In an absolute shit year for humankind, certain comedians played huge roles in setting the tone and getting us all through it.
Larry David Controls the Universe?
Something about Donald Trump's plainspoken indifference to cultural sensitivities and basic civility seemed familiar to fans of Larry David's Curb Your Enthusiasm. David plays an asshole iteration of himself whose well-meaning ideas deeply offend people, which he stubbornly refuses to acknowledge. Trump built a fundamental aspect of his campaign on such impulses. David, because of his physical resemblance and Jewishness, was called upon to portray Senator Bernie Sanders on Saturday Night Live. In late 2015, David himself called the actual Trump a "racist" on SNL. Point being, Larry David has a pret-tay, pret-tay, pret-tay, good grip on North America's psyche and yada yada yada, now we're all fucked.
Patton Oswalt Fights On
The week his Emmy-winning standup special Talking for Clapping came out, Patton Oswalt's wife Michelle McNamara died in her sleep. Oswalt's appearance on Conan months later and his return to standup and social media are among the most courageous feats of the year.
Vic Berger's Surreality TV
Video editor Vic Berger dealt with the onslaught of Trump's hate mongering and mass media's feckless political coverage with a slew of incredibly reconstructed videos that made everyone look terribly real with comically awkward results.
Samantha Bee's Full Frontal Truth
While her male faux-news host counterparts stumbled, Samantha Bee stormed into her new show with a clear vision of what it was: the ultimate horseshit detector. Uncompromising, provocative, and incredibly sardonic, Full Frontal was the year's most honest news source.
Larry Wilmore Spoke Truth, Got Fired
After speaking truth to power as the White House Correspondent's Dinner monologist, Larry Wilmore rubbed some people raw. Comedy Central later cancelled his politically charged Nightly Show. During an election year! And then a KKK-endorsee won the presidency. If there's a poster child for these strange days, it's Larry Wilmore.