Gut Rumbles

August 05, 2003

I'm going to hawkins you

The Christopher Hitchens ball-kick to Bob Hope upset a few other people besides me. But you find a lemon on the web and you make lemonade, right?

So I have a poll for anyone interested in participating. Who do YOU think were the 10 FUNNIEST COMEDIANS OF ALL TIME? I'll give you mine right now.

1) George Carlin. He pisses me off but makes me laugh at the same time. Sometimes he reminds me of me, and other times I want to shoot his nasty ass. I LIKE that quality in a comedian.

2) Lenny Bruce. This is going to be another case where older bloggers separate themselves from younger bloggers. I remember Lenny Bruce. He died in 1966 of a heroin overdose. I was 15 years old. Yeah, he fell off the toilet seat, stone-dead just like Elvis did. But if Lenny Bruce had not blazed new trails in comedy, George Carlin would still be a TV weatherman.

3) The Three Stooges. I don't give a shit what you think about this choice. Slapstick is good comedy, especially with the sound-effects. The years of practice that allowed those guys to walk into a studio and make a "short" in 90 minutes, with no retakes still earns my admiration.

4) Steven Wright. The first time I saw him perform was on one of those Rodney Dangerfield's "Young Comedian's" shows on HBO. I thought I was going to choke to death. They guy was the most off-the-wall comedian I ever heard. My favorite joke? "I owed my friend, George, $20. I had the money, I just didn't pay him back. One night, we were walking home together and a robber jumped out of an alley, pulled out a gun and demanded all of our money. I said, George, here's the $20 I owe you."

5) Steve Martin. Before he went mainstream and got into movies, he was one of the most hilarious and talented stand-up comics I ever saw. Balloon animals, banjo playing and all kinds of off-the-wall stuff. He could make me blow beer out of my nose. Now, however, he seems to have lost most of his juice.

6) Groucho Marx. I still laugh my ass off at Groucho. Sarcastic, acidic and horny, he remains one of my favorite all-time comedians. And he didn't play Hollywood Squares when it came to clever comments, hand-delivered by professional comdey writers, on his quiz show. He delivered them from the top of his head. And they were better than what a comedy writer could have staged after rehearsing both the host and the guest.

7) Sam Kinnison. Outrageous. Hilarious. Dead. I still miss Sam.

8) Charlie Chaplin. Tremendous physical comedy, from back when you had to do it with posture and action, not words.

9) Buster Keaton. He performed the most unbelievable, death-defying stunts himself while making people laugh. Incredible comedian. Not remembered by many, and that's a crying shame.

10) Lucille Ball. No, you won't get me on the male-chauvanist bullshit in this poll. Lucy was one of the funniest comedians who ever lived. I watched her from the time I was old enough to know what a television was right up through college. The old "I Love Lucy" stuff was the best of her work (the pie factory, Lucy getting drunk while hawking the health elixer), but she did a lot of good work after that. I call her the Best Female Comedian of All Time, and I dare you to argue with me.

There. You have MY humble opinion.

When john Hawkins conducts a poll such as this one, he usually emails about 100 bloggers and invites them to participate. But he cautions them not to mention the poll until the results are posted.

Well, I operate differently. I'm inviting EVERYBODY who reads this blog to participate, and you ain't getting no special invitation. I don't have a guest list. If you have an opinion about the Top 10 Comedians of All Time, your 3,556 ranking in the Ecosystem vote counts just as much as the vote of a Tall Dog. As a matter of fact, the MORE UNHEARD OF PEOPLE I can persuade to vote, the better the poll will be.

And if you give me your REASONS for picking your list instead of just posting a list, I may have a very long post with lots of links tomorrow.

Email or comment.


1. The Three Stooges
2.Red Skelton
3.Johnny Carson
4.WC Fields
5.Rodney Dangerfield
6.Milton Berle
7.Jonathon Winters
8.Abbott and Costello
9.Phyliss Diller
10.Bill Cosby

Posted by: ken on August 5, 2003 06:53 PM

1. Larry Fine. Middle man is harder than straight man.
2. Moe Howard. Genius. Bitchslapper.
3. Carlin. Hates us.
4. Steve Martin, pre-1979.
5. Dennis Wolfsberg. Eyeballs.
6. Hope. Watch Foys.
7. Curly Howard. Overrated but great.
8. Groucho. Good, thought he was great.
9. Desi Arnaz. Near-Genius.
10. Kinison. Wild Thing.

Posted by: Velociman on August 5, 2003 08:01 PM

ya'll ready named a few of my faves....

1. Sam Kinnison - miss him a lot
2. Steve Martin - right time for me
3. George Carlin - sharpest wit
4. Richard Pryor - outrageous antics
5. John Bulushi - best comedian ever from SNL
6. Steven Wright - THAT guy slays me
7. Jeff Foxworthy - hey, sorry, I love hillbilly humor.
8. Dennis Miller - great wit, sees the truth (finally)
9. Seinfeld - smart one.
10. Bob Hope - One Class Act...and my first favorite. I watched him as a kid entertaining veitnam vets on TV.

Posted by: Marcl on August 5, 2003 08:14 PM

From two older readers, in no particular order:

1. Bob Hope
2. Jack Benny (the look)
3. Groucho Marx (the TV show comments)
4. Lucille Ball (The chocolate factory)
5. Sid Caesar/Imogene Coca
6. Bill Cosby (NOAH! How long can you tread water?)
7. Steve Martin
8. George Carlin
9. Dennis Leary
10. Gracie Allen/George Burns (Gracie was the one to watch)
Honorable Mention to John Cleese and Jackie Gleason

And...we liked Ken's choices of Red Skelton and Jonathan Winters.

Posted by: Buffy on August 5, 2003 08:22 PM

Robin Williams
Billy Crystal
Red Foxx
Eddie Murphy

Posted by: Laura on August 5, 2003 08:30 PM

1. George Carlin
2. Robin Williams
3. Gilda Radner
4. Lucille Ball
5. Eddie Murphy
6. Bill Cosby
7. John Cleese
8. Grouch Marx
9. Sam Kinnisaon
10. John Belushi

Posted by: Dolfan on August 5, 2003 09:00 PM

George Carlin - He's a lefty bastard but he always makes me laugh. He says "Fuck Hope" and I have to agree...

Denis Leary - How cool is it to be an asshole and funny as hell too... "I'm an asshole!"

Steve Martin - the older stand-up stuff, but The Jerk is still a fav of mine: "The new phone books are here!"

Bill Cosby - who didn't want their father to be like Bill Cosby?

John Cleese - Funniest walks ever...

Steven Wright - His picture is in the dictionary next to the definition of "deadpan"

Posted by: Dave on August 5, 2003 09:29 PM

Great list!

I'd have to add Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart. Both had the chops for comedy...and did a damn fine job.

Contemporary? Zach Galifianakis, Dennis Miller, Steve Martin, Christopher Guest & Michael McKean, Lewis name a few.

I tend to think of comedy in broader terms...not just stand up. Boy, for stand up...I'd have loved to have seen Lenny Bruce. Sheer genius.

Posted by: Da Goddess on August 5, 2003 09:50 PM

10. Richard Pryor - because he shot his car instead of letting his ex take it
9. Rick Bronson - makes ya laff about a camera up yer ass
8. Rita Rudner "And that, Your Honor, is when I killed her"
7. Mike Durrett - naturally funny
6. George Carlin - pre- and post-heart attacks
5. Robin Williams - Scottish imitation
4. Mae West - my hero and don't get caught up in gender issues with Ms. West
3. Steven Wright - Grouch Marx, reincarnated
2. Grouch Marx - my other hero
1. God (Substitute "Free Will" if you're an atheist)
I blabbed more at my site, didn't want to take up too much space here. Obviously failed in that attempt, didn't I? Another moron moment brought to you by Canada ....

Posted by: Essay Canajun on August 5, 2003 09:53 PM

In no particular order:
Steve Martin
Geo. Carlin
John Cleese, and the Python troupe
Steven Wright
Firesign Theatre
And comic actors:
Rowan Atkinson
Gene Wilder
Rodney Dangerfield
Chevy Chase
And an Irish Gent, whose name eludes me

Posted by: Stoney on August 5, 2003 10:01 PM

Right here.

Posted by: Russ on August 5, 2003 10:35 PM

When I started reading your list, the first name that went into my head was Lucille Ball. And I never saw Steve Martin do standup, but I've also never seen a movie of his that didn't make me laugh. And I hate most movies, especially comedies.

Posted by: shell on August 6, 2003 01:04 AM

Most of mine would have to be character comedians.
1) Lucille Ball
2) Carol Burnett
3) Jerry Lewis
4) Jacie Gleason
5) Red Skelton
6) Bill Cosby
7) Cheech & Chong
8) Eddie Murphy
9) Richard Pryor
10) Robin Williams

Posted by: Lady on August 6, 2003 01:22 AM

Thirteen posts and no one's listed Laurel and Hardy yet? Hardy was a great comic actor and Stan was that and much more - a creative talent on the level of Chaplin and Keaton.

Just as important, I can't think of any other comics that audiences actually loved. Loved in a way that went beyond admiration and celebrity. Laurel and Hardy's personas had a purity of soul that audiences responded to in a way unimaginable to lesser comics, such as Abott and Costello. I marvel at Chaplin, I admire Buster, I laugh at the Stooges -- but I love Laurel and Hardy.

Posted by: Comic Genius(es) on August 6, 2003 01:53 AM

Eh. Laurel and Hardy always left me cold. It seems that we're blurring the line between comedians and comic actors, so here are a few of my choices, but admittedly not complete -

Fatty Arbuckle - yeah, you have to REALLY like silent movies to like him, but if you ever watched him, you would be amazed at how a 200 pound man could do tricks that seemed to defy gravity. He and Mabel Normand were a fabulous team, and he deserves to be known for more than the Coke-bottle lie that did him in.

Chaplin - only in his early Biograph shorts. When he began thinking of himself as an 'artist,' he wasn't funny anymore. "The Great Dictator" is a case in point.

Nobody's mentioned Bob Newhart yet? Not only was he a great deadpan actor, he was a hysterically funny stand-up comedian. Check out "The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart."

Robin Wiliams, Steve Martin and John Belushi when they were funny.

Dennis Leary and Steve Sweeney. Really funny if you're from Boston, but laugh-out loud guys anyway.

The Three Stooges - goes without saying!

Posted by: Ripper on August 6, 2003 08:53 AM

10 is too short a list. Just adding to yours and other commenters' here.

Tom Smothers (with/without Dick). Can still make me snort beer through my nose without saying a word and I haven't had a drink in 16 years.

Abbott and Costello. If they never did anything but "Who's on first?", the definitive comic dialogue.

Robin Williams as Mork. All downhill from there.

Dennis Miller. I wonder how long he has to rehearse those HBO rants?

Tim Conway. See T. Smothers, above.

Gracie Allen. George gave her all the credit.

Wonder why no one mentioned Roseanne, what with her being all over entertainment news these days? I don't like the bitch either, in spades after she dissed the anthem at Qualcom/Jack Murphy.

Bob Hope wasn't a great comedian. Hell, way more than half of his jokes fell flat. But he was a man of infinite good humor and dearly beloved by U S armed forces. I saw live shows 5-6 times on 3 different continents and always left feeling cheered. (Delores is still a hell of a singer). Hitch is back on my shit list.

Posted by: Larry on August 6, 2003 09:28 AM

Great! Somebody finally got Fireside Theater. Thanks Stoney.
Nobody liked the Smother's Brothers. They pioneered political humor. And Live at the Purple Onion is a classic comedy album (that's a LP, one of those vinyl things for you young 'uns.)

Posted by: James on August 6, 2003 09:30 AM

Sam Kinnison has to be number one. He could make me laugh about things I was ashamed to be laughing at. He made my face hurt from smiling too much.

Red Skelton is number two.

Does Firesign Theatre count? It was a comedy group, not a single performer, but totally funny.

Posted by: Gramps on August 6, 2003 10:42 AM

Only because they weren't listed above:

Wendy Liebman - her timing and style
Sinbad - can make you laugh w/o swearing
Bill Engvall - "here's your sign"
Gallagher - sledge-o-matic!

Maybe 10 is a little restrictive (Best female, best impersonator, etc.)

Posted by: GrumpyBunny on August 6, 2003 11:16 AM

1.Rodney D.-Better get a death pool ready for him.
2. John Cleese/Chrisopher Guest, tie
3. Dennis L.
4. Dennis M.
5.George C.
6. Bill Cosby-(That standup show from the early 80's kills me)
7. David Spade
8. Eddie Izzard
9. Steve Martin
10.Sam Kinneson

Posted by: Christine on August 6, 2003 11:22 AM


Posted by: Phelps on August 6, 2003 11:31 AM

I'm excluding comics I never saw (sorry, Lenny Bruce) and those who didn't do stand-up, although stand-ups who've gone on to movies and TV qualify.* It's hard to limit the list to just ten.

In rough chronological order:

Andy Griffith - Jeff Foxworthy before Jeff Foxworthy was born. "What it was was football" and several other priceless comic routines in the 1950s. "No Time for Sergeants," one of the funniest movies ever. And "The Andy Griffith Show" is still the best--although not always the funniest--television program, ever. He's also a pretty good dramatic actor and has even been successful as a gospel singer.

Bill Cosby - One of the most important entertainers in American history, really. An excellent observational humorist in the 1960s. Broke the color barrier as a dramatic actor in I-Spy. "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids" was probably the best teach-you-important-social-lessons-while-still-being-entertaining program, ever. "The Cosby Show" was arguably the most important sitcom of the 1980s, although not as funny as "The Simsons."

Richard Pryor - The black Lenny Bruce. One of the first "adult" comics.

Buddy Hackett - Absolutely hilarious. Very underrated.

Steve Martin - His standup was cutting edge, although I was too young for it at the time. A brilliant career in movies since.

Gallagher - I know, I know. The fruit smashing bit got a bit tiresome. But he actually did some great "make you think" standup around all the silly sight gags.

Robin Williams - I first encountered him on Mork and Mindy, but his standup routines are better. A Juliard grad, he's also a pretty fair dramatic actor.

Eddie Murphy - The first "new" comic for me. He became a comic superstar while I was in high school. A brilliant career that's still going strong.

Sam Kinison - While screaming obscenities is ordinarily not something I find amusing, Kinison managed. His classic turn in Dangerfield's "Back to School" and his HBO standup routines were unforgetable.

Jerry Seinfeld - Dennis Miller before there was a Dennis Miller--and without the ability to use fifteen obscenities every sentence. His eponymous television program is the best live action comedy of the 1990s.

Dennis Miller - His SNL bits and standup routines are excellent. His turn on Monday Night Football was not.

Jeff Foxworthy - Not particularly cerebral in the Dennis Miller sense. But he re-launched family friendly standup.

Alright, that's twelve. If I had to take two off, it'd be Hackett and Galagher. But I don't wanna.

Once again, a list bereft of women. Sorry, but this has been a male-dominated endeavor. There have been quite a few terrific comediennes over the years, but mostly in movies or television. Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett would make any short list of great comedic talents, but they're not "standups." I can't stand Roseanne, arguably the most famous stand-up. I really like several of them, notably Rita Rudner, Elaine Boozler, and Paula Poundstone (although not so much these days). But none of them would displace anyone in my top ten.

Posted by: James Joyner on August 6, 2003 12:14 PM

Richard Pryor
Robin Williams
Lucille Ball
John Bulushi
Tim Conway
Carol Burnett
Gilda Radner
Bill Cosby
All in the Family ( Every one of them)

Posted by: Jennifer on August 6, 2003 12:31 PM

People here mention Gallagher and not Bill Hicks?! WTF?!!? Gallagher "makes you think"??! Did I miss something here?

Bill did it better than everyone, even Lenny Bruce. Bill said what needed to be said and was hated for it and didn't give a shit. The man was a prophet and I hate the fact that he's dead.

Bill Hicks makes Denis Leary (who stole some of Hicks' bits) sound like a girl scout.

Posted by: Raspil on August 6, 2003 02:09 PM

1. Jonathan Winters (without him there would be no Robin Williams, who, by the way, I am not including)
2. George Burns and Gracie Allen
3. Lucille Ball
4. Jack Benny
5. Andy Griffith (doing standup and monologues)
6. Kathy Griffin
7. Firesign Theater (and each of the members individually)
8. Gene Wilder
9. Richard Pryor
10. Redd Foxx
11. Woody Allen (as stand up, and the first few movies; after that he got pretentious)
12. Three Stooges (especially with the 'first' Curly, after Shemp)
13. Abbott and Costello ("who's on first", and in "The Naughty Nineties", the incredible chase around the steamboat, complete with real slapsticks)
14. Bob Newhart (standup and comedy albums)
15. Rita Rudner

Posted by: Frank DiSalle on August 6, 2003 02:43 PM

I'm surprised nobody's mentioned David Cross. Aside from Sam Kennison, he's the only comedian I know of who's pulled off a necrophilia joke.

Posted by: Liam on August 6, 2003 03:47 PM

oh, come on, i've been doing my joke about the guy who was into beasiality and sado-masochism and necrophilia in my act for years.

but why beat a dead horse?

personally i think george wallace and brian regan and wanda sykes are the funniest comics working today, although i agree with who ever said steve wright.

Posted by: skippy on August 6, 2003 07:06 PM

ps, bill hicks is the funniest comedian not working today.

Posted by: skippy on August 6, 2003 07:07 PM

For my listing I'm sticking to acts that I've seen, which eliminates Lenny Bruce, Mort Sahl, Red Foxx, and a few others who I imaging that I might put on my list if I had exposure to their material. Comic actors and actresses like Lucile Ball, Carol Burnett, John Cleese, etc. are also excluded so I can focus on standup comics. My top ten standup comedians:

  1. Richard Pryor - His early records were raw genius. He sustained a high level of quality material longer that anyone on this list, with the possible exception of George Carlin.

  2. Sam Kinison - The master of in your face shock comedy. The laughs he generated were of the painful gut splitting variety. Giving cunnilingus by sketching out the alphabet is a bit I remember vividly. Words to live by...

  3. Bill Cosby - He's somewhat of a blowhard these days, but I direct you to his concert movie, "Himself". There is no funnier standup comedy special or movie in my humble opinion.

  4. Edie Murphy - His fist two tours and concert movies were really the zenith of the stand-up comedian as superstar era.

  5. George Carlin - Seven dirty words was quite an educational experience for me as a youngster. He's veered in to grouchy old comedian territory, but still has occasional flashes of the brilliance of his past.

  6. Ellen DeGeneres - I always like her standup act. Her recent HBO special proves she's as good as ever, and since it was an hour long tribute to procrastination I was sure to be riveted to the tube.

  7. Steven Wright - In my view he was as innovative a stand-up act as I ever saw. He still is.

  8. Dennis Miller - Thinking man's humor; esoteric and riddled with references to historical events. Occasionally brilliant, usually thought provoking, and always entertaining.

  9. Bob Newhart - Before he was a sitcom star he was a standup comedian. His phone bits were priceless.

  10. Dennis Leary - Funny and edgy… His "Wakeup and smell the hazelnut crunch" line still make me laugh just thinking about it.

Bonus Choices

  • Newcomer: Dave Mordahl (Featured on NBC's Last Comic Standing). I would pay good money to see him live. He is one seriously funny guy.

  • Obscure: Franklin Ajaye - Obscure comedian from the late 70's. Starred in the movie Car Wash. I had one of his comedy records as a kid. He had a bit about sex during a woman's period, burning the sheets, shopping for feminine protections products... Funny stuff.

Posted by: Kevin Aylward on August 7, 2003 12:20 AM

John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Graham Chapman, and Terry Gilliam, just to get the Python troupe out of the way. I'm not sure if they count as one or six, though.

Otherwise... Rowan Atkinson, Bill Cosby, Steve Martin, and I have to say that I'm quite fond of Eddie Izzard.

Posted by: PinkDreamPoppies on August 7, 2003 03:51 AM

1) Bill Cosby: Consistently funny and clean for what seems like 50 years
2) Jerry Seinfeld: His early stand-up was amazing, and he is responsible for arguably the funniest sitcom in the history of TV
3) Jackie Gleason: consistently funny throughout his early years.
4) Carol Burnett: The funniest woman ever.
5) Jerry Clower: an oft over looked southerner, but one of the best humorists I have ever heard.
6) George Carlin: The best mind in comedy makes you think and laugh at the same time
7) Steven Wright: “I bought some dehydrated water, didn’t know what to add”
8) The Not-Ready-for-Prime-Time Players: The original cast took sketch comedy out of theater courses and brought it to the mainstream
9) Monty Python: Simply some of the best comedy from across the pond
10) Unknown: the comic struggling, doing three shows a night somewhere, funny as anyone listed here.

Posted by: ERic on August 7, 2003 07:38 AM

1) Bill Cosby: Consistently funny and clean for what seems like 50 years
2) Jerry Seinfeld: His early stand-up was amazing, and he is responsible for arguably the funniest sitcom in the history of TV
3) Jackie Gleason: consistently funny throughout his early years.
4) Carol Burnett: The funniest woman ever.
5) Jerry Clower: an oft over looked southerner, but one of the best humorists I have ever heard.
6) George Carlin: The best mind in comedy makes you think and laugh at the same time
7) Steven Wright: “I bought some dehydrated water, didn’t know what to add”
8) The Not-Ready-for-Prime-Time Players: The original cast took sketch comedy out of theater courses and brought it to the mainstream
9) Monty Python: Simply some of the best comedy from across the pond
10) Unknown: the comic struggling, doing three shows a night somewhere, funny as anyone listed here.

Posted by: ERic on August 7, 2003 07:39 AM

Eric's mention of Jerry Clower reminded me of "Brother" Dave Gardner, another rural, southern dude who did a couple hilarious vinyl (I have "Live at the Purple Onion", James, and a turntable to play it on) albums.

Stan Freberg's and Allen Sherman's stuff is funny and clean, too.

Oscar Brand and Tom Lehrer were pioneers of dirty lyric'ed comedy songs. (The admiral's daughter is down by the water. She wants to ride your dinghy.)

Hear, hear to the Newhart and Griffith mentions.

Posted by: Larry on August 7, 2003 09:30 AM

God, where to start? Not listed in any particular order:

10. Judy Holliday (that gin game in "Born Yesterday" was a classic)

9. George Carlin

8. John Cleese (and the whole Python and Fawlty Towers clan)

7. Groucho Marx

6. Jack Lemmon (his timing was amazing)

5. Carole Lombard

4. Charlie Chaplin

3. Jackie Gleason

2. The Not-Ready-For-Prime-Time Players

1. Carol Burnett

Other faves: Steven Wright, Bob Newhart, Groucho Marx, Rita Rudner, Richard Pryor, the entire cast of "Father Ted," Jack Benny, Rosalind Russell, Mae West, George Burns and Gracie Allen (she was funnier), and Jean Harlow.

I've never cared much for The Three Stooges and Lucille Ball, but I know they're considered classic comedians, so I'll cite them anyway.

Posted by: Trish Wilson on August 7, 2003 09:50 AM

OK, I'll try but I'm really fuzzy on anyone funny before, say, 1900, so I don't think I'll fulfull the "all time" qualification. In no particular order:

  • Bob Hope - he invented or perfected nearly everything we call comedy today
  • The Three Stooges - tops in slapstick
  • Gene Wilder - Young Frankenstein, "What a great pair of knockers!"
  • Mel Brooks - Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, Yiddish Indians!
  • Sinbad - black without being offensive or unintelliglble
  • Sam Kinnison - defined a comedic style
  • Lucille Ball - the television years, set a mark yet to be matched
  • Richard Pryor - after the fire, tragedy makes comedy
  • Jeff Foxworthy - pointing out the absurdities of life
  • Roseanne Barr - I hate to say it, but... defined a comedic style

Also rans: Bowery Boys, Little Rascals, Ritz Brothers, Cary Grant, John Belushi. So much of the old comedy is spoiled for me by the poor sound that is all that's left on the old movie reels. I can make out much of the dialogue in Little Rascals shorts, for example.

Two women who's names escape me, the gal that was very funny until she got arrested for child abuse Paula Poundstone, and that sexy blonde gal with her own TV show who is an alcoholic. Very funny ladies. BTW, nobody on "Last Comic Standing" is all that funny.

Posted by: Chuck on August 7, 2003 11:00 AM

I don't see Fred Allen's name! "I've just come back from Boston. It's the only thing to do there."

Or Will Rogers. "Economists say inflation will be up this year, and they have as much right to an opinion as anyone."

Or Mark Twain. He did lecture tours, presumably using the material from his writings, in which case they were pretty funny. "Never call a man a fool. Borrow money from him."

Posted by: Bob Hawkins on August 7, 2003 01:37 PM

Chuck, you're thinking of Rhett Butler. She had her own sitcom for a short while. A funny lady.

Posted by: Frank DiSalle on August 7, 2003 03:02 PM

i can't believe no one picked bill hicks.

Posted by: tanya on August 7, 2003 06:26 PM

my favorites:
1. Peter Sellers - all the old Pink Panther Movies.
2. Bill Cosby - my favorite is his album with the Noah sketch in it.
3. Tim Conway - on the Carol Burnett show - when I was growing up, I would laugh so hard that I would cry when watching Conway. Last year in Reno, I saw Tim Conway and Harvey Korman and I still laughed until I cried, even if it was the same old stuff - something about Tim Conway just tickles the heck outta me.
4.Adam Sandler
5. George Carlin - the early years - anymore he mostly just pisses me off, but the Hippy Dippy Weatherman and the Growing up Catholic stuff still makes milk come out of my nose.
6. Stephen Lynch - his song "Special Friend" is hilarious! He makes sense outta folk music.
7. Margaret Cho
8. Chevy Chase
9. Chris Tucker - in the 5th Element - omigod - what a kick.
10. Richard Pryor.

There are more, but it is pretty hard to narrow it down to 10.
Acidman - I am probably the lowest on the blog totem pole, so I may bring your stats down, though that's not my intention.

Posted by: Beth on August 7, 2003 07:43 PM

oops, I forgot, I am not totally sure what group they would fit in, but the Blue Man Group made me laugh so hard I almost had an asthma attack!

Posted by: Beth on August 7, 2003 07:46 PM

Early Lily Tomlin.
Firesign Theater.
Monty Python.
Beyond the Fringe, esp. Peter Cook.
Early Bill Cosby.
Irene Dunne - in fact so many of the 30s and 40s screwball comedies were hilarious, but it wasn't just one actor or actress, it was also the script and the synergy of the acting, but Irene Dunne was my favorite.

Posted by: Yehudit on August 11, 2003 01:44 AM

CHRIS ROCK for godssake!!!

Posted by: taffeta wood on October 13, 2003 12:02 PM

Lea DeLaria (sp?)
Jay Leno
Buddy Hacket
Richard Pryor
Ronnie Shakes (sp)
And a word for DJ Hazard, my fave from
the whole Boston crew I watched for
ten years. Funny!

Why these? At their shows, I saw people weeping with laughter, literally falling off their chairs. I still remember the woman crawling on hands and knees to get out the door because she was laughing too hard to breathe.

Posted by: Meigs on December 28, 2003 11:57 PM

Bill Hicks ... everyone else pales in comparison to the master. It's a shame he died before he could get more exposure.

Posted by: Sean on April 17, 2004 03:04 PM

The world is a beautiful book for those who can read it.

Posted by: kim bo ram on May 3, 2004 01:13 PM
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