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January 11th, 2012, 10:27 PM
Everyone loves a good standup! I searched standup and found nothing so I thought I'd start a thread to discuss comedy in it's purest form, who does it best, who's getting better and who needs to quit already.

Easiest thing is to start with favourites though and mine is Dave Attell. Skanks for the Memories IMO is the best standup album money can buy. I might feel differently if certain brilliant comics weren't dead but out of the living Attell is definitely tops for me.

"You ever have a friend you made fun of so much you feel like you should thank him for all the good times?"

How do you top that for kicking off a premise?

January 12th, 2012, 01:39 AM
I'm not familiar with the current crop of artists, so my top is a little out of date, but they are the ones I keep coming back to re-watch on DVD :

3 - Jerry Seinfeld
2 - Richard Pryor
1 - George Carlin

January 12th, 2012, 06:26 AM
Hard to argue with any of those 3 really. They kind of embody the whole spectrum of attitudes about obscenity though. Seinfeld doesn't need it, wants nothing to do with it, feels he's better off without it (hard to say he's wrong too it's worked out very well for him). Carlin felt it was silly to be hung up on dirty words and spent a lot of time trying to convince people how silly our hangups can be (with hilarious results). Pryor just didn't really care, seems to me. He was going to say whatever he wanted and probably had more pressing things to worry about in his life IMO. Not saying anyone didn't know that but the comparison is interesting to me.

January 12th, 2012, 07:43 AM
I am ambivalent about obscenity myself. I think it is a good release when you're by yourself and hit your fingers with a hammer, or when your Windows operating system decides to reboot just when you forgot to save a 10 pages situation report. I also think some situations and atitudes are bad enough to get your blood pressure high and warrant stronger language (I'm thinking of Carlin here) , but I don't hold with casual swearing in normal day to day conversations and I never swear in public myself.

I'm willing to discover new comedians and I'l try to find out more about Attell. I tried watching some shows with Bill Maher, but with the exception of the New Rules Segment, he didn't convince me.

January 12th, 2012, 09:02 AM
I don't have a favourite as such, and a lot of comedians I like do a strange mix of stand-up/panel shows/radio series and so on, but I do have a few I enjoy.

1. Milton Jones
Arguably one of the masters of the word-based joke, whether it's a pun or something a little more clever. I will admit I find his material to be a little too recycled at times, but it never seems to stop being funny.

2. Jeremy Hardy
Outspokenly left-wing, Socialist and no-nonsense, Jeremy Hardy is a hard guy to like for some people, but I think that whilst his politics often rub people the wrong way, he is an incredibly clever guy. He's witty, a master of retorts and so on, and it makes listening to him an absolute pleasure, whether he's coming up with entries for the Uxbridge English Dictionary on I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue or whether he's ranting about the BNP on one of his shows, or even when he's singing completely out of tune.

3. Mark Steel
Another left-wing comedian, who's also a fair riot on panel shows. I've recently been listening to Mark Steel's In Town, a series in which he visits various towns and talks about local history and the social aspects of that area, but not without sending it up and focusing on some of the most bizarre aspects of the town. He can rant and rant, and it's just hilarious.

January 12th, 2012, 10:24 PM
I'm going to try and find stuff from all 3 this weekend Loerwyn!

In my mind I'm not that bad about swearing but to people who don't swear I probably sound like, well a delivery driver who used to long haul and be a cook and happened to grow up around the swearing-est farmers in Northern Ontario. This is probably the one place I make the strongest effort not to swear constantly and even on here I can't help it sometimes. Dave Attell has a pretty filthy act but not really any worse than Carlin IMO. He tends to approach dark, even creepy subjects with self-deprecating silliness.

For some reason this leads me to want to talk about Doug Stanhope. I don't know if you guys have ever heard his material but he is the darkest of the dark. It's like at some point in his life something went horribly wrong and instead of becoming Batman or something he attained perfect unity with the most brutally honest, mercilessly cynical corner of his being and learned to give voice to it in a funny way. I haven't heard any of his bits in a long time but you really need to be in a certain state of mind or intoxication or emotional disrepair to really get into a Doug Stanhope routine.

If you're into that sort of thing but you don't want to go the whole 9 yards into world-hating depravity Louis CK is sort of a more widely acceptable less corrosive alternative. He recently released a new standup special on his own web-site for 5 dollars with an appeal to internet people not to copy and pirate it and the thing made a million bucks in less than a month or something like that. I got a copy and it was really good (my favourite part was his comparison of 65 Clifford the Big Red Dog books to 9 Narnia books). I wish every comic would do this HBO doesn't promote when their specials are on good enough for me to not miss most of them and 5 bucks for a kickass comedy show is a pretty good deal IMO.

I wish they were better about posting links on here all these guys are pretty easy to find on youtube though if you want to check them out.

January 13th, 2012, 05:58 AM
We're generally fine with links, as far as I'm aware, but the only problem really is the copyright laws - but we have a music topic in which people link music so I don't think it's particularly a problem. I'd say as long as we keep it to YouTube/official sites and point out any bad language, I think we'll be fine.

As for swearing; I don't mind it, but I don't like when it or offensive/highly controversial behaviour are the main focus. Frankie Boyle and his 'Annoying Fan Boy' Russell Howard et al - they're not funny, they're on this level where they think it's fine to keep making these jokes that lampoon minorities. Even on shows like QI, where intelligence and interest are the orders of the day, there's comedians like Jimmy Carr who can't resist a poke at certain minorities - more often than not it's the transgender community who find themselves targeted.

Oh, oh! I forgot a standup. Eddie Izzard! I've not seen nearly as much as I'd like to, but what I've seen is intelligent and pretty darned funny.

January 13th, 2012, 06:16 AM
I love Eddie Izzard's older stuff (who can forget cats drilling behind the sofa?), I've not been so keen on his stand-up recently but I like him more as an actor these days.

Sarah Millican is hilarious, and there's an Iranian lady whose name I can't remember who has me in fits too.

January 13th, 2012, 06:24 AM
Sarah Millican is hilarious, and there's an Iranian lady whose name I can't remember who has me in fits too.
Sarah Millican talks about her... um... Sarah Millican too often for my liking, but that could just be what I've seen.

Is the Iranian lady Shappi Korshandi, or something spelt incredibly similar?

January 13th, 2012, 07:15 AM
Sarah Millican talks about her... um... Sarah Millican too often for my liking, but that could just be what I've seen.

Sometimes, depends which routine she's doing. A lot of her jokes revolve around cake too :)

Is the Iranian lady Shappi Korshandi, or something spelt incredibly similar?

Yes, that's her!