Eddie Izzard for smart funny.
Dylan Moran- before he killed his spark with too much booze.
A lot of the stuff Izzard does really shouldn't work, mime, terrible voice impressions, multiple characters at once (And getting them confused) but it does work and it's brilliant. No one else could do it.
I think part of Izzard's success is that he doesn't take himself too seriously. He knows he's not always funny and he's not always intentionally funny. He laughs at himself as much as the audience does, which makes him feel genuine and establishes a rapport. But he keeps a fast pace so he doesn't stop and dwell on it too long. "Whoa. That worked better than I thought! Moving on..." or "So that sounded funnier in my head. Moving on!"
I like Izzard when he stays out of politics but I've really gone off him since he's been sticking his nose in on things he cant relate to. I always thought he was a highly intelligent guy to have tangential rambling like he does but hearing him speak on politics just left me feeling sad and annoyed.
For they're time, I think Jerry Lewis and Sam Kinison, George Carlin, Richard Pryor.
The only additions I have to your list are Buddy Hackett and Eddie Murphy.
Also after all these years and years still crack up at Don Rickles, guy is old as dirt but can still lay a smack down on people, good stuff!
I will always have love for Mitch Hedberg.
I never saw him as a comedian, but more as a layman's philosopher. I would never watch his stand up and laugh, instead I would get mad.
What specials did you watch? If you watch anything from the mid 90s on, you start to see him get less and less "comic-y" (whatever that means) and more serious and angry. However, if you go back to his earlier specials from the 70s and 80s there are a lot fewer rants and a lot more jokes, while maintaining the same level of insightfulness. I'd say two of my favorites are Jammin In New York and What Am I Doing in New Jersey, so I'd recommend checking those out if you haven't. Carlin at Carnegie is also really good.
I'll check those out. Thanks!
I really enjoyed some of his earlier stand up but noticed his material went down hill lately.
Be a man!
John Candy hands down.
Him and Chris Farley always made me laugh, lost em too early!!
Yep! They were both really great. Just read an article about John Candy passing back in 1994 in Mexico... damn time flies.
What? It's been 21 years already since he passed away? Man, I'm getting old. I remember that pretty well.
Bill Hicks is the best narrator for me, rip.
Robin Williams. I think his head was full of mayhem.
I'm a really big fan of Rowan Atkinsons non slapstick work. Blackadder, thin blue line and his stand up have had me in stiches. He's so intelligent and so I really don't feel his role as Mr Bean does him justice, which is why I find it so sad it's his most famous work.
Edit: I would also like to give a shout out to Trevor Noah, a man from my country South Africa, who has managed to get himself recognised enough globally that he is taking over from John Stewart on the Daily Show on comedy central.
I have tickets for Trevor Noah in a couple of weeks, really excited.
Jimmy Carr. Positively evil.
Definitely the late, great, George Carlin.
I don't have just one...
Bill Hicks, Mitch Hedberg,Eddie Izzard & George Carlin (all have been mentioned before me here). I will stop channel surfing or spend way too much time on Youtube to watch them in action.
Eddie muprhy in the 80s and early 90s
I don't think I could pick one, but I really like Eddie Izzard, John Oliver, Robin Williams, Steve Martin, Dave Chapelle, and Mitch Hedberg. I'd probably pick Mitch if I had to pick one right now, but in a month I'd probably pick someone else. John Oliver is probably my favorite who is currently active.
I'm no connoisseur so I'm sure I'm missing a lot of greats, but I enjoy Loius CK.
Christopher Tidus or George Carlin. Depends on what I'm in the mood for.
Robin Williams...Mrs. Doubtfire. He was so good.
Larry David by far.
I can't pick just one:
1. Norm MacDonald
2. Mitch Hedberg
3. Marc Maron
4. George Carlin
5. John Mulaney