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October 4, 2009 7:28 AM   Subscribe

What are your recommended stand-up comedy albums or DVDs?

I'm not concerned about explicit language or topic... just funny. Back in the 70s and 80s I used to watch a lot of comedy, particularly on HBO specials, but I've kinda fallen out of touch recently, especially regarding contemporary comedians. But yucks are yucks, whether 60 or 6 years ago. What are your favorite recorded stand-up routines, and who is doing the best comedy these days? Thanks for the laughs.
posted by netbros to Media & Arts (61 answers total) 45 users marked this as a favorite
Killing Them Softly by Dave Chappelle. Very funny and smart. My all-time favorite.
posted by jmf2525 at 7:34 AM on October 4, 2009

Doug Stanhope. Hit and miss, but when he's good he's brilliant.

An acquired taste all the same.
posted by fire&wings at 7:35 AM on October 4, 2009

Louis C.K.: Chewed Up
Louis C.K. - Shameless
posted by sharkfu at 7:38 AM on October 4, 2009 [3 favorites]

I love Margaret Cho. She has no boundaries whatsoever. You can find some of her stuff on Youtube.
posted by Solomon at 7:52 AM on October 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

Steve Martin - Comedy Is Not Pretty is still one of my favorites.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 7:55 AM on October 4, 2009

Bill Cosby's "Noah" routine from his first release Bill Cosby Is a Very Funny Fellow...Right! is a timeless classic.
posted by torquemaniac at 8:00 AM on October 4, 2009

Eddie Izzard: Dressed to Kill
Margaret Cho: The Notorious C.H.O.
Bill Hicks: Revelations
Billy Connolly: I don't have a favorite show of his, any of his "Live" stuff is pretty great.

I love all of these comedians fiercely, these are just the "best" routines.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:01 AM on October 4, 2009

Just came to second Eddie Izzard's Dressed to Kill. Brilliant.
posted by qwip at 8:05 AM on October 4, 2009 [3 favorites]

Maria Bamford is one of my favorites. Her style is ... uh ... unique, and may not be everyone's taste, but she cracks me up.

Also, Mike Birbiglia.

The good thing is, you can listen to samples in iTunes and Amazon.
posted by The Deej at 8:07 AM on October 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

Mitch Hedburg - Strategic Grill Locations
Mitch Hedburg - Mitch All Together
posted by DOUBLE A SIDE at 8:09 AM on October 4, 2009 [3 favorites]

Both of David Cross's CDs are extremely funny. A few of his bits still make me laugh even after hearing them half a dozen times.
posted by lunasol at 8:15 AM on October 4, 2009 [2 favorites]

Patton Oswalt

I'm partial to 'Werewolves and Lollipops'
here's a decent example (youtube)
posted by CardinalRichelieuHandPuppet at 8:22 AM on October 4, 2009

I love every comedian mentioned so far, and have to add Patton Oswalt, especially Werewolves and Lollipops. If you have any affinity for geek/nerd culture, you will love him extra. If not, you'll still laugh your ass off.
posted by LooseFilter at 8:24 AM on October 4, 2009

So it's undeniably true that Bobcat Goldthwait was in a not-insignificant number of terrible movies and TV shows throughout his career, and that his voice makes Gilbert Gottfried sound like Mariah Carey. But in his prime, the man was a stand-up genius. One of my favorite comedy albums is (still) Meat Bob. A lot of the jokes were on issues current to the time (mid-80's), but it's his delivery and improvisation that makes the performance. He had the political leanings of Carlin, but was far more candid and self-effacing. Whereas Carlin would often come across as self-righteous and aggressively common-sense, Goldthwait was more of the honest weirdo, pointing out the absurdity of himself and the rest of the world.
posted by dephlogisticated at 8:28 AM on October 4, 2009

Bill Cosby: Himself has me rolling on the ground laughing despite the material being 26 years old.

On being drunk: Now you've got to go. So you come into the bathroom, close the door; now, don't forget: you owe this to yourself. You've worked hard all week. It's come to this. "Ahh, Jesus... Oh, God... If You get me out of this, I'll never drink again as long as I live... ” Now you are ready to put your face in a place that was never built for your face.

And on the opposite end of the black-man stand-up spectrum: Chris Rock: Kill the Messenger. I almost peed my pants when he admitted his love for No Doubt.
posted by kidsleepy at 8:29 AM on October 4, 2009

Also check out Bill Burr's Why Do I Do This? DVD. I saw this on comedy central, and it's laugh-out-loud funny.

And you can't ever go wrong with Brian Regan. Funny regardless, but his expressions make viewing on DVD mandatory.
posted by The Deej at 8:30 AM on October 4, 2009

3rding Patton Oswalt-- My roommate and I listened to his most recent album and were laughing so hard at points that we were doubled over in pain.
I'm too lazy this morning to find the album names, but I'd imagine anything by these folks will be good (some are already mentioned above):
Dave Chappelle
Brian Posehn
Maria Bamford
Mitch Hedberg
David Cross
Jim Gaffigan (although I find that his stuff tends to be a little formulaic from album to album)
Demetri Martin (if you don't like music in your comedy or things that are a little cutely esoteric/precious, than you may not like him)
Zack Galafinakis (his is also very musical, but way weird)
posted by ishotjr at 8:30 AM on October 4, 2009

Also seconding David Cross's Shut Up You Fucking Baby and Eddie Izzard's Dressed to Kill.
posted by dephlogisticated at 8:32 AM on October 4, 2009

Seinfeld - I'm telling you for the last time

It's basically the entire tv series in 1 hour.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:37 AM on October 4, 2009

2nding Chris Rock, though to me his most legendary stand-up routine was Bring the Pain
posted by The Gooch at 8:38 AM on October 4, 2009

If you like geeky musical surrealism, Bill Bailey; especially Bewilderness and Part-Troll.
posted by Bodd at 8:40 AM on October 4, 2009

Anythng by George Carlin
posted by Blacksun at 8:42 AM on October 4, 2009

Seconding/thirding Patton Oswalt and David Cross. Also recommending Todd Barry.
posted by porn in the woods at 8:58 AM on October 4, 2009

As much as I love all these people's comedy albums (has anyone mentioned E=MO2, I Have a Pony, or Let's Get Small yet?), I must confess I find a lot of standup much funnier in the more intimate setting of a session with Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:00 AM on October 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

Dylan Moran's Monster is literally the funniest stand up I have ever seen.

Recently I've also been enjoying Frankie Boyle's standup recently. Very blue and dark humour though often quite dependant on knowledge about politics, people and culture of the UK.
posted by slimepuppy at 9:03 AM on October 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

A few of my favorites:

Jim Gaffigan
Lewis Black
Gabriel Iglasias
Robin Williams

No particular albums. Everything I've heard from each is very good.
posted by nickthetourist at 9:07 AM on October 4, 2009

I'm a huge fan of Stephen Lynch. He has a new CD out, and I haven't heard all the songs on it yet, but here's a sample of one of my faves, Beelz.
posted by misha at 9:08 AM on October 4, 2009

Jim Gaffigan (although I find that his stuff tends to be a little formulaic from album to album)

It's not a formula so much as a recipe. And it is delicious.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:10 AM on October 4, 2009 [2 favorites]

It's not a formula so much as a recipe. And it is delicious.
Yes, especially in that roughly 70% of his bits involve food, haha. Recipe indeed. :-)
posted by ishotjr at 9:39 AM on October 4, 2009

DVDs - certainly Ross Noble. You get your money's worth, as he improvs his entire show by and large. His DVDs are cheap and you get about four discs with multiple gigs and commentaries, and one DVD where he does a commentary track of the commentary he did a year earlier.
posted by opsin at 9:45 AM on October 4, 2009

Nobody's mentioned Michael Ian Black [from The State, Ed, Stella, I Love the '__s, etc.] -- he has one album, and it's amazing. I also highly recommend Eddie Izzard's "Circle".

I can't resist the opportunity to plug either of John Hodgman's audiobooks, either -- yes, they're books, and consequently much longer than a standard comedy album, but they're hilarious, and pretty much the same thing as listening to someone do [deadpan] stand-up, if you're into that style.
posted by bah213 at 9:51 AM on October 4, 2009

Daniel Tosh - Completely Serious.

Seriously. Hilarious. Sample.
posted by General Malaise at 10:04 AM on October 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

Two Mitch Hedberg albums were recommended above, both of which are awesome.

I'll also recommend the third one, which was released after his death: Do You Believe in Gosh?
posted by alligatorman at 10:09 AM on October 4, 2009

Some of my favorites (who weren't already mentioned)
Al Madrigal
Dara O'Brian
Eugene Mirman
Greg Proops
Jimmy Pardo
Kathleen Madigan
Marc Maron
Paula Poundstone
posted by doctor_negative at 10:10 AM on October 4, 2009

Steve Martin, "Let's Get Small" is everything stand-up comedy should be. If you don't have it, run, don't walk to Amazon or iTunes.

Either of Mitch Hedberg's albums are brilliant, I prefer "Mitch All Together." He left us too soon, leaving behind a sea of unfunny hacks and "alternative" comedians trying to prove how cool they are by saying nasty stuff about Paris Hilton.

Chris Rock definitely hit his high point with his HBO special "Bring the Pain," which is awesome. Since then he's pretty much repeated himself to diminishing returns.

This might be surprising if you only know his movie persona, but pick up Adam Sandler's first comedy CD, "They're all gonna laugh at you." It's fall-on-the-floor funny, and NOT in a "Channakuh Song" way. It's over-the-top obscene and brilliantly stupid, or perhaps stupidly brilliant.
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:29 AM on October 4, 2009

Norm MacDonald's Ridiculous is definitely worth a few listens. It's not standup (except for the excellent bonus track), but sketches.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:40 AM on October 4, 2009

Ricky Gervais' (creator of original version of The Office, and Extras) Fame, Politics, Animals, and Out of England are all great.

I also like Chris Rock's Bigger and Blacker, Bring the Pain, and Roll with the New.

nthing Patton Oswalt, David Cross, Mitch Hedberg. Check out Brian Posehn and Zach Galafinakis, too. There are a couple of "Comedians of Comedy" DVDs that feature Patton, Maria Bamford, Brian Posehn, and Galafinakis.

And don't forget Steven Wright. And if you consider prank phone calls a form of comedy, The Jerky Boys have several albums.

Ellen Degeneres has some great shows, too.
posted by wubbie at 10:58 AM on October 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

aspecialthing is a great record label for indy comedians.

I highly recommend Paul F. Tompkins - "Impersonal"
posted by orme at 11:01 AM on October 4, 2009

Daniel Tosh (mentioned above) is on Netflix instant watch.

Now that I look, so is Bill Cosby: Himself, Comedians of Comedy: Live at the El Rey (includes Oswalt, Bramford, Posehn), and other stuff you can find through "more like this". If you don't have a Netflix subscription, you could watch a ton with a 30 day trial.
posted by samsm at 11:06 AM on October 4, 2009

Ricky Gervais's Out of England DVD. I saw him when he did the show at the Kodak in Los Angeles, and towards the end I was laughing so hard I quite literally thought I was going to cease breathing.

All of Eddie Izzard's stuff is great -- the aforementioned Dressed to Kill and Circle are probably the best, but I'm very fond of Glorious also.
posted by stennieville at 11:07 AM on October 4, 2009

The two Lewis Black albums I like best are The Carnegie Hall Performance and Anticipation (Audio CDs). His Black on Broadway DVD is good too.

George Carlin's Complaints and Grievances DVD is excellent.

David cross' It's Not Funny is good stuff.

All of these guys 'work blue', so be forewarned.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 11:09 AM on October 4, 2009

Eddie Murphy - Delirious
posted by Vindaloo at 11:11 AM on October 4, 2009

Jesse Thorn often features excerpts from stand-up CDs on his podcast The Sound of Young America.
posted by SebastianKnight at 11:11 AM on October 4, 2009

General Malaise: "Daniel Tosh - Completely Serious.

Seriously. Hilarious. Sample.

Oh my lord, I laugh til I nearly puke everytime I watch that.

Lots and lots of good ones mentioned. I'll throw in Lisa Lampanelli, Kathy Griffin, Lewis Black, Sommore, Rodney Carrington, Ralphie May, Aisha Tyler, Katt Williams, and John Caparulo. (After making that list I realize my taste ranges from urban to super hick!) :)
posted by CwgrlUp at 11:22 AM on October 4, 2009

46 comments and not one of us has mentioned Richard Pryor. Two of my favorites:

Richard Pryor: Live in Concert
Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip
posted by sharkfu at 11:34 AM on October 4, 2009

Echoing the Eddie Izzard recs upthread. I nearly peed myself the first time I saw one. I think, though, that because he jumps back and forth so much (which is really part of the reason he's so hilarious), it's much better on video than audio. Easier to follow.

You might also try the Ricky Gervais Show podcasts/audiobooks, but be warned that you will turn the volume all the way up to hear Karl Pilkington and then have your eardrums blown out when Ricky cackles.

The old Bill Cosby ones are great for listening. I love "Froofie the Dog." He uses his mic very well.
posted by Madamina at 11:38 AM on October 4, 2009

Tommy Tiernan - Something Mental (very easily one of the best five comedy specials/albums of the last five years.)

Louis CK - Chewed Up

Daniel Tosh - True Stories I Made Up OR Completely Serious (If you do both - there is overlapping material.) You should see this guy live - he can be pretty spectacular live.

Lewis Black - Rules of Enragement - really most of his cds are pretty solid. Lewis Black also has a limited release special hitting movie theaters next week. See to see if it's hitting your area. Lewis Black is another to see live because he's constantly working on new material and he's tremendously funny when the new material is not working as well as when it does work.

I always like to recommend that people check out some of the old standard Bob Newhart albums. They just don't make them like that guy anymore.

Maria Bamford is kind of hit or miss on cds/specials but when she hits she hits big. She is someone best experienced live in person. I don't think they've really managed to get her full impact recorded yet.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 1:15 PM on October 4, 2009

Wanda Sykes "sick and tired" is pretty great; Ron White's "drunk in public" and "you can't fix stupid" are also fun.
posted by maryrussell at 1:30 PM on October 4, 2009

i have seen Eddie Izzard's Dress to Kill many many times now... it still makes me laugh out loud

his Circle performance is also very good

"covered in beees!!!!"
posted by jammy at 1:53 PM on October 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

Just one more vote for Eddie Izzard's Dress to Kill. I have all (or nearly all) of his DVDs, but that one is by far my favorite -- it's easily one of the greatest stand-up routines of the past decade or so.
posted by scody at 2:21 PM on October 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

Add me to the Eddie Izzard club, and I'll also second Dylan Moran, who you should recognize as David from Shaun of the Dead.
posted by hip_plumber at 4:23 PM on October 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Mitch Hedburg
Jim Gaffigan
Brian Regan

annnnd, my favorite of the times... Mike Birbiglia!
posted by mittenbex at 4:45 PM on October 4, 2009

chris rock, kills me
posted by panini at 5:12 PM on October 4, 2009

Dave Attell's Skanks for the Memories is one of the funniest comedy albums I have ever heard.
posted by Arch_Stanton at 7:12 PM on October 4, 2009

Oh! Mitch Fatel! The CD Miniskirts & Muffins and the DVD Magical are both quite excellent.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:53 PM on October 4, 2009

Michael McIntyre! I just love his floppy hair.
Ricky Gervais, both Animals and Politics are really funny.
posted by like_neon at 4:33 AM on October 5, 2009

Nthing Eddie Izzard - and yes D2K is the best, IMO. After that, I'd go with Glorious and work your way through. He's super intelligent, witty and can say more things with his eyes than most people can with their mouth.
posted by Mysticalchick at 7:57 AM on October 5, 2009

Woody Allen's Stand Up Comic

" radiator breaks and the hotel room is absolutely freezing, and I'm ashamed, y'know, because she is going to come into a cold room, so I go into the bathroom and I turn on the hot water in the shower, which is an old Brooklyn trick to heat the apartment, and hot water comes down and billows of steam come into the living room. And icecold air is seeping in under the windowsill and the two fronts meet in the living room, and it starts to rain in my hotel room. I'm standing there in the rain, and I did not do well with the girl."
posted by clorox at 9:43 AM on October 5, 2009

I know this has been said, and I'm a bit late to the party, but I'd like to officially nth Eddie Izzard's Dress to Kill. In case anyone is curious (since I only recently found this out myself), you can watch the whole thing on Google Video.
posted by stufflebean at 9:41 PM on October 5, 2009

Nthing Patton Oswalt, Louis CK, Bill Hicks.

But why no love yet for Sarah Silverman? Her standup special is gut wrenchingly awesome:
IMDB clips
posted by markovitch at 3:26 PM on October 7, 2009

Can't believe this hasn't been mentioned yet, but by far the best minority jokes ever:

Russell Peters' "Comedy Now" show
posted by chalbe at 12:06 PM on October 9, 2009

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