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My Top 5 Stand Up Comics
They made you think as well
My criteria here is not just rib-breaking, can't see for tears, howl out loud laughter but it includes their ability to make you look at things in a different light. In fact, these comedians might be considered amongst the top philosophers of our time. The order is just random. Let's just say that they are al just brilliant and not argue about who was better.
And maybe a little justification is in order and would make this a lot more interesting than just my singular opinion.
Robin Williams seems to be his happiest on stage but he has proven that he is more than just a great stand up comedian. His line is "this is not going to be your normal night of theater". One of the funniest interviews I ever watched was a session that was either at his house or Jonathan Winter's house out on the patio. One shows up at the other's house in the middle of the interview and they just go. The camera jiggled up and down because the cameramen were in "pain" over what took place. You just wind them up and let them go. There is tons of stuff on YouTube to split your gut. My personal favorite is Robin acting as a Scotsman inventing golf. The "blue" language just adds to the craziness.
George Carlin is a personal inspiration for me because of his approach of cutting through BS. I am currently reading his last book When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops and can say it is really interesting. I particularly like his comments on the difference between women and men. Women are crazy and men are just stupid. The explanations are priceless.
Jerry Seinfeld may be more famous for his long running sitcom but he of course got his start in stand up. He is like all the others, he thinks outside the box or, more correctly, outside the boxcar.
Richard Pryor made a lot of people uncomfortable but he made many more think differently. He is considered by many or peers as a master of stand up. His commercial success was restricted by the times because the Amercian television audience was never prepared to accept the blue language and radical thinking that came out of his mouth.
Bill Cosby would be one of the first black performers that taught me the valuable lesson that your skin color has little to do with what goes on inside your head. His work on The Cosby Show has merit today as a teaching tool for how to deal with a lot of family issues. My favorite line is still him describing his 2 young daughters standing over the toilet bowl trying to copy dad doing "God's work". Cos' is saying They're not hittin' nothin'. One daughter says to the other "Push harder so your wally-wally will come out". We had 2nd Squad sweatshirts made for the whole football team (circa 1967-68).
One thing they all had in common is that they were welcome guests on all the talk shows. The host new it was going to be an easy night. You just started them off with something, just about anything and sat back and enjoyed the show. They all just did stand up comedy except they were sitting down. Ever notice how they all just can't sit still. That's what pent up energy will do for you. They just can't wait to let it all out and the greatest reward for all of them is to hear the audience laugh. They all just truly loved to perform.