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Hilarious In Hindsight / Comedy

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Yes, Comedy is supposed to be funny by its nature, but sometimes, in hindsight it becomes even funnier.

  • The 1996 movie Mr. Wrong, now that Ellen DeGeneres is an out and proud lesbian.
  • This article in The Onion predates the popularity of five-blade razors by some time.
    • And earlier, Saturday Night Live had a gag ad about three-blade razors. "Because you'll buy anything." Now, if only three-blade razors actually fit in Trac II handles...
    • Even before that, Popular Science in 1933 predicted this.
      • And a Weinerville skit was for a six-blade razor. Impossible, you might ask? I give you the Gillette Fusion, a five-blade razor with an added "precision trimmer" blade on the back of the head.
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    • One skit on The Onion News Network had a representative of Al-Qaeda get into a furious argument with a 9-11 conspiracy theorist who claimed Al-Qaeda did not plan and execute the 9-11 attacks. The Al-Qaeda represenative assured the conspiracy theorist that Al-Qaeda was, in fact, responsible. Later, the real Al-Qaeda representative, al-Zawahiri, released a statement attacking 9-11 conspiracy theorists and claiming 9-11 conspiracy theories were all a plot by Shiites to discredit Sunni terrorists, as shown in this article.
    • This Daily Show interview with Liam Neeson, and the strange course it quickly takes, converted this recent Onion skit from pointed satire to simple parody. Conspiracy may be at work.
    • One Onion article, Progressive Parents Refuse To Tell Child Its Sex, got a lot funnier when a couple who kept their child's gender under wraps made headlines.
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    • In the Sports section, there's "Brady Quinn: 'I'm Going to Be a Bust'"; which is funny for three reasons:
      • Brady Quinn has been a bust so far, largely sitting on the bench for much of his career.
      • One of the players he suggests people look at in his place is JaMarcus Russell, who would go on to make a solid case for "biggest draft bust of all time".
      • The article mentions that Al Davis was more interested than ever in drafting him. Davis would draft the aforementioned Russell.
    • There was once an article about then-president George W. Bush appointing someone to run the country, run well before the crux of the 2008 presidential election. Towards the end of the article, it was mentioned that the top two choices were Barack Obama and John McCain - the two men who would ultimately duel for the presidency.
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    • Bush: Our Long National Nightmare of Peace and Prosperity is Over was written immediately prior to Bush taking office, noting that Bush was going to start at least one Gulf War level conflict, cut taxes leading to a drop in spending and a worsening of the economy, followed by a tax hike which would make the economy even worse, fighting against environmental regulation and abortion rights, and trying to prevent black people from voting. This has become increasingly funny over time (or depressing, depending on your point of view).
    • The article Jack Harbaugh Admits He's Pulling for Tom Brady to Win was already funny when it ran because two of Jack's sonsnote  were coaching in the playoffs. It was made funnier when both of their respective teams won their conference championships, meaning they'd face each other in the Super Bowl.
  • Traditionally, The Daily Show (and before that Comedy Central in general) calls its coverage of the presidential elections "Indecision (Year)"... as the recounts dragged in the Bush/Gore race, Indecision 2000 just kept getting funnier and funnier.
    • Lampshaded by host Jon Stewart on November 8th - "Calling this whole thing Indecision 2000 was at first a bit of a light-hearted jab, perhaps an attempt at humour - we had no idea that people were gonna run with that. We thought we were kidding, quite frankly."
  • For his column the day after the 2000 election, humorist Dave Barry did an election result analysis, which had lots of blanks and instructions to the editor to fill them in with the winner. The joke was supposed to be that he just watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer instead of election coverage and didn't bother to find out who actually won. The way it actually turned out made it a lot funnier.
    • Dave Barry lampshaded this himself when he included that column in a book he later did.
    What follows is a series of columns I wrote for the Harold about that election. The first one, which appeared the day after Election Day, was an "analysis" of the election results. The joke was supposed to be that I wrote this analysis without knowing who the winner was. Little did I realize that this would still be a mystery weeks after the column appeared.
  • In a game of "Newsflash" on Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Colin started it off by saying "It all started with a badly timed bald joke." The rest really needs to be seen. Also Late to the Punchline: the moment came quite some time later when they were back in their seats, with Colin muttering, in part sportsmanship, part horror, "I said the bald joke thing too."
  • This Letterman sketch seems much funnier to fans of Torchwood...
  • Planet Half-Life once did an April Fools' joke announcing Half-Life 2...
  • Similarly, Kryptonsite's annual April Fool's news articles regularly foretell actual developments on Smallville. The introduction of Mr. Mxyzptlk, Pete Ross leaving, and the Lex/Lana relationship were joked about in 2004, Dean Cain appearing on the show was foretold in 2005, 2006 spoke of an episode called (and including) Bizarro, while 2007 suggested an episode called 'Kara' might introduce Supergirl to the show, while 2008's April Fools mentioned an episode called 'Legion'. In some way or another, every one of those has come true...
  • Another example of a strange convergence between real news stories and The Onion is discussed here.
  • There was a sketch on In Living Color! with Home Alone and Michael Jackson that was made in 1992, before any of the sequels were made and before Jackson's child molestation accusations came out. The dialog makes it even funnier.
  • Nevermind The Buzzcocks: When Mark Lamarr introduced guest Simon Amstell, he listed his achievements and joked "He's stealing my act!". Exactly three years later, guess who took over hosting the show...
  • Tim Clague uploaded the short video God Versus The Advertising Standards Authority about a priest being told to edit his "misleading" Christmas advert. Two weeks later, Stephen Green of Christian Voice complained to the ASA about an atheist advert on buses, apparently not realising what impact any such ruling would have on Christian adverts.
  • In 1994, Saturday Night Live puts on a sketch involving "Creator/SteveMartin's Penis Beauty Cream", featuring the line, "Just take a small amount and rub gently on the penis for several minutes up to a half-hour. You'll notice a difference right away!" Everyone laughs. About a decade later, Maxoderm hits the market, with the exact same advertising pitch.
    • Saturday Night Live also accidentally predicted the (eventual) existence of Spike TV in a sketch where fake commercials for "The Man Channel" showed nothing but cars crashing, driving off cliffs, and generally exploding at the slightest provocation in Slo Mo.
    • Then there's this sketch on the season 30 episode hosted by Tom Brady, where Seth Meyers plays Peyton Manning, who asks Tom Brady why Brady was chosen to host over Manning. The real Peyton Manning would host two seasons later.
    • The last sketch of the season 34 premiere episode hosted by Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps had a fake commercial for Michael Phelps' infamous 12,000-calorie diet that only works for him (and a cameo by Subway spokesman, Jared Fogle, who declares that the Michael Phelps' Diet "sucks a foot long"). Fast forward to the Bradley Cooper/TV on the Radio episode on February 7, 2009, where Seth Meyers does a Weekend Update joke about Michael Phelps getting busted for smoking marijuana from a bong, with the punchline, "Though, suddenly, the Michael Phelps Diet makes a lot more sense," with a photo of Michael Phelps surrounded by two stacks of pancakes (which were featured in the "Michael Phelps Diet" commercial). Fast forward further to June/July, where Subway actually had a commercial with Jared Fogle and Michael Phelps, together again. It's like a real-life Chekov's Gag.
    • "It's funny that pirates were always going around searching for treasure, and they never realized that the real treasure was the fond memories they were creating." So said Jack Handey in one of his Deep Thoughts segments. You'd be forgiven for thinking that the quote had anything to do with that One Piece manga/anime that was released later that decade.
    • Lily Tomlin hosted an early episode where the recurring puppet character Scred developed a crush on her. She awkwardly responded that being in a relationship with a puppet wouldn't be the best career move for her. One wonders nowadays if she would have responded better to a female puppet.
    • A sketch in 1995 had Ellen DeGeneres (played by The Kids in the Hall regular Mark McKinney, who was also on SNL) & Anne Heche (Chris Kattan) on Oprah Winfrey's (Tim Meadows) show talking about their relationship, with the sketch implying that Heche wasn't really a lesbian and had only become one to get fame. Seeing as what happened several years later, SNL was on the ball with this one.
    • The Mirror Digital Short. Now, when did I last see Ellen Page trapped in a dream?
    • A season 36 episode featured a fake trailer for the movie Unstoppable. Denzel Washington (played by Jay Pharoah) asks Chris Pine (played by Taran Killam), "Where'd you learn trains, huh? Thomas the Tank Engine?" Couple months later, Cartoon Network's sketch show MAD came up with their parody of Unstoppable that also had a reference to Thomas The Tank Engine (only MAD's version combined Unstoppable with Thomas The Tank Engine).
    • On the season 24 Christmas episode hosted by Alec Baldwin, Jimmy Fallon takes Baldwin on a trip to the future which depicts what SNL will be like in the year 2011 (Fallon says the episode they're visiting is from December 12, 2011, which was a Monday this year). Despite this mistake and others that stem from the fact that the show has changed its image since the 1990s (the wrought-iron alley way stage was changed to one modeled after Grand Central Station, the majority of cast members they have now are younger than the show itself [starting with Kenan Thompson], John Goodman hasn't been seen on the show since his cameo on the last episode of season 28 hosted by Dan Aykroyd, R.E.M. would break up in 2011 and hence, not be musical guests, and Don Pardo is still announcing and hasn't been replaced by a robot), the whole "Jimmy Fallon will host a future Christmas episode" deal did come true.
    • During the LeBron James episode, Jason Sudeikis' surly boom mike character Jeff challenges LeBron to a game of basketball after saying, "We shoulda got Dwayne Wade anyway. At least he's got a ring." A few years later, James and Wade would become teammates.
    • On the season 36 episode hosted by Paul Rudd, there is a sketch where Julian Assange (played by Bill Hader) sends a video threat to the world from prison. One of his lines was, "This Monday, I was arrested, proving that, for those who terrorize the United States, there's nowhere to hide. America will find you, and they will punish you — unless, of course, your name is Osama bin Laden." The last part is bolded because, eleven episodes and around six months later, it would be proven wrong.
    • During the SNL Digital Short in the Gwyneth Paltrow/Cee Lo Green episode, Andy Samberg asks Anderson Cooper if he ever "got freaky with Barbara Walters". Cooper's response is along the lines of "Are you insane?" before getting nailed in the head by Pee Wee Herman. The joke when the episode first aired was that Andy and Pee-Wee Herman were, yes, pretty much drunk and insane at the moment, but now that Cooper has revealed that he is, in fact, gay, the joke is funnier because Samberg comes off as more of an idiot than normal.
    • The fact that Seth MacFarlane would become one in a long line of SNL hCosts is funny, considering that all three of his cartoons (Family Guy, The Cleveland Show, and American Dad!) have trashed SNL and its cast members. What's really funny is that the Family Guy episode "420" (the one where Brian petitions Quahog to legalize marijuana) has a scene where Peter is so stoned that, rather than set up a cutaway joke, just shows a list of celebrities he hates. The two people on that list are Justin Timberlake (who isn't a cast member, but has hosted and cameoed enough times to at least qualify as an honorary cast member) and Andy Samberg (who actually left the show before the season 38 premiere, which is the episode that Seth MacFarlane hosted, and is now on the FOX sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine).
  • Eddie Izzard: "Everyone knows marijuana's a drug enhancement that can help you on track and field to come last in a team of "eight million other runners who are all dead." Or to win five gold medals.
    • His insistence that hopscotch is spooky Women's Mysteries that allows them to escape The Grim Reaper becomes even more funny after seeing Corpse Bride, where "hopscotch" is the return word used in a specific casting of a visit-the-world-of-the-living-until-saying-the-return-word spell.
  • MAD had a Star Trek special issue around the time of the release of Star Trek: Generations which included an introductory poem reviewing the history of the franchise up to that point: the final paragraph was devoted to wondering where the series would go from there. In particular, it wondered, "Would Worf and Sulu join up with the crew of Deep Space Nine?" Well, they got it half right...Sulu did appear on Star Trek: Voyager...
    • Even more hilariously, when the Deep Space Nine crew timetravels into a classic Star Trek episode, only one main crew member of the original Enterprise is not seen: Sulu, since he did not appear in the original episode.
    • The Generations parody also included a line about how Data hoped that in the next sequel, he'd be equipped with genitalia. Star Trek: First Contact comes along and sure enough, Data insists to the Borg Queen that he is "fully functional"...
      • Except the second episode of the series revealed he was "fully functional" already. BEFORE the parody.
      • And a TNG episode after Tasha Yar died revealed that he had been carrying on a relationship with her ever since a previous episode where the crew's behavior was being affected, and Tasha seduced Data. There again, he stated he was fully functional.
    • In Issue #235 (Dec. '82), in MAD's satire of Rocky III (called "Rockhead III"), "Rockhead Bulboa" finds himself standing nose-to-chest when he faces off against the wrestling champion. When he is again standing nose-to-chest with "Blubber Lang," he says, "If this kind of posing keeps up, I want my next match to be with Dolly Parton!" Subsequently, Sylvester Stallone starred in the movie Rhinestone, with — you guessed it — Dolly Parton.
  • Every line Angus Deayton ever read on Have I Got News for You that made fun of someone for a drug or sex scandal. YouTube commenters never miss a reference; even Ian Hislop and Paul Merton get in on it on the DVD commentary. (Paul, during a clip from the end of the first Christmas special, when a bunch of fake snow was dropped onto the set: "OH LOOK, what's all that white stuff falling on Angus?") The most infamous example: Angus asking John Simpson, after the Richard Bacon scandal, "What's your take on TV presenters doing drugs, then?"
  • In 2001 Adam and Joe spoofed a show about a family living in an Edwardian era house with a sketch about The 1980's House, where a modern family try to cope with being "reduced" to living with primitive 1980s technology. In 2009 BBC Four present 'Electric Dreams', about a family trying to live with 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s levels of technology: 'Will they get used to tech-free bedrooms and embrace life outside the home or will they miss their 21st Century electronic distractions?'. Or, as Adam put it: "People in the 'eighties had to take two bottles into the shower!".
  • In Stephen Colbert's roast of the president at the the Washington Press Corps Dinner, he had a joke about what a maverick John McCain was. That was in 2006, before McCain ran for president with that as his major slogan.
  • In Norm Mac Donald's last appearance on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, he talked about how Leno "outfoxed" Conan (Leno was starting the 10pm weeknight show before Conan at the time). A little less than a year later, it takes on more hilarity given the fact that Conan is yet again being outfoxed.
    • On the first episode of The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien, Will Ferrell told Conan to enjoy the hosting the show while he could, and this was all "fleeting at best." Actually, this might be Depressing in Hindsight.
  • Why Not Me? depicts a fictional version of the upcoming 2000 presidential election in which Al Franken becomes the Democratic nominee. He proceeds to hire an all-Jewish staff and his running mate is...Joe Lieberman. (His reasoning: he wanted to balance the ticket because "I'm Reform and he's Orthodox.") Lieberman in fact ended up being the Democratic vice-presidential candidate in 2000.
    • The fact that Al Franken is now a senator brings this one step closer to reality.
  • During the White House Press Correspondents' Dinner in 2011, Seth Meyers made a joke that Osama bin Laden went into hiding by taking up a show on political network C-SPAN. Within twenty-four hours, bin Laden was located and killed, and the joke - along with the President's reaction to it - became more infamous and awesome.
  • One of the songs on "Weird Al" Yankovic's 1984 album In 3-D is a parody of Survivor's hit "Eye of the Tiger" called "Theme from Rocky XIII (The Rye or the Kaiser)." In it, Al sings about an old, broken-down Rocky Balboa running a delicatessen. He almost got it right — in the film Rocky Balboa (sixth, not thirteenth in the franchise), Rocky is the proprietor of an Italian restaurant.
  • The French comedic duo Omar & Fred once did a sketch about an out of work person (played by Omar) going to see a scam Fortune Teller (played by Fred) to know when he will find a new job, and she(?) tells him that he will become an international movie star ("Mamadou Gibson"). Then several years later Omar received a César Award for his role in the critically acclaimed Intouchables (beating Jean Dujardin in The Artist), and then appeared in a Call of Duty: Black Ops II commercial before starring in X-Men: Days of Future Past as Bishop and in Jurassic World. It is some sort of meta-example of Not-So-Phony Psychic.
  • At the 2014 White House Correspondents Dinner, Joel McHale joked that the Kardashians were Republican "because they’re always trying to screw black people.” One year later, in her tell-all interview, Caitlyn Jenner revealed she is Republican.
  • Patton Oswalt has a routine on his 2004 debut comedy album Feelin' Kinda Patton where he refers to the US as a "giant retarded trust fund kid" who ruins other countries with their demands, including such things as demanding Disneyland wherever they go... even if they're in Paris. Three years later, he is the main star of a Pixar movie set in France... and a decade after the album's release, a ride based on that film has become one of the most popular exclusives at Disneyland Paris. And now that the Paris-only ride was announced in 2017 to be "invading" the US's own EPCOT...
    • His bit explaining how NPR is unlistenable gives us this gem: "The Tibetian practice of scream-singing rightfully died out in the 4th century BC, but 2 Berkeley trust fund students revived it, and here's a 40 minute sample: AAAH AAH AAAAH!" Come 2015, sure as can be, Belgian theater company Ontroeren Goed puts out Sirens, a play composed primarily of scream singing.
    • Also from Feelin' Kinda Patton, Oswalt does a bit about film producer Robert Evans doing promotional ads for ESPN Radio and rambling about the weird things he's seen in the industry before just barely tying it into sports. One such anecdote begins with Evans saying, "Tom Wopat loved the three F's: food, fun, and fisting." When Wopat was arrested on indecent assault charges in 2017 for sticking a finger up a woman's butt, Oswalt couldn't believe it.
  • Jack McBrayer's routine in the 2012 Just for Laughs festival, in which he reads entries from his childhood diary, "or, as boys call it, a journal." Entries include:
    • 1985: Listened to Michael Jackson's "We Are the World" and though "He is such a good singer, and so good with kids" (also counts as a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment due to the molestation charges that would ruin him, though the fact that he was found not guilty does make it funny, but it still kind of hurts).
    • 1997: While on vacation in Paris, sees Princess Diana in the next car. "Mom is chasing her so I can take a picture. Oh. Oh."
    • 2004: Tina Fey sends him a copy of the script for 30 Rock, which sounded good, but he was more interested in Matt Le Blanc's new sitcom Joey.
    • 2008: Meets Tiger Woods and thinks "He's so much like me. A very nice guy and shy around the ladies."
    • 2012: Gets invited to Alec Baldwin's wedding ceremony, and decides to surprise him by bringing some photographers.
      • That last one he tore out and said "To the graveyard." In another reading, he says "I will burn this immediately."
  • Mitch Hedberg joked about being a stubborn McDonald's owner that had restaurants that served spaghetti instead of hamburgers and cheeseburgers. In The New '10s, spaghetti was added to the menus of some McDonald's restaurants in the Philippines.
  • In his 2009 comedy special Weapons of Self Destruction, Robin Williams has an entire monologue about the Roman Catholic church. First, he notes that as pope, "They don't retire the jersey like Magic Johnson, you stay in the chair till the bitter end." Pope John Paul II's successor, Pope Benedict XVI would, in fact, step down from the papacy in February 2013, becoming the first in nearly 600 years to do so. He also mentions how after Pope John Paul II died in 2005 that he hoped the next pope would be South American or Latin-American, one who would really win back people to the church. In March 2013, Pope Benedict XVI's successor, Pope Francis, became the first South American pope, and has indeed inspired people to such a degree that he got named Time Magazine's "Person of the Year" of 2013.
  • Bill Hicks' whole bit about Billy Ray Cyrus seems even funnier these days.
    • Denis Leary was once friends with Hicks until Leary released his album No Cure For Cancer, making Hicks feel Leary stole his material. Hicks died of pancreatic cancer.
    • George Carlin's already funny rant about airport security from You Are All Diseased came out in 1999. That is, before 9/11. After 9/11 and the recent increase in airport security to the point of public outrage, this bit will likely cause at least one death from hilarity.
    • Hicks's comments regarding Rick Astley also apply easily to Justin Bieber today.
  • During his "No Cure for Cancer" routine, Denis Leary joked about writing a self-help book called "Shut the Fuck Up, By Dr. Denis Leary". 10 or so years later, he would receive an honorary doctorate, allowing him to legitimately attach the name "Dr. Denis Leary" to a book, which was not entitled Shut The Fuck Up, but rather Why We Suck. Though it used the same tone as the comedy routine implied it would.
  • During the Monica Lewinsky hearings, Chris Rock had a bit assailing Newt Gingrich as unattractive and accusing him of attacking Bill Clinton out of jealousy. He ended the bit by saying "Can you picture Gingrich saying 'I wish these ho's would back up off me and let a player play'." Considering the revelations that Gingrich was having an affair while persecuting Clinton and has had multiple affairs in the past, this bit fits this trope like a glove.
  • Bob Saget and his remark about how Full House "gave him Tourette's" does count.
  • Seth Meyers at the 2011 White House Corespondents' Dinner making jokes about Osama bin Laden. Little did anyone who wasn't Barack Obama or a member of his staff know that the very next day... The joke in question is at 2:05 in this video of Seth's standup. Note Obama's reaction to the joke: in retrospect, his face seems to be saying "That joke is going to be even funnier in about 48 hours."


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