The Funniest Stand-Up Comedy


   

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

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Stand-Up Comedy Sets sorted by Recently reviewed (descending) / page 5 of 9


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Louis C.K.: Chewed Up DVDLouis C.K.: Chewed Up
      2008 | USA | Laughs: 6.6 (Watch Once) | imdb: 8.6
      

The first twenty minutes felt weak and needlessly vulgar, but the show picked up steam, and I was soon chuckling. Nothing big happened, no big laughter came out, but it was pleasant listening to Louis talk about the hardship of being a parent, and, probably because we are about the same age, about some of the transformations he has been undergoing since reaching forty. (Last viewed: January 2013)

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Louis C.K.: Comedy Half-HourLouis C.K.: Comedy Half-Hour
      1996 | USA | Laughs: 3.0 (Don't Bother) | imdb: 7.4
      

Having recently watched a Louis CK show for the first time, I was curious to see what he was like in his early recordings. Well it's a lot less funny—I chuckled once, a meager payoff for a half hour of comedy. There's a lot of adult material of little interest (strangely, the soundtrack has beeps over the curse words). Unless you're also wanting to research this comedian's past, I'd say you can safely skip this show. (Last viewed: January 2013)

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Bill Hicks: Relentless DVDBill Hicks: Relentless
      1992 | USA | Laughs: N/A (Don't Bother) | imdb: 8.8
      wikipedia

Really slow-paced show filmed at a comedy festival in Montreal. I didn't laugh once. At the beginning, Bill spends quite a bit of time on the Gulf War, which had recently ended. That kind of time-stamped material rarely ages well. I was surprised by how much material was the same as in his show from three years earlier, Sane Man. No wonder Bill looked so bored. I gave up after 35 minutes, and I didn't feel guilty. (Last viewed: January 2013)

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Billy Connolly: You Asked For It DVDBilly Connolly: You Asked For It
      2011 | U.K. | Laughs: 4.8 | imdb: 7.7
      

This video spans over thirty years of Billy Connolly's career. The first thing to know for an American audience is that Billy has a Scottish accent, so that his shows may not be that easy to understand. He seems to be really famous in the UK's sphere of influence (such as Australia and New Zealand, a region where I lived for over a decade), so I finally decided to check him out. For me, this DVD was more about chuckling than about laughing. I have to say that the accent somewhat tired me, and that I had to watch the 96-minute tape in several sittings. I can see that the man is loved by his fans of many years, and he is at home on stage with a live audience. I did warm up to him in the later segments (when he is considerably older), and I did laugh a couple of times, but for me it wasn't laugh-out-loud comedy, even after tuning in to the accent. The segments cover topics such as aromatherapy, visiting a proctologist, and memories of a village dance as a young man. Perhaps worth watching once for cultural reasons. (Last viewed: January 2013)

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Louis C.K.: Shameless DVDLouis C.K.: Shameless
      2007 | USA | Laughs: 6.8 | imdb: 8.7
      

This was the first time I saw Louis CK, and it was a great surprise. I had confused him with someone else and had expected not to like him, but I really enjoyed his set. Now don't get me wrong, I was not rolling on the floor laughing—it was more on the level of chuckling, but that was enough for me because the chuckling was triggered by material I found original and stimulating.

In this show (and perhaps others of his shows) Louis doesn't spend time complaining about the government, comparing black people to white people, or cracking jokes about airport security. He talks about ordinary situations, such as standing in traffic, being at home with his family, hating people when visiting the post office or a coffee shop. He also touches on a number of adult themes, but with what to me seem to be new angles compared to the horde of crass comedians out there.

Louis's humor hinges on candid observation, much like Jerry Seinfeld's, but it allows mature language and themes. In fact you could say that he's a Jerry Seinfeld for mature audiences. Much of the pleasure stems from Louis being very candid (and smart) about taboo topics. Like Jerry, Louis has a limited range of voices and facial expressions, but that seems to be enough (although more would probably help convert some of the chuckles into laughs).

I look forward to watching more of his shows.
(Last viewed: January 2013)

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Bill Hicks: One Night Stand DVDBill Hicks: One Night Stand
      1991 | USA | Laughs: 6.0 (Watch Once) | imdb: 8.5
      wikipedia

This half-hour show contains mostly the same material as the 90-minute Sane Man from two years earlier, but without the most vulgar segments, without the drawn-out sound effects, and with higher video production quality. It's a better show in almost every way, and probably a good introduction to Bill Hicks, who shares his views on topics such as tobacco and drugs. I still don't find it terribly funny, but it's worth watching once. (Last viewed: January 2013)

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Bill Hicks: Sane Man DVDBill Hicks: Sane Man
      1989 | USA | Laughs: 5.9 | imdb: 8.6
      

This show has some very funny moments. It also has some very gross moments and some otherwise annoying moments. On the funny side, it's not all that common that a show that is nearly 25 years old (at the time of viewing) can make me laugh. That's a sign of the comedian's care to seek out "universal" material and to avoid drawing too much on current events—comedians that do irritate me. Bill seems to love sound effects, and he uses his microphone to animate his skits. Sometimes that works, often it gets annoying, especially when he simulates explosions or launches into a loud rendition of a popular song or an electric guitar. The video editing is also unpleasant, with lots of amateurish effects such as frames merging or rotating. About halfway through the show I was enjoying myself, but by the end Bill had piled on so much vulgar material that he had depleted his early goodwill, and I no longer felt I'd want to recommend the set or watch it again. For most people, One-Night Stand, which contains most of the same material but without the most vulgar and annoying bits will be a better (and shorter) show to watch. (Last viewed: January 2013)

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Kathleen Madigan: Gone Madigan DVDKathleen Madigan: Gone Madigan
      2010 | USA | Laughs: 2.1 | imdb: 7.4
      

I had high hopes for this show as Kathleen had come warmly recommended. The first fifteen minutes were fairly funny, but the show soon crashed into a bog of circumstantial humor, i.e., references to people and events of which you may be aware if you read People Magazine but which will be forgotten as the wheel of current events turns. After that celebrity phase, the show settled into the filmed equivalent of a fireside chat with a half-drunken funny aunt who is pleasant enough to indulge with a nod as you doze off but not quite bright enough to keep you interested. Kathleen has the kind of smile that gives you hope she might be the Caucasian Wanda Sykes, though that hope is never rewarded. When I watch stand-up I want to laugh, and on that critical dimension Kathleen fails to deliver. On the plus side, she has a nice range of voices and accents. If you really want to try one of Kathleen's sets, the earlier In Other Words is twice as funny. (Last viewed: December 2012)

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Kevin Hart: I'm a Grown Little Man DVDKevin Hart: I'm a Grown Little Man
      2009 | USA | Laughs: 2.2 (Don't Bother) | imdb: 7.8
      

There's lots to like about Kevin, but apart from a few segments this show barely made me smile. One reason is that I am not interested in some of Kevin's themes (such as his babies). Another reason is that the themes that do interest me have (in my view) been developed far more intricately by other comedians. But comedy has a lot to do with where you are in your life, and you might love this show. One thing I loved was when Kevin acted out various characters—he has uncommon talent for becoming someone else by changing his voice, face and gestures. I liked that the show ended on one of the stronger segments, unlike the many shows that die out like a wet firecracker. (Last viewed: December 2012)

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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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Brian Regan: The Epitome of Hyperbole DVDBrian Regan: The Epitome of Hyperbole
      2008 | USA | Laughs: 6.8 | imdb: 7.8
      wikipedia

This is not one of these shows that makes you think, nor is it one of these shows that leaves you panting from having jumped around the world from theme to theme. But it's clean—so clean in fact that kids could watch it—and it's funny. I smiled for most of the show and laughed quite a few times. There was nothing memorable, but I was entertained for an hour and that's all that matters. (Last viewed: December 2012)

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Comedy Central Presents: Brian ReganBrian Regan: Comedy Central Presents
      2000 | USA | Laughs: 5.0 | imdb: 8.6
      

This twenty-minute set contains material you'll largely be familiar with if you've seen I Walked on the Moon, which is a better show to watch. (Last viewed: December 2012)

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Demetri Martin: Person DVDDemetri Martin: Person
      2007 | USA | Laughs: 3.1 (Don't Bother) | imdb: 7.8
      wikipedia

Low-key, often clever and charming set involving song and cartoons, but not funny in a laugh-out-loud way, making me wonder whether those who laughed hard in the audience had a crush on Demetri or were paid to laugh. No doubt Demetri is a talented young man, but the audience seemed to laugh and clap at just about anything. (Last viewed: December 2012)

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David Cross: Bigger and Blackerer DVDDavid Cross: Bigger and Blackerer
      2010 | USA | Laughs: 3.0 (Don't Bother) | imdb: 7.1
      wikipedia

A very slow set that nearly put me to sleep. To start with, it was not a good sign that David ripped off the title of Chris Rock's mediocre Bigger and Blacker show. Early in the set, some of the comedy is circumstantial (based on the political highlights of the time), never a good sign for a show—unless it's a sign of a short expiry date. Later in the show, David tackles religion, but anything David does about religion, Doug Stanhope and Jim Jefferies can do a hundred times better. I've seen stand-up comics in a coffee shop of a 200-person village who were ten times funnier than David Cross in this show. The one redeeming point is David's excellent impersonation of a rabbi trying to guilt you into buy a more expensive product. (Last viewed: December 2012)

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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
      

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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(This section: Stand-Up Comedy Sets)


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