Friday, May 13, 2011
Funniest Comedians Ever
After discussing comedians with some PTU members for the past hour or so, I decided it was time to post an unofficial list of the best comedians of all-time. Here it goes:
1: Eddie Murphy
Eddie thrived in any environment: from stand-up (Raw and Delirious being the best ever), SNL (Buckwheat, Mr. Robinson's neighborhood, dressing up as a white guy, etc), to carrying some very funny movies (Coming to America and Trading Places being the best). Nowadays he wears fat suits in all his movies and provides the voice for some stupid animated donkey, but we can't forget how great he once was, back when he wore purple and red leather bodysuits. My theory is that all that coke in the 80's turned his brain to mush.
2: Steve Martin
White supremacists love this guy. And although I don't share any bonds with neo-nazis, I do agree that he was one of the funniest comedians I've ever seen. Like Eddie Murphy, he was pretty well-rounded - going from funny SNL skits (which now unfortunately seem very out-dated and corny), to comedy albums, to probably the best movies ever made by a comedian (with the Jerk being the pinnacle). He has become more eccentic as he's gotten older, having worked on bluegrass albums and becoming immersed in the art world.
3: Dave Chapelle
Along with Eddie Murphy, he was clearly one of the best stand-up comedians of all-time. What I like about Chapelle is how he contiued on the lineage of young, black comedians (Prior - Murphy - Chris Rock - Chapelle) while introducing social critiques that weren't found as prominently in his predecessor's work. Good example: His stand-up routine about how he was stuck in a limo in the middle of the ghetto and he began to reevaluate his life. In my opinion, his humor clearly had a depth to it that was lacking from a lot of previous black comedy. Also, to his credit, he carried his own sketch show - which is considered one of the funniest of all-time. (How many other comedians had THEIR OWN show, and had it go on to such success?)
4: Rodney Dangerfield
Dangerfield, aka Rapping Rodney, somehow had a long career based on the simple persona he adopted: as a man we could all relate to; a dude who just didn't get enough respect. Although he was really from Manhasset, the richest neighborhood on Long Island, he did a great job of appealing to the everyman, all the while keeping the appearance of a run-down plumber. One of the best stand-ups ever, he had great lines like: "My mother never truly loved me. We would play Hide-And-Go-Fuck-Yourself". After like 80 years in comedy, his jokes never seemed to get old.
5: Chris Rock
The one criticism I have of Chris Rock is that his work is a bit top-heavy. His stand-up routines were very, very funny, but the rest of his work pales in comparison. For example, has he ever starred in a funny movie? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe he has. Also, he created a pretty horrible TV show in an attempt to tone it down and get into syndication (Compare Everybody Hates Chris to The Chapelle Show and then tell me it was a success). Still, he was incredibly funny as a young comedian and so deserves to be high on this list. Currently he is working on Broadway and has grown some weird facial hair.
Jim Carrey (dropped off really bad), Woody Allen (one of my personal favorites, but not top-5-great as just a comedian), Richard Pryor (ground-breaking but has been surpassed), George Carlin (good for haters but a bit overrated), Andy Kaufman (scores major points for wrestling women).