Cook had stolen three jokes from CK. This dialogue was scripted by CK for FX’s Louie, but it was still very real as both comedians played their roles as themselves.

Now: Why still now? That episode happened in August 2011. Perhaps because Dane Cook is still big and Louis CK has only gotten bigger since then, racking up multiple Emmy nominations and wins, along with across-the-board critical raves for his TV series.

1. Patton Oswalt’s Letters to Both Sides: His Keynote Address at Montreal’s Just For Laughs 2012

Then: The keynote address at Montreal’s Just For Laughs festival is a relatively new concept, but in just a few short years, it has become the must-see, must-listen, must-digest moment of JFL and perhaps the year in comedy. Patton Oswalt followed the path of previous years’ addresses by Lewis Black and Marc Maron, and delivered two separate remarks — one for the industry gatekeepers, and another for the DIY performers who are storming the gates and in some ways, making the gatekeepers irrelevant.

Now: If you haven’t watched it yet, please take 20 minutes out of your day to do so now. Perhaps it will motivate you for 2013 and the years to come.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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