Stand Up Comics

For some reason I no longer find them funny. Ellen Degeneris had an HBO special recently and I didn’t chuckle even once and for some reason I can’t tell what makes people like Eddie Izzard.

I used to like stand up comics. I don’t think the ones I mentioned above are bad at what they do. I just don’t find them funny any more. Oh well, just a mindless pointless thing I had to share.


Have you seen Lewis Black? He does the Back in Black segment on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.” Man, his Nyquil segment is hilarious.

I still find Dennis Leary to be hilarious as hell, and John Stuart has a finely-tuned wit.

The problem is that you’re watching stand-up comics who were never funny.

I still love Richard Jeni and Chistopher Titus.

Yeah. How could you think that standup from Ellen DeGeneres was going to be funny? She can’t even be funny in her own sitcom.

There are plenty of standup comics who are freaking hilarious. I was watching one last night on Comedy Central. (Anybody catch “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” last night? I did and I thought it was hysterical.) My problem is that I can never remember the names of the comedians until they land in a feature film. What was the name of the “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” dude?

And what was the name of that Italian comic from Boston who had the bit about air conditioning in hotel rooms? You know…the guy who said “I got Zamfir, master of the pan flute, cutting an album in my sinuses.” He was hysterical.

And I do think Lewis Black is funny, although I think he’s only funny because he creates so much tension in the room when he gets all worked up delivering his material. The joke delivery is like a big release of tension.

I have to say, I’m baffled that anyone could watch Eddie Izzard and not laugh. Baffled. But hey, strokes and folks.

FWIW, i belive we do have a resident stand-up comic in superdude (at least, I think it’s him, I may be wrong)- maybe he can clue us in the recent dearth of good stand-up :slight_smile:


Kevin James, and I think the name of the special was “Sweat the Small Stuff”.

I also saw Kevin James last night, and thought the show was so-so.

I think what we are seeing is the result of a glut in the market. Back in the late 80s they were only a dozen or so really good stand-ups. Then in the 90s there were scads of them and they saturated the media sources to the point where it was difficult to distinguish them. If one got good reviews on a performance then his/her own sitcom followed. We soon learned that most of them couldn’t act worth a crap (The Jeff Foxworthy Show?) and so they’re appeal went down.

Right now we are just getting over that and it will take a few years before the lightweights and hacks fall out of the picture and the good comedians can write some new original material that hasn’t been done 10 times in the past month on late night talk shows already.

That guy is great. I want to say his name is Nick DePaula or something close, but I’m not sure. I butchered the spelling, almost certainly.

If anyone watches BET’s Comic View, there was a physically challenged comedian whose performance was aired about a week ago. He wore all black, his speech was thick and slightly slurred. He could walk, but his leg was twisted and bent slightly and his arm was kept bent at the elbow. His routine was mostly about getting robbed or beat up. He was absolutely hilarious.

(ok so I can’t tell a joke but I’m telling you, he was funny.)

Anyway, I didn’t get his name. Can anyone help me find out who he is? I’d love to see his act live.

Thanks for the nod, Francesca. Okay, here’s the skinny on the dearth of stand-up. Much like in music, there’s a progression. Anyone who doesn’t think so needs to watch George Carlin bits from the 60’s, then compare that with the stuff he does today. As comedians, there’s always an evolution, and most people are numb to anything except for either rabid psychobabble or the odd exception here and there. Most of the people today who didn’t grow up listening to Bill Cosby wouldn’t appreciate what he can do with a mike. Ellen DeGeneres is a bad example, because she was never really all that good. She had one good joke I heard her tell (in the context of hunting…“People shoot animals because they think they’re beautiful. I think my mother’s attractive. I have PICTURES of her.”). The rest of it was pure luck, I think. Back to the original topic, though, I think it’s more that we as a society are so jaded to anything that it takes something REALLY out there to affect us. It’s not just making observations no one’s seen before.

My favorite stand up comedian is Marc Maron. I fell in love with him the minute he did a bit about his first time shrooming. Plus he talks about being Jewish, antidepressants and the urge to sleep with underage girls. Look for him wherever you can, I always just happen to just flip through channels and catch him. Its an eerie kind of thing. If you don’t like him…then we’ll I’ll just pout.
/X(…)/X\ Arachnid

If you want to see good comedy, go to the clubs. Unlike on your average TV special, where the audience is filled with fans of the comic who laugh during every pause, the audience in a comedy club is tougher to impress. The comedian has to earn every laugh, and as such they tend to work harder. I’ve laughed harder in comedy clubs than I ever have watching a stand-up on TV.

I used to be a comic. Did it for about a year in the late 80’s. I was pretty decent, too. Got 10th out of 110 comics in a county-wide competition. Considering that the county was Los Angeles, I’m pretty proud.

Anyway, this to say: 95% of all comics suck amazingly. Really amazingly. The other 5% are mind-blowingly funny.

I also do not understand how someone could not find Eddie Izzard funny. But then again, his strength isn’t straightforward, it isn’t in the writing, the way it is with say, Steven Wright. Wright writes wonderful jokes that do not require a great delivery to get across. Eddie, on the other hand, is all about delivery. He is marvelously appealing and charismatic, and his performance is 90% of what makes him great.