The Funniest Stand-Up Comedy


   

The laughDB database is dedicated to the funniest comedy movies, stand-up comedy and TV series.

In this area (stand-up comedy), you can:
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Stand-Up Comedy Sets sorted by Recently reviewed (descending) / page 1 of 14


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Mark Normand: Don't Be Yourself posterMark Normand: Don't Be Yourself
      2017 | USA | Laughs: 5.0 | imdb: 5.5
      

I watched this set after discovering Mark in his 2020 set, Out To Lunch, which I enjoyed and made me curious about his earlier work.

While this set is also enjoyable, it is not equally so, giving me the impression is that Mark has refined his act since then. This might be good news for things to come. That being said, the new show, though more polished, does rehash much of the same material, which might also suggest that there isn't a whole lot more where that came from.

(Last viewed: January 2021)

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Mark Normand: Out to Lunch posterMark Normand: Out To Lunch
      2020 | USA | Laughs: 7.0 | imdb: 8.1
      

This was my favorite set by a comedian so far unknown to me in a long time.

Mark speaks well-formed English at breakneck speed, a first sign of the intelligence that permeates his comedy. When I started listening, his accent reminded me of my partner's, a Southerner who has lived a long time away from the South: it turns out that he too grew up in Louisiana. For a primer on the Louisiana accents, see this page.

The humor tends to hinge on bringing to light the logical flaws that underlie positions and behaviors often taken for granted in our society, a vein that resonates with my own mental make-up.

I can't say that I laughed hard, but I sure grinned a lot, and, more than anything, savored the show from start to finish, despite the nod to more vulgar themes towards the end.

Truly thrilled to have discovered Mark — all thanks to a reader of this website. Looking forward to seeing more of his material.

(Last viewed: January 2021)

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Sebastian Maniscalco: Why Would You Do That? posterSebastian Maniscalco: Why Would You Do That?
      2016 | USA | Laughs: 4.5 (Watch Once) | imdb: 7.4
      

This was my first exposure to Sebastian Manicalco. He is extremely animated on stage, probably a tad too much for my taste. I usually enjoy comedians who make good use of movement and facial expressions, but his often miss the mark for me.

That is a good summary of the show: it often misses the mark for me. It did entertain me, but humor depends very much on which themes matter most to a viewer at a particular point in time — I'm sure that many people would relate to the material more easily than I did.

Still worth a watch. (Last viewed: June 2020)

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Jimmy O. Yang: Good Deal posterJimmy O. Yang: Good Deal
      2020 | USA | Laughs: N/A (Don't Bother) | imdb: 7.2
      

I was well disposed but had to give up after five minutes. Just awful. (Last viewed: May 2020)

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Louis CK: Sincerely posterLouis CK: Sincerely
      2020 | USA | Laughs: 5.5 | imdb: 8.4
      

After two years of absence from the screen following accusations having behaved improperly with several women, Louis C.K. returns stronger. I found this set more raw, more brutal, and generally funnier than the ones immediately preceding his demise.

For my taste there was far too much material relating to bodily functions — as though this theme hadn't yet been beaten to death. On the other hand I enjoyed the handling of themes such as religion, for which Louis's bluntness came close to that more typical of Jim Jefferies.

(Last viewed: April 2020)

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Ronny Chieng: Asian Comedian Destroys America posterRonny Chieng: Asian Comedian Destroys America
      2019 | USA | Laughs: 5.0 | imdb: 7.4
      

This tape was my first exposure to Ronny as a stand-up comedian, and I was pleasantly surprised: it seemed to me that Ronny brings something new in his role of recent migrant to America. Of course other comedians have made that move stateside and commented on U.S. culture from that newcomer perspective (Jim Jefferies comes to mind) but I particularly enjoyed the Asian or even specifically Chinese spin that Ronny Chieng (Malaysian-born) brings to his commentary.

My favorite bit was the one about how Asians should be let loose to run the U.S. government.

With all this said, I didn't have any hard laughs. I just enjoyed the show and got the impression that Ronny might have more potential to unleash as he refines his craft.

(Last viewed: March 2020)

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Whoopi: Back to Broadway posterWhoopi: Back to Broadway
      2005 | USA | Laughs: 7.7 (Don't Bother) | imdb: 7.9
      

Taken as a piece of theatrical performance, as a monologue, that show was enjoyable for me. As stand-up comedy, it was a waste of time.

Incarnating various characters, Whoopi reminisces on some times of her life — some personal, some public, such as the war in Irak — and invents others. It has historical value, it's often touching, but it's not the kind of material that can trigger laughter, at least not for me: in the case of Irak, not that long after the events.

Some of the personal topics include waxing, menopause and depression: maybe some of you all will be curious about Whoopi's experience or find something you can relate to.

(Last viewed: December 2019)

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Whoopi Goldberg: Fontaine... Why Am I Straight posterWhoopi Goldberg: Fontaine... Why Am I Straight?
      1988 | USA | Laughs: 1.4 (Broken Comedies) | imdb: 7.4
      

First off, a few words to explain the title of this set: Whoopi Goldberg plays the character of her alter-ego Fontaine, a male junkie who, after going off drugs, is flabbergasted by what he sees when looking at America through sober eyes — hence Why Am I Straight? That's the premise of the show.

I was blown away by Whoopi's comic mastery — body language, faces, voices… she had a lot of ingredients. Sadly, what this show doesn't have today is relevance. Most of the material was circumstantial, relating as it did to events few will remember or to people who no longer matter. I smiled at the Reagan impressions, but for me the show had nothing to trigger laughter, and for younger people it will be worse.

A beautiful document for the archives of comedy… but a poor choice if you're just after something to make you laugh today.

(Last viewed: December 2019)

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Joe Rogan: Rocky Mountain High posterJoe Rogan: Rocky Mountain High
      2014 | USA | Laughs: 0.0 (Just Awful) | imdb: 7.5
      

I was surprised at how awful this show was. On previous attempts to watch Joe's shows he'd often managed to make me smile or chuckle, but this was gutter humor almost from start to finish. When this barrage of filth finally let up, Joe closed the show with weak material cashing in on his audience's presumed prejudice against certain alternative groups.

This man really needs to reduce his doses of protein powder or whatever he takes to make his body bigger and his brain smaller. It's a real shame, as he's a bright guy with the potential to apply his intelligence if he ever came across a meaningful fact. I'd be happy to hear his insights if he ever grew up.

One thing that surprised me was the consistent imdb ratings of Joe's shows given their wide discrepancy in quality. I came up with a hypothesis, but it makes me sad. Could it be that Joe is so much smarter than his fans that they can't tell the difference? As long as he keeps dedicating most of his stage time to bodily functions and the female anatomy, they seem to be happy.

(Last viewed: December 2019)

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Joe Rogan Live from the Tabernacle posterJoe Rogan: Live from the Tabernacle
      2012 | USA | Laughs: 3.5 (Chuckle) | imdb: 7.3
      

During the first part of this show, I thought it was the best of Joe's that I'd seen so far, including his later 2016 set Triggered and the 2018 special Strange Times.

But sometime after the half-hour mark, the set takes a wrong turn and ends up focusing solely on male physiology and female anatomy. It's a shame, and a problem that probably wouldn't arise if Joe went easy on the protein powder. Maybe time will fix that — hopefully not in the form of prostate cancer, but with these unnaturally beefy guys the risks are high.

(Last viewed: December 2019)

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Joe Rogan: Live posterJoe Rogan: Live
      2006 | USA | Laughs: 3.5 (Chuckle) | imdb: 7.3
      

After trying Joe's awful 2001 tape Live from the Belly of the Beast, this show was a good surprise, even though I almost gave up in the first ten minutes owing to the vile start centered on female anatomy.

Apart from the excessive amount of humor focused on reproductive functions, this is probably the best set of Joe's that I watched so far, including his later 2016 set Triggered and the 2018 special Strange Times.

I particularly appreciated seeing that Joe had woken up to the fact that there was a moron in charge of the country, a fact that seemed to have eluded him five years earlier, when the same guy was already in charge.

(Last viewed: December 2019)

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Joe Rogan: Triggered posterJoe Rogan: Triggered
      2016 | USA | Laughs: 3.5 (Smirk) | imdb: 7.4
      

This was the second show by Joe Rogan that I watched, and I found about as entertaining as the first: lots of smiles, no laughs. I appreciated the lower level of "gross-out" material, but the ending was weaker.

Religion, parenting… I already forgot most of the themes, but I doubt they included any that you haven't already seen developed somewhere in a funnier way, which doesn't preclude this set from being likeable.

One thing that would really improve Joe's sets for me is if he wouldn't yell.

(Last viewed: December 2019)

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Joe Rogan: Talking Monkeys in Space posterJoe Rogan: Talking Monkeys in Space
      2009 | USA | Laughs: 1.0 (Broken Comedies) | imdb: 7.8
      

This was the third of Joe's shows that I watched, one a night, and it was a strange experience. On the one hand, I preferred Joe's delivery (less screaming) and found him both smart and likeable. On the other hand, the set made me smile a lot less than the 2016 show Triggered and the 2018 show Strange Times, and that despite the fact that Joe worked really hard at it.

Themes included pot, babies, religion and more.

The second part of the show was Joe answering questions from the public, apparently about a TV show he hosts. Not knowing anything about it, I thought I wouldn't relate (a precondition for comedy) and I didn't watch it.

(Last viewed: December 2019)

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Joe Rogan: Live from the Belly of the Beast posterJoe Rogan: Live from the Belly of the Beast
      2001 | USA | Laughs: 0.0 (Just Awful) | imdb: 7.4
      

For the fourth show of Joe's that I watched, I thought I'd go back to the first tape that I could find to see if I could discern a trend, having found his 2009 show Talking Monkeys in Space far inferior to his 2016 set Triggered and the 2018 special Strange Times.

The trend was firmly confirmed. This was shortly before 9/11, there was a president in the White House who hadn't been elected and had already shown his moronic character, but the best Joe could come up with was some gutter humor and Adam Sandler voices.

He was clearly a bright guy even at the time, perhaps sharper than he is now judging by the pace of his delivery, and I bet he is embarrassed with this show now. But he doesn't need to be: no one has to watch it.

(Last viewed: December 2019)

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Joe Rogan: Strange Times posterJoe Rogan: Strange Times
      2018 | USA | Laughs: 3.5 (Smirk) | imdb: 7.4
      

I'm new to Joe Rogan: I first learned about him by watching a show where he lets the producer of the documentary The Game Changers defend his film — and actually lets him speak. Joe's relative level-headedness impressed me and made me want to check out his stand-up.

I went into the show with low expectations but was pleasantly surprised. Although I didn't enjoy Joe's delivery (what seemed to me like an endless scream) and thought he pandered a little too much to the gross-out crowd, he made some good points and had me smiling throughout the set.

Will probably be looking for some of his earlier material.

(Last viewed: December 2019)

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(This section: Stand-Up Comedy Sets)


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