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Favorite Standup Comedians


Rune
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So who are you current favorite standups?

 

I can list a bunch, and I don't really have a rank but Jimmy Norton is my #1.

 

Following that in no particular order and I'm probably forgeting some, Patton Oswalt, Eugene Mirman, Patrice O'neal, Brian Posehn, Zack Galifinakis, Louis CK, Rich Vos, Lewis Black, Doug Benson, Bill Burr, George Carlin(he's slipping fast though), Bobby Kelly, Dave Attell, Dane Cook, and Colin Quinn.

 

I'll probably add some on later, because I am forgetting some. I'm really looking forward to the Opie and Anthony traveling virus tour when it stops in Camden. Look at this lineup

 

Bob Saget

Jimmy Shubert

Jim Norton

Dom Irrera

Bob Kelly

Bill Burr

Ralphie May

Patrice Oneal

Rich Vos

Tracy Morgan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, I forgot Ant :plain

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I'm going to be honest, most stand-up comedy today is formulaic as hell and the "art" itself, the work that goes into the material, is a joke. Most stand-ups today don't even have to be funny anymore. Yeah, sounds like a typical, "Buckeye being negative again," post, but there's a reason for it.

 

I am a snob when it comes to movies, I'm a snob when it comes to stand-up. If the stand-up is doing material I could do, if it's not original, if it's not the kind of thing that at least, on some level, CHALLENGES the audience member to think, on some level, if it's just, "You know what I hate? Going into McDondalds for breakfast bar at 10:35 and it closes at 10:30! I mean come on!" Observational humor is okay when you're hanging on a couch getting high with some friends, but when I'm paying to see a guy, I need a little more...

 

Without adieu, my list:

 

1. Lenny Bruce- Easily the greatest Jewish comic ever. And he didn't just do that, "Hey, check out this Jew humor," but he also really paved the way for free speech, George Carlin, Bill Hicks and even Richard Pryor. The guy just does some really good stories about race, creed, religion and challenges every audience member's belief (so much so that he was known for getting into arguments with his audience, at times and getting arrested for content).

 

2. Bill Hicks- I would argue he's the true heir to Bruce's legacy and the most willing to embrace it. Face it, many comics who MADE IT, in the early 90's were doing watered down, washed-up versions of Bill Hick's bits and Dennis Leary wouldn't have had a career if there was no Hicks for him to steal from. Notorious for pissing on traditional beliefs and challenging the status quo, he set the stage for the sex, drugs and rock and roll lifestyle that Sam Kinison would take over the edge. Unforunately, he was also a self-fulfilling prophet: "You know, I'm worried about doing smoking jokes in my act and then, fifteen years from now being... (puts mic to neck, does robotic voice) "Good evening everybody."" He would die of cancer in the mid-nineties.

 

3. George Carlin- Inherited the free-speech fight from Bruce and ran with it for a number of years. Although, I much prefer his early to middle career, because he's been known to just get by on name sometimes, he's an old pro and capable of being in your face and walking the razor's edge of between humor and the offensive.

 

4. Red Foxx- Different era of comic, definitely more of a short materials guy, but probably the most naturally funny comic. His whole delivery style is so stripped down and straightforward...

 

5. David Cross- From the Carlin and Hicks school of stand-up. Was doing 9/11 material (his own experience in New York and the state of the country at that time) not even a year after the event and getting people to find the humor in people at that time (he does a bit about a gay guy rollerskating with a gas mask on that is just... MWAH, I love it). Does a lot of pop commentary as well as social commentary as well.

 

6. Whoopi Goldberg- In order to make it she had to be raunchier than the guys she was performing with/against. One of the few females to make my list (don't even get me started on females on stand-up) and eventually her stand-up would go in a more performance art direction and she would become the lesser half of the Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg team.

 

7. Fred Willard- He's campy as hell and yet able to make it work. An impromptu performer who can just talk off the top of his head (his improved line: "WHA' HAPPAN!?" in A Mighty Wind was a show stealer and I ended up repeating it weeks after viewing). He's done a lot of awful stuff on Late Night, but he's also done a lot of work I've come to appreciate. Plus, he is the prototype of Mid-Western weirdness.

 

8. Kevin Pollack- I'm not an impressions guy, but Pollacks pulls it off in spades. The BEST Christopher Walken and William Shatner in the business. And his material is no slouch either. Great guy, does awesome impressions.

 

9. Chris Rock- Probably could have been/should have been higher on my list. When Chris Rock is on he is the funniest man in the business today. However, it seems like he takes long breaks from doing stand-up to do tv and movies (Pootie Tang is a classic). But, definitely does some all-time classic material.

 

10. Andy Kaufman- His off-the-wall humor would pave the way for Paul Ruebens and the Pee-Wee Herman show as well as Ali G. Great original, yet gimmicky, material that could ease a sense of childlike wonder from even the hardiest of audiences (some memorable bits include singing only "Here I come to save the day" from the entire Mighty Mouse theme, reading the Great Gatsby to his audience and pretending to be a struggling, english as a second language, foreign language hack comedian).

 

Honorable mentions: Sarah Silverman, Dennis Leary (I admit it, he stole material, but he's also a funny guy on occasion), Richard Pryor and Robin Williams.

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Mitch Hedberg

Dane Cook

Jim Gaffigan

Patrice O'Neal

Greg Giraldo

Bill Cosby

Chris Rock

Cedric the Entertainer

Bernie Mac

Lewis Black

 

Pretty much the basics. Those are in no particular order. I've seen Cosby, Giraldo, O'Neal and Cook live.

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