1. 'Marcel The Shell With Shoes On'
Jenny Slate didn't seem like she was going to have the best 2010. After kicking off her first season on Saturday Night Live late last year by dropping the f-bomb heard around the internet, she never quite got into the groove she deserved. She had one solid recurring character (the always funny Tina-Tina Chaneuse) and a particularly scandalous sketch with Alec Baldwin, but over the summer she was let go. Jenny won in the end by making something more original than SNL ever could, lending her voice and stellar improv skills to Dean Fleischer-Camp's stop-motion animated "Marcel the Shell With Shoes On". Add on top of that her stint on Bored to Death and her continued web series "Bestie X Bestie" with comedy partner Gabe Liedman, and it turns out she didn't have such a bad year after all.
2. Conan O'Brien Names His New Show
The comedy story of the year was without-a-doubt the fall and rise of Conan O'Brien. At the top of 2010, Conan was recently fired from The Tonight Show on NBC. After disappearing from TV (by court order) and mostly just being talked about by other comedians, Conan spent his summer out on tour, then made his deal with TBS and started the promo campaign to end all promo campaigns. There have been some very funny moments during the first two months of his new show, from the opening sketch featuring Larry King and Don Draper to the excessive Spiderman musical parodies to his one-sided feud with Oprah. But the video that sums up Conan O'Brien in 2010 for me is this self-deprecating YouTube video he made to announce the name of his new show, which almost resulted in the show being called "Conaw."
3. Ricky Gervais' Mel Gibson Joke on The Emmy Awards
For me, the single best joke of the year was the expertly delivered crack Ricky Gervais made at Mel Gibson on this year's Emmy Awards. The tapes of Gibson's anti-Semitic outbursts had just started circulating in Hollywood and on the web and Ricky Gervais somehow summed up what everyone was thinking perfectly. Then he gave the entire audience beer. More than an honorable mention is also due to Jimmy Fallon's epic Glee-inspired intro.
4. Betty White Hoodies
At the golden age of 88, Betty White had one of the most successful years of her career in 2010. It all started with the out-of-nowhere Facebook campaign to get her to host Saturday Night Live, which naturally resulted in her hosting Saturday Night Live. The appearance led to her role on Hot in Cleveland, a sexy magazine cover with Tracy Morgan, and a multi-episode guest spot on Community. But my favorite Betty White clip of the year never aired in TV. It was this way-funnier-than-it-should-have-been extended online ad for HoodieBuddie.com.
5. Tim and Eric Go Inside Paul Rudd's Computer
Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim of Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Time! continued to be the most underrated and prolific comedy producers of the year in 2010. Some highlights from this year included their long-form Father and Son sketch on Funny or Die Presents, the consistently hilarious Check It Out! with Dr. Steve Brule (starring John C. Reilly in a brilliantly nuanced comedic performance), and their on-going collaboration with Zach Galifianakis. But for me, the funniest clip Tim and Eric produced this year was this perfectly silly video, in which we go inside Paul Rudd's computer. We know where he learned these sweet dance moves.