I am not amused.
March 31, 2011 9:46 AM   Subscribe

I love Eddie Izzard and Jim Gaffigan. What other stand-ups with DVDs would I like?

Eddie Izzard and Jim Gaffigan make me laugh until I cry, but it's rare for me to get more than ten minutes into any other comedian's routine.

Comedians I thought I would like but couldn't get through include:
Margaret Cho
Demitri Martin
Sarah Silverman
Lewis Black
Patton Oswalt
Zach Galifianakis
Janeane Garofalo
Bill Hicks please don't hurt me but I can't stand his mugging

Russell Brand was okay. Aziz Ansari was good, but not Raaaandy. Thomas Lennon can be good. This is all on TV, not in person.

When I was a kid I loved Woody Allen, Steve Martin, Robin Williams, and Eddie Muprhy, but I doubt their routines have aged well. I've never liked George Carlin, Andy Kaufman, or Lenny Bruce.

I'm looking for DVDs or Netflix on Demand, please. Suggestions?
posted by The corpse in the library to Media & Arts (37 answers total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
Louis CK - Hilarious. (also his show)
posted by empath at 9:50 AM on March 31, 2011 [11 favorites]

Could you perhaps explain what it is you like about Izzard and Gaffigan? The list of comedians that you don't like is quite diverse, making it uneasy to pin down.
posted by Think_Long at 9:50 AM on March 31, 2011

I have laughed repeatedly at Dave Chappell's stand-up (and his show, for that matter).
posted by foxhat10 at 9:55 AM on March 31, 2011

The most professional stand up specials that I have ever watched are the ones by Chappelle, as foxhat mentions, and also some of Chris Rock's earlier ones. Unfortunately, none of them are on netflix instant at this point.
posted by Think_Long at 9:56 AM on March 31, 2011

Mitch Hedberg, perhaps? He is the polar opposite of "mugging".
posted by Greg Nog at 9:56 AM on March 31, 2011 [1 favorite]

Louis CK please over and over again.
posted by The Michael The at 9:57 AM on March 31, 2011

Response by poster: Good point, Think_Long. OK, I'd say both Gaffigan and Izzard seem intelligent, can keep looping back to earlier references, and make amusing connections I never would have.
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:04 AM on March 31, 2011

I think if you don't like Lewis Black or Patton Oswalt, you probably won't like Louis C.K. I think all three are very smart, but they have a similar style (negative, angry, etc)
posted by Gorgik at 10:07 AM on March 31, 2011

Response by poster: Yeah, negative and angry aren't what I'm looking for. (I've liked a good rant in the past, but not right.)
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:09 AM on March 31, 2011

Another vote for Louis CK and Mitch Hedberg.

Daniel Tosch is pretty good. I watched his "Completely Serious" routine on Netflix. I laughed. He uses facial expressions but they're not too annoying.
posted by Fairchild at 10:13 AM on March 31, 2011

Best answer: Mike Birbiglia: What I Should Have Said Was Nothing. I know you asked for DVDs but his comedy albums are great too if you like this one.
posted by Knicke at 10:13 AM on March 31, 2011 [8 favorites]

I'm a huge fan of Jimmy Carr (intelligent, calm, loops back) BUT his stuff often involves shock value punchlines that may or may not be your bag - I like them as a subversion of expectations, but it's certainly not everyone's cup of tea.
He's actually written a book about the historical, cultural and psychological makeup of jokes, which gives an interesting context to his choices.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 10:25 AM on March 31, 2011

katt williams. wanda sykes's last special had moments of brilliance.

i don't like the ones you mentioned as well, so i don't think your list is arbitrary. fwiw, i like smart and dark but just don't find any of them particularly funny and they all try way too hard to be smart. (yeah yeah, flame away.)
posted by crankyrogalsky at 10:28 AM on March 31, 2011

Jake Johannsen is pretty funny
posted by annsunny at 10:43 AM on March 31, 2011

Dylan Moran.
posted by Medieval Maven at 10:49 AM on March 31, 2011

Dara O'Briain

(I like Jimmy Carr, too, but he's definitely not for everyone because of the shock value factor.)
posted by marginaliana at 10:51 AM on March 31, 2011 [2 favorites]

The Live at Gotham Comedy Central series are on Netflix Instant right now, thats a good way to sample a lot of comics. Also, John Oliver's show and standup (not sure about instant, its on demand through my cable co.). Arj Barker: LYAO (on Netflix instant).
posted by yeahyeahyeahwhoo at 10:54 AM on March 31, 2011 [1 favorite]

Paul F. Tompkins...smart, calm and not an "angry" comic. I love his delivery.
posted by inturnaround at 10:55 AM on March 31, 2011 [3 favorites]

Russ Noble
posted by pised at 11:04 AM on March 31, 2011 [1 favorite]

I love Gaffigan but Louis CK leaves me cold fwiw. Seconding Birbiglia.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 11:33 AM on March 31, 2011 [1 favorite]

Great post. I really like that you specified other comedians who didn't work for you, as it helped to know that I'm not alone in this respect. I have no recommendations but merely wanted to share your enthusiasm for Jim Gaffigan. I'm no prude & tend towards bad language & crude humor amongst my closest friends, but it's refreshing that Gaffigan's humor eschews the need for either & is still engaging, hilarious & memorable.
posted by PepperMax at 11:58 AM on March 31, 2011

I'd say both Gaffigan and Izzard seem intelligent, can keep looping back to earlier references, and make amusing connections I never would have.

Stewart Lee? A bunch of his stuff is up on YouTube so you can sample it, but smart and recursive describes his style pretty well, I think.
posted by Errant at 11:59 AM on March 31, 2011

I just came to wholeheartedly agree with Knicke's Mike Birbiglia recommendation.
posted by infinitywaltz at 12:12 PM on March 31, 2011

Nthing Birbiglia. He's one of my favorites.

Here's a wildcard: Maria Bamford. I don't know if you'll like her or not, but I think she's pretty amazing. Her newest album is Unwanted Thoughts Syndrome, and it's pretty hilarious.
posted by gc at 12:30 PM on March 31, 2011 [1 favorite]

Another vote for Birbiglia. Love him. I am almost positive that you won't enjoy Louis CK; I think he's hilarious, but he can be pretty strong on the angry/bitter side of things.

Paul F. Tomkins and Maria Bamford are good suggestions, too.
posted by scody at 12:33 PM on March 31, 2011 [1 favorite]

I was going to say Maria Bamford too, but I don't think she has a DVD out other than the one of her Web shorts, does she?
posted by Errant at 12:41 PM on March 31, 2011

Bryan Regan - very funny observational, self-deprecating, not bitter/angry humor. He mugs it up a little bit, but not in a smug Bill Hicks way.
posted by usonian at 12:53 PM on March 31, 2011 [1 favorite]

Second Brian Regan. I think you'll like him.

Another to consider: Nick Swardson. Although it seems you have more of a conservative comedian preference, you may dig him. I think he's hilarious. Might be a little immature for you, perhaps. Watch a couple of clips and see what you think.

Wanda Sykes is hilarious. Her voice turned me off at first, but I got over it pretty quick.

My favorite is Louis CK. But he is not for the easily offended.

You may also like Steve Harvey. his stand-up is pretty awesome.
posted by KogeLiz at 1:24 PM on March 31, 2011

I am similarly picky about my standup and I think Marc Maron is spectacular.

His WTF podcast is awesome, though it's almost always interviews preceded by about 15 minutes worth of monologue. As for his standup comedy, I know he has CDs, I'm not sure about DVDs. You can find some parts of routines on YouTube and some of his older routines on Netflix Watch Instantly to see if you like him before you commit to CDs. He has a very distinct style and I can't promise you'll love on it like I do, but he's worth checking out.
posted by Rudy Gerner at 1:50 PM on March 31, 2011

Daniel Tosh's Completely Serious quickly made its way into my top favorites.

And, if you haven't watched them in awhile, Eddie Murphy's Raw and Delirious actually have aged well.
posted by General Malaise at 2:14 PM on March 31, 2011

Another strong vote for Brian Regan. All of his specials are great and available on Netflix.
posted by wittgenstein at 4:50 PM on March 31, 2011

Since Paul F. Tompkins has been mentioned repeatedly, I'll add Dana Gould to the list. His dvd/cd Let Me Put My Thoughts in You is great.
posted by Lorin at 6:51 PM on March 31, 2011

2nding Stewart Lee
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 7:16 PM on March 31, 2011

Yay! I love standup! I am here to help you even though you dislike some of my favorite comedians (and yeah, you probably won't like Louis CK who is practically my standup comedian idol).

Here's what you want: Comedy Central Presents, streaming on Netflix. 210 comedians, 240 episodes. Includes Mitch Hedberg (1 episode), Maria Bamford (2 episodes), Mike Birbiglia (2 episodes), Arj Barker (2), Jimmy Carr (2) and of course Gaffigan's (only ONE?!?). I'm going to recommend some other comedians who are also available in this series.

Totally out of left field but I think Laura Kitelinger is pretty funny. Her comedy is dark and self deprecating but in sort of weird cheerful enthusiastic way so she doesn't come across as angry or bitter.

John Mulaney is smart and hilarious. His bit on Law and Order is really funny.

You might like Tig. Her humor is clever and somewhat self-deprecating. If I had to give it a tone I'd say it's sardonic. You may recognize her if you ever watched the Sarah Silverman show; she played the lesbian cop.

You might like Todd Barry (2). I guess he's a dirtier, oilier version of Gaffigan.

Zach Galifianakis ("hope I'm pronouncing that correctly"--possibly the most clever joke ever) is just weird. If you've seen any movie he's been in -- well, he's kind of like that. Only telling jokes. Also, he plays the piano, which is somehow also funny.

You also should absolutely watch the episode called "My First Time", a very intimate and funny glimpse into the experience of standup comedy. It includes another appearance by Birbiglia.

If you like Gaffigan and are on twitter, I hope you are following his twitter feed; it's pretty funny.
posted by Deathalicious at 9:20 PM on March 31, 2011 [5 favorites]

John Pinette is a riot!
posted by Hanuman1960 at 1:22 PM on April 1, 2011

Gabriel Inglesias?
posted by BoscosMom at 9:54 PM on April 1, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll work through them and hand out "best answers," for all the other Izzard/Gaffigan/nobody-else fans out there. I watched Mike Birbiglia and although I never laughed until I cried, I did snort with amusement a few times.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:28 PM on April 3, 2011

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