Let’s face it our life would be so boring without some comedy and humour to laugh on. And when it comes to stand-up comedy there are just so many but only a few who make a mark in one’s life. Here is a list of my favourite Stand-up Comedians.
- George Carlin:
‘The reason I talk to myself is because I’m the only one whose answers I accept.’
The list, of course, starts with a legend and genius George Carlin; he was amazing in his black comedy and for his edgy yet peculiar thoughts on politics, the English language, psychology, religion, and various taboo subjects. He is also regarded to be one of the most important and influential Stand-up Comedians, spanning a career of almost 4 decades starting from the 1960s. Much of his comedy would be so thought to provoke and the very “Occupy Wall Street Movement was in fact inspired by George Carlin thoughts on 1% People controlling the world.
2. Robin Williams:
‘Politics: “Poli’ a Latin word meaning ‘many’ and ‘tics’ meaning ‘bloodsucking creatures’.’
Robin Williams with movies like Good Will Hunting, Good Morning Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, Jumanji, Flubber, Patch Adams etc. under his sleeve wasn’t just an amazing actor but a brilliant stand-up comedian. His acts would be very much improvised, eccentric and so high on energy that sometimes it could get exhaustive to keep up. Robin Williams is a total comic genius. His jokes range from pop-culture, drugs, politics, sex, crazy foreigners and everything under the sun. One never gets bored waiting for the next joke; it’s like one big joke with boundless and endless humour.
3. Louis CK:
‘When you write from your gut and let the stuff stay flawed and don’t let anybody tell you to make it better, it can end up looking like nothing else.’
Yet another comedian inspired by George Carlin, Louis CK has a way of getting into audiences mind. His comedy style is so observant and relatable that one can get it as soon as he starts speaking. Simple yet untouched types of topics is what he is good at and his jokes seems to relate to people of all walks of life from a drug junky to a single mother. In his own words “The greatest jokes, never register as jokes. Not quite’
4. Dave Chappelle:
‘Chivalry is dead…And Women killed it’
Here’s another stand-up comedian who does good “black comedy’ but not black comedy, his jokes would talk about racism and racial division and his approach with an outrageous ridicule that would be so edgy that it may often shock the audiences. He has continually refused to tone down his style or dilute his outspoken African-American point of view in order to make his comedy ‘more acceptable.’ Thus gaining fame and success on his own terms, and has become especially popular with young audiences who appreciate Chappelle’s sly social commentary and aggressively satiric style.
5. Dane Cook:
‘I don’t say, ‘Bless you.’ I say, ‘God bless you,’ because I’m not the Lord.’
Dane Cook’s comedy style is mostly a long-form storytelling with elaborate details of a personal experience and in its all description he can make people enjoy every bit of it. He is one person who never shies from using double meaning or multipurpose phases. Most would find his acts to be almost near vulgar but even then he has found a way to make his act somehow connect with the masses.
6. Russell Peters:
‘Indians are the second largest population in the world, but we’re invisible on TV — everything is either black or white.’
He became a YouTube sensation overnight when YouTube had just come fresh; his comedy style is a bit of observational comedy, using humor to highlight racial, ethnic, class and cultural stereotypes. He often refers to his own experiences growing up in an Indian family and impersonates the accents of various ethnic groups to poke fun at them. Of all the comedians, he seems to have found a way to develop a more interactive way of comedy where he would ask questions to the audience, make a joke about something and yet make them feel in ease.
7. Bill Hicks:
‘I don’t mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that’s how it comes out.’
He makes jokes and satirizes the stupidity of our way of life that we think is so important. He talks about issues most comedians wouldn’t dare touch because they are fake and don’t really have much to say. Topics discussed include the government, smoking cigarettes, religion & hypocrisy, consumerism & advertisement, selling out in music as well as just talking about stupid people in general. He also is one of the only comedians today that bring up the issue of mind altering drugs as helping society instead of harming it as so many people claim. His sketch on Marijuana vs. Alcohol is one of the best of all time sketches in my opinion and brings to life undeniable truths about pot.
8. Pablo Francisco:
‘Doesn’t it suck — nice body, ugly face? Doesn’t that suck? It’s like ‘I love spaghetti! But it’s got shit on it!’
Pablo Francisco has a great rhythm, he is fast, is very talented, creative and damn funny. His style of comedy involves a lot of voice impression and modulation and he does it so effortlessly that it’s almost surreal to see him perform. He is another one of Comedy Central’s comic genius’ who is so underrated. He does great impressions of the Preview Guy “Don LaFontaine’, movie actors like Keanu Reeves, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jacky Chan and many more.
9. Lewis Black:
‘Each of us is full of shit in our own special way. We are all shitty little snowflakes dancing in the universe.’
He is known as the king of the rant; Lewis Black uses his trademark style of comedic yelling and animated finger-pointing talking about social hypocrisy, politics, pop culture, technology and what not. For a man who has structured his on-stage persona as being the last angry man, the modern world is a treasure trove of material for a comedian like Lewis Black with the world falling apart, political stupidity at an all-time high and wilful ignorance an apparent virtue, a learned and vocal opponent has a lot to shake.
‘An escalator can never break: it can only become stairs. You should never see an Escalator Temporarily Out Of Order sign, just Escalator Temporarily Stairs. Sorry for the convenience.’
From behind sunglasses and bowed head, Mitch Hedberg delivered concise gags that opened up the mundane world and showed anyone could be a comedian. The Cult of Hedberg, which continues to (rightfully) worship him for his effortless cool and funhouse mind. Few comics, save for Carlin and his acolytes, dissect and elucidate the absurdity of language as brilliantly as Hedberg. Mitch transcended typical comedy conventions in a way most audiences wouldn’t have been aware of. He talked about the inconsequential: jokes about dogs, beds and sandwiches allowed an audience to escape back to a more innocent time before they worried about things like relationships, politics and all the other well-trodden “adult’ topics ubiquitous on the comedy circuit during Hedberg’s premiership.
Originally published at www.wirtal.in.