Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Top 5 Comedians of the Year

I love end of the year lists. I always discover so much new music because, seriously, how can you not want to listen to someone's favorite song of the entire year (even if it's, without exception, "All My Friends" by LCD Soundsystem)? Kottke always posts a great year-end list of his best links (which makes for excellent retrospective reading) and there are countless good year-end lists for almost anything else you can think of. Almost. That's because I ran across a compendium of year-end lists at Fimoculous and excitedly pored through the lists only to be stopped dead in my tracks by the lack of comedy lists (even though they were thoughtful enough to have a column for it.) There were zero at the time of writing!

What's funny is that this is year I deliberately set out to find good comedy. Sure I waded through some crappy stuff (like Jimmy Norton) but actually think I'm in a position to produce a top 5 comedians of the year list, no joke. So here goes:

1. Patton Oswalt.
This is the year of the Patton. He made an animated comedy watchable and he released the comedy album of the year, Werewolves and Lollipops. He's consistently funny and appealing to every cool person, which is nice. This is the opening track from the album meaning it's a joke I've heard WAY too much (playing it for people) but it's 1st for a reason. KFC's famous bowls:

I read a review pointing out how Patton seems somehow completely in control of every moment he's onstage while still seeming to maintain a looseness and free-flowing effortlessness. Yeah.

2. Maria Bamford.
She released the comedy album "How to Win!" this year and she has a really phenomenal act. Her voices are always an awesome effect, but I think she's at her best parodying standard gender comedy ("Am I right ladies?")

3. Demetri Martin
Yes, that "Mitch Hedberg with a guitar" label haunts this guy and it's clear he owes a serious debt to Mitch (especially with the food one liners and naming conventions jokes) but it doesn't make his stuff one bit less funny. This is probably the best youtube video on this list as someone was nice enough to compile the very best of the best from Demetri. I especially recommend #3.

4. Daniel Tosh
Basically he's Dane Cook but funny. He makes faces like Stifler and seems to have some women issues but I have to admit that he's pretty effing good. You do get the sense that there's a very obscure edgy side to him that he keeps under the gauze of Waverunner jokes- I wouldn't be surprised if he wound up being one of the funniest, darkest comedians around, playing to small clubs. I also wouldn't be shocked if in 5 years he was doing horrible observational stories in front of Arena's packed with 20000 people who laugh at inappropriate times. In fact, I will state for the record that I refuse to be surprised under any circumstances with regard to this guy's career.

Check out this video: Daniel Tosh

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His whole special is on youtube so you can keep following the links to watch the whole thing.

5. Paul F Tompkins
New CD called Impersonal out this year and it rules. Like Louis CK this is a guy with so much material that every thing I hear of his seems to be new. The downside of that is that you've got all of your favorite jokes on some obscure bootleg and nobody's heard them. Youtube videos work the opposite though- here's an obscure one about the RAZR's grease feature that I like (though it's no "Migrant Worker Fantasy camp" from Impersonal.)

Paul F. Tompkins Stand-up

Posted May 01, 2007

Paul has a cell phone and it does amazing things... like spell.

Honorable Mention:
6. Sarah Silverman makes it with her hit show that was hilarious for 1 season and is still eminently watchable. Here's her star making turn (I suppose) in the Aristocrats.

7. Louis CK. The only guy on this list that doesn't have a new CD or special, he
s been touring endlessly this year and has a ton of new material. I'm including a few Louis CK jokes because I literally can't recommend anything purchasable of his (Live in Houston is decent but it's not even the same guy really.) Go see him Live and you'll get it. The first video is "Duck Vaginas"

This one is on Gay marriage and is top-shelf Louis. Yeah I'm running out of superlatives so I just used "top shelf." Blogging is tough.

4:45 into this one features one of my favorite jokes ever, entitled "Why?"

1 comment:

Matt C said...

I'd never heard Maria Bamford before. That shit is funny. Both Demitri Martin and Mitch Hedberg got their style from Steven Wright, who actually had a comedy central special come out this year that was pretty damn funny. Here is the link:

And here he is back in 1987 on Comic Relief:

He has always been one of my favorite stand-ups. My brother had a cassette of his comedy special back when I was about 10 that I always used to listen to.