You Know, You Really Are an Asshole

So, I guess I can add Denis Leary to the ever-growing list of comics I once loved who have gotten both more hateful and less funny over the years, finally reaching a point where I can’t fucking stand them. See also: Bill Maher, Dennis Miller. (Young’uns, it’s true: Miller was funny and not such a blatant loon once, a loooooong time ago, before you were born.) Chris Rock is on notice.

An excerpt from Leary’s new book:

There is a huge boom in autism right now because inattentive mothers and competitive dads want an explanation for why their dumb-ass kids can’t compete academically, so they throw money into the happy laps of shrinks . . . to get back diagnoses that help explain away the deficiencies of their junior morons. I don’t give a [bleep] what these crackerjack whack jobs tell you – yer kid is NOT autistic. He’s just stupid. Or lazy. Or both.

Oh, stop. My sides hurt. 

And another: 

Hillary Clinton - “If she had changed her campaign motto from ‘Blah Blah Something Change’ to ‘Vote for Me or Your Wife Won’t [Bleep] You,’ she would have had the election wrapped up at sunset on Super Tuesday. As Tip O’Neill once said – all politics is local. And for men, it doesn’t get much more local than your crotch.”

HA! OMG IT’S SO TRUE! Jesus fucking Christ. You forgot to mention she has cankles and might be a lesbian, and also, men enjoy beer and sports. 

Cherry on top? The title of the book is Why We Suck: A Feel-Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid, so I think it’s safe to assume his insights into fat people’s behavior are equally fresh and hilarious.

I don’t know, maybe Leary’s always sucked this much, and I’ve just gotten older and a whole lot more “humorless” about the kind of “jokes” that could be written by 8-year-old bullies if they wouldn’t get in trouble for swearing. But whether he’s changed or I have, Fillyjonk nailed the basic problem back in December:

It’s not that misogynist jokes — and racist jokes and gay jokes and nationality jokes and jokes about the mentally disabled — are unfunny because we’re just soooo politically correct. It’s not even just that they’re mean and offensive; mean offensive humor can be done well. It’s the fact that, though you as a privileged person may not realize the extent of it, these jokes are just SO FUCKING OLD. 

Seriously. Except, even massive amounts of privilege don’t explain why someone who’s been working as a comic for 30 fucking years doesn’t realize or care that jokes about men thinking with their dicks and shrinks coddling people who really just need a swift kick in the ass are TIRED. I mean, like 15, 20 years ago, there was that guy who did the whole “Shut the fuck up — it’s a revolutionary new form of therapy!” bit. OH WAIT THAT WAS YOU. You recycle that with a shot at parents of kids with developmental disabilities, and that’s your fucking leap into the 21st century? Way to keep it edgy, dude. 

I am just so fucking sick of smart, creative people playing to the lowest common denominator. It almost doesn’t matter to me if guys like Leary and Maher are really misogynistic, ableist, whateverist. I’m offended most by the laziness and cynicism of their schtick — why bother actually being funny when you can get just as many laughs/dollars tweaking lines you wrote in your fucking sleep 20 years ago? There’s a crucial difference between these guys and the douchehounds FJ was writing about: The douchehounds really do think hateful, played-out bullshit is still funny. (The douchehounds are, no doubt, Leary and Maher’s core audience.) But I’d bet everything I have that Leary and Maher are way too smart to be entertained by their own weak-ass jokes. They’re putting out a crap product they’re obviously not invested in and really shouldn’t be proud of, even if they are. That offends me as a goddamned consumer.

And also, you know, as a human being. There’s that.

Shapelings, who do you think is actually funny these days?

145 thoughts on “You Know, You Really Are an Asshole

  1. Oh, Denis Leary has always been a fat hating fuckneck, which I used to find really funny before I got into FA and realized that, you know, being a fat hater was hating myself. His “Lock and Load” comedy show has a part where he is talking about fat people. I will ALWAYS remember these lines, which were a small part of that bit.

    “You’re not big boned, you’re big assed! Put the fork down!”

  2. You forgot to mention she has cankles and might be a lesbian, and also, men enjoy beer and sports.

    YOU. That’s who i think is funny these days.

    And you’re so right — it’s like a code of some sort: Make woman joke or fat joke. Ha-ha. Privileged will laugh.

    And I hate, hate, HATE Bill Maher. Not least because women’s breast belong to HIM, not to women or to the babies some of those women feed with their breasts. Gross. He doesn’t want to see anyone sucking your breasts unless it’s him!

    Have hated Dennis Miller for years. Also Chris Rock. And I hated George Carlin, too.

    Guess I am just a humorless feminist! And a man-hater!

  3. Eddie Izzard can be quite funny. I used to really like Jake Johannsen, but I don’t know a lot about him and only caught him by accident a few times. He seemed very mild-mannered and sweetly absurd.

  4. Jeff Dunham cracks me up these days. Other than that, typically I prefer Dutch comedians to American ones. I can’t help it – most of what I’ve seen of American comedians is exactly this other-people-bashing thing. They all seem very angry, especially angry at people who are not like them, and take great joy in mocking them. I don’t see the funny. I think it’s annoying.

    Jeff Dunham’s an exception ’cause hey, he is a ventriloquist comedian who isn’t creepy which is unique enough, but he manages to be hilarious without being an asshole about it. Half the time his puppets are making fun of [i]him[/i].

    I remember seeing Eddy Murphy’s ‘Raw’ which started out funny but ended with me yelling “god if you hate women so much, why don’t you go date men instead!?”

  5. Jesus, I remember when Dennis Miller was funny. That realization has finally convinced me I need to make an appointment with my optometrist – bifocals away!

    Denis Leary and Bill Maher have always been mean, hipster fuckers who make Don Rickles look fresh and new.

  6. I feel the same way when I watch Jerry Seinfeld. Back in the day, he was someone. He was a contender. Today? He’s just an old dude who rambles and smirks and capitalizes on his former glory. I feel sorry for him — except that I don’t because he’s loaded & he’s a man of privilege.

  7. Lu, Jake Johannsen’s never been a big making-fun-of-others kind of stand-up, more of a “life is really rather absurd and bizarre” observational guy.

    Who makes me laugh…Ricky Gervais. That cackle gets me all the time.

  8. I got the chance to see Seinfeld live a couple years ago, and he was absolutely hilarious. I laughed my makeup off.

    Other great comics:

    Eddie Izzard- very witty, very well read

    Wanda Sykes- LOVE her, and have ever since she was on the Chris Rock show. (I see you, Halle Berry!)

    And of course, Jon Stewart. The man is a god.

  9. I love Wanda Sykes and Stephen Colbert and The Office(US) usually does a good job of being funny for the underdog, but yeah…I’ve kinda gone to blogs for my funny these days. I always know I’ll get a good laugh from both the commentators and contributors on this blog, Shakesville, and I Blame the Patriarchy (even though Twisty fell off the face of the earth).

  10. I second (third?) Eddie Izzard. Nobody cracks me up like he does. Nobody even comes close.

    Also, not stand-up, but really funny: Flight of the Conchords–a novelty band that beats the pants off Tenacious D any day of the week.

  11. Denis Leary as a comedian: never, ever funny.

    Denis Leary as a comic actor: often pretty funny, if a bit of an assholish persona (surprise).

    Denis Leary the actor: surprisingly talented. I haven’t seen much Rescue Me, but I’d like to see more.

  12. The world is like a ride in an amusement park. And when you choose to go on it you think it’s real because that’s how powerful our minds are. And the ride goes up and down and round and round. It has thrills and chills and it’s very brightly colored and it’s very loud and it’s fun, for a while. Some people have been on the ride for a long time and they begin to question: “Is this real, or is this just a ride?” And other people have remembered, and they come back to us, they say, “Hey, don’t worry, don’t be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride.” And we kill those people.

    “Shut him up! We have a lot invested in this ride, shut him up!”

    Bill Hicks, while imperfect, is brilliant. His act is also surprisingly politically relevant, despite his being dead for 14 years.

  13. I love Demetri Martin because he doesn’t have contempt for other people, plus he’s not afraid to be dorky and whimsical.

  14. Some of the comedians I really like, unfortunately, drop into fat hate jokes once in a while. I’m thinking Patton Oswalt and Louis CK. They tend at least to identify themselves as fat and make cruel jokes about themselves, which sucks too, but not quite as much as pointing and laughing at the other guy.

    I’ve never heard Brian Posehn make a fat joke, except maybe claiming he has man-boobs because he smokes so much pot, which wasn’t the joke, it was part of a story that led to another joke.

    The closest thing to a fat joke I’ve heard from Zach Galifianakis was him saying he didn’t get many dates because he “looked like Fat Jesus”…

    I’ve never heard Eugene Mirman make a fat joke.

    Nor Maria Bamford.

    Hm.

    Most of the comedians I like (excluding Maria) are fat themselves, or at least not skinny. Interesting.

  15. Another Izzard fan here. He’s hilarious without ever making fun of groups of people (fat people, disabled people, poor people, etc.). Occasionally he will poke fun at “posh people” or the Queen of England, but it’s quite gentle. Being a member of the alternate sexualities club, I think he recognizes that it doesn’t do to make fun of marginalized people.

  16. Yep, I too am old enough to remember Dennis Miller as funny. I used to sign things “That’s the news & I am outta here” because I floved him on Weekend Update.

    As for who’s funny now? Jim Gaffigan completely cracks me up. Also the Sklar Brothers (“Chopper 4!”).

    And a second on Mitch Hedburg. The man was a genius.

  17. Oh, speaking of ventriloquists, everyone who has a liking or even a tolerance for them should check out Nina Conti and her little friend, “Monk,” a depressed simian. She (and Monk) played a TV meteorologist in a short scene in “For Your Consideration.”

  18. Bill Bailey!! I claim him for his quote on the Fawcett Society website –
    “Three women walk into a pub and say, `Hooray, we’ve colonised a male-dominated joke format’”
    Genius!
    (Oh, and like many people have said, I’m loving Eddie Izzard. He’s mentioned as coming from the Uni of Sheffield even though, as far as I know, he only stayed for a year – but still, I feel proud)

  19. Ooops – just realised I was writing as the wrong person! (I’m metalsunflower too sometimes – and being cheeky and off topic, I wrote under that name because I’ve created a blog for the Sheffield Fems using it. I like WordPress now, except for when it forgets which alterego I want to be!)

  20. Oh! Roberto Benigni! Life is Beautiful makes me wet myself laughing when I can stand the heartbreak of watching it. Johnny Steccino is to die for.

    But that is physical comedy mostly, not standup.

  21. Somebody mentioned Jeff Dunham… I used to like Jeff Dunham. But then I heard his spiel about his dogs.

    I just… couldn’t stomach it. I am someone who has always been a bit smaller and weaker and picked on for it, not to mention sick to the stars of the whole “dog X is for boys and dog Y is for girls, because dogs are neither living animals nor friends, but fashion accessories! Except we’re boys so we don’t care about fashion HURR HURR so we have to call it something else!” Therefore, I found his dog jokes… hard to laugh at.

    Now, I am a DOG PERSON. Animals are the shining light of my tiny universe and the thing about dogs is, they’ve become so deeply entrenched into our lives that now there’s barely a thing about owning them that people don’t interpret into your “image.”

    I’m SICK SICK SICK of the old, tired, boring, and cruel shtick of how little dogs are so girly, and yappy, and gay, and how owning/liking little dogs makes you gay, and how it’s soooooo fuckin’ HI-LARIOUS when little dogs get hurt because they’re small. LOL WE KIN HURTS SUMFINK DAT IZ SMALLERZ DEN UZ. DAT MAYKS UZ ZMART N KEWL.

    If somebody kicked his golden I bet he wouldn’t think it was so funny.

    My boyfriend, who is so convinced he thinks through everything logically and rationally, doesn’t want me to choose the next dog I have, because he wants us to get a “family dog,” and his definition of “family dog” is “a dog that’s not girly.” What makes a dog “girly” you ask? Why, emotional reactions based entirely on physical traits and perception of how looks reflect on macho image, and having absolutely nothing to do with the dog’s ease of care, energy level, exercise needs, personality, or, you know, shit that MATTERS in breed selection! And it’s all thanks to masters of the ancient art of Keeping The Menz Manly And Not GAAAAAAAY like Jeff Dunham. Thanks, Jeff. You’re doin’ dog-spelled-backwards’ work there.

    Pfft.

    As to who is funny? I’ve only seen one of his shows, but freakin’ Brian Reagan. I think he’s about the funniest damn person I have ever had the pleasure of watching. His bit about reading made my sides ache. It was brilliant. BRILLIANT I SAY.

  22. SugarLeigh, I am right with you, and our “family dog” is an Italian Greyhound. A hilarious Italian Greyhound.

  23. Occasionally he will poke fun at “posh people” or the Queen of England, but it’s quite gentle.

    Yeah, that’s another point I was going to make, but I got distracted. Making fun of people who are more powerful than you is funny; making fun of people who are less powerful than you is pathetic bullying.

  24. Oh, yes, Eddie Izzard! Also, well, like everyone Ed Heil and Iane mentioned. I, too, remember when Dennis Miller was funny, smart, and not a Right-Wing shill.

    I can’t believe nobody has brought up Margaret Cho, though. I love her. Especially when she starts going off on the religious Right.

    I have to admit I’m really into the written funny as well, so mad props to Augusten Burroughs, David Sedaris, and, Laurie Notaro.

    If any of you shapelings haven’t read Laurie Notaro, I’m going to plug her now. It was in one of her books that I first encountered the term “chub rub,” in a piece where she discusses being locked out of the house in nothing but her nightshirt, and no pants in the Arizona summer. I think my favorite is “I Love Everybody (and Other Atrocious Lies.)”

  25. I have never paid attention to Denis Leary as a comic, just an actor, so this is all news to me, and fucking yuck.

    So when your kid is suffering so much that you double over, you can’t sleep because you can’t un-double and everything hurts because your kid doesn’t talk, he just makes lists, having to hear someone say that shit about how it’s your fault for being lazy and stupid is SO ENRAGING. And the not talking thing? That was ten years ago and thinking about it still makes me double over, and it’s NOT OKAY for someone to make money off of mocking that.

    Who’s funny? Jon Stewart, Lewis Black, Paul Poundstone.

  26. Our family dog is a pit bull. She is the most not-macho pit bull ever. She’s friendly, she kisses everybody, and she’s just a big goofball. When we voice her, her voice is high and squeaky.

    Mr. cereselle grew up with a pit bull. They bought him as a puppy to be a guard dog, but he failed at that, being afraid of things like cats, and crossing the street. He was such a friendly, longsuffering dog.

    People who get pit bulls in order to be manly? Fail.

  27. (heads for corner of Eddie Izzard and Ricky Gervaise fans) Dude, those guys rock my world, and you heard that from an EXECUTIVE transvestite! Except that I’m not an executive or a transvestite, just an Eddie Izzard fan.

    Eugene Levy has been making me howl since his SCTV days. The damn thing is that in A Mighty Wind, while he was making me laugh, he and Catherine O’Hara (another fine SCTV alumnus) made me cry at the same time. Damn and bless them.

    Jon Stewart, the entire Daily Show team, and Stephen Colbert are the ones that give me my humor fix the most often. I have a particular fondness for Samantha Bee and Aasif Mandvi. They kill me every time. And when John Hodgeman comes on as the Resident Expert, I’m going to wind up laughing so hard I’m gasping for breath.

    Lewis Black is the only angry, belligerant comic that has ever appealed to me. Unlike almost every other extremely angry comic creation I’ve ever seen, I can’t wait to hear Lewis Black go off on a verbal tear about something.

    Seth Green isn’t a comic, per se, but he has the best comic delivery going, if you ask me. He can make me laugh by asking someone to pass the salt.

  28. I just wanted to say that I have a boundless love for little dogs, and find them both delightful and funnier than most stand up comedians. Viva little dogs!!!

  29. And when John Hodgeman comes on as the Resident Expert, I’m going to wind up laughing so hard I’m gasping for breath.

    Have you read his book? It’s one of the few books by a comedian that takes more than 20 minutes to read.

  30. Oh MAN, Cereselle, don’t even get me started on the pit bull haters and stereotypers. GRR. People have the audacity to think this shit is new. Y’know who the demon-breed of the day was in the 20′s? COLLIES. You read that right. FUCKIN’ LASSIE. These people who hold onto the leash of a Labrador and sniff in disdain better watch it… Labs could well be next. Just ask that lady in France who lost her face to one– any breed can bite. Any dog that has teeth can bite, and will, under certain circumstances.

  31. Cake or death?

    I like little dogs, I don’t see why they get such a bad wrap. Welsh Corgi’s are the most hilarious animal EVAH. (Aside from my husky, who I swear is laughing at us sometimes.)

  32. I can second a lot of these (Demetri Martin, Maria Bamford, Lewis Black etc…) and add two comedy podcasts I love — Jordan, Jesse Go! and Stop Podcasting Yourself. The first one is done by the host of a newer PRI show (The Sound of Young America with Jesse Thorn, also worth a listen — he has a lot of interesting comics and authors on there) and his best friend. It’s more like listening to a hilarious conversation with your friends — but what I love about it is that they don’t wander into what I call “disgusting boy-land.” Also, they make fun of the old comic, sexist tropes. \

    The second one is by two Vancouver comedians, Dave Shumka and Graham Clark. It’s like JJGo, in that they sit around talking, but they avoid sexist tropes, and they are hilarious. They occasionally do this thing called “Stuntcasting” that you just have to hear to understand why it’s hilarious.

    I don’t know if both shows are for everyone, but I laugh all the time when listening to them.

  33. Who’s funny? My standby was the old and new “”Whose line is it anyway”, but can not even think about them after their performance for Bush, with Karl Rove rapping. I’ll never be able to scrub that image from my brain. Who’s still funny to me? Sarah Haskins, target woman. But of course. I also loved the Winnipeg Comedy Festival special of all First Nations comics, “CBC Winnipeg Comedy Festival: Welcome to Turtle Island” which sadly is not archived, but can be bought from the CBC shop on CD.

  34. I’ve hated Bill Maher for years. It started the night he said all fat people are lazy…. He’s a jackass.

  35. Bill Hicks is a great example of offensive — or at least frequently shocking — humor done right.

    I love the absurdist humor — Demitri Martin, John Hodgman, Mitch Hedberg, Eddie Izzard, Michael Showalter’s stand-up. That’s funny at nobody’s expense, and that takes the most skill and is the most worthy of respect. But some humor (Mr. Show, for instance; South Park before it started really crossing the line; Sarah Silverman’s occasional flashes of brilliance) can be downright offensive and still funny because it’s fresh and surprising and someone’s making an effort. Ditto cringe comedies like The Office and Arrested Development… yeah, somebody’s the butt of the joke, but the joke goes beyond “ha ha, you’re the butt of a joke,” which is just lazy. There’s nothing LESS funny than phoning it in.

    You can’t be a dumb comedian. Dumb comedians end up like Peter Griffin at the comedy club — “if there were a stupid and ugly contest, you’d all win! Or lose! Whichever’s funnier!” Being a successful comedian/humorist means you’re either smart enough to come up with something really funny, or you’re shrewd enough to figure out how to exploit people’s Pavlovian tendency to respond to certain well-worn stimuli with laughter. One of those makes you a comedian, and one of them makes you a hack. People who enjoy hacks, e.g. douchehounds, may be dumb, but hacks are just cynical and lazy. If they were dumb I’d respect them more.

  36. Eh, I couldn’t see anything at all funny about Denis Leary after the rape scene in the tv show he was in- which I don’t necessarily think is bad in and of itself since that does happen, but rather it was mostly his response to it, saying things like anyone who thinks it’s rape must have not been watching.

    Funnily though I’m watching comedy central as I write this- comic remix was on so I don’t know the comic’s name but as I typed this there was a woman joking about not wanting to hear any more food talk in women’s locker rooms, and about how these women at a party freaked out over their being a cheesecake as if it were evil.

  37. “How many mice does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Two. But I have no idea how you’re going to get them IN there!”

    That’s one of my favorites! ;) As for comedians I have to join the chorus of folks mourning the loss of formerly funny folks who fall into the same old patterns and schticks. After all the recommendations I must check out this Eddie Izzard though! I’m looking forward to more funny.

    Usually I come here or head to other FA blogs for humor. Otherwise I count on Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. I also love good Anime for humor. Things like not taking yourself too seriously, poking at HABITS of people (not linking them TO particular stereotypes of people) can be awesome.

    For example, teasing people who don’t use blinkers because they are somehow afraid of alerting other drivers to the next action in their ninja-esque driving performance is NOT the same as saying that _insert ethnic or gender group or age group here_ are all awful drivers because they do the above so let’s all mock them and laugh, har har.

    It is all in the selection of the right material and ability to continue to shock and amaze with your delivery and quite frankly there is a growing number of comedians who might want to look into rates with Fed Ex….. *giggles at self* *snort* Delivery *snort* ;)

  38. Wanda Sykes. Demitri Martin (my favorite is a routine he did on BBC awhile back called ‘If I’ — available on YouTube). Jon Stewart. I’ve loved Jeff Dunham since I first saw him nearly 20 years ago. Sarah Silverman does satire particularly well, though sometimes I think she crosses the lines she intends to be flirting with (maybe that’s intentional?).

    Comedy is tricky. It’s only funny if there’s an element of “truth” to it. And by “truth”, I mean universally accepted. That definitely tends toward stereotypes. There are a lot of pitfalls in there — I wouldn’t want to try to do it.

  39. Yeah, echoing Sarah Haskins, and Wanda Sykes, and Robin Williams and OMG Eddie Izzard who makes me all twitchy and quivery, but please don’t tell my husband. Not every man can get away with dressing like that. Funny, sexy, intelligent, best thing since John Cleese.

  40. Eddie Izzard of course.
    And Jim Gaffigan.
    and Margaret Cho, though i don’t like her reality show.

    In the shit-heap with Leary, Maher and Miller, i’d also stick Norm McDonald. He’s a hateful, nasty prick. In fact, in my mind, they’re all the same person.

  41. I’ve noticed that I tend to only laugh when I’m watching GLBT comedy/stand-up shows (LOGO’s “Outlaugh,” for example).

    There’s still the occasional annoying bit, but overall, comedy from the margins of gender and sex is a bit more aware of privilege and more likely to critique the norms.

    I think that’s one of the reasons Eddie Izzard’s such a favorite of mine (that and because he’s an intellectual with kickass taste in clothing).

    Ed Heil mentioned Zach Galifianakis, who I do like, though he did make a fat joke against women once (and I wrote to him to say I didn’t love it and found it disappointing. He never wrote back, but at least I felt like I hadn’t taken it lying down).

    (Again, we were talking a bit back about fat men vs. fat women, and I think comedy is one of the places where fat *male* privilege shows up clearly).

  42. I have always hated Dennis Leary.

    Favorite funny person I’m not ashamed to admit I like: Margaret Cho

    Favorite funny person I’m mildly ashamed of liking: Russell Brand.

    Seriously. He’s so cute and hilarious in a recovered English heroin addict with crazy hair kind of way.

    Ricky Gervais is hilarious in interviews, but I don’t care for his actual work.

    In spite of his sexism, I can’t not laugh at Chris Rock. Lewis Black kind of scares me, but he’s funny.

    However, the all-time funniest person ever, I think, was Richard Pryor. He made me laugh until it hurt.

    Oh, and someone maybe nobody here has ever heard of: Stan Freberg. He’s an old-school radio comic. His ‘Stan Freberg Presents: The United States of America’ is a CD I would take to a desert island.

  43. My Favorites:
    Margaret Cho (say what you will about her Palin thing, she’s still funny 99% of the time which is more than I can say for myself)
    John Oliver (I recommend the Times Online podcast, “The Bugle” audio newspaper for a visual world to anyone who will listen)
    Mitch Hedberg
    Sarah Vowel
    Stephen Colbert
    David Sedaris

    I hate Sarah Silverman. Her “satire” is just too stupid and obvious for me, it’s catering to the fact that as long as she’s not “too funny” or “too political” like Cho she can slide on being the favored pet in her male dominated career because she’s pretty and white and skinny. It’s BS.

    I found her funny when she first started out, but she’s still expecting me to laugh every time she makes a fart joke, and none of her fart jokes are anywhere near as funny as Cho’s bit about crapping her pants on the freeway and she even ties that into body acceptance at the end.

  44. Also Craig Ferguson, he’s okay on TV but he does really good interviews. He was on Fresh Air as few years ago (maybe last year?) and was amazing.

  45. Not a comedian per se, but travel writer Bill Bryson has made me laugh hard enough to almost pee myself on a number of occasions. DH and I have only to say “Colin Crapspray” to each other to set off the giggles. I highly recommend his “Notes from a Small Island.”

  46. I’ve loved stand-up since I was a kid, but my all-time favorite comedian is –and I’m really showing my age here– Robert Klein. Some of you younguns have probably never even heard of him :) Very intelligent, feminist, political, and really fucking funny. Hell, I learned more about Watergate from his comedy records than I ever did in school.

    I loved Dennis Miller in the SNL days and when he crossed over to the Dark Side it broke my heart.

    Also love: Eddie Izzard; Bill Hicks. Poor Billy. If he were alive now, the news would be giving him seizures every fucking day. It’s painful to watch his stuff from the Reagan/Bush I years and realize that as bad as things were then (and he really nailed it), it seems like the golden years compared to now.

  47. I heart Eddie Izzard and Stewart/Colbert too, but Margaret Cho is my all-time favorite and in my opinion has gotten even better (Palin debacle aside) lately with her last couple of albums. ‘Oh god, hurry, I think Cirque de Soilel is warming up on my lawn!’

    I also second Mitch Hedberg. Ducks and bread ftw.

  48. A big fan of Flight of the Conchords and Bill Bailey and Eddie Izzard. I just like silly people and like laughing at silly things. Victoria Wood is a bit old fashioned, and very English, but really funny. In a silly way.

    I don’t need my comedy to be political – just to be funny and to make me feel good for a while.

  49. Who’s funny? I personally like Rodney Carrington. Yes he’s crass and country and NEVER pc but his comedy is still funny, to me at least. I also like Bill Engvall.
    Margaret Cho is hysterical. Robin Williams is still funny. Bill Cosby’s stuff is timeless. Alex Romundo (I don’t think I spelled that right…) is really funny. My list goes on and on.
    I’ve never been a fan of Dennis Leary or Bill Maher.

    And Yes John Stewart is a God lol.

  50. Totally, Sarah Haskins, David Sedaris, Stewart/Colbert sometimes, Wanda Sykes… I guess we all have the same taste. ;-)

  51. Ha, fillyjonk! Ze Frank totally lives down the block from me. Remember Putting Holes in Fruit? That was my veggie guy he shopped at!

    /brooklyn geekitude

    Eddie Izzard can sit on my couch and say snarky things any time. I saw him live this spring at a pretty small venue and he did this hilarious bit about aristocrats, who are “crouched on their dwindling piles of money as their castles crumble around them getting weirder and weirder.” Okay, it doesn’t translate terribly well, but it almost made me pee.

    Fry & Laurie

    She doesn’t do stand-up, but Dawn French in anything (except it’s sort of not on to laugh at her Clatterford character)

    The Frantics, a Canadian radio sketch comedy show. It’s not always great (I don’t even know if they’re even still working; the recordings I have are older), but there are some gems in there, like the angry Roman citizen who doesn’t understand why they had to convert to decimal (“If you mean XLIV why don’t you SAY XLIV. Who can remember forty-four??!!”)

    Sara Haskins, like many others before me. I crack myself up saying “Underpahnts!” like the voiceover at the beginning of her Target: Woman segments. When I’m alone, of course.

    Paul Gilmartin and his poem “Sister Joan”

  52. For my birthday, my girlfriend is taking me to see Kathy Griffin in concert.

    I know a lot of people here might deplore Kathy’s uber pop-culture orientation, but I think she’s sharp, and funny as hell. And, she rips Bill Maher a new one in “straight from hell.” Now, I’m a religious person, but if she’s selling a T-shirt that says “Suck it, Jesus,” I’m buying it. That acceptance speech was awesome.

    I like Ellen Degeneres, Parker Posey, Tina Fey, Eddie Izzard, Ricky Jervais and Margaret Cho.

  53. Oh yes and Sarah Haskins is my latest addition that makes me howl with laughter and Dane Cooks delivery is awesome, ok I think I am done now lol

  54. Twistie, I too love Seth Green…I am a huge fan of adult swim, and Robot Chicken is one of my faves. But he is ALWAYS cracking totally unnecessary fat jokes when he is interviewed. He was on Daily Show once, talking about how he still goes to cons but now he gets the hot Princess Leia’s (sp?) instead of the giant fat ones he was stuck with as a geeky kid.

  55. Oh, man, whoever mentioned Bill Bailey (what? There are lots of comments. I’m not going back and looking for it), hell yes. A friend recently made me watch “Part Troll,” and it made my life. “Three blokes walk into a pub, one of them is a bit stupid, and the whole scene unfolds with a tedious inevitability.”

    Ditto on Margaret Cho and Eddie Izzard, obviously. And I love Stephen Lynch–for me he’s in the offensive yet funny category, although I’m sure to a lot of people he’s just offensive.

  56. Okay, I knew Eugene Mirman in college; seeing him name-checked here is very surreal even though I know he’s popular now.

    I remember Robert Klein, too — I saw him in a rerun or something recently and was so excited when I recognized him. And I loved Ellen Degeneres’ standup way back when, though I’m not really familiar with what kind of jokes she’s doing on stage now.

    Other non-UK Stephen Fry fans should check out the UK quiz show QI (Quite Interesting), of which he is the host. I’ve seen clips posted on YouTube, and it never fails to crack me up.

  57. Dawn French & Jennifer Saunders. Their last live show tour ever is on right now in the UK! I’m hoping to go.

    Gina Riley and Jane Turner and Magda Szubanski (of Aus Kath & Kim, and a whole host of other TV comedy going back 25 years).

    Shaun Micallef. Another Aus comedian, who is a master of non sequitur and dada/absurdist humour. I have all his DVDs!

    Eddie Izzard! Bill Bailey! Nina Conti! Kristen Schaal! You can find bits of Kristen Schaal’s stand-up on YouTube. Hee-larious. Flight of the Conchords!

  58. I third Bill Bailey. He is immensely funny, doesn’t pick on minorities and does things differently in an incredibly off the wall sort of style. He’s actually a very talented musician and his shows often involve Bill with various instruments. I highly recommend “Part Troll” as Linz above does – one example is of him using his musical talents is a monologue on different types of (police, ambulance etc) sirens.

    I would also recommend Ross Noble – another surreal british stand up who has one of the most surreal senses of humour I have ever come across and has me crying with laughter at his streams of consciousness. Again he’s never cruel, but pokes gentle fun at things and people and situations. Highly recommended.

    And finally I still love Monty Python – more surrealism that even forty years later is still side splittingly funny.

  59. Can I just add something to the “fat/racist/sexist jokes are old” thing? BUSH IS STUPID. I GET IT. YOU CAN STOP NOW, COMEDIANS. It’s not that I disagree, but there are only so many variations on the joke, and the world ran out of them in 2003.

    Love Bill Bailey, although when I saw him last year he mostly did Bush jokes, which of course made me angry. Why waste your time on that when you’ve got a theremin right there? That’s guaranteed comedy gold!

    Also love Dylan Moran, Patton Oswalt (fat jokes aside), Mitch Hedberg, and Russell Brand (whatever, I’m not ashamed. His podcast frequently has me in tears of laughter).

    Speaking of podcasts, I’m not a huge fan of John Oliver’s standup, but The Bugle: Audio Newspaper for a Visual World is pretty much the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me.

    And OMG Jon Hodgman. There’s a sequel to his book coming out this month! It’s going to have 700 mole man names!!!

  60. Also: On the completely obscure comedian from like 10 years ago route, anyone else know of Heywood Banks?

    I was obsessed with Heywood Banks when I was a kid. I saw him a few years ago and didn’t think he was that funny, but I don’t know if it was just a bad show or if my tastes changed.

    And I’ll second the recommendation of QI. I truly think it’s the best TV show ever.

  61. Dunno if linking is possible, but here goes for those of you who don’t know the wonder that is Bill Bailey:

    Bill Bailey riffs on the well-known pub joke with a twist. In Chaucerian Olde English.

  62. yes to Eddie Izzard, Dawn French and Fry & Laurie.

    But what really cracks me up every time I read it is the blog Cake Wrecks. Like laugh til it hurts, tears in my eyes laughing.

  63. I don’t give a [bleep] what these crackerjack whack jobs tell you – yer kid is NOT autistic. He’s just stupid. Or lazy. Or both.

    Gosh, there’s some lazy, stupid thinking right there. No one who’s lived with someone with autism would ever confuse it with stupidity or laziness.

  64. Miller was funny and not such a blatant loon once, a loooooong time ago, before you were born.

    I still don’t believe you. :)

    Oh, and someone maybe nobody here has ever heard of: Stan Freberg. He’s an old-school radio comic. His ‘Stan Freberg Presents: The United States of America’ is a CD I would take to a desert island.

    OMG OMG OMG!!! I have TOTALLY heard of Stan Freberg! My family quotes the Day-O sketch routinely, as well as “The Great Pretender” . . . “Like, my ears, man!”

    (Also, since I’m from Toledo, “I ain’t made my mind up yet about Toledo” is another favorite.)

    Aaaaaaand . . . cue the great silence.

    Anyway, I love Eddie Izzard, of course; got to see him live for my 21st birthday, which was awesome.

  65. I like Rodney Carrington and Bill Engvall. Which makes me kind of dorky, but that’s how I roll.

    And in general, I don’t like Ron White all the time, but he has a super funny bit about being arrested in New York. (He does this telegraph thing and I heard it on tape and he sounded kinda drunk because he had to stop to keep laughing. And the other Blue Collar guys where laughing to and it was all contagous and I am a sucker for that. Awesome.)

  66. Most of mine have been mentioned already. Eddie Izzard will always be my favorite, but I’ll tell you who else has me laughing lately, is Gabriel Iglesias.

  67. TWoP Fan, is that the bit involving Tater Salad? I really don’t care for Ron White, but that is some funny shit.

    Also speaking of obscure and redneck-ish comedy, Ray Stevens, anyone?

  68. Ray Stevens!! That takes me back. We had a couple of Ray Stevens tapes we’d listen to in my dad’s car on road trips. “It’s me again, Margaret” will never not be funny.

    And here’s more obscure and red-necky — Jerry Clower. Anyone? Just me?

  69. Hmmmmm….

    Eddie Izzard; the writings of David Sedaris and the late Alan Coren; Jack Dee, (deadpan, curmudgeonly, anecdotal humour – my favouurite); Bill Bailey; Tommy Tiernan; Dylan Moran; old tapes of ‘Round The Horne’, (which, sadly, will mean nothing to anyone born outside of the UK under 45 but, trust me, it was funny); and Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse, (separately or together, and especially in black and white 1930s mode).

  70. OMG totally seconding Elvira Kurt. “I’ve been sleepin’ in my bathing suit, and I feel fine!”

    And, again, Eddie Izzard, Ellen Degeneres, Mitch Hedburg, Robin Williams. I like a lot of comedians who come across as basically good-natured people who just think life is really funny.

    Though, for good, absolutely-not-politically-correct humor, nothing cheers me up faster than a Richard Pryor/Gene Wilder movie. Those guys never did anything together that didn’t make me laugh. (I specify together only because I could live without Willy Wonka.)

    Oh, and there was this great Sinbad special I used to watch a lot when I was a kid. He did some of the “black people do this and white people do this” comedy that I don’t care for, but there was a great part where he made fun of NutriSystem and how little food they give you, and said “Forget diets! Be fat, be happy!” I saw this show when I was about twelve, just before the desire to diet hit real hard, and I would often think of that line when I was deciding whether to eat something I wanted or not. I am really, really glad I saw that special.

  71. I have to totally agree with those who love Demetri Martin and Maria Bamford, and there’s also a little-known comedian from Canada named Jon Lajoie who does music videos that are mostly hilarious. He has a song about being a stay at home dad in which he says “I don’t do drugs cause I get high on baby hugs”. I encourage anyone who likes absurd/silly stuff to check him out. http://www.jonlajoie.com

  72. Really, the Asshole song is the only funny bit he ever did. As a stand-up. I can’t say much to his acting because i can’t actually think of anything I’ve seen him in.

    I love Lewis Black. I haven’t seen anyone mention him, but I’ve only skimmed.

  73. SO. Today at work I was kinda talking about this with someone, and my boss piped up “yeah Chihuahuas are great, if you want a yappy rat.”

    SIGH. You want to know what the worst part of that is? My boss is a homosexual male. Of all the people in the world I would have expected to eschew the traditional manly-man shtick… apparently these ridiculous standards escape no one.

    WEEP.

    BACK TO REGULARLY SCHEDULED FUNNY COMEDIANS TALK:
    Brian. Freaking. Reagan. Oh wait, I already mentioned him.

    Also. Not exactly a comedian, but his books still make me wet myself laughing… GORDON KORMAN. “A Semester in the Life of a Garbage Bag” was hysterical. “Don’t Care High” more or less had me doubled over in mirth for the majority of the book.

  74. Anything funny Denis Leary ever said, he stole from Bill Hicks anyway.

    And this “autism” thing? Pure flamebait. He knew it would get people talking and to pick up his book. I don’t think he even knows what autism is.

  75. Oh, and there was this great Sinbad special I used to watch a lot when I was a kid. He did some of the “black people do this and white people do this” comedy that I don’t care for, but there was a great part where he made fun of NutriSystem and how little food they give you, and said “Forget diets! Be fat, be happy!” I saw this show when I was about twelve, just before the desire to diet hit real hard, and I would often think of that line when I was deciding whether to eat something I wanted or not. I am really, really glad I saw that special.

    I was just going to come here and post this. Sinbad is my all-time favorite comic. I never cared for those who put on this angry, jaded “the world sucks and so does everyone who lives in it but me” persona, so when I watch Sinbad, I know I’m in for a good time as well as aching sides from laughing so much.

    The other great part of that diet routine is when he talked about women and the dumb diets they go on, like “I have to lose 150 lbs by Friday diet” and he also said that if you were fat in high school and you’re still fat, don’t worry about it because people really won’t care, just go to the reunion and eat some food. I found myself nodding the entire time. And guess what? I went to my 10th reunion fat, I ate some food, and people didn’t care.

    And although he does self-depreciating fat humor, Ralphie May is pretty funny too. He did a whole routine about Jesus being the world’s first hippie that left me in tears.

    As for Denis Leary, he’s a better actor than comedian and I’ll leave it at that. Unfortunately, insulting any oppressed group of people is what a lot of today’s comedians/comedienne’s think will get them noticed. Also unfortunately, fat people and anyone with disabilities, especially autism, is the choice of ridicule right now.

  76. Mitch Hedberg was brilliantly funny and never resorted to hacky, gratuitously offensive cheap laughs.

    I looooved watching stand up comedy on TV when I was in high school. Between 8th and 10th grade, I didn’t really watch much of anything else. When I finally was old enough to get into comedy clubs, I had a horrifying revelation: A lot of stand-up comics AREN’T FUNNY.

    Even the ones who have a handful of funny jokes aren’t usually funny enough to carry a 45+ minute show. See, I thought that the half hour TV show was the whole act… I didn’t realize that the comic’s whole act is generally 45-60 minutes, and what you see on TV is the best 20 or so minutes of that act. Hell, all but the hackiest hacks can be at least a little entertaining if you’re trimming away half or more of their show. Seeing live performances of comics I’d loved on TV kind of made me unable to enjoy them anymore.

    I’ve only booed a comic one time, and that was pretty recently. He was the opening act, so his act was only about 15 minutes, and most of it was pretty good. Then he told a joke that went something like this:

    “Ladies? Y’all need to realize that just because a guy is talking to you doesn’t mean he’s hitting on you. I was in a bar the other day, and I approached these two women and tried to strike up a conversation… You know, “How are you ladies tonight?” and she was like (in a bitchy girl voice)”Married… (points to friend) and married (wiggles left ring finger).”

    Not the most original set up ever, but there are several funny ways he could have gone from there. He didn’t. He went with:

    “And I’m like “Rapist….so it doesn’t matter.”

    AH HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  77. Shapelings, I know it’s been said already, but seriously if you haven’t read John Hodgman’s book yet, you must do so as soon as possible. This is an official directive from your Far Left Feminist Dictator. And if you ever get to see him tour with Jonathan Coulton, for god’s sake go see them. My favorite part of Hodgman’s book keeps changing. It’s got it all! Hobo names! Lycanthropy tables! Fake state facts! I love it. (They’re both on Twitter, too, so you can get tiny bits of funny meanwhile!)

    Funniest writer: PG Wodehouse. And of course Hugh Laurie & Stephen Fry incarnating Jeeves & Wooster makes it even better.

    Most of my faves have already been said, but I have to give a shout-out to the number-one comedy influence of my formative years: Kids in the Hall. I cannot even tell you how many nights I stayed up watching (the new channel) Comedy Central in my youth so I could catch KITH. They are amazing. And Buddy Cole was practically a shibboleth in terms of my coming out to friends when I was in high school–if you laughed when you hear, “When I’m overseas, and people mistake me for an American, I’m outraged as when I’m mistaken for straight,” then you’re cool.

  78. YES to the Kids in the Hall. Seen them live three times, and almost had to be carted out I was laughing so hard. Bruce McCulloch in particular in a live setting is just…he’s on another planet and it’s the weirdest, funniest planet ever.

  79. Just a curious sidenote – while very turned off by the autism comments, I admit to loving Mr. Leary as an actor, and I love Rescue Me. That said, I’m confused about people’s reactions to the rape issue – maybe I’m thinking of a different incident. To me the most offensive act along those lines was when he himself was drugged and raped by the wife of his cousin who was killed. The incidents between him and his own ex-wife seemed very different in the context of the whole show and the characters’ relationships, and his comments didn’t strike me as offensive at all in that context.

  80. Ross Noble, Bill Bailey, and Dylan Moran are my favourites.

    Also a shoutout to Tripod, a fabulous comedy song trio from Australia who are, imho, better than Flight of the Conchords and have been doing it longer.

    Geek Anthem: Gonna Make You Happy Tonight

  81. Terry Pratchett, people. And also what somebody said about Kids in the Hall–utter win.

    In a related story, did anybody used to watch the fantastic British comedy series Waiting For God that used to be on PBS, and does anybody know where I can get DVDs or something, because I totally want to be Diana when I grow up.

  82. I cannot even tell you how many nights I stayed up watching (the new channel) Comedy Central in my youth so I could catch KITH. They are amazing.

    I cannot hear the word “lesbians” without the fleeting thought, “They get so much done in a day!”

  83. And although he does self-depreciating fat humor, Ralphie May is pretty funny too. He did a whole routine about Jesus being the world’s first hippie that left me in tears.

    I found Ralphie May a bit sexist for my tastes. I had to turn off the special I was watching when he announced that the best gift a wife could give her husband was to blow him and then just leave for the rest of the day. Yep, women sure are good for only one thing, Ralphie! You really hit the old nail on the head there!

    I love Mitch Hedberg. “Escalator temporarily stairs. Sorry for the convenience.”

    Eddie Izzard is also fantastic. My sisters and I always tell each other that “this is not a game of who-the-fuck-are-you.”

  84. Oh!

    Those saying QI and Stephen Fry just reminded me:

    ALAN DAVIES!!!

    You can actually see some of his stand-up on Youtube if you search for his name. He’s absolutely adorable (and the QI connection is that he’s Stephen Fry’s resident pet idiot on the show, and the two of them have a helluva double-act going on).

    I have a mad, huge crush on him and have ever since I saw him in Bob & Rose and Jonathan Creek (two British shows that are both brilliant in their own way).

  85. Yeah, jumping on the Flight of the Conchords bandwagon o’ love.

    I can’t tell you how often I sing this song to my bf. Which would be funner if I were a dude and if his name were Brett, but whatevs, I work with what I got.

  86. I have to chime in to the Eddie Izzard chorus. Really funny, really smart and irreverent. He makes bible and history jokes and they are really really funny! Any day now he will realize he is supposed to marry me. Eddie?

  87. I’m sorry, but I bet Eddie’s history jokes aren’t as funny as Kate Beaton’s.

    “Have you read the newest Austen?”
    “No, that book was written by a woman.”
    “UGH! I’ve been tricked!”
    (to Austen) “SHAME ON YOU.”

    Also, Napolean, and the finely cooked branch. I damn near wet myself. It’s on my wall. Next to the one about Roosevelt… “Russia, Japan, must you kill each other so? We could negotiate! Or, if you want to, we could safari. FUCK IT let’s do BOTH!” :D

  88. That’s too bad. I really loved his HBO special, “No Cure for Cancer.” Ah well. I got other comedians who make me laugh (Brian Regan, Jimmy Pardo, Greg Behrendt, I could go on for hours).

  89. I adore Jon Stewart, Steven Colbert, Tina Fey (plus I have a giant crush on her) & Ricky Gervais.

    I don’t love Sarah Silverman ALL the time, but sometimes she is freaking amazing. There was a discussion on Racialicious a while ago about her “I LOVE chinks!” joke, where someone pointed out that she’s not using a racial stereotype to make a lazy joke, she’s making fun of racists, which is an awesome point & one I totally agree with.

    Come to think of it, Ricky Gervais does the same kind of thing w/ sexists (in The Office) – it’s funny because he’s making fun of sexists, not because sexist stereotypes are funny.

  90. Dude, SugarLeigh, we’re gonna talk about webcomics? I really think comic strips on the Internet are some of the funniest things around, lately. Wondermark, The Order of the Stick, XKCD (When someone calls my phone… it makes a goddamn RINGING sound), Overcompensating, Questionable Content (Go. Eat. A. Cookie), Achewood, all crack my shit up on a regular basis.

    Also, I’m not a gamer at all, but some of the time I really, really love Penny Arcade. My most favorite thing recently was their response to the concept of “Gamer Grub”: “I don’t need a custom snack just because I play games. I’m perfectly capable of digesting ordinary food. Look at this, motherfucker! I’m eating some chips! Nyaglaglagl!

  91. @ Nicole

    Bill Bryson is a genius. :-) Thanks for mentioning him. I’ve read nearly all his books and he makes collapse with laughter. I can no longer read his books in public because I can’t stop from laughing out loud and making an ass of myself.

    @Slythwolf

    Terry Pratchett is right up with Bill Bryson. Pratchet is a comic genius as far as I’m concerned. It’s my mission to buy every book he’s ever written (and will write).

  92. I just read Christopher Buckley’s new book “Supreme Courtship,” in which a president with plummeting approval ratings appoints a Judge Judyesque TV judge to the Supreme Court. I may not agree with all his politics in real life, but I thought it was pretty funny. (And there was an amusing bit where one of the sleazy reality TV programs produced by the sleazy TV producer character was “G.O.” – the “medical abbreviation for ‘grotesquely obese.’” I’d actually not be a bit surprised if that showed up in, like, that Kaiser Permanente/Scholastic computer game any day now.)

  93. Kath and Kim! Yay! And Big Girl’s Blouse (stop Ferkin the merkin!!)
    Have to 11ty hundredth the Flight of the Conchords votes: boyf and I have been “randomming” each other on the bus: “one more time without emotion!” “I’ve reached a fork in the road and it cuts like a knife”.

    Shaun Micallef – youtube his characters Nobby Doldrums, David Mc Gahan and Milo Kerrigan.

    (fafenefenoiby everyone!)

  94. Yup. Eddie Izzard on the C of E and history of the world – and my dog’s extremely awesome jokes: upside-down-cake (which often relates back to ‘cake or death?’), hippity hoppity, steal-the-chair, and headstand-rhino in particular. But that’s because I’m a humorless feminist misanthropist or something.

  95. Eddie Izzard is funny funny…but right now the person who cracks me up the most is my partner…also my good friend’s son (who’s about 2). I don’t know why we necessarily need comedians to laugh.

    Oh! I do like Garrison Keiler.

  96. slythwolf: you can buy Waiting For God DVDs, Seasons 1-3, on Amazon. My favorite show when I was a kid, I’ve never talked to anyone else who watched it. Diana made me look forward to being 70.

  97. We watch “Waiting for God” every Saturday night that I’m at my parents house. Our PBS station still runs it. But I might have to buy DVDs just to have them all.

    Diana rocks!!!

  98. Tigi, that’s so cool you mentioned Jordan, Jesse Go! I love that show! Although they strike me as being typical white liberal males, in that they’re much more aware of racism than of sexism. That frustrates me sometimes. Also, they don’t really understand what is racist too well – they said for instance that implying an Italian who lives in Italy wouldn’t speak English was racist. And they started that competition to lose weight, although that’s on the forums now after the inital announcement in the podcast, so it doesn’t bother me too much – out of sight, out of mind!
    But anyway, they can be really funny. They had Tig Notaro on last week, and she was hilarious! Except for the part where they pretended Jesse was a cutter – that fell flat to me.
    I heard an interview with Louis CK on the Sound of Young America recently, and I had to turn it off because it was upsetting me so much. He was talking about how he wants to use the c-word, the n-word, and the f-word (euphemism for gay), and he should totally be able to because he wants to and it’s his right or whatever. He informed us that the f-word no longer means gay, so it’s cool now (In what universe?) He said he has this bit where he calls a pony who stepped on his daughter’s foot a c**t, and sometimes the young women in the audience (who are obviously overly sensitized thanks to the PC Police) get a funny look on their face when he does that. He says “I’m not talking about you! It’s a pony! It has nothing to do with you!” Then why call it a c**t? What does that word mean? Vagina? Why are you calling a pony a vagina? He also said it’s hard to use the n-word without being racist. Glad you recognize that, but you should be able to see why it’s hard to use the c-word without being misogynist and the f-word without being homophobic! Sorry this is so long, but a rant’s been building up in me about this and this seemed like a good place to let it out!

    P.S. I LOVE Maria Bamford. She’s never let me down!

  99. Maybe all us Eddie Izzard fans ought to mail him in appreciation of him not doing fat jokes. His humour is fantastic and very funny and isn’t mean. As a fat person, I particularly appreciate that he’s one of the few comics I’ve never heard make a joke that was mean to fat people.

  100. Eddie Izzard is my all-time favourite comedian. :) I have about 3 of his stand-up performances on my iPod and listen to them whenever I travel. They’re particularly awesome for long-haul flights.

    I used to like Ricky Gervais until his last stand-up DVD where he makes fun of people with binge eating disorders, and goes on and on and ON about how disgusting and pathetic fat people are (but, btw, his stomach doesn’t make HIM fat because he’s special and privileged, and ‘fat’ is a dirty word that just doesn’t apply to him’; self-loathing for the win!). He also did this whole nasty bit about how ugly and disgusting Dawn French is for a gentle joke she made about him. It was really pathetic.

    Speaking of, I love Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders. Saunders’ husband, Adrian Edmondson, is also really funny. I LOVE ‘Bottom’ starring him and Rik Mayall. It is the foulest humour (a lot of fart jokes and being totally juvenile) but I grew up watching them (my parents were really good about letting us watch rude/sexy programs because we knew not to repeat what we were seeing) so I have a big soft spot for them.

    I ADORE Alan Davies. I have one of his stand-up videos (VHS; ahh, the memories), and it is HILARIOUS. I think he is the cutest guy, and I love him on QI, which I am addicted to.

    Stephen Fry is a big favourite. Why must he be gay? *le sigh* I also like Hugh Laurie’s comedy stuff, as well as things like Blackadder, starring Rowan Atkinson. (Can you tell I’m British, yet? ;”P)

    Someone mentioned Flight of the Conchords, and I agree! I particularly like their song ‘The Humans are Dead’ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGoi1MSGu64).

    There used to be this great all female cast comedy show called ‘Smack the Pony’ that I really liked. It was kooky ‘female’ humour without being stereotypical and misogynist. I mean, some of it is a bit stereotypical (like their bikini line sketch) but generally it’s just really funny without relying too much on things like “LOL, womenz are DUMB!”. I always loved their ‘oblivious pregnant woman’ sketch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGMlZcXAAtc

    There’s also a TON of anime that I find hilarious but I will spare you. ;)

  101. Eddie Izzard, yes. Terry Pratchett, yes, although lately reading his speeches on Alzheimer’s makes me cry more than laugh. Old episodes of MST3k. Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me, although they occasionally go for the cheap joke. Bits of This American Life. The Marx Brothers movies up through A Night At the Opera.

  102. I can’t believe that no one here has mentioned John Pinette. He’s hysterical, and has reduced me to leg-crossing-to-stop-peeing-in-my-pants MANY times.

  103. killedbyllamas, YES it is the Tater Salad bit. Bill Engvall does a bit about Vicodinland that cracks me up every time, too.

    Okay, I have to find those CDs.

  104. I’ve been thinking this about Leno’s writing team going for the cheap, obvious, and very old fat jokes whenever there’s anyone fat mentioned in the monologues. I’d really like to see them go 30 shows without making one single fat joke, and see if they could all possibly find their collective talent. I love Jay but he’s starting to seriously piss me off.

  105. Tina Fey!

    I love Nikki Payne with great love.

    XKCD, Demetri Martin, Stewart/Colbert, Black Books/Green Wing/Spaced – out of the UK …
    …and around a bit longer like Steve Martin, Terry Pratchett, etc..

    There’s a whole world of funny without being an asshole.

  106. I love love love Craig Ferguson, Margaret Cho, Kathy Griffin, Kids in the Hall, oh, and this guy.

    If you don’t get it- well, it’s because there’s nothing to get. But it’s utterly bizarre and ridiculous, and I laugh more every time I see it.

  107. OMG John Pinette is wonderful. He is really funny and people should srping the few bucks for his whole set on DVD. Funny as shit.

    (Been reading this blog for ages and never comment… but I had to chime in on this one)

  108. I have to second the Gordon Korman love – when I was young I read and re-read The Twinkie Squad and Son of Interflux. (Speaking of which, one of the main plot points in The Twinkie Squad involves a dead squid rotting away in a school, and when a student of mine brought a dead squid to school and left it in her locker to smell up the school, no one else understood why I found this hilarious.)

    Some of Dave Barry’s stuff – the column he wrote about using Rollerblade Barbie to set a pair of underpants on fire is great, as is his first novel, Big Trouble.

    Have to third (or fourth?) the love for QI, which is one of the best shows out there. (And is mostly available on YouTube.)

    I saw Rob Brydon on the stand-up show that Jack Dee hosts, and his bit about death and dying had me in tears (of laughter). I think it’s his delivery that makes it.

  109. Oh my gosh, someone else who loves Gordon Korman! SQUEEEEEE! When I mention him usually nobody has a clue who I’m talking about.

    I love his outrageous characters. The bored grandpa who takes to cheering on the storms on the weather channel as if they are sports teams gets me every time!

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