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 7 of 9


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

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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Ricky Gervais: Politics DVDRicky Gervais: Politics
      2004 | U.K. | Laughs: 7.8 | imdb: 7.9
      wikipedia

Gervais is so politically incorrect that he can make you ashamed of laughing at his jokes! I enjoyed this show's dark and naughty sense of humor, though at times I almost wanted to make sure no one saw me watching. I couldn't help laughing, but even as I laughed I had to feel sorry for Ricky' victims. One is left wondering if the man on stage is truly mean, or if his meanness is only his act.

I found the pacing excellent, full of pauses in the right places, except for a crude segment purporting to describe a funny pamphlet. It went on forever: Ricky certainly knows how to stretch a bad joke. (Last viewed: April 2011)

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George Carlin: Carlin at Carnegie DVDGeorge Carlin: Carlin at Carnegie
      1982 | USA | Laughs: 6.5 | imdb: 8.2
      wikipedia

In this show George wears a spectacular green outfit, and that's a good thing because in the beginning there is not much else to hold your attention. It was a good fifteen minutes until I cracked a laugh. Before then, the funniest thing was to see members of the audience roaring at jokes that completely flopped in our living room. I should also say that I don't care for the faces Carlin makes (in this show and others) to mock people whom he wants to portray as having a low intellect. Why does he have to cross his eyes? Is strabismus a sign of low IQ? I don't suffer from that condition, but the mime annoys me—I find it to be stupid, mean, gratuitously offensive comedy. This show has other weak bits: one of these interminable sessions where George pretends to read "the news"; and a variation on his classic bit about the words you cannot say on television. It only felt like an hour long. So why the 3.25 stars? I really like the part about fussy eaters. And for me, the segment about dogs (also on George's Best Stuff) may be his best skits ever. It is followed by a few minutes about cats, also George at his best. (Last viewed: March 2011)

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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: For What It's Worth DVDDave Chappelle: For What It's Worth
      2004 | USA | Laughs: 7.0 (Watch Once) | imdb: 8.5
      wikipedia

I discovered Dave Chappelle in the movie Half-Baked, which I hadn't expect to like, but did. I'm a bit sad because I really would like to give Chappelle four stars. When he's good, I love him. He's obviously really bright (good comedians have to be), and it shows in his style, the style of an independent thinker. But why does Dave have to spend half the show talking about the contents of his underpants? Is it to reach a broader audience, or does he really like smut talk? Anyway, for me, if you have such a hard time getting out of your underpants, I don't know if you can get four stars. (Last viewed: March 2011)

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Eddie Izzard: Sexie DVDEddie Izzard: Sexie
      2003 | U.K. | Laughs: 6.0 | imdb: 7.5
      wikipedia

If you've seen all of Eddie's shows, watching Sexie is a bit like a visit with an old friend. You have fun, it's very pleasant, but it's not a high of your existence. Sexie is not breakneck-speed-Eddie-Izzard, but more of a casual presentation to an audience that already loves him. The most striking part of the show is perhaps Eddie's costume, taken to an extreme that suits the famous rock'n roll venue, a series of cross-dressing outfits complete with high heels, skirts and fake boobs. Apart from a few flashbacks to other shows (speed archeology, Achilles heel), the material is fresh. My friend and I found the ending weak, with a horse-riding skit that goes on for about three times too long, then, for an encore, an impersonation that would be more at home in a "bonus material" section. I liked the show but will probably not watch it again.

There is a second DVD release from the Sexie tour called Live from Wembley. (Last viewed: December 2010)

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Richard Pryor: Live in Concert DVDRichard Pryor: Live in Concert
      1979 | USA | Laughs: 6.0 | imdb: 8.2
      wikipedia

When this show was taped, Pryor's "white people do this… black people do that" routine and use of foul language may have been cutting-edge material. Today, these aspects of the show feel tired. But there's lots left to like, from the skits about hunting in the woods and about boxing with Mohammed Ali to the fact that Richard is just a beautiful, mesmerizing performer. Just for those, I'd watch this tape again in ten years. A few laughs guaranteed, smiles throughout. (Last viewed: November 2010)

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George Carlin: Carlin on Campus DVDGeorge Carlin: Carlin on Campus
      1984 | USA | Laughs: 7.0 | imdb: 8.1
      wikipedia

Some of Carlin's show repeat old material. I like that most of the material here is original. There is a long and effective segment on driving. And even though I'm not a sports head, I love Carlin's upbeat-downbeat comparison of baseball and football. (Last viewed: October 2010)

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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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George Carlin: What Am I Doing in New Jersey? DVDGeorge Carlin: What Am I Doing in New Jersey?
      1988 | USA | Laughs: 7.5 | imdb: 8.3
      wikipedia

The show starts with a long boring introduction where George gets lost in a cab to New Jersey, then with a rather crass, long warm-up. But then George launches into several routines that had me laughing pretty hard: one where he develops the theme that "America is a great country but a strange culture", and one about tricks to keep clerks on their toes. (Last viewed: September 2010)

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George Carlin: Again! DVDGeorge Carlin: Again!
      1978 | USA | Laughs: 5.9 | imdb: 8.3
      wikipedia

A good show that I would not bother watching if you've seen George's Best Stuff. A gorgeous circular stage shows us a forty-year-old Carlin at his most animated as he whirls around to face different sections of the audience. I liked the segments about time measurements and about Al the weatherman. The show ends with what is perhaps the longest and best taped rendition of the "dirty words" routine. The credits roll as Carlin dances madly on the stage to an Irish tune, giving the audience another excuse to exhaust itself in applause. (Last viewed: September 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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Sam Kinison: Breaking the Rules DVDSam Kinison: Breaking the Rules
      1987 | USA | Laughs: 6.1 (Watch Once) | imdb: 7.3
      

This show is in the "Watch Once" section with a strong warning: steer clear if you have a low tolerance for adult themes, as Kinison spends most of the set below the belt. It may be funnier if you have had three beers like many of those in the audience. I am not particularly interested in Sam's favorite themes, but he smiles a lot and I do find him attaching. Some of the jokes would be great if he didn't yell all the time… I most enjoyed the segments about marriage and about how lying will enhance your relationships. (Last viewed: September 2010)

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Dave Attell: Comedy Central DVDDave Attell: Comedy Central
      1999 | USA | Laughs: 6.5 (Watch Once) | imdb: 7.5
      

Focuses on embarrassing moments, many of them relating to matters below the belt, but without using profanity. Rather than assaulting the audience, Dave makes fun of himself. He seems to be able to tap into a rich well of material: I will be curious to watch his later shows. (Last viewed: September 2010)

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(This section: Stand-Up Comedy Sets)


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