Even though they’ve gone to great pains to emphasize that Very Short Treks is not canon, Holiday Party could be canon… almost. The canonical Spock understands the humanoid condition too well enough to commit this kind of faux pas. but apart from that, Spock’s unfortunate misunderstanding of schadenfreude humor having upsetting consequences could well be a side plot on Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.
When Spock attempts to assemble a blooper reel for a First Contact Day party, things go awry as he begins with a gory transporter accident. He then proceeds to footage of the destruction of the USS Europa by the Klingon cleave ship from the beginning of Discovery, including Saru’s solemn prayer for the fallen.
As his crewmates look on horrified, an ‘in memoriam section plays under silly music. Everything about this is funny, from Spock’s obliviousness to the look of horror on his colleagues’s faces, to the silly music going on longer than you’d expect, to Uhura’s instantly iconic deadpan line “blooper reels shouldn’t have an ‘in memoriam section.”
Some of the best comedy feels vaguely like something you shouldn’t be laughing at.
In the end, Spock finally gets one right, with a video of a crewman slipping on a wet floor, and falling crotch-first into a broom handle The line “the ensign hurt his genitals but did not die, therefore it is funny” is Simpson-esque in its quotability.
Too bad George C. Scott isn’t around for the live-action remake.