The Funniest Stand-up Comedians
On My List
- George Carlin
- Lewis Black
- Ricky Gervais
- Robin Williams
- Eddie Murphy
- Louis C.K.
- Russell Peters
- Gabriel Iglesias
- Jeff Dunham
- Rowan Atkinson
Not in any particular order!
We can all use a good laugh every now and then. Luckily, we are blessed in our society with many comedic resources, be they books, tv series or movies, funny people or occurrences in our environment or comedians.
In this article I want to present you with 10 comedians who have performed stand-up comedy that have managed to make me laugh out loud.
Of course a sense of humor is a very personal thing. While I may find one thing so funny I fall off my chair, you may find yourself yawning until your jaws hurt. Therefore, the below list has not been put in any particular order! I have listed my favorites absolutely arbitrarily: merely according to how a google search ordered them for me! I might as well have thrown darts to decide the order used here.
So if you do not agree with my list, I would be very happy to read your thoughts in the comments. Do you know someone who should be mentioned? Someone perhaps I should check out? I may not even know them yet, so share the joy with me and with others!
George Carlin (1937-2008) was a notorious stand-up comedian, most famously known for his list of "Seven Words You Can't Say On TV". Naturally, this bit caused a lot of controversy in 1972, when you couldn't swear on tv - period. Carlin was arrested for violating obscenity laws, but the case was thrown out later that same year. He, of course, went on doing what he loves, which also includes the use of cocaine, sadly enough.
He would cover any topic and was not afraid to talk about the most controversial issues of that moment. In 2008, he performed for a last time in his show It's Bad For Ya. 4 months later, the infamous comedian would succumb to a heart attack. Up to the present day, many comedians list him as one of their greatest inspirations.
- "Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and everybody driving faster is a maniac?"
- "The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live."
- "Religion has convinced people that there’s an invisible man…living in the sky, who watches everything you do every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a list of ten specific things he doesn’t want you to do. And if you do any of these things, he will send you to a special place, of burning and fire and smoke and torture and anguish for you to live forever, and suffer and burn and scream until the end of time. But he loves you. He loves you and he needs money!"
Lewis Black is a comedian who is most commonly known from his appearances in The Daily Show and his stand-up comedy where he gives his commentary on society, daily life, politics and culture. His comedic style is mostly sarcasm and explosive rages, which oddly enough seems to work.
- “There's no such thing as soy milk. It's just soy juice.”
- "I was home alone watching George Bush speak on television. So it was just really the two of us. And as I listened to him, I realized, that one of us... was nuts! And for the first time ever, I went, 'Wow, it's not me!'
- "If you're going to vote for someone because you think they have a great faith in God, you'd better be sure that God has faith in them."
Ricky Gervais' claim to fame began when he wrote, produced and co-starred in The Office, but he has since also appeared in several comedic movies, including The Invention Of Lying and Ghost Town. He has received numerous awards for his various performances. Again, this comedian has caused his fair share of controversy. Gervais isn't afraid to mock groups in society but will equally likely mock himself. He feels there's nothing you shouldn't joke about.
- “If you can't joke about the most horrendous things in the world, what's the point of jokes? What's the point in having humor? Humor is to get us over terrible things.”
- "Just because you're offended, doesn't mean you're right."
- "The best advice I've ever received is, 'No one else knows what they're doing either.' "
Who doesn't know Robin Williams? Actor, producer, writer, comedian and yes, he has appeared on stage. He can talk about anything and make it funny, even improvised. One of his most memorable moments as a stand-up comedian was when he was on stage explaining golf. His hyperactive style and imitations will tickle your laughing muscles every time!
- "Politicians are a lot like diapers. They should be changed frequently, and for the same reasons."
- "If you can remember the sixties, you weren't there."
- "Politics: “Poli” a Latin word meaning “many”; and "tics" meaning “bloodsucking creatures”."
Most people know Eddie Murphy for his performances in such films as The Nutty Professor, Dr. Doolittle or as the hilarious mule in Shrek, but in the 80's he also performed on stage in Delirious and Raw, his only two taped comedy shows. His performances, while witty and funny, are not suited for children, however, contrary to many of his comedic movies! So don't put on one of his stage performances thinking "it'll entertain the kids"!
- "This is how you answer a door in my neighborhood. WHO IS IT?"
- "Icecream man always drove extra blocks away. And I know he's seen us and sh**, but I think he just be in the car with his friends and say: [imitating the ice cream man] Watch me how fast I make these motherf***ers run."
- "A bear and a rabbit were taking a s*** in the woods. The bear turns to the rabbit and says, "Excuse me, do you have problems with s*** sticking to your fur?" And the rabbit says, "No." So the bear wiped his a** with the rabbit."
Ah, Louis C.K. How to describe his style? ... Blunt. Filthy, perhaps. Full of cursing. But also some of the best stuff around nowadays! He is funny on the spot, he won't shy away from any single topic, and he'll sure as hell not apologize for his opinions. He is nowadays what I imagine George Carlin might have been in the 1970s. Definitely worth checking out!
- "You can figure out how bad a person you are by how soon after September 11th you ma*******ed, like how long you waited... and for me it was between the two buildings going down... I had to do it, otherwise they'd win."
- "Divorce is always good news. I know that sounds weird, but it's true because no good marriage has ever ended in divorce … That would be sad. If two people were married and they were really and they just had a great thing and then they got divorced, that would be really sad. But that has happened zero times."
- "You could drive a rental car until you don't want it. Just get out of it while it's moving and just walk away. No, I don't feel like being in that car any longer. Just call Hertz. Hi, your car is drifting into the intersection of 28th and Broadway, if you're interested. It's now your problem."
Russell Peters is, physically at least, Indian. But not culturally. And so he's confronted with the duality of two cultures trying to co-exist every day. He's really good at imitating accents from different languages, and he focuses mostly on cultural differences in his comedy. If you want a good laugh, but Louis C.K., Ricky Gervais, Lewis Black, George Carlin, ... are too 'filthy' for your tastes, this might be a safer option!
- "Every group is racist. White folks will see a group of Indian people and they’re like, “Look at all those brown people, they’re probably all very happy together.” Then you get in that group and like, “Hey, you from India? I’m from India. What part? No, not that part. Go to hell you dirty bastard.” "
- "[on using other people's comedy ideas] It's like wearing another man's underwear. Why would you do that?"
- "[on Bollywood films] It's not that I'm not a fan. It's just that if you gave me the option between cutting my testicles off or making me watch one of those films, I'd be like 'Get those knives sharpened up, would you?' "
A great comedian, and a wonderful human being. Iglesias has a voice that's great at impressions, but his heart is even bigger than Fluffy himself! When he found out a fan uploaded one of his shows in its entirety, he proudly shared it on Facebook, rather than sue. What more can you say? Go look at his work! And if you like it? Buy his dvd! Such kindness and generosity should be rewarded, no?
- "I'm a big boy, but I can get jiggy with it. Ladies, I will go to dance clubs, and I will tear it up hardcore for a good 30 seconds. "
- "I'll walk up to a woman, I'll say the first thing that comes to mind: 'Hey, you hungry?' "
- "Me racist? The only race I hate is the one you have to run."
Jeff Dunham is a ventriloquist who has brought with him to fame one of his puppets: Achmed, the Dead Terrorist. He brings his creations with him on stage and speaks to them, has whole conversations with them in fact! He also starts every performance with a bit of pure stand-up comedy - sans puppets. And it's surely at least as good as the parts with the puppets. I strongly recommend Jeff Dunham if you have a need for just plain fun stand-up comedy.
- "Jeff: So, your wife's in town?
Jeff Dunham: Is she having a good time here?
Walter: She always has a good time.
Jeff Dunham: Good.
Walter: Pisses me off...
Jeff: She's a lovely lady.
Walter: She gettin' old!
Jeff: Well, women age like... like fine wine.
Walter: She's agin' like milk!"
- "Jeff: So, Achmed, do you like being in D.C?
Achmed: I think some idiots might live here. For example, the Washington Monument! It looks nothing like the guy. It looks more like a tribute to Bill Clinton!"
- "Jeff: Can you stop a speeding bullet?
Melvin: [pauses] ... Once."
Who here doesn't know Mr. Bean? Many a person has spent plenty of evenings laughing at the antics of the British clumsy mute, but did you know the actor, Rowan Atkinson, can do far more than that? Oh yes, he's also a very good stand-up comedian! Check out one of his shows in the video below, as shared by his official channel! I recommend tissues, as I surely had to laugh so hard my eyes filled with tears from laughing so hard!
- "As I was leaving this morning, I said to myself, 'The last thing you must do is forget your speech.' And, sure enough, as I left the house this morning, the last thing I did was to forget my speech.”
- "Your services might be as useful as a barber's shop on the steps of a guillotine."
- "[welcoming people to Hell] The French, are you here? If you'd just like to come down here with the Germans, I'm sure you'll have plenty to talk about... Atheists? Over here please. You must be feeling a right bunch of nitwits... And finally, Christians. Christians? Ah yes, I'm sorry. I'm afraid the Jews were right."