Would you love to know my big secret on how people tend to think I am nearly ten years younger than I actually am? Aside from gallons of water and fun clothing? I have learned to take what I do seriously, but not take myself seriously. Folks often tell me that I should have gone into theater or comedy writing because I always make them laugh. I can reassure everyone that when I do or say something funny, it’s always unscripted. Ask me to sit down and write something intentionally funny, all you will hear are lame puns and crickets. Today’s Friday Five is in honor of those who transform punchlines and bizarre situations into fantastically funny storytelling: Comedians. There are five questions, but so many comedians to talk about, so hang onto your funny bones because it’s about to get deep.
I don’t mean to be funny! Maybe it’s just my face…
DISCLAIMER: I am an unintentionally funny girl who loves to laugh, and sketch and stand-up comedy is a phenomenal outlet for punch those hot topic buttons in good humor. Those issues you can’t talk about at the dinner table– sex, race, politics– everything is fair game.
- The key to appreciating comedy without offending someone is to understand the context and cultural guidelines in which they topics can be discussed. Otherwise one can sound like a sexist, racist, and quite politically incorrect.
- I appreciate these comedians for their craft, but I warn you NOW — not all of the clips presented below are safe for work or delicate senses. There is strong language, mature situations, and not too much faux violence because I am an adult and I write for adults.
- Some of these clips talk about nerdy topics so there may be SPOILERS afoot. Consider this your warning before you click on anything below.
- Yes, there are many famous names and now many of them host programming on general broadcast stations. HOWEVER, many of them got their starts on late night sketch comedy shows or by doing stand-up, so brace yourself for the potential that your perspective on some of your favorite names may change. (I’m looking at you, Hardwick! I almost watched his special at my parents house once.)
- I did not delineate between comedian and comedienne as there may be some who fall outside of the gender binary. Like actor/actress, I am sticking with one for the sake of brevity and consistency. I also wanted to avoid the male/female comedian dichotomy as well.
- Grab your favorite cold beverage and prepare to laugh.
Q1: Which comedians rock television for you?
Many forget that long before she was hosting her own talk show, Ellen Degeneres was splitting sides and shattering the comedic glass ceiling with her stand up. There are far too many wonderful minds who rocked Saturday Night Live to even begin listing them ALL. The ones I consistently chase up clips for on the morning after:
- Ellen DeGeneres – “Found Your Facebook Photos” (from The Ellen Show)
- Steven Colbert – “The Red Rehearsal” (from The Late Show)
- James Cordon – “Sia Carpool Karaoke” (from The Late Late Show)
- Jimmy Fallon – “Pup Quiz with Ben Affleck” (from The Tonight Show)
- Jimmy Kimmel – “It’s Gone On Long Enough!” – (from Jimmy Kimmel Live!)
- John Stewart – “”
What I love is that they use their comedy for not only making the world laugh, but also making it a better place. Each one of them have great gimmicks and rabid, loyal fanbases, but I love them ALL. Another reason to love them? They support each other’s schticks!
Q2: Have you seen any comedians live?
I worked in New York when Conan O’Brien went on his famed Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television tour in the wake of his release from NBC. I saw the ginger pompadour live in all it’s glory on the second night of his performances at Radio City Music Hall. Knowing that my cost of admission helped Conan pay his employees made me feel like I was part of the comedy community for one night. While I missed out on the dance off between O’Brien x Colbert x Stewart the previous night, I had a blast!
Tonight, I will have a front row seat for Anjelah Johnson‘s Bon Qui Qui Gold Plated Dreams Tour at the Hard Rock Orlando. I am so excited because it turns out I’ll have a VIP experience ahead of me, too! My pal Biggie over at Deli Fresh Threads invited me to do a guest post over at DFT because during my nerding out, Anjelah answered his biggest question: “What’s Your Favorite Sandwich?”
- Conan O’Brien – “Fire” (music video with Steven Yuen & J.Y. Park)
- Anjelah Johnson – “Flight Attendants” (from Live at Gotham)
Q3: Do you own any comedy DVDs?
I own three live specials by American comedians and a handful of DVDs from Japanese comedians! Aside from Anjelah’s That’s How We Do It, I have The Byrne Identity by Steve Byrne and Mandroid by Chris Hardwick both of which feature funny guys in sharp suits. I am always on the look out to expand my collection. I would like to find the optimal display and store my movies without crowding my living room.
I have a small International Nerd Altar in my home.
- Steve Byrne – “Who Are You” (from The Byrne Identity)
- Chris Hardwick – “Hipster Nerds” (from Mandroid)
Q4: Which comedic memoirs would you recommend?
I thoroughly enjoyed the audio versions of Self-Inflicted Wounds written and narrated by Aisha Tyler and I Must Say written and narrated by Martin Short. Aisha is a self-proclaimed Guy’s Girl– funny, loves craft beer & whiskey, destroys all in Halo– and one of my favorites of all time. Martin is a legend who is funny, honest, and most importantly humble. Honestly, I would love to pass an evening on an L.A. rooftop sipping drinks and talking about everything under the stars.
Q5: Who else is in your Pantheon of Comedy?
I started watching Comedy Central when I was a teenager, but many of my long time favorites came from recommendations of friends. I am usually behind the curve when it comes to keeping up with the comedic stylings, but now I am on the hunt for DVDs for my home collection. I even have a standing pact with my mom to take her to see Gabriel Iglesias should the Fluffy Guy come back to visit Orlando.
- Margaret Cho – “Margaret’s Mom” (from CC: Stand-up)
- Nikki Glaser – “Home Waxing” (from Comedy Central)
- Gabriel Iglesias – “New Volkswagen Beetle” (from Animated Classics)
- Eddie Izzard – “Star Wars Canteen” (in Legos!)
- Key & Peele – “Game of Thrones” (SPOILERS; Uncensored*; from The 420 Special)
- Demetri Martin – “Stuff on a Guitar” (from Person; CC)
- Chris Rock – “New Jersey Neighbors” (Uncensored*; from CC: Stand-up)
- Amy Schumer – “Dr. Congress” (from Inside Amy Schumer)
- Iliza Schlesinger – “Pinterest” (from Freezing Hot)
There are so many legends, veterans, and rising stars out there that I could not possibly cover them all. There are many comedy genre films available, but I don’t find them to be nearly as enjoyable as stand up. While the spoof and parody genre is still going strong, I often find the crude jokes to be unnecessary. I always prefer the subtle, smart humor because I don’t need things spelled out for me.
Answer Me, These Questions Three
- Do you have a favorite comedian?
- Did I leave someone off the list?
- Name your favorite comedy genre film.