Wanted: Comedy albums
May 23, 2004 3:22 PM   Subscribe

What are some good comedy albums to get? I recently purchased the two latest David Cross albums, as well as Bill Hicks "Rant in E Minor," and now I am hooked on this medium. Any suggestions?
posted by Quartermass to Media & Arts (33 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Anything by Chris Rock is a must-have. I also very much enjoyed the standup routines of Jerry Seinfeld, Dane Cook, and Robert Schimmel. But my favorite is probably Brian Regan.
posted by vito90 at 3:49 PM on May 23, 2004

Richard Pryor's albums "Is It Something I Said", "That Nigger's Crazy" and "Live on the Sunset Strip" are so amazing that I'm laughing just recalling them. He has a few others and they're all worthwhile, but those three are wonderful.

Also, Eddie Izzard's stuff is best seen, but we like him in the car as well. "Glorious/Dress to Kill" is the better of the two, but "Definite Article/Unrepeatable" is almost as good.
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:58 PM on May 23, 2004

A dishonest person can find full comedy routines taped off of HBO on services such as Kazaa by searching for "HBO". Keep in mind, though: this is dishonest.

Oh, and you can't go wrong with Eddie Izzard or David Sedaris.
posted by ColdChef at 3:58 PM on May 23, 2004

Denis Leary - No Cure for Cancer. Get the book too. Nuff said.
posted by ALongDecember at 4:09 PM on May 23, 2004

Whenever I have a long drive to do, I load up on comedy CDs. I highly recommend Mitch Hedberg (He's got two CDs out). Off-beat, kind of silly, some groaners, and a lot of jokes where it takes a few seconds to get them, but over all very clever. Also, his delivery is memorable, and his speech pattern is unfortunately contagious.

I second Vito90 on Jerry Seinfeld, who I didn't want to like, but who is damned funny. I don't remember the names of the albums I've heard, but probably you're safe just picking any one of them up.

Have to disagree with Vito on Robert Schimmel, though. I just found him vulgar and not funny very often.

RE: Bill Hicks, Arizona Bay is great too.
posted by Hildago at 4:11 PM on May 23, 2004

Lewis Black and Mitch Hedberg are good.

On preview, yeah. what Hildago said about Hedberg.
posted by duckstab at 4:16 PM on May 23, 2004

You could also listen to one of the streaming comedy stations and choose your own faves...
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:39 PM on May 23, 2004 [1 favorite]

I'm not a big fan of stand-up comedy, but I do enjoy the sketch comedy of Abbot & Costello and Monty Python. Both groups have several of their sketches on CD.
posted by CrunchyFrog at 4:51 PM on May 23, 2004

George Carlin is well worth listening too. So is Eddie Izzard.

If you can find Old Harry's Game in the US, it's great value, if somewhat sacreligious - it's one of the few audio shows capable of making me laugh out loud each time. Dunno about the cost of p&p to the states, tho. Maybe its on P2P?
posted by dash_slot- at 5:12 PM on May 23, 2004

Drop some money at emusic.com and you'll be able to get a ton of classic material from steve martin, george carlin and others for a fraction of their full price.
posted by dobbs at 5:46 PM on May 23, 2004

Carlin until his last couple albums, Dave Chapelle's HBO special is available online, Dave Atelle's Skanks for the Memories, Dennis Miller's The Off-White Album (he used to be funny, honest), Steven Wright . . .
posted by yerfatma at 6:02 PM on May 23, 2004

Robert Schimmel.
posted by Fupped Duck at 6:45 PM on May 23, 2004

Peter Cook. With Dudley Moore as 'Derek & Clive' too. There are some fantastically vulgar sketches around that could never be broadcast.

If you like 'British humour', you may have to search a bit but from the BBC, The Day Today, The Goon Show, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (the BBC Radio version pre-dates & has a different story line to the books), Hancock's Half Hour, Radio Active, Round the Horn, I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, The League of Gentlemen...actually there are too many to list.

Via the BBC 7 (Comedy, Drama & Kids) & Radio 4 Comedy pages you can listen to live streams & archives of loads of good stuff which might inspire your purchasing.

I do believe that there are ways of recording streamed audio but that kind of thing, like CC's suggestion, could be illegal...

Boy do I miss the BBC.
posted by i_cola at 6:50 PM on May 23, 2004

Emo Philips, perhaps?
posted by kickingtheground at 7:20 PM on May 23, 2004

Jim Gaffigan
posted by hootch at 9:07 PM on May 23, 2004

Second for Jim Gaffigan, and a no vote for Hedberg (just a matter of taste, to each their own). Pablo Francisco is also quite funny, amazing voice work. If you're really hooked, get an XM Radio and check out the XM Comedy channel 150 for stand up routines 24 hours a day. I listen to it constantly.
posted by shinynewnick at 10:20 PM on May 23, 2004

Try Blue Jam - Chris Morris of Brass Eye and The Day Today Fame. Sorta funny, sorta scarey, sorta surreal all set to music from labels such as Warp and Ninja Tunes.
posted by meech at 11:42 PM on May 23, 2004

Billy connelly ... Eddie Izzard ,admittedly ,owes this man everything.
Forget George Carlin.. miserable git .. spent one show i went to see reading from a piece of paper because he hadnt yet learnt his show and candidly said he made his money from his HBO shows so he was basically rehearsing his show on us poor saps who had paid money
Bill HIcks .. get everything he did. Oh how useful he would be now..
posted by stuartmm at 11:44 PM on May 23, 2004

I wrote this last night, but MetaFilter turfed on me last night, so sorry if any of it is repeated from above.

If you enjoy Bill Hicks, I highly recommend Doug Stanhope, particularly Die Laughing. Joe Rogan is in the same vein. Both have DVDs and CDs available at Sacred Cow Productions.

Lewis Black is a definite must listen. All three of his albums are great!

All of Henry Rollins' humorous spoken word performances. You can pick up his Talk Is Cheap albums for $10, each volume contains about two hours. His older stuff is really interesting, they primarily consist of observations on life.

Going even further back, Lenny Bruce, Mort Sahl and Dick Gregory.

I have harsh feelings toward Denis Leary, his demeanor and much of his first album was lifted from Bill Hicks. Leary tries to walk in Hicks' footsteps and fails miserably, lacking the heart and soul that followed Hicks' sometimes caustic words.

For more recommendations take a look at Comedy Speak, they have interviews with a large number of those recommended above.

I am a tremendous fan of Bill Hicks and have mp3s of some of his unreleased performances, if you are interested. I myself got into comedy and spoken word albums several years ago and have many more to reccommend, but I had better get to bed. I'll try and add some more later. If not, fire off an email.
posted by the biscuit man at 7:24 AM on May 24, 2004

oh, also norm mcdonald, tho i don't know if he has any albums.
posted by duckstab at 7:25 AM on May 24, 2004

I'll second the vote for Sedaris.
posted by jmevius at 7:28 AM on May 24, 2004

Aside from Cross and Hicks, I listen to Izzard and Sedaris.

Also a vote for Richard Pryor's 70s stuff.

I remember Eddie Murphy's stuff being hilarious at the time, but I was a kid and I haven't heard it since. It may suck.
posted by jpoulos at 7:35 AM on May 24, 2004

Ooh, forgot Gaffigan, who is brilliant. So a third vote for him.
posted by vito90 at 7:55 AM on May 24, 2004

Steven Wright's "I have a pony"
posted by RustyBrooks at 8:07 AM on May 24, 2004

Henry Rollins' spoken word stuff is pretty good. Try Sweatbox first, I think.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:35 AM on May 24, 2004

The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart. Very understated and absolutely hilarious.
posted by widdershins at 9:08 AM on May 24, 2004

National Lampoon's Gold Turkey, a blast from the past.
posted by joeclark at 9:08 AM on May 24, 2004

As others mentioned, Mitch Hedberg is awesome. Infinitely quotable-- as Hildago said: his speech pattern is unfortunately contagious.
posted by madag at 10:14 AM on May 24, 2004

Richard Pryor. Richard Pryor. Richard Pryor. Richard Pryor.
posted by matteo at 11:31 AM on May 24, 2004

Bill Cosby. Forget everything you think you know about Bill Cosby, and head back to the 1960's for gems like Wonderfulness and Revenge.
posted by hsoltz at 2:56 PM on May 24, 2004

I'm a big Lewis Grizzard fan when I hit the road. He's more of an author and story teller than a stand-up.
posted by Frank Grimes at 4:58 PM on May 24, 2004

Henry Rollins does spoken word - telling stories or riffing on different topics. He is not *always* comedic, but it is mostly comedic, and he's really funny. He has a whole bunch of albums out from over the past 15 years or so. I own his "The Boxed Life" double CD set which is from the early '90s and almost all the tracks on it are hilarious, aside from a couple "deep thinking" ones that still have their joke moments - so I would recommend that one to start!
posted by Melinika at 7:01 PM on May 24, 2004

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