SCTV's famous CCCP1-Russian Television episode, in which the show is "taken over" by a Soviet broadcast, includes several sketches deriding Uzbeks, like a PSA about them being "the weak link in the great chain of socialism", a warning against giving them matches and the famous line "Uzbeks drank my battery fluid!" At the time race relations in the USSR were pretty peaceful and if any Russians saw that episode then they probably found the suggestion that Russians hate Uzbeks as something completely farcical. Nowadays, it does not seem that unrealistic, since Uzbekistan is one of the largest sources of illegal immigrants to Russia, and people from Central Asia are now the primary targets of hate crimes committed by Russian Neo-Nazi thugs.
Rodney Dangerfield made a statement to his fan club before going into surgery saying "If all goes well, I will be out in a couple weeks. If not, a couple of hours." He would die from complications from that operation within a few weeks. Lightened by the fact that the statement was so typical of his style of humor, and that he might have thought the irony funny.
Bill Hicks on smoking in a stand-up routine: "I'll cough, I'll get the tumors, I'll die. Deal?" And, in 1988: "I do have this fear of doing smoking jokes and then coming back in five years and saying (with voice box buzz) 'Good evening everybody, y'all were right smoking's bad'" He died due to pancreatic cancer but considering all the carcinogens in tobacco the fact that it isn't lung cancer doesn't make the funny Aneurysm go away.
Doubly so in the version of the bit appearing on the Relentless DVD. Parodying a posthumously released public service announcement starring Yul Brynner, he announces "I'm Bill Hicks, and I'm dead now."
Christopher Titus's first two stand-up specialsnote Norman Rockwell is Bleeding and The 5th Annual End of the World Tour (and the original first episode of his sitcom Titus in which Titus, his brother Dave, his friend Tommy, and his girlfriend Erin worry that Titus's dad, Ken, may be dead after Dave tells his brother that Ken hasn't been out of his room for three days — not even to get a beer) both have parts in them in which Christopher gushes over how wonderful is girlfriend Erin is (especially compared to the briar patch of psycho-bitches he dated in the past, including the abusive and manipulative, 5', 100-lb Jewish girl named Noelle, who, like Titus's violent, manic-depressive schizophrenic mom, had a high IQ, was said to be beautiful, and often snapped and abused Titus for little or no reason). Fast forward to Love is Evol and Neverlution, in which Titus and Erin (renamed "Kate" or referred to as "my ex-wife" for legal reasons) are divorced and Erin turns out to be no different than the psycho-bitches Titus dated — in fact, Erin was worse: She cheated on Titus with two men (one of which was a 60-year-old man who was richer than Titus), stole her children's college money so she can get plastic surgery for the men in her life, drank alcohol constantly, tried to kill Titus in front of his daughter, goaded him to kill himself just like his mom and sister, and committed perjury in court by claiming that Titus was abusive just so she can take him for everything he hadnote California is usually a "no-fault divorce" state, meaning that if a couple divorced, everything they own is automatically split down the middle. However, if one spouse claims that the other abused him or her and/or their child(ren), then everything the abuser has becomes property of the one who claims abuse. The only good thing to come from this is that Titus now has a girlfriend (Rachel Bradley) who actually loves him and who comes from a functional family.
The episode "When I Say Jump" showed Titus and Erin as an elderly married couple. The real Titus and Erin got divorced in June 6, 2006 -- a.k.a 6/6/06, and would never be that old married couple.
The circumstances behind Titus's cancellation also count: The FOX executives wanted a new season of Titus that showed Titus and Erin breaking up. Titus disagreed because he bases his comedy on reality and, at the time, he was still with Erin. As a result (and with many cross, vulgar words exchanged), Titus was fired and his show was canceled. If only FOX waited until 2006...
Another aneurysm moment on Titus: On the episode in which Shannon (Titus's sister) reunites with her Swedish boyfriend, Stefan, Titus tells her not to do it because Stefan wanted her to have an abortion to get rid of the baby (which already died when she had a miscarriage), but Shannon goes with Stefan anyway because she wanted to stand up for herself and make a decision that she knew was right. In Neverlution, it's revealed that Shannon Titus committed suicide because her boyfriend kept breaking up with her and the constant rejection pretty much drove Shannon crazy (and nothing about it was funny, not even in a dark way).
On the Titus episode "Houseboat," one of the Neutral Spacenote That black and white room in which Titus speaks to the audience and shows flashbacks and "what-if" scenarios about his life moments has Titus holding a present and telling the audience that his dad finally understands that love and forgiveness is better than hatred and vengeance, then adds, "Next year, we'll teach him that heart attacks are not like women; you just can't keep having them." According to The Fifth Annual End of the World Tour, Titus's dad really did die of a heart attack.
Also, in the same episode, the flashback of Dave (as a child) reviving Ken after the paramedics pronounce him dead from a heart attack by opening a can of beer (with Ken spitting out the beer because it's warm, then hitting on the female paramedic operating the defibrillator). In fact, all of the references to Ken Titus's heart attacks (especially the first season finale "Episode Eleven") are this in light of the real Ken Titus dying of a heart attack.
This occurs in Mitch Hedberg's second (and last) stand-up album, Mitch All Together. One of Hedberg's jokes therein goes, "I drink a lot of red wine. This girl asks me, 'Doesn't that give you a headache?' I say, 'Yeah, eventually, but the first and the middle part are amazing.' I'm not going to stop doing something just because of what happens at the end. 'Hey, Mitch, do you want this apple?' 'No, eventually it'll be a core.'"
Very recently, a CD of an old performance of his, titled "Do You Believe In Gosh?" was released. It also has a cringe-inducing line. Mitch is receiving answers to his questions from a member of the audience before he asks them, (It Makes Sense in Context) when the following exchange takes place.
Mitch: Hey, Phil, which way is my career going?
It doesn't help that through the whole thing, he's mentioning how he needs to practice more, so his next show will be better.
Most of his jokes about drugs headed straight into this after his death.
In Bill Cosby Himself, there's a whole bit that begins, "My son is 10 years old, and I don't think he's going to live to see 11..." and then details a plot by his sisters to kill him. Later in the same, there's a bit where his wife tells him to go upstairs "And kill that boy." Ennis Cosby was murdered on January 16th, 1997.
In a particularly horrifying example, British magician and comedian Tommy Cooper had a heart attack and collapsed live on stage, being broadcast to millions across Britain. As this was not out of character for his act, the audience started laughing, before realizing that it was serious. Watching his old acts and particularly scenes where he pretends to be shocked, in pain or surprised (often clutching his chest during it) now becomes very uncomfortable.
He did a rant about how people overreacted to drinking and driving. His untimely death was caused by some drunk asshole crashing into his car. To be fair, though, Kinison reportedly had drugs in his system at the time, making his advocacy of drug use a second "Funny Aneurysm" Moment.
The "driving to Barstow" bit on Have You Seen Me Lately eerily echoes the time and place of Kinison's death, in a car crash in the California desert.
On one episode of Good News Week, Wil Anderson commented that people going around wearing Australian flags made them look like they were a bad superhero, Aussieman, joking that he wouldn't be useful: "Help, Aussieman, there's a fire!" "...nah, the cricket's on." The episode must have been prerecorded, but it aired the day after the worst natural disaster in Australian recorded history: a deadly bushfire.
When you consider that comedian Richard Jeni was diagnosed with clinical depression and killed himself two years after his last HBO stand-up special, watching "A Big Steaming Pile of Me" is like watching a videotaped suicide note with a laugh track. Of course, this is a risk with any comedian who talks about their married and/or personal life, really.
One of Gilda Radner's characters, Rhonda Wiess, is a stereotypical Long Island Jewish princess who is furious at the FDA for banning saccharine. The disturbing line, "statistics show men prefer skinny girls with cancer to healthy girls with bulging thighs," got a huge laugh during her one-woman show on Broadway. 10 years later, Gilda died at 42 of ovarian cancer.
After The Chaser was pulled for two weeks following a particularly offensive sketch, the next show they aired showed them doing good things for the community, including: Closing Scientology down for good, getting rid of all the Andre Rieu CDs in the world, and Taking Kyle Sandilands off the air permanently. Four days later, this happens, although, most Australians would argue that this doesn't count, as Mr. Sandilands really is an asshole.
A lot of George W. Bush jokes fall into this category. Somewhere between 2001 and 2008, making jokes about the state of America and its incompetent president was all fun and games. In 08 the Economy tanked, and the state America was no longer a laughing mater.
This can go double for liberals oddly enough. During Bush's presidency, comedies mocked him for nearly every move he made. This becomes a lot less funny when re-watching them now and realizing that Barrack Obama has done something similar to what the joke is mocking Bush for doing.
In the 1960s impressionist Vaughn Meader recorded two comedy albums entitled "The First Family Vol. I" and "The First Family Vol. II" poking fun at then White House occupant John F. Kennedy. When he was assassinated, nobody could bear to see Meader perform his act and all unsold copies of his records were destroyed and both albums remained out of print until the turn of the millennium (when they were released on CD).
All the drug addiction and suicide jokes directed at Greg Giraldo (which he was always a good sport about, even making a few himself) at the Comedy Central roasts and on his Comedy Central Presents episodes became a lot more aneurysm-inducing when he died of a prescription pill overdose.
In his very last roast, the one for David Hasselhoff, he joked that Hasselhoff's career and Bobby Kennedy are alike as they both died on a hotel room floor. Ironically, Giraldo would later join them on that same spot.
In one of her stand-up specials, Kathy Griffin spoke of a running gag she did at a red carpet event in which she claimed Dakota Fanning was in rehab. She mentions that while deciding who would be the least likely celebrity to go, she decided she couldn't choose Lindsay Lohan, "because, tick-tock."
It's also hard to watch her in her earlier specials talk lovingly about her husband Matt, now that they've divorced.
Jason Cook in the emotionally charged climax to his stand-up show "Joy" does a list, the "5 worst things to happen to the Cook family" topped at #1 by his Dad's death to cancer. he then presents a new list: "5 people who should have died of cancer instead of my Dad" #2 was originally Jade Goody, who, during the tour, died of cancer. It was changed, but the audience is informed of this change, hence Liverpool making the list twice.
Redd Foxx spent years having fake heart attacks as a comedy bit on Sanford and Son, and guess what eventually ended up killing him? A fatal heart attack.
Worse, Foxx didn't receive immediate attention because the people around him thought he was simply doing his classic bit.
Tom Green's line of "if I get lucky/I'll get a disease!" from his 1999 novelty single "Lonely Swedish (Bum Bum Song)" came back to bite him big time when less than a year later, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer, which abruptly ended his popular MTV comedy program. He was able to successfully beat the disease, but he admits to no longer finding that line funny.
In what could possibly be the fastest turnaround from joke to tragedy, Jay Leno joked about "driving dangerously" in his opening speech at the Love Ride motorcycle rally in 2011, defying the event's long-running record for lack of accidents... approximately one hour before two riders crashed into a truck and perished.
Amy Schumer on the Comedy Central roast of Charlie Sheen was already a Dude, Not Funny! with a joke about people wishing Steve-O died instead of Ryan Dunn, but it went From Bad to Worse with a joke about Patrice O'Neal. "Tonight is not just the roast of Charlie Sheen, it's also a farewell party to Patrice's foot". He died of a diabetes-related stroke two months later.
Actually, all the jokes about Patrice O'Neal suffering from diabetes due to bad dieting that were featured on that special ended up being in bad taste after he died (much like all the jokes about Greg Giraldo being a self-destructive drug addict who will never be famous for his comedy).
In 1990, Brazilian magazine Casseta Popular (whose members would be part of the comedy group Casseta & Planeta) did a satirical analysis of each team/country on the upcoming FIFA World Cup. Yugoslavia's one said there was no joke to be told as it was an unremarkable and "meh" country. One year later...
George Carlin spent the first ten minutes of his 1999 special, "You Are All Diseased", by mocking airport security, emphasizing the unlikelihood of a terrorist attack, how he finds terrorism "entertaining", and how everyone needs to settle down and enjoy life. Needless to say it wasn't so entertaining after 9/11 happened.
One of the articles from The Onion from 2011 about Joe Paterno ended with the sentiment that without Penn State football, Joe Paterno would probably die. If you've been following the Penn State sex scandal at all, you know how this one ends. For those who don't (either out of ignorance or having better things to do with their time), here's what happened: Very shortly after being dismissed as the head coach at Penn State due to the Sandusky scandal, Joe Paterno died.
In his routine at the 2003 Melbourne Comedy Gala, Jimeoin joked that Steve Irwin was dead, saying, "You wouldn't be surprised if he was... attacked by a crocodile." Come 2006, a lot of people were surprised to hear Steve Irwin was attacked and killed by a wild animal (though it was a sting ray, not a crocodile that killed Irwin, it's still fairly upsetting — and not at all surprising — that Steve Irwin would die at the proverbial hands of an animal).
In the wake of several mass shootings in America (including at a movie theater and at a Sikh temple), satirical newspaper The Onion published an article entitled "Nation Celebrates Full Week Without Deadly Mass Shooting." The last line in the article is " At press time, federal authorities had issued a reminder to all Americans that a lot can happen in 24 hours, “...so let’s not get too excited yet." Less than 24 hours later, a gunman shot ten people in front of The Empire State Building and killed two of them.
In his 2002 comedy special Live on Broadway, Robin Williams mocks the French for their supposed outrage about Lance Armstrong winning the Tour de France bicycle race despite the ravages of cancer: "'He is on chemicals!' 'It's chemo-therapy, you little toad-suckers!'". Though in 2012, it was determined that Armstrong had used performance-enhancing drugs in his victories, and he got stripped of all his titles.
Brazilian comedian Bussunda, of the group Casseta & Planeta died of a sudden heart attack in 2006, turning disturbing this magazine cover◊ (where it's said he "died laughing" of the advertised comedy websites) and a 2003 rumor created by a troll website that he had died - which inspired a response by the group on their website (with a picture of him in a coffin◊) and an Of Corpse He's Aliveskit on their TV show.
The infamous "Don't Look Back in Anger" short film that showed an elderly John Belushi as the last living member of the original "Not Ready for Primetime" cast who ends up dancing on his cast mates' graves. You can watch the clip here.
The worst part is Belushi's comment that "they all thought [he'd] be the first to go" (a reference to his then already well known excessive lifestyle).
What's worse is that Gilda Radner's grave was the first one Belushi visits. Gilda would become the second SNL cast member to die (and the first dead female cast member) in 1989, from complications of ovarian cancer.
A lesser known example from the "Not Ready for Prime Time" era is in a sketch known as "Least-Loved Bedtime Stories." Michael O'Donoghue narrates a story called "The Little Engine that Died," where he says "I think I can...I Think I Can...HEARTATTACK...OHMYGODTHEPAIN!" In 1994, "Mr. Mike" woke up, felt what was thought to be a severe migraine headache, and screamed "OH MY GOD" in pain and later died from cerebral hemorrhage. Michael O'Donoghue was an SNL writer known for his sadistic humor and his frequent migraines, making this death a literal "funny aneurysm moment" and a Karmic Death.
On season 5 (the 1979-1980 season), Strother Martin hosted SNL. One of the sketches he was in was about a dying man who recorded a video will. In August of 1980, Strother Martin died, not only making the episode (Martin's last acting gig, mind you) he hosted a Banned Episode (at the time; the season DVDs and the Netflix SNL collection has the episode, uncut and uncensored), but making the video will sketch a lot less funny.
Any time Chris Farley faked a heart attack during the Chicago Superfans sketches. Also, the one-off sketch where Farley plays a man called "The Relapse Guy" who keeps going on and falling off the wagon.
In a 1991 episode hosted by Steve Martin, he leads the SNL cast in a song called "Not Gonna Phone it In Tonight". At one point, Chris Farley sings "Not gonna get liquored up tonight!", which is rather depressing now considering the circumstances of his death.
The final sketch on the season 19 finale hosted by Heather Locklear where Phil Hartman, in his last episode as a cast member, sings a lullaby to Chris Farley. It was meant to be sweet and signal the end of the season, but with both Farley and Hartman dead (within 6 months of each other!), it's now too depressing to watch.
When Phil Hartman came back to host for the second time (in season 22 — the 1996-1997 season), he says in his monologue that he bought his family's affection with the money he makes from being on NewsRadio and The Simpsons. Apparently, it didn't work, when you consider what happened to Hartman a few months after he hosted.
The episode hosted by Charlize Theron on the 2000-2001 season had a cold opening called "A Glimpse into Our Possible Future," a sketch showing what would happen to America if George W. Bush were President (and later, if Al Gore were President and if Ralph Nader were President). While the sketch did exaggerate how far Bush (played by Will Ferrell) would run America into the ground (like setting the Great Lakes on fire or giving Texas to Communists), lines like, "I hope I get a war. Wars are like executions supersized," and "I killed Dick Cheney in a hunting accident" (and the fact that his new map of the United States shows several flooded states starting in Louisiana and pooling in the Midwest and California as a flaming wreck) now don't seem so funny, since they have come true in some capacity.
When she came back to host the last episode of season 30 in 2005, Lindsay Lohan is visited by "Future Lindsay" (played by Amy Poehler), who tells her to take it easy with the partying. Cut to five years later, and jokes about Lindsay Lohan becoming a drunken, drugged-out mess with no career aren't so funny anymore.
On the Seth Rogen/Phoenix episode from season 34, Seth Meyers (the Weekend Update anchor) did a report on how during Michael Jackson's summer world tour, he would bring his son onstage, who would be accompanied by a police officer who would have Michael Jackson arrested. Unfortunately, the concert (and the punchline to the joke) would never come to pass due to Jackson's death two months after the episode originally aired.
Then there's that SNL Digital Short where Bill Hader plays a man who writes a letter to his sister and his friend (played by Andy Samberg) shoots him, leading to the shooting deaths of another man (played by episode host Shia LaBeouf), the sister (played by Kristen Wiig), and two police officers (played by Fred Armisen and Jason Sudeikis). Two days after the sketch aired, the shooting at Virginia Tech happened, which was one of two reasons why the sketch never appeared on NBC's Saturday Night Live web page, which has video highlights of past and present sketches (the other reason being that NBC never cleared the copyright to the song used in the sketch). What a shame that everyone overreacted to a simple parody of The O.C.. As it was, the short became one of the first from the show's to be unofficially popularized on YouTube. Memetic Mutation followed; the Imogen Heap song which SNL couldn't get cleared has now been sampled for a hip-hop beat.
The SNL episode from season 35 hosted by Blake Lively from Gossip Girl had a Weekend Update segment where Abby Elliott plays a looped-out Brittany Murphy who thinks she's hosting SNL with musical guest blink-182 (Quick note: Brittany Murphy actually did host SNL during its 28th season in 2002, only the musical guest was Nelly, not blink-182). The Blake Lively episode aired on December 5th, 2009, fifteen days before the real Brittany Murphy would suddenly die of cardiac arrest, caused by anemia and a prescription pill overdose. Because of this, all reruns of the Blake Lively episode (including the Netflix version) cut out Abby's appearance as Brittany Murphy.
Here's one that doesn't involve death, but still became controversial after the fact: On the Anne Hathaway/The Killers episode, there was a sketch about the assorted deadbeats and greedy people who would benefit from the economic bailout at the time. One of the people was a couple by the name of Herbert and Marion Sandler (played by long time cast member Darrell Hammond and 2-year feature player Casey Wilson), who screwed Wachovia Bank out of a lot of money and personally thanked the Congress for not holding them responsible for their corrupt activities. Who would have guessed that Herbert and Marion Sandler were an actual couple that actually did this (according to show creator Lorne Michaels, he and the other writers had no clue about this until after the sketch aired)? Because of this, the Internet video version of the CSPAN Bailout sketch and the NBC rerun of the Anne Hathaway episode edited out the entire part with the Sandler couple. The Netflix rerun does show the scene of Herbert and Marion Sandler, but edited out the "People Who Should Be Shot" lower third by using alternate footage and cut the part where Herbert Sandler thanks the government for letting them get away with their corrupt activities.
When Al Gore hosted a Christmas episode in season 28 (2002-2003), the monologue showed how Al Gore picked his running mate, rejecting John Kerry (Seth Meyers) and John Edwards (Will Forte). Gore then remarks that "one of them would make a great Vice President someday." Kerry and Edwards would team up to run for President and Vice-President in 2004, only to be beaten by Bush and Cheney (who were running for re-election).
A "Meet the Press" sketch on the episode hosted by Senator John McCain (the genuine article, not a cast member impersonation) in 2002 had McCain denying that he would run for President in 2004. McCain was right; he didn't run in 2004. The 2008 election was a different story, and, depending on your political leanings, the fact that McCain ran and lost is either an aneurysm moment or Hilarious in Hindsight.
Even the Jean Doumanian era isn't immune to the Funny Aneurysm Moment. At the end of the first episode (hosted by Elliot Gould), Gould introduces the cast again and tells the audience, "We're gonna be around forever!" Eleven episodes later, all but Eddie Murphy and Joe Piscopo were fired after the F-bomb debacle on the episode hosted by Charlene Tilton, and most of the cast members from that season have all but disappeared from the limelight and aren't remembered much today (with the possible exception of Gilbert Gottfried, Eddie Murphy, and, to a lesser extent, Gail Matthiusnote who did voice work in 1990s cartoons, often as the vapid Valley Girl character she created on the show, Denny Dillonnote who appeared on the HBO sex farce, Dream On and the NBC sitcom, Night Court, and Charles Rocketnote who appeared in a lot of TV shows and movies — including Max Headroom, Normal, Ohio, Dumb and Dumber, and Titan, A.E. — until his suicide in 2005).
Speaking of the Charlene Tilton episode, the whole "Who Shot C.R.?" running joke is a lot less funny, considering that Charles Rocket took his own life in 2005 (the fact that he has a bloodied bandage on his neck doesn't alleviate this, only Rocket's suicide was from slitting his throat, not shooting himself) and SNL would, prior to Rocket's suicide, have a cast member who was shot in cold blood (Phil Hartman).
In possibly the fastest Funny Aneurysm in history, Jon Stewart of The Daily Show once summed up the American situation—failing economy, no strong political leadership—in two words: "We're doomed." The date was September 10th, 2001.
And later, in July of 2008, he joked that Robert Novak contains "the cure for the cure for cancer"... the week before he was discovered to have a massive brain tumor which ultimately killed him a year later.
At WrestleMania V there was a segment where comedian Morton Downey, Jr. kept blowing cigarette smoke in Roddy Piper's face. At one point Downey even said, "That's good for you. That's healthy. Look, you can live as long as I have." Morton Downey, Jr. would die on March 12, 2001 from lung cancer.
Hungarian comedian Gergely Szőllősy-Csák's standard self-deprecating stand up acts, in which he constantly poked fun at his lanky physique, often joking that he looked like someone suffering from a deadly disease, became pretty unsettling after he died in June 2014 due to a bacterial infection.