This post could just as easily be called “Tastes are Personal, Dontcha Know?” It is about comedy and comedians. We all have our favorites, and I will list just a few of mine.
Dennis Miller: Even when I was very liberal, I enjoyed this man. His humor is biting, and extremely clever. Talking about service animals on airplanes, and how carried away (so to speak ) it has gotten, he mentioned a seatmate on an overseas flight, and her “therapeutic puff adder.” He said that Hillary’s campaign was “shakier than a blood bank at a Greyhound Depot.” Something like that, things that would never cross my mind, that catch me by surprise, and make me laugh out loud.
Demetri Martin: If Miller notices the big things passing by, Martin is about little things. I love this guy, so offbeat, so unique. He says, for instance, that during the day when a strip joint is not open, they should put up a sign that says “Sorry. We’re clothed.” He is an acquired taste, but I love this: Words that are only fit for certain uses. When I answer the phone, I say “This is Mark.” When in public, I say “I am Mark.” If I were to switch those expressions, in each case it would sound highly inappropriate. Martin attended law school on a full scholarship, but quit after his second year. When asked why, he told Stephen Colbert “My parents were dangerously close to being proud of me.”
Brian Regan: Just a nuts-and-bolts comic, but I like him because he is clean. After listening to shock comics talk about body parts and drug habits, it is refreshing to hear Brian talk about his childhood, and in a deep voice, talk like a child talks. He discussed comedy with Jerry Seinfeld on Comedians in Cars Having Coffee, and said he loves the profession because he always knows, on the spot, if he has done good work. Audiences tell him.
Anthony Jeselnik: Maybe an acquired taste, and not alwasy tasteful, Jeselnik is great for the inappropriate surprise. For instance, he told a story of having a girlfriend over for dinner, nothing sexual, just a nice evening. The next day she called him and said “I think I am falling in love with you.” He said to himself, “Yeah, I love you too.” But when the words came out, they were “I feel smothered.” The guy always catches me by surprise.
That’s it. I know everyone who has a favorite will chime in, so let’s have some fun with this. I do want to mention two who I no longer care for, and one who is an institution and who is fading.
Don Rickles: Why did I ever think this guy was funny? His throw-off lines, like “My wife was sitting there going …” or “Your barber called. He said…” are useless, but got big laughs back in the day for one reason, and one only: Johnny Carson laughed. Carson made this guy. I listen to him now in a humorless mode, as nothing coming out of his mouth makes me chuckle. (Oddly, the guy had some serious acting chops.)
George Carlin: Coming home from Yellowstone National Park on June 22, 2008, I noticed they were doing one Carlin set after another on Sirius Satellite Radio. Then I learned he had died, and nearly cried. I was very sad. I retrospect I don’t see much humor there as shared outrage. All of us like to belittle other people. At the Mathis conference in 2016, Miles mentioned Carlin as a possible Intelligence plant, as he broke barriers. Perhaps, it was suggested, the Milwaukee Seven arrest was staged. Perhaps Carlin was used to lower our standards. This is what triggered this post – I read his Wiki page looking for evidence to that effect. I found none. He just happened to be a guy who was promoted, probably without his knowledge, in an era when we were being taken down a road towards what we have, largely, now: Gross-out comedy, none of it funny.
On my way to the gym this morning, I listened to a woman talk about her vagina, and making her audience uncomfortable. That is considered a brand of comedy – to make the room uncomfortable. I could do it. After all, the one thing it does not require is talent.
Finally, Jerry Seinfeld: I like the guy, I like his humor and honesty. I watched every episode of Comedians in Cars, and came to realize that Jerry is a comic who is most comfortable around other comics. They understand one another. His audience is shrinking, and he knows it. But his work will stand, like the Marx Brothers or Python, and he will keep at it until he dies. He says it takes him five years to produce one hour of material. That’s because he keeps it clean, and clean comedy is hard work. Raisinette, anyone?
This post is intended just for the fun of it. I love comedy and good comedians. But I will close with a line from a woman who loves to shock us, and who really made me laugh with this one: “Last night I was licking jelly off my boyfriend’s penis, and I had to stop and think … oh my God, I’m becoming my mother.”
Yeah, Sarah Silverman, raunchy as they come, honorable mention.
18 thoughts on “Comedians I like and not”
Shout out to Mitch Hedberg, who I was a huge fan of.
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Foster Brooks deserves a mention. Never drank in real life but nailed inebriation. Here he is roasting one of your favorites, Don Rickles.
Couldn’t get away with a lot of these jokes today. PC killed comedy.
My favorites are Jim Gaffigan, John Pinette, Sabastian Maniscalco. They all make me laugh out loud. I am not sure if they are “in the family” or if they just rose up due to their talent (which would mean it is possible to become rich and famous without being related). I believe Miles wrote that Gaffigan is connected. Gaffigan comes across as a nice guy and has talent, in my opinion. No offense, but I think Sarah Silverman is pretty gross, and that joke makes me want to barf. I guess I do not get it. Sorry!
I like Gaffigan, and he’s got like tons of material out there. His wife and he are the writing team.
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PC? What’s funny? I dunno’. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hB9UzoYDZlc
So, here’s a nod to those funny women who just won’t go away, even though the deck is clearly stacked against them.
I must be prejudiced … I don’t care for most female comics. Amy Shumer is juiced, first cousin (-1) of Senator Chuck Shumer. She’s taken quite a bit of heat from other comedians for stealing material. Never gotten a chuckle out of me. I like DeGeneres and Poundstone, however.
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I agree. I do not care for most female comedians. Shumer is very crass to say the least. I kinda like Rita Rudner, perhaps because of my age. DeGeneres and Poundstone can be quite funny. DeGeneres seems kinda spooky, but has a natural sense of humor that makes me smile nonetheless.
I agree that Brian Regan is super funny. And I like Jerry Seinfeld. Back in day, I thought Carlin was funny. I revisited his stand-up recently and could not for the life of me understand why I thought he was funny. That does happen at times, with movies as well.
I think humor and stand-up comedy is a necessity with the world we live in, which is why I really like this post. I understand most comics are handled and supplied jokes by Intelligence. But I suspect there are some unwitting comics out there just trying to share their craft, such as Bill Burr. I think he is pretty funny.
I like old Buddy Hackett bits because he was a storyteller, a raconteur. You’re not just sitting there between funny jokes, enduring all the lame ones until he gets to the next good one, the way we do with most comedians. His stuff could get pretty raunchy, but he went beyond the mere shock value of “Oh, I can’t believe he/she said that, hahaha!”–which is what most blue comedians make bank on. His stuff was funny because his stories spiraled into ever higher realms of absurdity while following their own story logic. He was a sophisticated “blue” comedian who was all the more funny because his voice, his face, his demeanor, his language–absolutely nothing about him came off as sophisticated. When he was at his best, I think the craftsmanship of his routines was far more surprising than his raunchiness.
I also have a soft spot in my heart for Sarah Silverman. To be honest, I mistrust all comedians. All of them, even the edgiest or raunchiest, come across as normative to me, just like “edgy” rock music. The older I get, the less patience I have for any of it. But Silverman’s combination of nastiness and intelligence is kind of irresistible. She did a bit about meeting a Hispanic woman who was angry because Silverman had done jokes about how Hispanics smell funny. “I don’t smell funny!” the woman exclaimed. “Oh, honey,” Silverman says, and shakes her head sorrowfully. “You can’t smell yourself.“
Gary Mule Deer.
Wish I had one. I really don’t have one. I really don’t like stand-up comedy. Has anybody here inherited a Stamp Collection? If so, what did you do with it?
Just thought of another one I like…Mike Birbiglia. He does not seem to include a lot of programming. And Ronny Chieng is funny, but does have some programming about vaccines, which is not funny.
There are lots and lots of them, and I could only mention a few. Birbiglia is a good one, along with John Mulaney. Here is one I just do not get – he was an SNL regular and I think he was fired, but then went on to host his own cable show, maybe more than one. Why? How does he get these gigs? He’s not funny, in my view: Colin Quinn.
Nothing on Carlin’s Wiki? with his 250k annual take in and private jets back in the 60’s…As we know now or should, nobody…will ever get prime time unless their background is juicy. Is Sam Kinison another faked death….oh oh aahhhhhhhh!!!
Speaking of markers… guess to how many people is following the 45th president on Twitter?? 47. No kidding!! Would you hold on a high echelon any agency, specially of any “intelligence” (in the precise meaning of the term) agency that declares: “OK, the year of our foundation will be a marker, OK? That’s right!!”. I regret not making this comment any clearer. I tried, for sure.
Sarah Silverman – The bit about “licking jelly off a penis” is definitely raunchy comedy. It should be remembered that the ultimate achievement in acting is convincing the audience to believe the lie. Now it is well known that once upon a time, all roles on the acting stage, both male and female, were portrayed by men, as women were not allowed on the stage or in the craft as it were, just like the Freemason Lodge is male only. Most consider the story and not so much the actors gender, though virtually every prominent male actor has at one time in his career worn a dress and played the role of a woman. It is a requirement, not a choice. What is not generally considered is if any of the actresses always considered to be “female” were in reality born “male”. It is somewhat common knowledge that at least as far back as the Macedonians, castrato boys were kept as concubines, house slaves, bodyguards, singers, actors, etc.
Now one thing to notice is how many celebrity “women” have the words “man” or “son” in their names. It is also worth noting that in general, descriptive gender words all contain the “masculine” as part of the word, i.e. “female, she, hers, woman” all contain the masculine “male, he, man”. Now Sarah Silverman has certainly been investigated as a potential trans persona. She has broad shoulders, long arms, fake breasts and somewhat of a brow ridge. That, of course, does not guarantee that she is a “male” only that she is not a typical “female”. Now at the age of 46, she announced that she had decided not to have children, which seems a bit of an odd time to come to that conclusion, but she would never have been considered “normal” by the standards of “normal folk”. Now, on the off chance that “she” is really a “he”, the comedy bit about “licking jelly off a penis” takes on another status altogether as an “inside joke”.
“You’ve got to promise me if…you ever get to the point in your
life when you are so puzzled, confused and frightened that you
feel the only way out is to abuse or molest a kid, well then,
you have to kill yourself. You have to lean into the strike
zone and take one for the team.”
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xv2VIEY9-A8 Chris Farley:
Young man, what do you want to do with your life?
Well, actually, I kind of want to be a writer.
Well, la-dee-Frickin’-da! We got ourselves a writer here! Hey Dad, I can’t see real good, is that Bill Shakespeare over there?
Well, actually, Matt, we’ve actually been encouraging Bryan (David Spade’s character) in his writing.
Dad, I wish you could shut your big YAPPER!