I’ve become a pretty big fan of Smosh’s three YouTube channels (Smosh, Smosh Pit and Smosh Games) in recent months, with one of my favourite recurring series being the Try Not to Laugh challenge. This series sees one or more of the cast sit in a chair whilst others try and make them laugh. It’s a very popular series, with 81 episodes posted as of the writing of this feature. Certain recurring Smosh characters have either debuted in the TNTL videos or have jumped over from other parts of the Smosh continuity in order to draw a laugh. Today, in no particular order, I will be looking at five of my personal favourites. How about you share your own favourites in the comment section?
Up first we’ve got Boneless………, a survivor of an apocalyptic event who now wanders through the wastelands with their crab claws pondering if the nuclear rain tastes like cinnamon. Portrayed by Courtney Miller, Boneless……… remains an enduring and popular character due to just how thoroughly odd they are. Whether it’s the weird, gravelly voice, the fact the character always pauses for an inordinate amount of time after saying their name, or the fact that pieces of them literally fall off sometimes, Boneless……… never fails to draw a smile from me and has claimed many a laughing victim over the years on Try Not to Laugh. I’ve never bought a Fallout game in my life, but if they gave this character a cameo in the next one, then I think I’d consider doing so for the first time.
The Burger Man
The Burger Man comes to us courtesy of Damien Haas, a thoroughly entertaining man who has portrayed an all-star team of characters over the years on Try Not to Laugh. The Burger Man combines two of Damien’s best attributes, his ability to do a number of voices/accents and his penchant to come from way out of leftfield with some of his joke/character ideas. The concept of The Burger Man is pretty straightforward: He reads known copyrighted poetry in a weird voice whilst claiming that he wrote it himself. What makes it so gosh darn funny though is the way Damien performs the whole thing, with his mixture of voice work and facial expressions being absolutely on point. Trust me, if you’re taking part in Try Not to Laugh, then The Burger Man is a one way ticket to Laughsville.
The topic of mental illness normally isn’t one that you can derive much comedy from for obvious reasons, but I’ll be darned if Tommy Bones doesn’t manage it with this character. Sporting a frankly ludicrous outfit and vaguely quasi-European accent, Tommy’s absurd character manages to get the balance right between still being funny whilst also not poking direct fun at anybody, which is not an easy thing to do. It helps if you happen to be really talented and funny already though. This is one of those Try Not to Laugh characters that skirts the line but manages to land on the right side of acceptable when all was said and done, whilst also being hilarious to boot.
Weary Traveller/The Dumpster Wizard
So, looking to write an article about Try Not to Laugh characters, eh? The Dumpster Wizard has actually shown up in other parts of the Smosh Universe, with Shayne Robert Topp sporting a hat, wig, flute pipe and old timer voice to create an unforgettable character. Topp is probably the best overall performer of the Smosh crew, with The Dumpster Wizard putting those acting muscles to good use every time he’s onscreen. Topp’s ability to portray a frail, crazed old man is super impressive, and the character is a formidable one for any Try Not to Laugh player to come up against.
Jacklyn Uweh is one of the newer members of the Smosh crew, and she’s quickly become exceedingly popular due to her combination of talent and likability. This recurring gag is so very simple yet ultimately effective due to just how Jacklyn nails the delivery each time. It’s not only stood the test of time but also one that other Smosh casts members have lifted to use themselves, which strikes me as the ultimate compliment!
The Urban Dictionary defines “The Fitzgerald Scale” as “A scale used to measure the awkwardness of a situation. The Fitzgerald Scale is divided into ten subunits, called ‘Geralds’. Each Gerald is in turn divided into ten Subgeralds, which gives 100 possible levels of awkwardness. One Gerald is a commonly awkward level, where a ten Gerald situation would be a scarring event.”
Man, the atmosphere of that party was off the Fitzgerald Scale when we decided to leave