Welcome to The List, a semi-regular feature in which Julie Klausner enumerates pretty much whatever.
You know how sometimes, when you're feeling really agitated or bored or depressed and you start looking around for things to blame and grudges to dig up, some people will try to be helpful and say stuff like "go to the gym!" or "take a few deep breaths!" or "go outside" and "did I mention exercise?" Yeah well, those people are all wrong.
Here is what has helped me: watching shit on YouTube. I hope you can find the same therapeutic benefits as I have in these fine cinematic selections. Oh — and it should go without saying, but every other selection is a video featuring a cat or a dog. As it should be. Happy New Year!
1. Mrs. Bojangles Goes on her First Walk
My friend and fellow basset hound devotee Jenny Johnson sent this video to me with the bold statement attached that it was her favorite basset video on YouTube. This is a huge deal considering that there are videos of bassets running in slow motion dressed up like Sherlock Holmes, wrestling one another, hanging out with babies, being scored by Tina Turner, and taking gentle showers. That said, Mrs. Bojangles the puppy experiencing a fundamental misunderstanding around leashes, walks and how they work, is a true blockbuster.
2. Loretta Lynn — "One's On The Way"
The gingham wrap skirt, the all-business stance, her smile through the mettle, THAT VOICE. This is one of my favorite Loretta Lynn songs ever — I saw Nellie McKay cover it in concert recently, and it sent me straight to cloud nine. When God made Loretta Lynn, He took a break for a while 'cuz perfection needed to breathe.
3. Thriller Cat...Wait for it
So simple. So short. So perfect. I've watched this over and over — all told, about 100 times in total — and I laugh every time even though I know what to expect. Thriller cat makes Vincent Price AND Michael Jackson want to come back to life just to give a well-deserved standing ovation.
4. It has to be good
You've seen this one, right? Leslie Uggams fucks up the lyrics to "June is Busting Out All Over" during a live outdoor performance? Broadway savant Seth Rudetsky recently told me on a special "How Were Your Tonys" edition of my podcast that the story behind this classic flub was that the cue card guy slipped on the wet mud and just never came back up. So basically, this hot bitch gifted us with gibberish instead of singing nothing at all. What would you have done, Demi Lovato????
5. Time for Timer: Hanker for a Hunk o' Cheese
I grew up watching this PSA for...cheese. You know, back when Americans were really concerned that their kids weren't eating enough cheese? I knew a guy who looked exactly like this insane cheese cowboy—big belly, skinny legs, carrot-looking nose. One night, after seeing that very guy with his shirt off backstage at a concert, my friend Jeremy emailed me this video and I almost died laughing. I really like it when he starts walking across the frame, how he says "wagon wheel" a lot, and his incredibly helpful recipe for cheese and crackers! See also: Cheese, Glorious Cheese.
6. Cat and Flute
The best musical duo of all time. Suck it, Karmin, She and Him...even you've got plenty to learn, Jethro Tull.
7. The Video for Love Shack
This is my happy place. Kate Pierson in the backseat of that car, shoulders exposed, hair up, earrings in the wind, sunflowers passing by...you can practically feel the Catskills air in your wig. This music video is a audio visual SSRI. Bless and keep the B52's forever. And I see your sex face, RuPaul!
8. Dog Humps Granny
There is a satisfying purity in knowing that, no matter how many writing classes you take, whether or not you went to Harvard and wrote for the Lampoon or you toiled in your bedroom at comedy until it broke instead of bent, nothing will ever be funnier — or more universally appealing — than this 45 second clip. It is the perfect sketch, from its title to its execution. And the noises that woman makes? I mean, I just can't.
9. Check It Out! with Dr. Steve Brule: Brule on Sushi
I can be rock-bottom depressed and "Shushi Sandwiches" will still make me smile.
10. HAL basset hound — My big baby
Okay, another basset vid — but this one does double duty as an exercise video! You can just follow along with Hal's paw movements, and then you've got a workout cookin'! So, I guess exercise CAN make you feel better. In moderation.
Image via Daleen Loest/Shutterstock.