I’m not sure if spit takes were ever actually very common on television or if they became infamous without being ubiquitous. But I feel like they were common! I would find it hard to believe that I have seen so many by only watching what I happen to love. So my question is, where are they now?
They are a decent enough comedy tool, great if executed well. You’d have some trouble finding a cartoon without one, I think. But it’s more rare, or seems that way, to see a live human spraying their drink out in laughter.
The perfect spit take, like most comedy, is all about timing. If you’ve ever tried to do one irl on purpose, you may be aware of how hard it is to perfectly time a fake spit take. It will also look a lot more like you’re just spitting, probably.
In any case, like many difficult things, you’ll have better luck just watching it on television or in movies. Here’s a delightful collection thanks to someone on Youtube, featuring some iconic and hilarious spit takes:
Perhaps our last iconic live-action spit take, or just my favorite, is this true to life scene from Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. This is from the very first episode, but it featured Larry David, so it was also the best. It’s also good to know that saying the word “debauched” will induce this in Larry. (If the YouTube doesn’t skip to the laugh for you, it’s over at 1:11.)
Which brings us to Sneer Campaign, bringin’ it on back. Our laugh is pretty much already a spit take. They didn’t start out this way, but laughs evolve much like slang. You hear your friends giggle, and your chortle gets tinier. You hear your friends Spongebob-esque laugh, and suddenly your whole friend group sounds more cartoonish. Well one of us, at some point, started to laugh like Larry does up there.
You can hear it from rooms away, the pffffff of a hysterical sneerist. Just pray they aren’t having some coffee.