Make ’em Laugh: Top Three Comedy Episodes

“Imagination was given to man to compensate for what he is not, and a sense of humor to console him for what he is.” – Francis Bacon

Casey Just Cracks Sarah Up

We love to laugh.  A certain lightness of spirit and the ability to laugh makes you and everyone around you more at ease and more able to handle what life throws at you.  Humor acknowledges our shortcomings but without contempt or anger.  Or dare I say it, angst.  If ever there were someone whose shortcomings mirror our own it’s Chuck. So Chuck makes us laugh, not at what he is, but at who we are and who we see in him.  With a sense of humor Chuck’s, and our shortcomings are rather endearing, and the trials of life easier to take.  Come, have a few chuckles with Chuck as we look back at our top three comedy episodes, after the jump.

Everyone loves a good laugh.  Even Casey prefers cracking jokes to cracking Chuck’s head.  We think.  In any case the humor is a huge part of Chuck and what we love about it.  I doubt any of us would be interested in Chuck if it took itself seriously, so fortunately, it usually doesn’t.  Whether it’s just a sight gag in the background at the Buy-More or a famous Chuck pratfall even in the serious episodes the jokes keep coming.  So we each attempted to pick the top three episodes that never fail to get a laugh out of us.  Opinions may differ on what’s funny or not but we all agree on one thing.  We love to laugh.

Ernie’s Picks

Even when I’m not all out guffawing at Chuck it never fails to raise a smile at the very least.  The ability to blend the comedy into even the dark scenarios was one of the first things I loved about Chuck.  And to me it just keeps getting funnier.  All the actors are top notch at playing both comedy and drama even though some get more of the comedy than the others. I sometimes wish they gave Yvonne a little more to work with.  Honeymooners is certainly worth an honorable mention just for Yvonne’s performance showing what she’s capable of if given the chance.  In any case here are my favorite comedy episodes.  So far.

Chuck Versus Operation Awesome Who can forget Captain Awesome’s pathetic attempts at a cover story, or Ellie and Chuck’s reaction.  Or Chuck’s solution.  Or Awesome’s moment with Julius in the lobby.  You get the point.  This episode had more comedy gold than anything I’d seen in the series.  This could be the all-time number one, but I’m still hoping they can at least equal if not top it in the coming season(s).

Chuck Versus The Tango I’ve often talked about this episode as the one that hooked me on Chuck.  So much of that was the light and fun tone of the episode even as they dealt with potential torture and death.  Awesome teaching Chuck to tango, and Ellie’s reactions in the background, were the comedy pinnacle for me for quite some time.

Chuck Versus the Third Dimension
I know, not everyone’s favorite, but since Amy, Dave and Joe picked a few of my other contenders I thought I’d go with it.  Dominic Monaghan as the rum soaked narcissist is priceless.  Who can forget “I feel like a daffodil…” .  And Chuck in another fish out of water moment parties like a rock star.  Even Yvonne get’s a bit of comedy with her over the top groupie act.  All that is before we even get to the Golden Ticket competition and Jimmy Butterman giving Lester the ultimate wedgie.

Amy’s Picks

Chuck Versus The Cougars I could pick Cougars for many categories (and I still may), but I enjoyed the the flash backs, the look of both Chuck and Sarah as Sarah stands in front of Jenny Burton’s senior photo — it’s not that bad.  Chuck riffing as the DJ, trying to tip-off Sarah and Casey.  On sheer jokes, many won’t pick this as a favorite, but the whole episode leaves me grinning, so that’s enough for me!

Chuck Versus The Role Models I can’t help it.  Every time I see Mrs. Turner slur her speech and then take the tumble, well, I crack up!  This is another episode that leaves me smiling throughout, whether it is Chuck and Sarah bickering about who was going to get the collar off of the tiger, the 30-foot rule and missing weapons in the couch, to the triple cross explanation and the passing of the spy-couple mantel, I have a nice happy feeling and have laughed throughout, leaving me happy.

Chuck Versus the Seduction He had me with the Bartowski eyebrow dance.  Sarah clearly smitten, trying not to laugh.  Her face when Sascha plants one on Chuck in the elevator, Roan giving instruction-“have you had intercourse before?”

What Hits Joe Right In The Funnybone

My sense of humor is offbeat! You know that already. I’m on the verge of nominating an episode that features Sarah at her funniest, singing “Thank you!” to Casey in mock appreciation of his admission, and also going “Whoop!” as she’s carried upward and Chuck down like a weird human Black Forest Coo-Coo Clock. It also features Chuck and Sarah showing their love for each other by their not-so-well-hidden jealousy and a guest star that smartly tells Chuck “Now you’re just insulting me.” when he asks if she can reboot the database from the back-up server. Yes, I’m talking about The Mask! Yes, it’s funny! But it doesn’t make my top three.

And neither did Tango, despite an absolutely hilarious bit with Devon teaching Chuck how to dance. Of course, what really made that funny to me was El Ciudad following up by letting Chuck dance the ladies part at the showing later. That’s comedy!

I really want to put Role Models on the list too! With Fred Willard and Swoozie Kurtz, it must be considered. But it just misses the cut. What may surprise you is that I didn’t find it funny because of Craig Turner’s smarmy womanizing or Laura Turner’s boozing. That’s meh! It was their musical theme – Mel Tourme’s bluesy Comin’ Home, Baby – that made me grin. It was the smooth way they worked together (when they worked together) to equal Chuck and Sarah that won me over and made me smile.

The episodes that made me laugh the most:

  • Chuck vs. The Wookie – Only Mini Anden’s Carina could get away with seducing Casey, Morgan and Chuck in the same episode, and still use lines like “Well, hello, Casey. Nice to see you with your pants on.” and “It’s like if a yawn could yawn.” Slapping the diamond out of Chuck’s hand is physical humor of a kind that I’ve not seen so well executed before, and doesn’t require even cracking a smile from the actress. The episode’s humor goes beyond Carina with Chuck’s calling Peyman Alahi the Wookie, and with Morgan’s reaction to his new nick-name, Martin. Don’t forget Sarah snapping the picture of Casey cuffed to the hotel bed in his underwear! We may never find out what happened in Prague with him and Carina, but it must have been fun.
  • Chuck vs. The Delorean – Chuck trying to preserve Sarah’s “honor” from the unknown intentions of a much older guy are funny, but topped by the much older guy’s cool way of handling the Articulate Schnook. So he lifts the boy’s credit card! He makes up for it with a $10,000,000 deposit, doesn’t he? It’s Devon who steals the show, though. Up to now, Morgan thought it was okay to use someone else’s money to buy a car that goes no more than 28 miles per hour. Devon shows him it’s time to tuck, and it’s time to “talk product.” Now that’s a mentor!
  • Chuck vs. The Seduction – I’ve liked John Larroquette since his days in Night Court and his work with Bill Murray and Harold Ramis in Stripes. Roan is a great character who excels at putting both Chuck and Sarah in their place while sipping on the perfect martini (a moment to learn, a lifetime to perfect.) Not only is his comic timing perfect on every line, so are the shifts between lush and mentor, and then between mentor and confidant.

Dave’s Turn

This is a hard category simply because so much of Chuck is very funny.  Even the episodes I don’t like,  make that stronger;  even the episodes I loathe often make me laugh.   Comedy is something Chuck rarely does wrong.   If I had to pick my three least funny episodes “Pink Slip” would be the only easy choice.  I can come up with three funniest,  I must add that these three could change on any given day.   But for today,  here we go….

  • Chuck vs. The Tango. I know,  its been done already.   Well tough.   This is my favorite S1 episode.   The humor is pitch perfect.   From the awkward dance lesson,  to Casey teasing Chuck in the limo in front of a confused Sarah, to Chuck’s dance where La Ciudad must lead, and the final call back when Devon questions Chuck’s choice of dancing partner.   And finally,  any episode that has a villain taken out via airborne microwave has to be funny!
  • Chuck vs. The Angel of Death. I often lump together front 13 episodes of S3 as a total disaster.   Of course that’s not completely true.   This episode,  and its follow up, Operation Awesome, are as good as it gets for humor.   Pity the heart of the show was so damaged at this point;  because this could have been one of the best of the best if I felt a little better for Chuck and Sarah at this point.   But this episode is laugh out loud funny all the way through.  Did I mention I’m really looking forward to the return of Armand Assanti?
  • Chuck vs. The Honeymooners. Its so easy to laugh when you’re happy.   This is a funny episode however you look at it;  but when you add in everything finally being right for our leads,  and pure relief from what came before;  this episode made me laugh and feel happy more than anything else we’ve seen.

And now, you the reader get to weigh in.  Comment away, but don’t forget to vote!

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About Ernie Davis

I was born in 1998, the illegitimate brain child and pen name of a surly and reclusive misanthrope with a penchant for anonymity. My offline alter ego is a convicted bibliophile and causes rampant pognophobia whenever he goes out in public. He wants to be James Lileks when he grows up or Dave Barry if he doesn’t.  His hobbies are mopery, curling and watching and writing about Chuck.  Obsessively.  Really, the dude needs serious help.
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22 Responses to Make ’em Laugh: Top Three Comedy Episodes

  1. michael says:

    I have to add: Undercover Lover for Mexican Hat Dance x 2, the girlish screams in the face of danger, more wine, the Russian guy who got more broken every time he met up with Sarah, heroic emergence from pool to the strains of Neil Diamond, and Chuck’s attempt at a Casablanca finish.

    • Merve says:

      I just rewatched “Undercover Lover” last night. I’d forgotten how hilarious it was. Gotta love Morgan trying to be a “retail therapist” too. Or Awesome getting roped into strip poker…

    • joe says:

      Great humor. And the reprise of Mexican Hat Dance in The Ring Pt. II made the first occurrence even funnier.

    • atcdave says:

      Undercover Lover is certainly a very funny episode. As I said above, too many to choose from!

  2. Merve says:

    My picks would be:

    “First Date”: Lots of funny bits – Jeff’s résumé, the interviews, Anna trying to hit on Chuck, Thunderdome, Mr. Colt being “imposing,” Chuck using Morgan’s Call of Duty plan to fool the bad guys, “Foux du Fafa,” and many others

    “Suburbs”: “Charles Carmichael always comes quickly.” ‘Nuff said.

    “Operation Awesome”: “The cat is a bear,” “That was his plan?”, the Fight Club parody, Ellie thinking that Casey is a drunkard, Chuck speaking Thai, Sydney rolling her eyes at Chuck, Morgan and Big Mike woofing, and lots more…

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Good picks Merve. Can’t argue with First Date especially. Its near the top of my list with Seduction and Cougars. In fact the start of the whole 2nd season was a pretty good comedy right through Cougars.

  3. OldDarth says:

    Tango

    Marlin

    Beard

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Beard is another that had a lot of great moments. One of my favorites is “the huddle” where they swear a blood oath, and then Lester gets the first interview. Also fun was Chuck back in the Buy-More world, at least for a day.

    • joe says:

      Awwww – Lou! You gotta tell us why, man! Inquiring minds want to know! 🙂

      As Manfred Mann sang (and Bruce Springsteen wrote) That’s where the fun is!

  4. OldDarth says:

    The episodes speak for themselves Joe. 😉

  5. Joseph (can't be Joe) says:

    Tango – Yes Chuck was over his head, Devon teaching him to dance was classic but the best line was Casey’s, “That what I call moving some merchandise”, taking out the baddie with a microwave.

    Marlin – Besides the hunt for Norman it has one of the best Sarah lines ever, “Bring it on, Pita Girl”.

    Seduction – Who can forget those bedroom eyes and those sultry words “Hello Roan”.

  6. jason says:

    #1 – by a landslide – honeymooners – five times funnier than any other episode, nearly each scene, funny – funnier – funniest, joyful – joyfuller – joyfullest, charles’s – charles’ser – charles’sest

    #2 – role models – see above – but the five is only 2 1/2 better – the more I watch this episode, the more I like it, again, I would so enjoy an entire season of honeymooner and role model type episodes.

    #3 – delorean was centered about chuck and sarah – I loved ‘chuck this is my dad’, ‘dad, this is my boyfriend’ – the german grift was more the type of stuff this show should do, the staff has no idea how to write real drama or spy stuff nor the actors act it, but give them this offbeat stuff and they nail it, morgan was with the morons where he belongs, and complemented things pretty well, how he SHOULD be utilized, while sarah takes her rightful spot as the co-star.

    • atcdave says:

      I agree with a lot of your comments Jason; I think the show does comedy best. One of the special treats with Honeymooners was seeing how good Yvonne was with pure comedy. While I like the occasional episode with more drama and tension, I prefer the humor and fun.

  7. kg says:

    Each of the four hosts made excellent choices and backed it up with sound evidence. No complaints.

    I think I went with Wookie, Seduction and Awesome.

  8. aardvark7734 says:

    Drats, I’m late for this vote so I’ll be brief (okay, my version of “brief”).

    What’s interesting about this one is that it really triangulates me on the bell curve. While it’s usually easy for me to go with Jason’s picks when I’m feeling extremely “shipper” or Dave’s when I’m feeling somewhat less so, I actually find myself closer to the median than either of them this time.

    Part of it is that I seem to have a differentiator between “fun” and “funny”. I couldn’t put the fluffy, happy ‘Honeymooners’ and ‘Role Models’ on my list of top funniest episodes because for me they were so uniformly something else: Happy. And for me, much of the strongest humor in the show doesn’t flow from happiness, but from other strong emotions like embarassment, anger or surprise.

    Wookie. I picked ‘Wookie’ from the first season on the strength of Mini Anden’s performance as Loki Carina. She sowed chaos in both Sarah and Casey as well as spinning Chuck’s head completely around with her multiple attempted seductions, the Bryce tidbit, and the diamond improvisation. Few guest characters on Chuck have had such a profound effect on a single episode, if you think about it. ‘Tango’ and ‘Undercover Lover’ are close runners up.

    Seduction. Picking an episode out of S2 was a struggle, but I knew I would have to do it out of the first few – the middle to end of the season’s eps just carry so much darkness with them they really are hard to think of as “funny” episodes. I think ‘First Date’, ‘Seduction’, and ‘Cougars’ all work, but I’ll go with ‘Seduction’, again on the strength of a strong guest performance from John Larroquette. His goading of Chuck during the ‘seduction practice’ sequence and Sarah in the surveillance van were top notch, as was his running commentary about seduction technique over the comms during the mission. Plus, “I should have failed her a few more times.” 🙂

    Angel de la Muerte. This episode would have easily scored top props for funny had it not had to overcome the dark pall cast over it by the season’s premise. Still, it did for the most part, being almost continuously amusing right up to the last scene. Best bits were Ellie’s awkward dance with the premier, “Sarah and her fists”, Casey’s encounter with the assassin (“good thing I’m a Marine”) and his reaction to having his blood used while he was unconscious. I like this episode a lot for making me forget, just for a little while, the whole unpleasant start to the season.

    Well, there you go. Not much different than the mainstream pics but they are what they are.

  9. Pingback: Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The Tango (1.03) | Chuck This

  10. Pingback: Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The Wookiee (1.04) | Chuck This

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