I have a lot of affection for the work of Ben Elton. He was that rarity: a genuinely funny alternative comedian. He also managed to get a lot of joy out of life and the absurdities we find ourselves in (I adore ridiculously a routine he does about using public toilets at service stations). He also spends half of each year a few kilometres down the road from me. Alexei Sayle, Steve Martin, Billy Connolly, Adam Hills, Judith Lucy, DAAS, George Carlin, a lot of usual suspects for me. Any comedian who can make me laugh or look at something in a slightly askew manner gets a vote from me.
"There's a horror movie named Alien? That's really offensive. No wonder everybody keeps invading you."
Rowan Atkinson The entire Monty Python team Mel Brooks
Ones I've seen do stand-up or, in the case of the last two, live shows. John Oliver Ron White Jim Gaffigan Louis Black Patton Oswalt Jim Jeffries Wayne Brady, Ryan Styles, Colin Mocherie, Brad Sherwood, and other veterans of "Whose Line is It Anyway?" (various combinations have done live shows in Boston; same idea, just not officially Whose Line). The Kids in the Hall
Buster Keaton Charlie Chaplin Harold Lloyd Laurel and Hardy The Marx Brothers (esp. at Universal) W.C. Fields (criminally underrated these days) Woody Allen George Carlin Alan Arkin Garry Shandling Larry David Joe Flaherty *and most of the SCTV cast* Catherine O'Hara Jason Alexander Armando Ianucci Victoria Wood Jane Lynch Kelsey Grammer (whole Frasier and Cheers casts really) Alan Alda (and the MASH ensemble) Rowan Atkinson Christopher Guest Mel Brooks Gene Wilder Lily Tomlin Madeline Kahn Terry Jones Michael Palin Fred Willard Dermot Morgan Albert Brooks Phyllis Diller Bill Murray Stewart Lee David Mitchell Billy Connolly
Post by barnabaslives on Dec 28, 2018 19:20:43 GMT
The Monty Python troupe obviously, they can still get a giggle out of me even on days when I think absolutely nothing's funny, and that has been going on for ages.
There are about a half dozen people whose names I can't remember because they were on Comedy Central doing brilliant stand-up when I was already half asleep, I should write them down sometime when I'm awake. Jim Gaffigan and Ron White have gotten to be several familiar favorites. I really miss the wonderfully off-the-wall Mitch Hedberg. Ralphie May will also be much missed.
I've not been looking that close on DU of late (having fallen behind on a lot of recent BF releases and I like to listen to them unspoiled) so I missed this when it came up.
Now I have a problem with the term "comedian" in that it is too broad for me. You have people who can write comedy. You have people who can perform it (dramatically or stand-up, two different things), and some who can mix them together. I was just thinking on my long commute to work a couple of days ago, about what my favorite COMICS would be - and means Stand-Up. This was a self-prompted thought, and I immediately realized that most "Stand-Up" disgusts me. While others lap it up and it's easy to get caught up in their laughter, much of it really doesn't appeal to me. I think I'd rather have more refined comedy, such as the mixture of Radio Plays with Surreal Comedy of the Firesign Theatre, which was my "gateway drug" into listening to comedy on vinyl records back in the day.
Some compare Firesign to Monty Python - and I can understand that, but since a lot of the British-isms of their content are meaningless with my American background, I never connected that much to them. But they sure did have some funny bits! (But I'm kind of sad to say that as a kid, syndicated imports of Benny Hill were funnier to me, if you speak of British content)
Mel Brooks as a writer of comedy (the fact that he acted in many of them is a different thing) yeah, great.
But shift over to "comics" - I realize that I really don't like stand-up comedy that much. With exceptions. George Carlin, he had intelligent thought in his routines (and he did routines, not gags), Steven Wright, who DOES DO "one-liners" but in such a laid back (or stoned-out I guess) manner, that they didn't seem like that, plus he has a droll manner of commentary that is sometimes in line with my own. Bob Newhart, who also did routines, not gags. And I hate to mention it but, Bill Cosby - it's no longer politically correct to like him - but he was a great teller of humorous stories and a master of the stage-microphone. As for more traditional comics, well, Richard Pryor. He always seemed so full of energy and happiness on stage that overwhelmed the blue-rated material he'd throw in.
I could go on further (Stan Freberg anyone?) but I'll let it go at that.
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