Favourite Stand-Up Comedians

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Self-explanatory. Anyone from Robb Wilton to Sam Kinison, from Max Miller to Andrew Dice Clay, from Richard Pryor to Eddie Izzard. Who's the funniest IYHO?

Marcello Carlin, Wednesday, 18 September 2002 10:10 (nineteen years ago) link

I must say I larffed and larffed at PETER KAYE (man aloive) at TOP OF THE TOWER which I saw a couple a weekZ0r ago. A world of entertainment!!!

Sarah (starry), Wednesday, 18 September 2002 10:15 (nineteen years ago) link

i went watching him last night at the theatre royal in st helens!

michael wells (michael w.), Wednesday, 18 September 2002 10:16 (nineteen years ago) link

i love the surreal antics of the mighty boosh (who are very ilxory, i reckon anyway)

eddie izzard is charming too

minna (minna), Wednesday, 18 September 2002 10:49 (nineteen years ago) link

I do enjoy George Carlin, Eddie Izzard and Dave Chapelle. I'm pretty sick of english studenty comedians who think The Beautiful South and Kingmaker are cutting edge.

kinski (kinski), Wednesday, 18 September 2002 11:31 (nineteen years ago) link

Tommy Cooper, for me. My favourite is his routine where he is declaiming some poem with lots of different characters, and putting on a different hat for each character, then he loses his place, and half turns away from the audience and mumbles quickly through the poem so far, to relocate. The fact that it sounds utterly dismal but has me in hysterics every time is why he is so great.

Peter Cook at his peak. Frankie Howerd. Paul Merton. Eddie Izzard. Bill Bailey, especially musically.

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Wednesday, 18 September 2002 11:33 (nineteen years ago) link


katie (katie), Wednesday, 18 September 2002 12:10 (nineteen years ago) link

Harry Hill for me

Alan (Alan), Wednesday, 18 September 2002 12:13 (nineteen years ago) link

If Bill Hicks were alive, would we like him so much? I guess probably because he'd stick it to Dubya.

George Carlin, Steven Wright, Emo Phillips, the mighty boosh, and the fabulous Jenny Ross (retired)

suzy (suzy), Wednesday, 18 September 2002 12:17 (nineteen years ago) link

Steven Wright, Chris Rock, DL Hughley, Cedric The Entertainer, Steve Harvey, Bernie Mac, Wanda Sykes, Eddie Murphy, old-school Margaret Cho, and *gulp* Sinbad.

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Wednesday, 18 September 2002 12:24 (nineteen years ago) link

Most German stand-ups are awfulawfulawful, but Piet Klocke, who stays more or less constantly in his confused German academic character, absolutely destroys me.

Colin Meeder (Mert), Wednesday, 18 September 2002 12:28 (nineteen years ago) link

My Top 3 Most Enjoyable Stand Up Gigs Ever:

Ben Elton (1986)
Jenny Eclair (2000)
Rob Newman (2001)

Zanny G, Wednesday, 18 September 2002 12:29 (nineteen years ago) link

Steven Wright, Bill Hicks.

One of the radio stations in Dublin keeps playing all these clips from stand up comedians which make me want to fucking crash the car into a wall. Today it was some nasal whining tosser making this fucking woeful joke about the Real World, "maaaaan, these days people want to be on the Real World, one of my buddies said he wants to put it on his resume, yeah dude like in ten years you go for a job and they say you were the asshole who stole the shampoo, no way man".
WHAT?? Who laughs at this? And what kind of fucking ridiculous contrived made up friend said "I want to put it on my resume". Jesus Christ, bad stand up comedians deserve to be burnt alive.

Of course Ireland has a thriving stand-up scene, there's mockery of the fact that we're not a backward catholic country anymore (well not totally) and then there's bono impressions, hilarious! Except the problem is you can still hear Deirdre O'Kane's real accent coming through which is far more irritating than Bono's.

Ronan (Ronan), Wednesday, 18 September 2002 12:30 (nineteen years ago) link

Going to see Peter Kay tomorrow night in Warrington.
He was brilliant in the Top of the Tower vid.

fuzzy, Wednesday, 18 September 2002 12:33 (nineteen years ago) link

I know quite a few 'studenty' comedians, as it goes. Jenny Eclair is a lovely woman. Ed Byrne was on a panel with me on GLR as was and was cool. Noble and Silver are best mates with the artist Mike Nelson and are fun. Rob Newman is a bit of an indie misogynist prick. Ardal O'Hanlon, fantastic. Stewart Lee, married to my friend and really nice. Kevin Eldon, wah-hey! Sean Hughes, Scorpio male, heh-heh.

suzy (suzy), Wednesday, 18 September 2002 12:36 (nineteen years ago) link

yes yes suzy but which is the one who thinks Kingmaker is cutting edge?

mark s (mark s), Wednesday, 18 September 2002 12:38 (nineteen years ago) link

Steven Wright has to be damn high on the list. I could listen to the guy for aeons.
Rich Hall, in all his guises, but especially as Otis Lee Crenshaw (the "London Not Tennessee" video is essential).
Ardal O'Hanlon was a great stand-up back in the day, don't think he actually does any of it nowadays. He's got "My Hero" to make. Exactly.

Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Wednesday, 18 September 2002 12:39 (nineteen years ago) link

b-but the worst ep of my hero is funnier than anything rich hall has ever or will ever do!!?? he = least funny man on planet (except denis leary obv)

mark s (mark s), Wednesday, 18 September 2002 12:45 (nineteen years ago) link

dave chapelle? the guy on the right guard advert? he's a comedian? every time that ad comes on and he goes "dave chapelle here!" i'm like "fuck off, why are you saying your name, you're not famous". i just thought it was part of the ad. is he big in america, then?

michael wells (michael w.), Wednesday, 18 September 2002 12:47 (nineteen years ago) link

Paul Lynde, Lou Reed, Casey Stengel, James Traficant

James Blount (James Blount), Wednesday, 18 September 2002 13:56 (nineteen years ago) link

Peter Kaye probably my current favourite. Very funny indeed despite being 75% observational. Sean Locke was responsible for the single best stand up performance I ever witnessed, but that was ten years ago and he hasn't done anything anywhere near as good since. Ed Byrne = ROWR but not very funny.

RickyT (RickyT), Wednesday, 18 September 2002 14:34 (nineteen years ago) link

PETER KAY. PETER KAY. PETER KAY. I'm not *nearly* as sold on him as y'all are, but I can at LEAST spell 'im.

A friend who's shagged both sez Ed Byrne and Donna McPhail are possibly the same person.

suzy (suzy), Wednesday, 18 September 2002 14:56 (nineteen years ago) link

p. kaye is 99% observational.

michael wells (michael w.), Wednesday, 18 September 2002 15:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Mitch Hedburg may challenge Steven Wright for the best one-liner guy. I wouldn't call Dave Chapelle big but a lot of people know him.

Vinnie (vprabhu), Wednesday, 18 September 2002 15:08 (nineteen years ago) link

Oh arse. Why the hell do I keep misspelling Kay?

I have also long suspected that Ed Byrne = Donna McPhail despite never having had any form of sexual contact with either of them.

RickyT (RickyT), Wednesday, 18 September 2002 15:15 (nineteen years ago) link

A friend whose shagged Sean Hughes sez he's a cock.

Pete (Pete), Wednesday, 18 September 2002 15:16 (nineteen years ago) link

Yes, yes, where the hell has Mitch Hedburg been?

Also, Dan: I've got your back on Sinbad. And Dave Chapelle counts as famous if you're the sort of person who regularly watches films such as Half Baked and Undercover Brother.

nabisco (nabisco), Wednesday, 18 September 2002 15:16 (nineteen years ago) link

Oh I'm sorry Suzy. I will rectify my spelling in future. It must be a mental block.

Sarah (starry), Wednesday, 18 September 2002 15:17 (nineteen years ago) link

Also surely a person who has shagged someone else is the least objective authority on whether or not they're a cock.

nabisco (nabisco), Wednesday, 18 September 2002 15:18 (nineteen years ago) link

Pete, SH is just like every single media boy who couldn't get laid in school. Now he can get it on with whoever, he resents everyone he pulls. He had better pulling power about five years back.

In his defence, though, I know someone he went out with for about six months. They were both playing the field with various Camden micro-celebs so it wasn't serious, but... He got off a plane, got home, found out she'd had a death in the family, and sat up all night with the distraught girl when he was actually totally knackered.

suzy (suzy), Wednesday, 18 September 2002 15:26 (nineteen years ago) link

I can't believe I forgot about Half Baked! OK then, Dave Chapelle counts as famous.

Vinnie (vprabhu), Wednesday, 18 September 2002 15:33 (nineteen years ago) link

i got really upset last night after hearing two separate accounts of Harry Hill being booed offstage. this is terrible. stop being so mean, audiences of Harry Hill.

nickie (nickie), Wednesday, 18 September 2002 16:03 (nineteen years ago) link

i snogged ed byrne (a long long long time ago) but not donna mcphail so i can't coroborate the ed byrne=donna mcphail theory.

angela (angela), Wednesday, 18 September 2002 16:16 (nineteen years ago) link

Bill Cosby is the only funny one ever.

Kris (aqueduct), Wednesday, 18 September 2002 16:19 (nineteen years ago) link

harry hill is my fave. don't really see the appeal of live comedy.

jel -- (jel), Wednesday, 18 September 2002 16:43 (nineteen years ago) link

I used to really like Harry Hill's adverts for mobile phones. The ones with the little fox.

If I was going to see a stand-up comedian live, and they could be dead, I would choose Frankie Howerd, not because he's the funniest, but I think he would have most chance of holding an audience's attention for an hour and a half. He probably is the funniest anyway.

Never heard of Peter Kay.

PJ Miller (PJ Miller), Wednesday, 18 September 2002 16:51 (nineteen years ago) link

surely Peter bloody Kay thinks Kingmaker are avant-garde?

robin carmody (robin carmody), Wednesday, 18 September 2002 18:25 (nineteen years ago) link

Bobby Chariot.

OK. Peter Kay. He's the first in ages that I'm genuinely thrilled to be going to see, especially if he's half as good as the Top of The Tower vid the wife bought me two Christmases ago. I was dragged to see Harry Hill at Hackney Empire pre: fruit fancies, having never heard of him before and he was ace. I appreciate Bill Hicks' talent but I'd still rather see PK. Which is just as well under the circumstances. I'd also like to take this opportunity to declare my undying hatred of Mark Lamarr.

tag, Wednesday, 18 September 2002 18:32 (nineteen years ago) link

am I the only one here who doesn't like Kay?

robin carmody (robin carmody), Wednesday, 18 September 2002 18:51 (nineteen years ago) link

im always quoting old cosby. chocolate cake for breakfast. hey who's the stand up thats black and tinkles at the piano his whole act? he's amazing! he'll start singing love songs that are sweet and beautiful to ladies in the crowd and them have some over the top chorus like ' i want to fuck dat azz tonight' or something. WHO IS HE?!?!?

chaki (chaki), Wednesday, 18 September 2002 19:52 (nineteen years ago) link

Cosby's old stand-up routines are HILARIOUS, as are Richard Pryor's.

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Wednesday, 18 September 2002 19:55 (nineteen years ago) link

Hang on Robin, didn't you do a big piece on Elidor about how great Peter Kay was? Or did I dream it?

RickyT (RickyT), Wednesday, 18 September 2002 20:16 (nineteen years ago) link

Mitch Hedburg, yay!

nory (nory), Wednesday, 18 September 2002 20:34 (nineteen years ago) link

Kevin Eldon's stand up (which he's since abandoned, sadly) was great. Actually, pretty much anything he does is great.

Chriddof (Chriddof), Wednesday, 18 September 2002 20:55 (nineteen years ago) link

John Sparkes is the winner: Gilded Balloon Theatre, Edinburgh, August 1989. I needed CPR after inhaling my lager top. Rik Mayall is the silver medallist - though I can't recall a single moment worthy of description in his displays of sustained idiocy. I just remember the pain afterwards.

Ben Elton - it seems almost inconceivable (heh) now - was good once. He got his style down in the mid-late 80s so that he was weaving lots of strands together, and was pretty consistently OTM. He was still technically good five years later but the material was gone. Now Tarbuck is funnier.

Lee & Herring possibly better as On The Hour scriptwriters than performers, but you gotta love the daft BBC2 shows.

I never saw Alexei Sayle live, but I suspect he was a God in 80-81. Like Tony Morley.

I haven't bothered with live comedy in about 10 years. It's all a bit prosaic and depressing, isn't it? And when it's not that, it's kitchen-sink surrealism. (I'm not sure what I mean by that, but I don't think I like the Boosh).

All this talk of Mr Kay (who I like) reminds me of: Phil Kaye. Whatever happened to him? I thought he was quite good.

One final thought: Norman Collier.

Michael Jones (MichaelJ), Wednesday, 18 September 2002 20:58 (nineteen years ago) link

yes I did Ricky. But that was when I could still take him.

robin carmody (robin carmody), Wednesday, 18 September 2002 22:17 (nineteen years ago) link

Ed Byrne doesn't look like Donna McPhail anymore, partly because he's got short hair and glasses now, but more because he's often found standing in front of large numbers of people who are laughing at some joke he's just made.

Trishybee, Wednesday, 18 September 2002 22:38 (nineteen years ago) link

Barry Sobel is funny and rowr and I want to raid his closet.

felicity (felicity), Wednesday, 18 September 2002 23:09 (nineteen years ago) link

Rip Torn. Jonathan Winters. La Wanda Page (RIP).

The only person I've actually seen live in a club who's made me laugh was Mary Lynn Rajskub.

Arthur (Arthur), Thursday, 19 September 2002 02:22 (nineteen years ago) link

im always quoting old cosby. chocolate cake for breakfast.

"To Russell, My Brother, Whom I Slept With" = a pinnacle of Western civilization.

Rip Torn?

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 19 September 2002 04:55 (nineteen years ago) link

Oh, that was dumb of me. Rip TAYLOR!

Arthur (Arthur), Thursday, 19 September 2002 05:40 (nineteen years ago) link

Lee & Herring possibly better as On The Hour scriptwriters than performers, but you gotta love the daft BBC2 shows.

Ooh, you've reminded me of Peter Baynham's in-character stuff on that show as Peter The Welsh Virgin...

"...Today's recipe is for fizzy curryade. What you do is get all the remaining juice at the bottom of curry takeaway foil trays, pour it into a glass, and then put a straw into it and blow a lot to make it bubbly, and then drink it. Fizzy curryade."

Chriddof (Chriddof), Thursday, 19 September 2002 06:22 (nineteen years ago) link

Chris Rock. Or Jesus Christ. I haven't snogged either btw.

Tracer Hand (tracerhand), Thursday, 19 September 2002 06:47 (nineteen years ago) link

I've seen Alexei Sayle live, the fact that it sagged so much in the middle is what inspired me to choose - shit, I've forgotten who I chose - because of their (possibly imaginary) ability to hold the audience's attention. Frankie Howerd, that's the chap. Mind you, Alexei Sayle was in a very big theatre, I don't think that helped much. And it wasn't 1981, more like 1985.

Bob Carolgees stayed up all night comforting Spit the Dog when John Major's Dangerous Dogs law was introduced.

PJ Miller (PJ Miller), Thursday, 19 September 2002 07:19 (nineteen years ago) link

I forgot about John Sparkes. I never actually saw him but if his stuff on Absolutely (particularly "On the lavatory") was anything to go by than I can well believe Mike's praise.

I'm pleasantly surprised that Peter Kay's popularity has extended outside the North West, I wasn't sure how it would go down with Southern Jessies. But anyone who wants to "do for Bolton what Woody Allen did for Manhattan" is God in my book.

tag, Thursday, 19 September 2002 07:22 (nineteen years ago) link

Robin, what changed?

RickyT (RickyT), Thursday, 19 September 2002 07:31 (nineteen years ago) link

Whenever I'm upset or worried about anything, I just think about Ivan Campos in Bolton, and I automatically cheer up.

PJ Miller (PJ Miller), Thursday, 19 September 2002 07:50 (nineteen years ago) link

The idea of Rip Torn as a stand-up surpasses any of the real stand-ups thus far mentioned.

As for holding the audience's attention - surely the master is Ken Dodd. He plays Springsteen-like marathon sets and the laughs only start to dry up at the three-hour mark (which is when he jumps into his Bentley and hits the M62 for a late show in Eccles). So says my Dad.

I'd love to see a video compilation of all the comedians Bob Monkhouse and Des O'Connor had on their chat shows in the early 80s; I mean, they probably weren't *all* as good as Kelly Monteith, but I bet there are some forgotten gems in there, now working the cruise ships or script editing on My Two Dads - Ten Years On.

Michael Jones (MichaelJ), Thursday, 19 September 2002 09:10 (nineteen years ago) link

John Dowie. John Hegley. Ivor Cutler.

Andrew L (Andrew L), Thursday, 19 September 2002 09:13 (nineteen years ago) link

In my ideal world Jonesy's dad joins ILx.

Tim (Tim), Thursday, 19 September 2002 09:19 (nineteen years ago) link

I've seen Brendan Burns twice now and he's blown me away both times. Really funny, but also really makes you think - bit a head fuck really. Thoroughly recommended and a cut above the usual knob gag merchants.

I wish I'd seen Dave Allen though; everyone I've heard see him says he is fantastic.

Dave B (daveb), Thursday, 19 September 2002 10:29 (nineteen years ago) link

(Pffff, I once, er, 'met' a bloke called Dave Allen and had to endure withered hand jokes for some time afterwards.....)

Emma, Thursday, 19 September 2002 10:34 (nineteen years ago) link

Lee and Herring are great, as is Stewart Lee all on his own.

I've not seen the Mighty Boosh, but Noel solo was very funny.

Dave Gorman is remarkable in that he can be very funny without any actual jokes.

Other hilarity comes from Eddie Izzard, Jack Dee and... Well, I really should be able to think of someone else, because things are funnier in threes, but my mind has gone blank.

Peter Kay sucks donkeydong

To whoever asked, Phil Kaye is still around, he did the comedy tent at Reading this year.

Sofa King Alternative (Sofa King Alternative), Thursday, 19 September 2002 11:05 (nineteen years ago) link

Dave Allen was close friends with my ex-wife's dad. This may not be terribly pertinent.

I found a Rodney Dangerfield cassette in a drawer when I started one job, and kept it. It's sexist old stuff, but he cracks enormous numbers of jokes, and lots are funny, and he delivers them very well, and he has a very well-defined comedy persona. Is he popular in America, or seen as feeble and outmoded, or what?

We don't get much American stand-up over here - I've only ever seen one Woody Allen routine, for instance.

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Thursday, 19 September 2002 11:10 (nineteen years ago) link

Popular and feeble and outmoded. Eternal freepass for Caddyshack alone.

James Blount (James Blount), Thursday, 19 September 2002 17:25 (nineteen years ago) link

one year passes...

Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Wednesday, 28 April 2004 09:47 (seventeen years ago) link

seven years pass...
two years pass...

My Friars Club pal just posted photos on FB from a recent lunch w/ Shecky Greene (Jackie the Joke Man also at the table). Shecky was "on" for hours, apparently.

images of war violence and historical smoking (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 24 April 2014 12:29 (seven years ago) link

When is Shecky Greene ever not "on".

Prince Kajuku (Bill Magill), Thursday, 24 April 2014 15:15 (seven years ago) link

he's about 88, i thought he got tired mebbe

images of war violence and historical smoking (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 24 April 2014 16:28 (seven years ago) link

two years pass...

I'm going to keep an eye out for Joe Pera from now on



bothan zulu (El Tomboto), Saturday, 14 May 2016 14:02 (five years ago) link

Rory Scovel is a new fave. Pretty brilliant.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 14 May 2016 14:47 (five years ago) link

Shalewa's the reason I moved to Atlanta (she got me my first job here). She lives in NYC now and her album's about to come out. Here's the titular bit.


Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Monday, 16 May 2016 00:58 (five years ago) link

Loved Ali Wong's netflix special

Sufjan Grafton, Monday, 16 May 2016 02:30 (five years ago) link

five years pass...

My favourite? None of them

The leader of the Labour party taking his cues on racism from a comedian who performed in Blackface in the 90s https://t.co/IIWgjZU0oN pic.twitter.com/W3CcICkSTJ

— black lives matter (@jrc1921) November 16, 2021

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 16 November 2021 20:41 (two months ago) link

YT keeps throwing Randy Feltface at me, 'tis good.


Maresn3st, Tuesday, 16 November 2021 20:57 (two months ago) link

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