Once upon a time, I wanted to be a comedian. Shocking, I know, what with my rugged good looks and brooding intensity.
Punk rock, though, kept that dream in my head instead of onstage, and I never regret focusing on the written word, but I’ve always been fascinated by the world of stand up comics and comedians in general. It is a world akin to the touring life of a perpetually up-and-coming rock star, taking gigs anywhere and everywhere to prove yourself and sharpen your skills, but without the comraderie of a band to keep you up and running. It’s a tough art, stand up comedy. And I have a lot of respect for those who walk the talk and bust their ass to make us laugh.
Of the good folks with TV shows these days, Daniel Tosh, Joel McHale, and Chris Hardwick do come to mind. Paton Oswalt is great. Louis CK is also fantastic (imagine an angry and depressed Jerry Seinfeld: GOLD!). Almost all of the cast of MAD TV over their last seven seasons were terrific, especially Aries Spears, whose recent Comedy Central Special was absolutely killer. Here’s a sliver from that routine, on the dangers of drinking with white folks:
Kyle Kinane’s also great. Caught him on John Oliver’s comedy show and his bit about the facebook page for Red Lobster’s Cheddar Bay Biscuits on 9/11 was genius (but isn’t available online). Has a punk rock slacker vibe to his work that I dig. Here’s a great bit on his crap jobs:
But, my fave these days is the frantic and dynamic talent that is Maria Bamford. Great act, voices, and presences tied together with cripplingly funny material. This is one of my favorite bits, on mediocre comedy and comedians. Pitch perfect!
So go support your local comedians. Buy a DVD, see ’em in a club, or opening for a pop diva whose fans want to shoot them dead. Doc Ridler thanks you.