What I should have said was . . .
August 29, 2013 7:51 AM   Subscribe

I’m trying to come up with a list of comedy albums to buy for my girlfriend. Her favorite is Mike Birbiglia, so I’m interested in finding other comics in his vein - story tellers, not too profane, pretty nerdy. My list is below the fold.

Here’s what I have so far:

Paul F Tompkins
Louis CK
Kumail Nanjiani
This new kid that’s been on America’s Got Talent, Taylor Williamson
Hannibal Buress
Jim Gaffigan
Patton Oswalt

Considered, but rejected:

Maria Bamford (I think the Bam is a bit too frenetic for her taste)
Doug Benson (she’s not so into stoner humor)

Can you think of any other stand ups, working now or in the past, who put a strong emphasis on storytelling? Ideally I would like to get some more women on my list.
posted by Think_Long to Media & Arts (33 answers total) 44 users marked this as a favorite
John Mulaney

Joan Rivers
posted by melissasaurus at 7:54 AM on August 29, 2013 [5 favorites]

John Mulaney
Aziz Ansari
Bill Burr
posted by gnutron at 7:54 AM on August 29, 2013

Kathleen Madigan
Jackie Kashian
Aisha Tyler
Wanda Sykes
Tig Notaro
posted by maryrussell at 7:57 AM on August 29, 2013

oh, and let me add enthusiastically third John Mulaney!
posted by maryrussell at 7:57 AM on August 29, 2013

Response by poster: oh yeah, Tig's already on my list!
posted by Think_Long at 7:58 AM on August 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

Kristen Schaal?
posted by Rock Steady at 7:59 AM on August 29, 2013

Janeane Garofalo's "If You Will" is pretty hilarious. Not so much stories as meandering anecdotes.
posted by mdrew at 8:00 AM on August 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

Demetri Martin, especially the special he does about dropping out of law school.
posted by like_a_friend at 8:05 AM on August 29, 2013

Todd Barry
Eugene Mirman
Brian Posehn
Whitney Cummings

I'd ask you to reconsider Doug Benson. He's a pothead, but most of his material isn't pot-themed. It's more goofy observational stuff, if anything.
posted by Mr. Fig at 8:14 AM on August 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

David Cross can be pretty profane, but is also an amazing and hilarious storyteller. This is my favorite bit of his.
posted by lunasol at 8:14 AM on August 29, 2013

Storytellers? Oh my god, get her all of the classic Bill Cosby records. Especially "I Started Out as a Child," "To Russell, My Brother, Whom I Slept With," and "Revenge" (which is also the first appearance of the character Fat Albert).

Going further down the classic comedy rabbit-hole, you cannot go wrong with Bob Newhart. And since you mentioned you want more women on the list, there's Lily Tomlin.
posted by jbickers at 8:22 AM on August 29, 2013 [5 favorites]

Steven Wright? Not as much of a storyteller, but his humor is fairly clean - just weird.

I really did once ask my chemistry teacher about one of his jokes: "If you drove a car at the speed of light and turned your headlights on, would they do anything?"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:30 AM on August 29, 2013

Kurt Braunohler is one of my favorite comic-slash-storytellers and he just released an album last week on Kill Rock Stars. Big fun goofy guy can really engross you while making your sides hurt from laughing. I haven't heard the album yet but I've heard some material presumably off it at the release show and it was fantastic.
posted by gregoryg at 8:47 AM on August 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

Brian Regan? Goofy, but tells stories.

Also, you said comedy albums, but what about comedy books?
Jim Gaffigan just came out with one, Dad is Fat - perhaps there's an audiobook version.

Also, Davis Sedaris tells plenty of stories, but is on the profane side. You can surely find some of his readings online and preview them. (Often has some profane themes, vulgar language, although I love him.) But he often has audiobooks. I think he tends to tell cleaner stories on This American Life, or they at least bleep him.

I would also suggest Tina Fey's Bossypants as a book, or again perhaps audiobook. She tells TONS of stories on getting into comedy, her high school awkward years, her life on SNL, and getting into 30 Rock. It's fantastic and hilarious!
posted by Crystalinne at 9:31 AM on August 29, 2013 [3 favorites]

Julia Sweeney.
posted by headnsouth at 9:32 AM on August 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

David Sedaris's audiobooks would be a pretty good fit.

Mitch Hedberg was more jokes than long drawn-out stories, but he was so good.
posted by Kafkaesque at 9:53 AM on August 29, 2013 [2 favorites]

Myq Kaplan
posted by rmless at 10:24 AM on August 29, 2013

Maybe more conversational than storytelling, but no comedy collection would be complete without Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks doing The 2000 Year Old Man.

Do podcasts count? Paget Brewster is her usual amazing self with PFT on The Thrilling Adventure Hour and it includes lots of other great actors and comedians. Maybe you could burn a disc?

Think_Long: "oh yeah, Tig's already on my list!"

Make sure you have the Taylor Dayne story! The best version I've heard is from an old CBB episode and starts around the 3:20 mark.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:26 AM on August 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

Christian Finnegan
posted by escher at 10:36 AM on August 29, 2013

Also like Mitch Hedberg and Louis CK a lot, and others mentioned.

I like Dylan Moran, but his humor is very British and a little odd for some, and he's very rambly in an endearing way. I also like Bill Bailey, but he can be even more odd and rambly. They're both mostly observational though.

Donald Glover may be a little profane for her but if she likes Louis CK, she might like him. He has a lot of stories.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, seconding Bill Cosby -- anything of his. He has the best stories, and most of them are super clean.
posted by Dimes at 10:36 AM on August 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh, forgot one more:

Dan Cummins
posted by escher at 10:40 AM on August 29, 2013

Margaret Smith
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:53 AM on August 29, 2013

Greg Behrendt. There are lots of F-bombs on his site there, but his routines are more about storytelling than profanity per se.
posted by bink at 10:57 AM on August 29, 2013

I have not listened to all of these yet, but Humble Bundle just yesterday started a Comedy Bundle that hits three on your list (Louis CK, Hannibal Buress, Tig Notaro) and one on your skip (Maria Bamford). The others are Patrice O’Neal and Jim Norton. I had only heard of Louis CK and Tig Notaro, so no idea if the others fit in to what you are looking for. But hey, you get a bunch of comedy albums for currently around $9.
posted by jraenar at 12:59 PM on August 29, 2013

Marc Maron. Low key. Storyteller. I dont recall much or any profanity.
posted by Kensational at 1:34 PM on August 29, 2013

Oh yeah, I know this seems weird and old but Sinbad is back (never left?) on standup and pretty much all he does is stories of growing up in the 70's. Like an updated Cosby with no profanity and "we had it hard - you kids have it easy" stuff. Some hit the mark.
posted by Kensational at 1:36 PM on August 29, 2013

And can I get some love for Eddie Izzard?! "Dressed to Kill" from what, 1998?, still rocks end to end, nerdy, stories, funny.
posted by Kensational at 1:38 PM on August 29, 2013 [2 favorites]

Daniel Kitson!!
posted by mooza at 4:28 PM on August 29, 2013 [2 favorites]

Kyle Kinane! God, I love him.
posted by Charity Garfein at 5:43 PM on August 29, 2013 [3 favorites]

I have pretty similar tastes and just discovered (and loved) Moshe Kasher.

posted by a.steele at 8:55 PM on August 29, 2013

Jen Kirkman and Laurie Kilmartin.

Also the podcast Jordan Jesse Go.
posted by ridogi at 1:14 PM on August 30, 2013

I've been digging on James Adomian. Also, Simon Amstell is fantastic in the story-telling vein.
posted by lauranesson at 3:49 PM on August 30, 2013

And Stewart Lee! Mustn't forget Stewart Lee.
posted by lauranesson at 3:50 PM on August 30, 2013

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