For casual fans of The X-Files, the show is all about aliens, conspiracy theories, and the nefarious Cigarette Smoking Man. But many of the show's "Monster of the Week" episodes, meaning the ones not centered on the alien mythology, are actually really funny. Since it's The X-Files, the humor is macabre, deadpan, and downright bizarre - comedy that could come from the mind of Fox Mulder himself.
Most of the show's most beloved comedy episodes were written by Darin Morgan and Vince Gilligan. Morgan penned the first comedic episode, "Humbug," in the show's second season. He wrote a total of six episodes for the series, and they're all basically instant classics. Before Vince Gilligan created Breaking Bad, he penned some of the best comedic episodes of The X-Files, including the fan-favorite "Bad Blood" from Season 5. David Duchovny also contributed to the show's comedic side with "Hollywood A.D." in Season 7.
Huge X-Files fans have known for years: this show is secretly a comedy.
Gillian Anderson often cites "Bad Blood" as her favorite episode of The X-Files, and it's easy to see why. After Mulder accidentally slays a teenager who was posing as a vampire, Mulder and Scully each tell their version of the events leading up to the incident. It's a hilarious look at how the partners view each other's quirks, and neither paints a flattering picture.
One of the episode's best running gags is how Mulder and Scully remember Sheriff Hartwell (Luke Wilson). In Scully's version of the story, he's a charming dreamboat with a Southern drawl. In Mulder's version, he's got huge teeth, an exaggerated accent, and not a lot of brains. Who's right about the sheriff's looks? Scully, of course.
Written by Vince Gilligan, "Small Potatoes" features amazing performances from both David Duchovny and guest star Darin Morgan. After five babies in Martinsburg, WV, are born with tails, Mulder and Scully arrive to investigate. They discover all five children have the same father, the shapeshifter Eddie Van Blundht (Morgan).
Mulder and Scully are at peak teamwork in this episode, and their banter is great. As our favorite FBI agents piece together the details of the case, Mulder asks if Scully wants to hear his theory. "Van Blundht somehow physically transformed into his captor then walked out the door, leaving no one the wiser?" she responds. "Boy, Scully, should we be picking out china patterns or what?" he says, sending millions of shipper hearts soaring.
Oh, and later in the episode, Van Blundht poses as Mulder and tries to put the moves on Scully. He's just about to kiss her when the real Mulder bursts through the door. Awkward.
Thriller novelist Jose Chung (Charles Nelson Reilly) is writing a book about alien abductions and UFOs, and he interviews Scully about a stranger-than-usual alien abduction case she and Mulder investigated in Klass County, WA.
The bizarre details of the case are recounted throughout the episode - it involves multiple alien species, hypnosis, Men in Black (played by Jesse Ventura and Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek), and more. At one point, Chung interviews a teenager named Blaine, who searches for UFOs and claims he found an alien body that was recovered by Mulder, Scully, and a detective working the case. The best part of the interview? Blaine describes Mulder as completely emotionless, except for one shriek when he sees the alien body. If nothing else in this episode makes you laugh, Mulder's little shriek will get you.
Clyde Bruckman (Peter Boyle) can see how people are going to die. It definitely helps with his job as a life insurance salesman, but in general, his psychic ability leaves him pretty upset and overwhelmed. Mulder and Scully meet Bruckman during an investigation into the slayings of fortune tellers and psychics, and he reluctantly gets involved in the case.
Mulder is excited to meet someone with psychic abilities, but his questions only annoy the world-weary Bruckman. To shut Mulder up (or just have a little fun with him), Bruckman casually mentions that auto-erotic asphyxiation is one of the most undignified ways to perish. "Why are you telling me that?" Mulder asks. "Forget I mentioned it, it's none of my business," Bruckman replies. That's just one example of the perfectly dark humor of "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose."