Think back to the last few videos you watched online.
How many of them had funny animals?
What about funny babies?
Funny videos are fun to watch, and they become popular quickly because so many people love them.
But did you know that watching funny videos can actually help you learn English better?
Of course, watching silly sneezing pandas won’t help you much (unless you take some time afterwards to write about the video)!
But watching the right kinds of English videos can help you…
- Learn correct pronunciation.
- Learn new words.
- Learn how to speak casually.
- Learn about different English-speaking cultures.
- Have fun learning!
So start watching funny English videos, and you’ll be learning without even realizing it!
Where and How to Find Funny English Videos
Thanks to the Internet, it’s easier than ever to find the videos you want.
Here are a few great places to find funny English videos:
- YouTube and Vimeo: YouTube and Vimeo are two of the better-known websites for uploading your own videos. There are so many videos here that it can be easy to get distracted—so try focusing on just a few channels to start. Check out Ryan Higa’s channel for his funny takes on celebrities, how-to videos and his own life.
- TED: TED talks are known for being amazing inspirational talks about technology, science and the world around us. But inspiration doesn’t have to be serious. Many of the talks use humor to make their point. Here’s a list of some of the funniest TED talks.
- Subscription services: Monthly subscription services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime are great places to find English-language movies, TV comedies and even stand-up comedy shows. For instance, Hulu now streams all the episodes of “Seinfeld.” Netflix has great funny movies. Check out “The Trip” and learn English with humor while exploring British culture.
- FluentU: Why stop to look up new words when you can just see the definitions as you watch? FluentU is a great source of funny videos, like this one that plays with words and tongue twisters.
Unlike traditional language learning sites, FluentU uses a natural approach that helps you ease into the English language and culture over time. You’ll learn English as it’s spoken in real life.
FluentU has a variety of engaging content from popular talk shows, nature documentaries and funny commercials, as you can see here:
FluentU makes it really easy to watch English videos. There are captions that are interactive. That means you can tap on any word to see an image, definition and useful examples.
For example, when you tap on the word "searching," you'll see this:
Learn all the vocabulary in any video with quizzes. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning.
The best part is that FluentU keeps track of the vocabulary that you’re learning and gives you extra practice with difficult words. It even reminds you when it’s time to review! Every learner has a truly personalized experience, even if they’re learning with the same video.
You can start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, by downloading the app from the iTunes or Google Play stores.
Now that you know where to find funny videos, you can start looking for the kind of humor you enjoy. You won’t find everything funny! That’s because humor is cultural and personal.
Every culture and every person has a different idea of what’s funny. This is one of the best reasons to learn English with humor. Understanding English humor means that you understand English-speaking cultures and English vocabulary well enough to find it funny.
Another reason to learn with funny videos is that things are easier to remember when they’re funny. There have been a number of scientific studies (like this one from 2014) that show that laughing and having a sense of humor make your brain work better.
Below, we’ll look at six different types of funny videos that are especially good for learning English. There are a couple videos to start you off for each one. Just be aware that some of the videos contain rude language and may not be appropriate for younger learners.
So let’s have a giggle. You’re about to start laughing and learning!
6 Kinds of Funny English Videos That Make Learning English Hilarious
When you watch videos online, you often skip the best parts—commercials! Many commercials use humor to sell a product, in a way that’s supposed to be clear for everyone watching.
Commercials are an important part of English-speaking culture. Many Americans look forward to watching new commercials that are shown during the Super Bowl (the yearly championship game for the National Football League). Some people even look forward to the commercials more than the actual football game!
Funny commercials play with words and phrases. They have to get their message across in a short amount of time. Sometimes, they try to go for the biggest “punch line” (the funny part of a joke) by using the fewest number of words. So listen for the way words are used in commercials. The people making the commercials spent a long time figuring out the perfect words to use. Try to think about why they chose the words they did.
Videos of commercials to watch:
“Top 10 Funniest Super Bowl Commercials”
Many Americans gather around their TVs every year to watch… commercials! Can you understand what makes these commercials funny?
“Want to Feel Rich?”
This ad pokes fun at the things rich people say and how they say them, like the word “endives” (which is a type of vegetable).
2. Movie clips
Watching full funny movies is a great way to learn English. If you don’t have the time for a full movie, though, you can always just watch the funniest parts!
To learn English through comedy, you can choose a movie you’ve watched, and watch the funny parts again. That way, you already know and understand what the jokes are.
Comedy can be a little tricky to understand in English movies, but in this video from the FluentU English YouTube channel, we make it simple to learn:
If you enjoyed this video, feel free to subscribe to the FluentU YouTube channel.
You can also choose famous funny lines from movies you have not watched. This way, you can better understand references to them you might hear in conversation.
However you decide to do it, you can use movie clips to focus on a few lines at a time.
Videos of movie clips to watch:
“The Pink Panther” clip
In this video, you can watch the inspector from “The Pink Panther” try to learn proper English pronunciation. The exaggerated (overdone) movements of his lips and face make it easy to see why his pronunciation is incorrect. Seeing what not to do can help you with your own pronunciation!
This video is made up of a lot of different clips from one movie. It has a lot of “gags” (obvious humor shown visually or said in just one line). Try to understand them all! (This video may contain inappropriate or “adult” humor.)
3. Funny raps
Even if you don’t listen to rap music, you can enjoy some of the funny rap videos found online. Rap is a great learning tool because it uses lots of vocabulary and phrases that might be used in everyday life. There are also many cultural and pop references you can learn through rap.
You’ll probably need to listen to rap videos more than once to understand them. Try writing down the words, and even rapping along once you know the song. This will help you improve your pronunciation. You’ll also learn where word and sentence stresses go.
“The Epic Rap Battles of History” video below is from a series that puts famous historical and fictional (made up or not real) people into “rap battles” against each other. These videos are fast-paced and full of information about history and popular culture.
Videos of raps to watch:
ERB: “Romeo and Juliet vs. Bonnie and Clyde”
This rap battle puts two couples against each other. Romeo and Juliet speak in a very old-style, Shakespearean (from the time of the English writer William Shakespeare) way. Bonnie and Clyde—two American outlaws from the early 1900s—speak very differently. Notice how they pronounce things, and the type of language they use!
“The Parent Rap”
What’s it like to be a parent? These parents share their experience through a hilarious rap that any parent (or non-parent) can relate to.
Skits are like short funny plays. They usually focus on just one idea or joke, and play with it to make it as funny as possible. You may have seen skits before: “Saturday Night Live” is famous for their well-written ones, and “Monty Python” is a legendary (very famous and admired) British skit show.
Since there aren’t usually any special effects and the setting is one place, skits usually focus on the words and the joke. This makes them great for learning English. Some make fun of current events and famous people, and understanding them is a great accomplishment!
Videos of skits to watch:
“Silly Job Interview”
“Monty Python” has many famous skits. In this one, a man is having an interview for a job, but keeps getting interrupted by the interviewer’s strange manners. It’s a good thing real interviews aren’t like that!
“Scenes from a Hat”
This clip is from the show “Whose Line Is It, Anyway?” A group of comedians are given some ideas, and they have to improvise (think of on the spot, without practicing ahead of time) very short funny reactions on the topic. (This clip may contain some rude language!)
5. Late night shows
American television has a type of show called “late night shows.” These are shows that come on, as you might have guessed, late at night. They feature a host who gives funny talks about current events, then meets with celebrities and interviews them about their lives or current projects.
Most of these shows have a monologue in the beginning. This is a part where the host talks for a while on his own. These monologues are great for learning English, because they talk about culture and things that are happening right now, in a way that makes them fun and funny.
Understanding the monologues means you know what’s going on in American culture and even world news. So before you watch late night shows, try reading about the day’s news. You’ll be learning English, learning about English-language culture and having fun with humor all at the same time!
Videos of late night shows to watch:
Ellen DeGeneres monologue
In this monologue, Ellen shares facts and jokes about the famous American musician Cher. If you don’t already know about Cher, this is like a crash course in American pop culture!
Craig Ferguson monologue
Here, Craig talks a bit about Arnold Schwarzenegger and the way the actor-turned-politician pronounces things. Craig has his own interesting accent, so listen out for it! (This clip contains some rude language.)
6. Examples of bad English
You don’t just learn English from good examples—you can learn a lot from bad examples, too! Some videos use bad English on purpose, to make a joke or a point. One great exercise you can do with these is correct them. Can you fix the English until it’s not bad anymore?
If you don’t have the time to correct the full videos, you can just try and understand what makes the English “bad.” What is the speaker doing wrong?
Videos of bad English to watch:
“Funny English Learning Class”
There’s so much wrong here we don’t even know where to begin! Most of the speaking is done by an English teacher, who mixes up his sayings, uses the wrong words and uses literal statements that don’t actually make sense in English. For example, “again time” should be “next time.”
“Your Grammar Sucks”
Many comments online don’t use correct grammar or spelling. Here, Jack makes fun of comments with poor English by reading them out loud exactly the way they’re written—a great way to see why the English is incorrect. (May contain some rude language!)
What kind of humor do you enjoy the most out of all of these?
Find the perfect combination of learning and having fun, and learning English will become much easier for you!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn English with real-world videos.