The Funniest American Stand-Up Comedy


   

The laughDB database is dedicated to the funniest comedy movies, stand-up comedy and TV series.

This section is for stand-up comedy sets from the USA. By default they are presented starting with the ones ranking highest on the laugh-o-meter, but you can also sort them by year, title or IMDB rating.


Funniest American Comedies sorted by Laugh-o-meter (descending) / page 1 of 7


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George Carlin: George's Best Stuff DVDGeorge Carlin: George's Best Stuff
      1996 | USA | Laughs: 9.6 | imdb: 8.5
      

One of the funniest DVDs I watched in years. I had to pause it several times as it gave me some of these hard laughters that make you gasp for air. This DVD covers several periods of George Carlin's career. Among the several gems on this disc, the piece about dogs sticks in my memory: it nearly killed me. (Last viewed: August 2010)

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Doug Stanhope: No Refunds DVDDoug Stanhope: No Refunds
      2007 | USA | Laughs: 8.8 | imdb: 8.2
      wikipedia

A social commentary that makes you laugh from relief at hearing someone else than the voice in your head bring out the ignorance, hypocrisy and complacency embedded in our society. One of those rare times when you can see someone on a TV screen use his brain to think about the world he's in. To enjoy Stanhope a threshold capacity for critical thinking is required, so he's not for everyone.But if you love him… you'll love him. (Last viewed: August 2010)

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Bill Burr: I'm Sorry You Feel That WayBill Burr: I'm Sorry You Feel That Way
      2014 | USA | Laughs: 8.5 (Laugh Out Loud) | imdb: 8.4
      

When I saw that Bill Burr had a new show out I was really excited to watch it. After they've done a few specials, most stand-up comedians peter out—and who can blame them? Coming up with new material is hard work. But Bill still has it: this show didn't disappoint and left me with a tingly feeling in my laughing spot for many hours after.

Stand-up comedy has a lot to do with being smart, and Bill is one of the brightest guys around. Although he swears a lot, he's not gratuitously filthy and dedicates most of his stage time bravely tackling taboo topics ranging from religion to various of our civilized hypocrisies. Hearing a bit of sanity every once in a while really hits the spot, and I'm grateful to Bill not only for the endorphin rush but also for recharging my philanthropic batteries. (Last viewed: December 2014)

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Brian Regan: I Walked on the Moon DVDBrian Regan: I Walked on the Moon
      2004 | USA | Laughs: 8.5 | imdb: 8.5
      

I hadn't heard of Brian until 2011. Discovering him was a surprise and a treat. This set made me laugh harder than I had in a long time. Feeding my stand-up comedy addiction, I get tired of watching people who must cram three expletives in every sentence and spend half their time discussing reproductive functions. So I love that Brian Regan has a clean mouth and keeps it above the belt. Does that make him boring? On the contrary. His humor finds themes outside the beaten track, and new angles to themes one might have thought overworked, such as air travel. Moreover, one is left with the impression of having listened to a genuinely nice person. I'll be looking for Brian's other DVDs. (Last viewed: April 2011)

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Bill Burr: Let it Go DVDBill Burr: Let it Go
      2010 | USA | Laughs: 8.4 | imdb: 8.3
      

A truly excellent set delivered at a fast pace, which means you get a lot of material over the show's 65 minutes. I really like Bill's style—he's energetic, congenial, bright but humble, direct but not filthy. Every so often he changes his voice and face to act out a character he's conversing with, and it's usually hilarious. There's nothing out of the ordinary in the main themes (children, relationships, aging), but Bill's treatment of them is superb. A+ all the way. (Last viewed: December 2012)

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Wanda Sykes: Sick and Tired DVDWanda Sykes: Sick and Tired
      2006 | USA | Laughs: 8.2 | imdb: 7.3
      

I think I may have enjoyed this show even more than Tongue Untied. Wanda's style is unlike that of any other comedian I know—male or female. I find her brilliant. Much of the humor in this show comes from Wanda divulging thoughts that are normally kept private. This gives her a surprising ability to draw laughs out of "dirty topics" without making you feel dirty. Not that the entire hour of the show is spent below the belt: it also visits "serious topics" such as war and medical care. (Last viewed: April 2011)

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Wanda Sykes: Tongue Untied DVDWanda Sykes: Tongue Untied
      2003 | USA | Laughs: 8.1 | imdb: 6.9
      

This show was a nice surprise. From seeing her on Curb Your Enthusiasm, I expected Sykes' humor to be on the aggressive side. Instead, I found that she had a light touch. She gave me many innocent laughs on topics as wide as airport security, George W. Bush, the pope, being out drinking, strip clubs, how women test men, and feeling sexy. Thank you, Wanda! (Last viewed: August 2010)

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Bill Burr: Why Do I Do This? DVDBill Burr: Why Do I Do This?
      2008 | USA | Laughs: 8.1 | imdb: 8.3
      

This set was my first time watching Bill Burr. He made me laugh, and I'll be coming back for more. Apart from his humor, I really liked his energy—he smiles a lot, he moves around, he delivers at a good pace. (Last viewed: December 2012)

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Bill Cosby: Himself DVDBill Cosby: Himself
      1983 | USA | Laughs: 8.0 | imdb: 8.2
      wikipedia

Many comedians make you feel dirty just for listening to one minute of their show. When you spend an hour with Bill Cosby, you feel like you've just visited with a genius uncle. Bill can make you laugh forever with ordinary topics such as dogs and children: Why would he ever bother with smut?

Unlike many comics who do their whole show without an expression on their faces, Cosby is an actor too—he may well have the most expressive face in the business. There isn't much Cosby stand-up on DVD, and, although on this one Bill is actually sitting for most of the show, it's a treasure. (Last viewed: October 2010)

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Bob Newhart: Button Down Concert DVDBob Newhart: Button Down Concert
      1995 | USA | Laughs: 8.0 | imdb: 7.0
      

I didn't know Bob Newhart before watching this set; it was a pleasant surprise. Bob made me laugh more than most contemporary comedians, and he did so without dragging me into the gutter. The laughter was clean, innocent, much as with a Bill Cosby set. One situation that was very funny the first time (a man on the phone listens to a counterpart explain something out of the the ordinary) became boring on the fourth take. Apart from that sin by excessive repetition, this was an excellent show. (Last viewed: September 2013)

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Brian Regan: Standing Up DVDBrian Regan: Standing Up
      2007 | USA | Laughs: 8.0 | imdb: 7.8
      

I was impressed that none of the material repeats that from 2004. For the most part, just as funny as I Walked on the Moon. I took off one quarter of a star because of the parts of the show when Brian mentions his children—cute but not funny. Very strong show overall. (Last viewed: April 2011)

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George Carlin: George Carlin at USC DVDGeorge Carlin: George Carlin at USC (a.k.a An Evening with George Carlin)
      1977 | USA | Laughs: 8.0 | imdb: 7.9
      wikipedia

In the first of Carlin's twelve HBO specials, you see George at his handsomest—two months short of forty—on a simple but groovy 1970s set. His animated face can sometimes remind you of Russell Crowe or Bill Murray. My favorite bits are those about shopping in the supermarket; how people sometimes miss a step on a staircase; getting dogs to look at something; what it was like, as a kid, to be small in a world built for big people; and portions of the very long (a bit too long for my taste) segment about strange words and dirty words. (Last viewed: August 2010)

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Jerry Seinfeld: I'm Telling You for the Last Time DVDJerry Seinfeld: I'm Telling You for the Last Time (a.k.a Live on Broadway)
      1998 | USA | Laughs: 8.0 | imdb: 8.0
      wikipedia

What other comedians have a sitcom in their name and a documentary about their work? In this show, recorded two months after the airing of the last Seinfeld episode, Jerry Seinfeld bids farewell to his old material. For me, Jerry Seinfeld typifies the "eternal best man". In suit and tie, he moves and speaks with poise and ease. The language is clean, but the jokes are abrasive. When they are too long at the expense of the American underclass, I don't like Jerry very much… but he makes me laugh, and after innocent bits about shopping at the supermarket, going to the doctor or horse riding, I just have to forgive him. (Last viewed: September 2010)

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Bill Maher: Be More Cynical DVDBill Maher: Be More Cynical
      2000 | USA | Laughs: 7.8 | imdb: 7.0
      wikipedia

Wherever you live, and particularly in the USA, there is so much stupidity in the mainstream culture that when someone points his finger at it and shows things for what they are, you can feel a relief that releases laughter. This is what Maher does here. He does it well—without rage or insults, but with a smile. My favorite segments where the one about society's fixation on kids and the one about government telling you what's bad for you. Some of the material will age poorly as it bears the stamp of current events, but I would watch the show again, unlike The Decider, another Maher show. (Last viewed: March 2011)

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Dave Chappelle: Killin' Them Softly DVDDave Chappelle: Killin' Them Softly
      2000 | USA | Laughs: 7.8 | imdb: 8.8
      

Unlike his later awful show entitled For What It's Worth, this is a fine set where Dave showcases his keen intelligence (rather than the far more widespread ability to name reproductive organs) and puts it to the service of making us laugh. To great effect, Dave alternates seamlessly between a casual "black" voice and a straight "white" voice, leaving you to wonder how he sounds when he is just himself. Topics include discovering how leniently police handle a white friend of his driving intoxicated, assessing a politician's character, and differences in male-female approaches to storytelling. (Last viewed: October 2013)

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(This section: Funniest American Comedies)


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