Friday, April 1, 2011

10 FAVORITES (27) - Stand-Up Comics

Happy April Fool's Day all! Today's 10 FAVORITES will be all about the funny!  We all love to laugh and there are certain people in this world who can make us laugh to complete satisfaction.  This week's 10 FAVORITES is devoted to the stand-ups who have done that for me.  I won't be saying a lot this week as I want to let the videos speak for themselves.

VIDEO DISCLAIMER: The videos below are solely for entertainment purposes only.  Some of them contain some very graphic language and material that may be too offensive for some readers.  No offense is intended by sharing the videos and discretion is strongly advised.


George Lopez
The stand-up comic turned sitcom star turned late night host has gotten in some trouble recently for comments he made about the new Dancing With the Stars cast, but his comedy has always made me laugh.  Anytime he's talking about the cultural differences in our society or imitating his tough relatives or talking about his passion for golf, Lopez knows exactly how to entertain his fans.

Billy Crystal
He will ALWAYS be my favorite Oscars host and, after the debacle that was this year's choices, that fact has never become more prevalent.  His comedy, like Lopez', centered in ethnic diversities and the many cultural differences he grew up around in New York City.  But coming from that endearing face and that sincere smile, you couldn't help but laugh.

Whoopi Goldberg
She is original, unapologetic, controversial and the only woman on this list (sorry ladies, Ellen didn't make it!).  Though now she is known for her outrageous Viewpoints (sorry folks, I couldn't resist!), her comedy is the thing I've admired most about her.  The best thing about stand-up is her delivery and her timing.  It seems so natural to her and so Whoopi!  Those qualities have probably aided her in her Oscar-winning acting career as well (like in Ghost or The Color Purple or as Guinan on Star Trek: The Next Generation).

Jerry Seinfeld
His sitcom probably helped to define my generation and his delivery is unlike any other (some would liken it to  a whinier Woody Allen!).  Jerry Seinfeld was at his best when he was talking about anything and nothing (much like the premise of his sitcom!).  He, much like several comics of his time, would kill the audiences just musing about everyday things.

Steve Martin
I first saw Steve Martin in The Muppet Movie and then his guest appearance on The Muppet Show.  Both that cameo and that episode were two of the funniest things ever involving the Muppets (whom I adore!), and I figured it had to be their common theme: Steve Martin!  Later, my brother introduced me to some of his stand-up and his performances in hilarious films like The Jerk, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Parenthood.  He is truly a "Wild and Crazy Guy" with no boundaries and we love him for it.

Richard Pryor
So many of today's comics point to the late Richard Pryor as their biggest influence and for several reasons.  But the first reason that always comes up is that he would say anything.  Nothing was off-limits with Pryor.  Not race, not his drug use, not his many brushes with death and not even his sex life were left out of his hilarious routines.  And we are all the better for him.

Bill Cosby
His sitcom was my favorite sitcom growing up and I adored his Fat Albert tales (and the animated series had some of the coolest music EVER!).  Cosby knew how to make his family universal while sharing their funny quirks.  When he talks about his parents becoming grandparents and the problems that arise, my parents completely identified with that.

Robin Williams
Zany, outrageous, mile-a-minute and flamboyant are just a few of the adjectives that can be applied to Robin Williams.  The first time I saw him was on the successful TV series Mork and Mindy where he played an alien from the planet Ork.  That should tell you a little bit about Williams' out-there personality.  He is one of the few comics who as also managed to be one of the most respected actors.  After all, "Dying Is Easy, Comedy Is Hard!"

George Carlin
The late George Carlin seemed to step right out of the hippy-era 1960's laughing.  Carlin was my father's favorite comic and when it came to groundbreaking, there was no one like him.  Just watch his notorious "7 Dirty Words" talk below (Parents read the DISCLAIMER above!).

Eddie Murphy
There is NO ONE better than Eddie Murphy for me.  He is quite frankly the best stand-up comic from my childhood!  He is the best and funniest parts of Disney's Mulan and Dreamworks' Shrek series.  And Beverly Hills Cop and Trading Places are two of the funniest films of the 1980's.  There's really not much more I can say, so watch him talk about ice cream.

So I hoped you enjoyed this tribute to stand-up comedy on this hilarious April Fool's Day!  Next week, we'll take a look at some of TV sitcom's best lovers! Isn't that the way? One week: We're funny and the next week: We're sexy!  We're all over the place!

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