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Top 5 White Standup Comedians

Updated on November 28, 2010

I love stand-up comedy, but when I started putting together a list of my favorite Top 5 Comedians, I ran into a small problem; they were all black. And male. I knew this would mean that a number of other people would get huffy and ask where the white people were. Please note: It's not that I don't love white comedians, I do (I have very naughty thoughts about Eddie Izzard, me and one of his dresses...), it's just that I happen to prefer the guys on my favorite Top 5 Black Comedians a bit more. It's not a race thing, it's just a personal taste thing. That said, I absolutely adore the white boys on this list, and if I had a Top 10 comedian list, a couple of them would be on it. So don't get upset about it, just watch the clips and enjoy.

Robin Williams

I had such a crush on Mork when I was a kid. I wanted those rainbow suspenders he wore and the buttons, too! No one could have played that part better than Robin Williams did. There has never been anyone like him, and I think he's always on -- can you imagine what life in his house must be like? Nonstop laughter, even when you're being grounded, I'd bet. And he's a brilliant actor, as well; just pick any of his films and be amazed by the man's acting range. He doesn't swear as much as other comedians do, but he does swear, so I couldn't find a PG-13 clip to share -- but you will enjoy the clip I did find: Robin Williams talking about the Platypus.

Robin Williams: Platypus

George Carlin

George Carlin was so much himself that it's hard not watch his routines and feel like you're seeing exactly who you're watching. If you know what I mean by that. Famous for his 7 Words You Can't Say on Television, I'd love to share that clip, but it's not PG-13 (obviously). So I chose his Modern Man bit, which will absolutely impress even the most snobbish of poets. I saw George Carlin live at Austin's Paramount Theater back in 2002, and it was on the best shows I've ever seen. We miss you, George!

George Carlin: Modern Man

Bill Maher

I have been a fan of Bill Maher for a long time -- since way before he had his television show. I was a fan of his before September 11th 2001, and I was one of the only people who had the sense to be outraged when the man was fired for saying something perfectly legitimate, just because Americans couldn't get their shit together and cope with reality yet. It took half a decade or more for all those pansy Americans to get some backbone, but they seem to have finally done it. At last, they have clue as to what reality actually was at the time, and Bill is once again the man; and more famous than ever. And thank God, cos I need his HBO podcasts.

Bill Maher: The Decider

Eddie Izzard

Ooer, would you look at that photo of Eddie Izzard? When did the man get so damned sexy? I think it's the seriousness of his expression that does it for me; quite different from how he looks in a dress. Yes, that's right, this is that English bloke who wears makeup and dresses -- but isn't gay. I believe he calls himself a male lesbian. I haven't seen any recent clips of him in drag, though; he seems to wear mostly blazers these days, and I can't say I can complain, as I do feel slightly more attracted to him when he's not wearing pantyhose and lipstick. Regardless of how the man is dressed, he is one of the funniest comedians on the planet and I adore him. If you only know him from The Riches, you need to see the old standup routines! Take a look at the video clip for his Cake routine.

Eddie Izzard: Cake or Death

Lewis Black

I've been a fan of Lewis Black for quite a long while as well; I discovered him around the same time I discovered Bill Maher. Lewis is a bit more calm these days, but his routine is just as fabulous and just as hysterical. I was really happy to see him on the Jon Stewart show, cos he's definitely in the same league as those guys and equally important in the effort to educate Americans who are stunningly ignorant of politics and how it affects them. I highly recommend any Lewis Black show. I'd have loved to include a better clip, but, while he doesn't swear much, he does swear and I couldn't find a Pg-13 for you. But this clip will do, just the same!

Lewis Black on George Bush


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