The Funniest Stand-Up Comedy


   

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Stand-Up Comedy Sets sorted by Recently reviewed (descending) / page 6 of 9


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David Spade: Take the Hit DVDDavid Spade: Take the Hit
      1998 | USA | Laughs: 0.0 (Don't Bother) | imdb: 6.6
      

The one thing I liked about the show is that after five minutes, I was certain I didn't want to watch it. A couple "skip forwards" to make sure, and that was the best fifty minutes I never wasted. (Last viewed: December 2012)

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Doug Stanhope: Before Turning the Gun on Himself DVDDoug Stanhope: Before Turning the Gun on Himself
      2012 | USA | Laughs: 3.5 (Watch Once) | imdb: 8.1
      

If you've enjoyed one of Doug Stanhope's older sets, then you may want to watch this show, not so much for the laughs (which are not that frequent or intense) than in the same spirit you'd visit an old friend with whom you'd like to catch up, a friend who has moved on a bit. (Last viewed: December 2012)

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Wanda Sykes: I'ma Be Me DVDWanda Sykes: I'ma Be Me
      2009 | USA | Laughs: 2.0 (Don't Bother) | imdb: 7.6
      

I loved others of Wanda's shows, but this one bored me stiff. The beginning is "circumstantial comedy"—jokes that might have been funny for six weeks shortly after Obama was first elected. Much of the rest of the set relies on low-grade anecdotes from Wanda's life, drawn out far too long. The public seems intoxicated with Wanda, but that's less a measure of the show's quality than of her fans' devotion. (Last viewed: December 2012)

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Jim Jefferies: Alcoholocaust DVDJim Jefferies: Alcoholocaust
      2010 | Australia | Laughs: 7.0 | imdb: 8.4
      

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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Jim Jefferies: Contraband DVDJim Jefferies: Contraband
      2008 | Australia | Laughs: 6.0 (Don't Bother) | imdb: 7.8
      

Apart from a few minor details, this is the very same show as I Swear to God—shot the year before and slightly less fluid. Not worth watching if you've seen I Swear to God. (Last viewed: December 2012)

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Jim Jefferies: Fully Functional DVDJim Jefferies: Fully Functional
      2012 | Australia | Laughs: 8.1 | imdb: 8.1
      

(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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Doug Stanhope: Deadbeat Hero DVDDoug Stanhope: Deadbeat Hero
      2004 | USA | Laughs: 5.5 | imdb: 8.4
      wikipedia

This show starts out poorly: for about fifteen minutes, Doug seems bent on breaking some kind of gross-out record—for no good reason that I can think of. Beyond that, it's a fine show, less for the laughs than for the rare display of lucidity, and perhaps to enjoy hearing Doug voice out things you have been thinking all along. (Last viewed: December 2012)

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Jim Jefferies: I Swear to God DVDJim Jefferies: I Swear to God
      2009 | Australia | Laughs: 7.0 | imdb: 8.3
      

Jim has an extremely foul mouth and often lingers on extremely foul themes. Nevertheless, the filth doesn't seem as gratuitous as in the mouths of most stand-up comedians—except perhaps for this set's very weak ending. The segment on religion was excellent. Despite the needlessly crude language, the rest of the show gave me good reason to laugh as well, and I spent a pleasant hour. (Last viewed: December 2012)

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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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Zach Galifianakis: Comedy Central Presents DVDZach Galifianakis: Comedy Central Presents
      1998 | USA | Laughs: 3.0 | imdb: 8.0
      

After enjoying Zach more in recent movies such as Due Date than in his earlier roles, it was a pleasure to see him on stage—but I found the segment pretty weak. He opened by rolling out one joke after another. I much prefer when the material is connected. After five minutes, Zach jumped on the piano—to my mind, an accessory that rarely add comic power, but more often covers up loose material. It was cute, but not what I'm looking for when I want to laugh, and I nearly went to sleep. The audience of young women laughed hysterically at the least syllable, so at least someone liked the show. I'll be looking for a full set of Zach's material to see how he performs without the constraint of a twenty-minute TV segment. (Last viewed: November 2012)

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John Cleese: The Alimony Tour DVDJohn Cleese: The Alimony Tour
      2011 | U.K. | Laughs: 3.0 | imdb: 7.0
      

As a John Cleese fan, I found this set just watchable, and only out of interest in John Cleese. Aided by slides and video clips, Cleese navigates through episodes of his life and career, episodes which include a costly divorce that forced him out of retirement—the show's premise. There were a few chuckles, but overall this is not a great piece of stand-up. Unless you have a rabid interest in John Cleese, you can safely skip it. (Last viewed: May 2012)

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Lewis Black: Red, White and Screwed DVDLewis Black: Red, White and Screwed
      2006 | USA | Laughs: 2.5 (Don't Bother) | imdb: 7.9
      

This 2006 show has little more than fast-aging, circumstantial material focused on the main preoccupation of the city where it was taped, Washington, D.C.: the two main political parties of the United States. It is slow, it is weak, it is not very funny, except for a laugh or two that fail to redeem the show. Black on Broadway, by the same comedian, is older but much funnier. (Last viewed: January 2012)

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Lewis Black: Black on Brodway DVDLewis Black: Black on Brodway
      2004 | USA | Laughs: 6.5 | imdb: 8.1
      wikipedia

Does it take twenty minutes for Lewis Black to warm up, or does it take twenty minutes to warm up to him? To my ears, Black often seems to yell, which I find unpleasant. He is also heavy on expletives that don't really help his material; at least he doesn't dwell on the content of his underpants. The first laugh was a long time in coming, but by the middle of the show, I had started laughing out loud. I like that Lewis draws laughs by placing his compatriots' world view ("America number one") in a wider context. Some countries are good at making fun of themselves, some not as good, and that makes Lewis's efforts all the more valuable. Red, White and Screwed, by the same comedian, sits firmly in the "Don't Bother Watching" category. (Last viewed: January 2012)

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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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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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(This section: Stand-Up Comedy Sets)


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