Monday, January 05, 2009

Favorite Stand Up Comics

Thinking about stand up comics this week, and I decided to make it into a separate category. I really admire stand up comics -- it seems like a really hard job, but I really admire how amazingly low tech it is. Just storytelling, basically.

Eddie Izzard

Dylan Moran

Bill Bailey

Ron White

Mike Birbiglia

Patton Oswalt

Kevin James (no. really. King of Queens is terrible, but he is really good).

Jim Gaffigan

Daniel Tosh

Jim David

Stephen Wright

Mitch Hedberg

Maria Bamford -- check out The Maria Bamford show on YouTube.


Christian said...

Wheres Hicks or Carlin?

Ultimate Matt said...

George Carlin, far and away my favorite of all time. Nobody else even comes close. I'm actually surprised you don't have him on yours, Geoff, because of how much of his stuff is about language, words & their meanings/contexts. Eddie Murphy, Daniel Tosh, Demitri Martin, Rodney Dangerfield, and Mitch Hedburgh are all on the list somewhere, in some order. Mitch is probably second.

Marc Caputo said...

I love Dane Cook's "Retaliation" and "Harmful if Swallowed". Yes, he's a frat boy and I'm 42, but there's something about his absurdity that I love.

To further show my age, I still laugh hysterically to Andrew Dice Clay's "The Day the Laughter Died" and Robin Harris' "Be-Be's Kids".

Geoff Klock said...

I need to re-watch Carlin. It has been a long while Hicks, though recommended by almost everyone I know, I never really understood.

sara d. reiss said...

Geoff and I were just talking about this post, as I introduced him to a lot of the guys on this list (tho he gets all the credit for Eddie Izzard, who sort of got us together, really) and how it is not only all GUYS, but all WHITE guys. Hmmm

to this list I would add Bernie Mac, (his set on Original Kings of Comedy is to me by far the best) and as for women, there haven't been too many new female comedians (disclaimer: I don't watch a lot of new comedy nor do I go to comedy clubs so i don't have a lot of opportunity to be exposed to any) however I can name a few women from when I was younger: Judy Tenuda, Paula Poundstone and Ellen DeGeneres. I love Paula on NPR's wait, wait! still, but I don't watch Ellen's talk show and whatever happened to Judy?

Oh, and I also loved early Margaret Cho, when it was comedy central friendly.

lastly: I was a huge fan of BET's Comic View. I don't know why. I grew up in a mostly white suburb in the middle of long island, not in the "pjs" in the BX. yet still I found that show to be fucking hilarious and really really sharp. I miss it.

Geoff Klock said...

Oh! Paula Poundstone and Judy Tunada. "Friends are just enemies who don't have the guts to kill you." Genius.

scott91777 said...

Stephen Wright, Jerry Seinfeld, Mitch Hedberg, Eddie Izzard,Steve Martin, early Robin Williams, George Carlin, Bill Cosby (I grew up with the Bill Cosby-Himself special and my dad's copy of the 'A Very Funny Fellow' record)Dave Chapelle, Chris Rock, Patton Oswald, Brian Posehn (sp?), Janeane Garofolo, Zac Galafanakis... I'm sure I could go on if I really thought about it... and there is actually a comedy club that I go to every week... where there are a lot of really great people who come through but, me being me, I can never remember their names.

sara d. reiss said...

I also grew up with (a beta-max copy) of Bill Cosby-Himself. It's a Reiss-family staple that's already been passed on to the next generation of kids.

Dave Chapelle is hilarious but I feel bad when I watch his stuff, particularly his show cos of his freak out and stuff...

Jason said...

With my all-time favorite show being "Dr. Katz," I don't really have a list of favorite stand-up comedians so much as I do favorite "patients" ...

Among my favorite guys on the couch:

Andy Kindler: ("A guy said to me the other day, 'My friend says he makes $100,000 a year. Even if he's lying he's making $75,000!' I love it. This guy will buy anyone's premise, just knock it down 25 per cent. 'This guy on the bus told me he's Jesus Christ. Even if he's lying, he's John the Baptist!'")

Fred Stoller: ("I hate when people give me cliched advice to cheer me up. One person said to me, 'Cheer up, tomorrow is another day.' Oh, really? I didn't know that! I saw stores closing, the sun going down, I thought this was it! You mean there's MORE???")

Eddie Brill: ("Why are there commercials for the Yellow Pages? You can't go to the store and buy them -- there aren't Yellow Page kiosks in the mall. We don't even know when they're coming. One day they just show up at your door, and those are your Yellow Pages.")

Al Lubel: ("I'm 30 years old. In ten years, I'll be 40. You might say, 'Oh, that's ten whole years away.' But ten is not a lot. Have you ever held up your hands and looked at your fingers and said, 'So many!'?")

Man, I love that show!

liam said...

if you like stephen wright, i would add dimitri martin to the mix:

Stefan Delatovic said...

Paul Mooney's "Know Your History: Jesus was black, and so was Cleopatra" is fantastic, and not just because it has the best name of anything ever.

scott91777 said...

I do indeed like Dmitri Martin... but he's fairly new... these are my 'all time favorites'


Don't feel bad about Dave... he would be the first to tell you that his 'freak out' was made up to be much more than it seemed. In fact, the hole point of him taking the break and walking when he did was to avoid something really catastrophic happening later. Basically, he chose his own sanity and integrity over lots and lots of money... well played Dave.

Fnord Serious said...

I love good standup but I never seek it out. Favorites list: Cosby, Carlin, Stephen Wright, Izzard, Patton Oswald. I'm hoping one of these days that Oswald will release a super-insidery EP packed with comic book gags, given what a fan he is of the medium. Hedberg was great but not around long enough for me to really get into his stuff. Need to check out Hicks one of these days. I love other guys like Steve Martin & Chapelle, but have never heard any of their standup & so can't include them on the list. Tom Katers would probably be on there if he ever gave up podcasting for the stage. I just love that dry humor.

Darius Kazemi said...

Jonathan Katz. Fucking brilliant standup.

"When I'm driving here I see a sign that says, CAUTION: SMALL CHILDREN PLAYING. I slow down, and then it occurs to me: I'm not afraid of small children."

"We don't think our 17-year-old daughter is ready for the pill, so we've been slipping her a placebo."

sara d. reiss said...

two of my most favorite jokes from Dr. Katz are from Dave Attell:
on eggnog: "it's like I want to get drunk, but I also want pancakes"

on opera: "look how much money it takes to bore ME"

Matthew J. Brady said...

I think all my favorites have been mentioned already. Mitch Hedberg was my favorite, but after he died, I would say probably Patton Oswalt. But I also really like Jim Gaffigan and Dmitri Martin. And there are the classics, like Chris Rock, Dave Chapelle, Jerry Seinfeld, Steven Wright, George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Bill Hicks; they almost all go without saying. There are probably a few others that I see on Comedy Central or doing a few minutes on a late night talk show, but I can't think of too many that I liked enough to memorize their names.

My wife really likes Lisa Lampinelli, but I think she's mostly just really dirty.

Jason said...

Dave Attell! Yeah! One of my favorites lines of his actually comes right after the "pancakes" line, when he suddenly becomes extremely hostile: "Egg nog sucks and so do you, Dr. Katz!"

Streebo said...

Please add Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, Bill Hicks and David Cross.

Darius Kazemi said...

Streebo: I hate to say it, but as much as I *love* David Cross (you are lookin' at a huge Mr. Show fan here), he is not really super-skilled at standup. He's very good, but a guy like Patton Oswalt wipes the floor with him when it comes to engaging an audience, telling a story, etc.