Who are the best comedians?
April 20, 2021 at 2:57 am #37218
Sadly (or gladly, I suppose) most Americans probably have never heard of Jimmy Carr.
He’s what most comedy buffs would call an insult comic.
His specialty is roasting the audience.April 20, 2021 at 4:51 am #37219
Most of my Jimmy Carr exposure is from 8 out of 10 Cats does Countdown and the Big Fat Quiz(es). I prefer him in those settings to his standup. That said, I know he puts a lot of work and thought into charting what works for audiences, where to push and hold back. I do have respect for the level of craft he puts in and can’t really deny he’s earned recognition.
I’ve always been more in the vein of Eddie Izzard and James Acaster. I can imagine they may be grating for some, but I like the really delayed payoff for some of the jokes, and how some of the funniest jokes are delivered almost as throwaway lines.
I enjoy watching Deanne Smith. She doesn’t make me laugh as hard as certain other comics, but there is an endearing quality that draws me into her routine. Mae Martin is similar. If I were going to see a live show, I’d rather see these two over the two I mentioned before, though I probably find James the funniest. I guess it’s that intangible aspect of what makes something entertainment.
Lately I’ve been watching Joe Lycett. For him it’s the overall personality that does it for me.
Mitch Hedberg… I wonder what would have become of him had he not died.
My favourite comedian is Richard Ayoade.
A comedian I didn’t really appreciate until much later in life: Andy Kaufman. Can’t say he didn’t push boundaries, uncomfortably so.
I dunno. There are so many comedians who have brought interesting things to the table. There are some I loved in the past, but am not really running back to in part because I don’t know how well the material would have aged for me. It’s not even about things being offensive, but more feeling dated because that’s how time works. Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor, George Carlin.
I also grew up with SCTV and Kids in the Hall for ensembles. They’ll always have a place in my heart.April 20, 2021 at 8:50 am #37221April 25, 2021 at 4:10 am #37376
Norm MacDonald is thought by many in the comedy world to be among the most intelligent of comedians, a guy likely to be reading Dostoevsky or Hemingway in the green room yet he comes off as a goofball. He’s at his deadliest when he gets a chance to wing it with off-the-cuff quips. Here he is in a legendary appearance many years ago on the Conan O’Brien show:
Is there a new way of inserting Youtube videos? Simply inserting the link isn’t working for me here.April 25, 2021 at 4:28 am #37379
Talk about a joke with a delayed punchline. Here’s Norm MacDonald telling a joke about his French-Canadian uncle:April 25, 2021 at 4:35 am #37380
Norm MacDonald can be offensive, which he was many times while helming the Saturday Night Live Weekend Update fake news segment:April 26, 2021 at 4:31 am #37400
It’s strange, but I remember Norm MacDonald being in way more stuff when I was younger. I didn’t really grow up watching Saturday Night Live, but I knew who he was before I saw him in Billy Madison and Dirty Work. I always liked watching him when he made an appearance.April 28, 2021 at 7:03 pm #37445
Just cut and paste the link provided by the “Share” button below the screen on the YouTube page. Be careful to avoid the Facebook, Twitter, etc. links and click the top highlighted link.April 28, 2021 at 8:14 pm #37446
My favorite comedians are ones who have encountered all kinds of absurdity in life and who can present that absurdity to an audience in a way that is relatable and makes you crack up at it.
Atheist comedians, Jewish comedians, LGBTQ comedians, persecuted-but-prevailing-in-spite comedians, comedians who are literate and attack political, social, and cultural absurdities, comedians with weird, unconventional looks and voices, comedians with funny props, comedians with puppets or ventrilloquist dummy partners, comedy troupes, novelty musicians, comedy magicians, all of these appeal to me the best!
The funniest British–and Atheist– comedians are Dave Allen, Benny Hill, and Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Netflix is filled with Monty Python works, but so far, no streaming service has Dave Allen or Benny Hill, not even Britbox. (As The Kinks so woefully sang “There is no England now.”)
Sandra Bernhard, Lenny Bruce, Lord Buckley, Larry David, George Carlin, Adam Carolla, Johnny Carson, Joel Hodson, Richard Lewis, Kevin Meany, Emo Phillips, Chris Rock, Joe Rogan, Andy Rooney, Rita Rudner, Judy Tenuda, Katt Williams, Richard Wright all have some very thought-provoking and side-splitting shtick.
Edgar Bergen, Jim Henson, Shari Lewis, Bob Nelson, and Jeff Dunham are some of the best comedians to put words into inanimate objects ever!
Dr. Demento and anyone who ever appeared on his radio show or albums are all musical and lyrical virtuousos at getting a laugh! Some specific names that come to mind are: Kip Adotta, Fred Blassie, Spike Jones, Tom Lehrer, Napoleon XIV, and “Weird Al” Yankovic.
I don’t know if Frank Zappa ever appeared on Dr. Demento’s show or albums, but he is an interdisciplinary genius in both comedy and music!
Penn and Teller are masters at integrating magic, comedy, and the message of Reason and Freedom into their multimedia extravaganza!
And, of course, there are many more!April 28, 2021 at 9:26 pm #37447
It’s strange, but I remember Norm MacDonald being in way more stuff when I was younger. I didn’t really grow up watching Saturday Night Live, but I knew who he was before I saw him in Billy Madison and Dirty Work. I always liked watching him when he made an appearance.
I think he did standup but also almost made a small industry out of guesting on the late night talk shows. All of them: Leno, Letterman, and especially Conan.
BTW, other comedians regard Norm as a genius. He’s often offensive and frustrating with long-winded stories with a dumb or sick punchline. In that regard, he’s kind of like Andy Kaufman was, only different.April 29, 2021 at 4:50 am #37448
Norm McDonald has some pretty strong and even rancid meat there on the second video. SNL in the Nineties could take some real dark turns and Norm was only one part of it. (Stewart Smalley and Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey could sometimes be disturbing.) But the delayed punchline as well as the riddle within the joke about his French Uncle were pretty good.
Dennis Miller was great with some pithy and obscure cultural references that made even the most well-read people scratch their head and go: “Huh? What did he just say?” But Wikipedia on portable smart devices took away that unique feature of his act.May 1, 2021 at 8:36 am #37493
Robin Williams on Craig Ferguson (2009, 2010, 2011, 2013)
(Craig’s one of the few comedians who could keep up with Robin.)
This is longer than an hour. The most I felt comfortable skipping over for you is 12 minutes.May 1, 2021 at 3:02 pm #37499
I miss both Craig Ferguson’s Late, Late Show and Robin Williams’ life. Both were always bright spots in a sea of entertainment choices.
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