Stand-Up Comedy from the 2010s


   

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This section is for stand-up comedy from the 2010s. 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.


Stand-Up Comedy from the 2010s sorted by Laugh-o-meter (descending) / page 1 of 3


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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
      who was involved?

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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Bill Burr: Let it Go DVDBill Burr: Let it Go
      2010 | USA | Laughs: 8.4 | imdb: 8.3
      who was involved?

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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Jim Jefferies: Fully Functional DVDJim Jefferies: Fully Functional
      2012 | Australia | Laughs: 8.1 | imdb: 8.1
      who was involved?

(Warning: foul language, adult themes.) It's not everyday a comedian releases a set that is funnier than his first DVD of four years before—funny material is not that easy to come by—but Jim Jefferies has done just that. Because he is Australian, Jim can say things to an American audience that an American would have a hard time getting away with. There is great alchemy between Jim and an American audience, an alchemy that he seems to have refined since his move from the UK to the States. I look forward to seeing more of Jim over the years. (Last viewed: December 2012)

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Jim Jefferies - Freedumb posterJim Jefferies: Freedumb
      2016 | Australia | Laughs: 8.0 (Laugh Out Loud) | imdb: 7.7
      who was involved?

Jim Jefferies has done it again. I always feel apprehensive when I sit down to watch one of my favorite stand-up comedians, as, following its own law of gravitation, all comedic talent that rises must eventually fall. What a treat then to see Jim at the top of his form.

The material that will most stimulate a US audience might be the bit when Jim compares a component of the American self-image ("land of the free") with reality. Some day, who knows, Jim could be the one who bases a whole set on Chomsky and makes his contrarian analysis more accessible by turning it into comedy.

My only complaint (and a minor one) would be that Jim mentioned a couple of "celebrities" I'd never heard of—circumstantial humor which is perishable by nature, as no one will know what the joke was about when we watch the tape again ten years from now.

The set's ninety minutes went by fast. I was beaming throughout. More than ever, I was left thinking that Jim Jefferies's talent is a gift to the English-speaking world. (Last viewed: August 2016)

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Doug Stanhope: Beer Hall Putsch posterDoug Stanhope: Beer Hall Putsch
      2013 | USA | Laughs: 7.8 (Laugh and Smile) | imdb: 7.6
      who was involved?

Doug Stanhope is still one of the brightest stand-up comedians. Doug has the best logic and critical thinking abilities of just about anyone I've seen on a screen. For the ageing INTP typing these worrds (only look that up if you have nothing better to do), that shred of sanity is comforting.

In my view, Beer Hall Putsch is Doug's best show in a while. Not that it matters, but Doug showed that he could deliver a great set without smoking or consuming alcohol. The show has plenty of new material, and old themes as well, but these are welcome. The segment about how his mom chose to die and how Doug and his partner handled it is a new theme—one more theme where it's good to hear a lucid voice in the midst of the general hysteria. It made me wonder if Doug has heard of The Peaceful Pill.

Throughout the show, there are good laughs and lots of grinning.

The segment where Doug made fun of an old boxing champion seemed needlessly mean and did nothing for us. Neither did the gross-out segment about a football player, although it led into good points and a strong ending.

Watching this set should be a no-brainer, but if you're still not sure, this might tip you over the edge: Doug shares definite proof that there is an after-life.

This reminds me of two more proofs that Doug has never mentioned: (i) at one stage, the popular rating of George W. Bush was 98%; (ii) at another stage, 99 senators bleated One Nation Under God on camera to protest against a court that had ruled to strike deities from the famous pledge (the hundredth senator was ill that day). I won't tell you what these two stats prove, that's homework for the kids.

Sorry about the digression. It's a great show. I hope you enjoy it. (Last viewed: September 2013)

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Jim Gaffigan: Mr Universe posterJim Gaffigan: Mr Universe
      2012 | USA | Laughs: 7.8 | imdb: 7.8
      wikipedia | who was involved?

Stand-up comedians often lose inspiration as their career advances, so it was a great surprise to discover that six years after Beyond the Pale, Jim Gaffigan defied the usual trend by creating a far stronger show. The language was clean, the topics fairly mundane, but I found myself chuckling and laughing more than during some sets by comedians whose work I prefer on artistic (!), intellectual (!!) or ideological (!!!) grounds. Jim's shows might seem like fast-food (a topic he covers in this set)—they are enjoyable yet not very nourishing… but there is no guilt afterwards. So treat yourself to Mr Universe without giving it a second thought. (Last viewed: December 2013)

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Ricky Gervais: Out of England DVDRicky Gervais: Out of England
      2010 | U.K. | Laughs: 7.6 | imdb: 8.0
      who was involved?

Taken independently, this show rates four stars on my scale. But if you've seen Politics, you may be disappointed—it seemed to me that three quarters of this show's material was identical to the earlier show's. Yet the stage was magnificent, with massive lit letters spelling the name "Ricky", a clear effort to go "over the top", perhaps because the show was recorded in the United States. (Last viewed: April 2011)

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Florence Foresti  - Mother fckr posterFlorence Foresti - Mother Fckr
      2010 | France | Laughs: 7.5 | imdb: 7.0
      wikipedia | who was involved?

The worst thing about this otherwise terrific show is its title, as it poorly represents material that is neither crass nor full of cussing. Non-native speakers of a language tend not to feel the weight of its curse words: to them, something that would sound horrendously out of place to a native often has a playful ring. This well-known phenomenon must have been at play when the title was chosen. And the fact that motherhood is one of the show's recurring themes.

This was the first time I watched Florence Foresti, and I loved her. Not only is she sharp as a whip, she has a powerful command of physical comedy, so that laughter is triggered by her movements as much as by her words.

I look forward to watching more of her shows. (Last viewed: May 2015)

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Bill Burr: You People Are All The Same DVDBill Burr: You People Are All The Same
      2012 | USA | Laughs: 7.0 | imdb: 8.3
      who was involved?

Bill goes further than other comedians I've seen in exploring imbalances in the male-female equation, and he does a great job of presenting the (or perhaps a) male perspective. This set also has a segment about dogs, which I always like. (Last viewed: December 2012)

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Doug Stanhope: Oslo: Burning the Bridge to Nowhere DVDDoug Stanhope: Oslo: Burning the Bridge to Nowhere
      2011 | USA | Laughs: 7.0 | imdb: 7.5
      wikipedia | who was involved?

At the beginning of the DVD, Doug apologizes that the show was filmed at the inspiration of his producer without much notice and issues a number of disclaimers. Nevertheless, I found the first half to be the best of his that I'd seen in a while. Comparing it with his other releases, much of the material was fresh, and Doug didn't dwell much in the gross-out or obscene departments. Sure, the set didn't feel nearly as tuned or polished as that of an Eddie Izzard show, but that didn't matter. It was nice to hear Doug share his thoughts in front of a non-Anglo audience, outside of the US context. It sounds like Doug has reached the "give up and just live" stage of his life, and that produces a different voice, perhaps as valuable, one that isn't as angry, one that is resigned to the overall scarcity of critical thinking among the human animal.

What about the second half? Apart from the boring encore, it was good too. This is when Doug rolled out the "adult" material. Once again, the material was fresh, and when graphic language was used, it usually felt like there was a point—unlike the gratuitously obscene rampage in the more drunken sections on some of his other sets.

Not laugh-out-loud comedy, but a very good show for fans of Doug's and probably also for a good many people who haven't come across him yet. (Last viewed: January 2013)

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Jim Jefferies: Alcoholocaust DVDJim Jefferies: Alcoholocaust
      2010 | Australia | Laughs: 7.0 | imdb: 8.4
      who was involved?

The set includes a segment about religion (different from Jim's previous ones, and still excellent), certain imbalances in the male-female equation, and other topics churned through Jim's sharp mind and foul mouth. As in Jim's previous shows, the tail end contains the weaker material, so that by the time the curtain falls you're ready to say goodbye. (Last viewed: December 2012)

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Louis C.K.: Live at the Comedy Store posterLouis C.K.: Live at the Comedy Store
      2015 | USA | Laughs: 7.0 | imdb: 7.8
      who was involved?

After a while, most stand-up comedians naturally peter out as they exhaust their source of material. In his past shows Louis CK seemed well-engaged on this down slope, but this set firmly reverses the trend, and features Louis at his funniest I had seen him in a long time. The setting is intimate, and the camera captures facial expressions that greatly enhance the performance. If you don't mind a little crudeness, this is an entertaining set. (Last viewed: February 2015)

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Jim Jefferies: BARE posterJim Jefferies: BARE
      2014 | Australia | Laughs: 6.8 | imdb: 8.1
      who was involved?

(Warning: foul language, adult themes.) This show didn't seem as polished or original as Jim's earlier ones. It seemed to me that the "smarter themes" had been removed (the remaining segment on gun control would hardly be controversial in Boston), leaving the bulk of the show to focus on bedroom material. In other words, it seemed to me like Jim had sold out. The language and themes are cruder than ever (too crude for my taste) but if you can get over that, you might just enjoy Jim's bright mind and some aspects of his unique blend of comedy. For my part, I don't watch stand-up comedy to hear a lot of bedroom jokes, and overworked themes such as airport security don't interest me either. Despite these shortcomings, the show made me laugh and there were still lots of bits to enjoy, such as the South African accent Jim puts on in one of the segments.

If you haven't seen Jim yet, I'd recommend you start with another of his shows, such as Fully Functional or I Swear to God. (Last viewed: December 2014)

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Tom Segura: Completely Normal posterTom Segura: Completely Normal
      2014 | USA | Laughs: 6.8 | imdb: 7.7
      who was involved?

After watching Mostly Stories, I was motivated to watch Tom's other sets. This one from two years earlier did not disappoint. I know this may sound weird but for me half the show is in Tom's face, and half of the other half is in his demeanor: it seems to me that he doesn't talk all that much, and what he says isn't always all that funny—but the delivery is always perfect. I'm glad to have added Tom to my collection of to-watch comics and can't wait to see how he evolves. (Last viewed: June 2017)

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Bill Bailey: Dandelion Mind posterBill Bailey: Dandelion Mind
      2010 | U.K. | Laughs: 6.5 | imdb: 7.6
      who was involved?

This show is not Bill's best but it has its good moments. To nitpick: one bit involving the public is particularly repetitive; there are many musical numbers, not all of which are inspired; there are many references to celebrities, which makes the show less universal, and prone to faster to aging. (Last viewed: November 2015)

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