Friday Fun Link

Like it or not, Larry the Cable Guy's comedy may become as symbolic of this decade and the Bush era as Jerry Seinfeld was of the 90s and the Clinton era. You can try to drive through a Bush-voting county without seeing a car bearing a Git-R-Done sticker. You may succeed where I failed.

It's an open secret that Larry's good-ol'-boy schtick is phony. He was born in Nebraska but grew up in West Palm Beach, Florida (Kerry by 21 points). But it's still possible to pick up the heartland patois when you live in urban Florida, right?

Well, here's a video of Larry (ne Daniel Lawrence Whitney) in his first iteration, as a wrist-slashingly bad generic 90s cutup. Watch and writhe - or marvel at a man's ability to reinvent himself and win the heart of a nation.

(If you're not familiar with LTCG, a recent video of his shtick is below the fold.)

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  • Ship Erect||

    David Bowie he ain't.

  • ||

    ...Git-R-Done...

    It's it just me, or does anyone one else want to throttle the next knuckle-dragger who uses that insipid catch phrase. Since I work at a job that deals with a large number of building contractors, I get to hear it about 10-12 times a day!

  • ||

    EDIT: Is it...

  • ||

    At least Larry's schtick as a redneck is believable if false. Am I the only person who has noticed what a metrosexual Jeff Foxworthy is? He is so thin and neat and effeminate and kind of prances around on stage, always in perfectly pressed brightly colored collared shirts. That guy is about as redneck as Jerry Seinfeld.

  • ||

    Love the Bugle Boys.

  • Warren||

    AGGGGGHHHHHH I was blissfully ignorant of LTCG's act till now. Pardon me, I now must go and shove hot irons in my eyes and ears. Fuck I hate what passes for comedy these days.

  • ||

    Well, I hope Larry sustains his success for his own sake. Andrew Clay has had a heck of a time trying to escape from the shadow of his 'Diceman' character.

  • ||

    Warren,

    Stand up comedy as an art form pretty much peaked in the 1960s with people like the early Bill Cosby, Bob Newheart, Woody Allen and George Carlin. After that, with the exception of Richard Pryor and the continued excelence of Carlin in the 1970s it has pretty much been down hill.

  • ||

    Wow, he looks like a fat Dave Coulier here.

    Cut-It-Out!

  • ||

    (Foxworht) is about as redneck as Jerry Seinfeld.

    Though his style is not (nor has it ever been) "bubbafied" like L.T.C.G.'s, he's the real deal.

    I met him back when he was a regular at the comedy club I worked at. Hell of a nice guy, too.

  • ||

    I stand corrected madpad. He is certainly not bubbafied though.

  • ||

    Larry always did strike me as being a caricature of a redneck rather than a real redneck.

    Compare him to the look of the other three stand-ups on the "Blue Collar Comedy Tour."

    Jeff Foxworthy and Bill Engval both dress like extras in a GAP commercial and Ron White wears a suit.

  • ||

    A Skull & Bones Yalie got more or less elected twice on his fake cowboy bit.

  • ||

    After that, with the exception of Richard Pryor and the continued excelence of Carlin in the 1970s it has pretty much been down hill.

    I don't know, I still haven't forgotten Robin Williams or Steve Martin when they started out. Eddie Murphy's too. But that's pretty much it until recently. These days, Dane Cook is funny as hell.

  • ||

    Mediageek,

    Isn't Ron White a failed professional rodeo rider?

  • ||

  • ||

    Larry is funny because he is a caricature.
    The art of his comedy is not that he says what he thinks but in a funny way. The art is in his ability to act in character. He makes rednecks, trailer trash and NASCAR fans laugh at themselves.

  • ||

    Madpad,

    I forgot about Williams and Eddie Murphy. It has been so long since they were funny it is easy to forget how brilliant their early stuff was. I never liked Stever Martin very much. He just annoyed me, although I like him as a straight actor.

  • ||

    John, I have no idea. But Ron White cracks me up.

    Dane Cook is good. Old school Eddie Murphy is really funny, too. And I had no idea how huge he was until an old girlfriend showed me "Eddie Murphy: Raw"

    That dude was like a rock star in his heyday.

  • ||

    Mediageek,

    Ron White is by far the funniest one of the blue collar comedy tour. Eddie was huge in the early 80s. You should watch "Delerious" if you haven't already. I am old enough to remember when it was on the regular loop on HBO. Even today it is still hillarious. The bit about family barbeques and the fat aunt falling down the stairs and his drunken father calling her a bigfoot is about as funny a routine as has ever been done.

  • ||

    Ron White is not a redneck he is a "good old boy"

  • ||

    All this LTCG criticism makes me angrier than a queer with lock jaw on valentines day....

  • ||

    "He makes rednecks, trailer trash and NASCAR fans laugh at themselves."

    And he gets David Cross, the king of ironic smarm to take him seriously.

    Irony defined.

  • ||

    angrier than a queer with lock jaw on valentines day

    Heh. Valentine's day.

  • ||

    Stand up comedy as an art form pretty much peaked in the 1960s with people like the early Bill Cosby, Bob Newheart, Woody Allen and George Carlin. After that, with the exception of Richard Pryor and the continued excelence of Carlin in the 1970s it has pretty much been down hill.

    [sigh] I can just hear my parents saying the same thing about Bob Hope, Jack Benny, Red Skelton and "that funny new guy," Alan King.

    Let's see: John Pinette, (the recently late) Mitch Hedberg, Steven Wright, Lisa Lampanelli, Sarah Silverman, etc. spring to mind as excellent working comics pushing the "art" form. And that assumes the likes of, say, Chris Rock is already an "old timer."

    I admit that at his best Woody Allen's stand-up was simply brilliant -- in a class by itself. Same with Pryor. I think Dane Cook is highly overrated and agree that Martin was never that funny. Clever, sure. But laugh-out-loud funny? Rarely. Still, it's all what makes you laugh or doesn't, and the talk of comedy as art gives me gas.

  • wingnutx||

    John , check out Mitch Hedberg or Emo Phillips.

    There are some brilliant comics working today, just not many household names.

    Eddie Izzard is another good one.

  • ||

    And he gets David Cross, the king of ironic smarm to take him seriously.

    From what I could tell of the letter, it was LTCG taking David Cross seriously. I didn't detect anywhere where Cross took LTCG serously back.

    In any case, when I guy like LTCG starts dipping his wick into politics, it's probably time to change the station.

  • ||

    Oh and by the way, we should all get a custard pie in the face for the fact that no one so far has mentioned Jonathan Winters from the so-called golden age.

  • ||

    Emo Phillips? Sugar-bowl hair cut from the '80s? Lame, boring drawn out routines in a high voice? Funny? The devil you say. I didn't even know he was still around.

  • ||

    no one so far has mentioned Jonathan Winters from the so-called golden age.

    Or Lenny Bruce.

  • ||

    I didn't mention Bruce because he's an insider's comic and an acquired taste. Of course, but for Bruce there aren't any number of subsequent comics such as Carlin, Pryor, etc. (Same could be said for the almost baton passing technique from Winters to Robin Williams.) But Bruce often wasn't funny even before the last days of his career when his best fans would have to admit he was a rambling, self-absorbed paranoid on stage, and that's even freely admitting he had plently of good reason for that paranoia. No, I love Bruce -- think Religions Incorporated, for example, is laugh-out-loud funny -- but his place in the Hall of Fame is largely for pushing the envelope, not for the intrensic quality of his material.

  • ||

    I have never actually heard any Lenny Bruce. Winters was really funny though. My father used to say that Williams even at his best was just an inferior copy of Winters; the diference being that Williams acted like he was crazy whereas Winters really was insane.

  • ||

    Not a big Dane Cook fan myself, but different chicks like different dicks, as they say in my family.

    I saw Dave Attel's Insomniac tour standup special on comedy central, and Dane seemed a bit out of place, although he was probably the most popular with the audience.

  • ||

    No mention of Dave Chappelle? I dig that guy's standup almost as much as his show.

  • ||

    Zach Galifianakis brings the funny.

  • ||

    i have never seen a git er done sticker in rural eastern washington or in in eastern oregon (or portland of for that matter) i do see alot of calivin pissing on ford or calvin pissing on chevy or calvin pissing on jesus fish...no geterdone though.

  • ||

    "But Bruce often wasn't funny even before the last days of his career when his best fans would have to admit he was a rambling, self-absorbed paranoid on stage, and that's even freely admitting he had plently of good reason for that paranoia."

    You could practically apply that same exact statement to Bill Hicks.

  • ||

    How about Bill Hicks. He leaned kinda towards the more, elite power-archy liberal side of politics towards the end, but, if you hate Rush Limbaugh as much as I do, you will dig his "Rush" bit. Here are the opening words

    "Doesnt Rush Limbaugh remind you of one of those guys who likes to lay in a bath tub while other guys pee on him?"

    Dirty and low, but he could do high brow also.

    That's bill hicks again. The guy from Tool's aenima.

  • ||

    My Friday Fun Link:

    Those Darn Cats

  • ||

    That is not funny Jared, it is just disgusting. I hope that rountine gets better after that.

  • ||

    WTF does "git'r done" mean anyway? Is that like "just do it"? If so, how is that funny?

    John, you've never heard/seen Lenny's "Thank you, masked man"? I can't find an mp3 or mpeg for you, so I warn you, it's far less funny in print. See:
    http://www.islandnet.com/~trout/Archive/Masked%20Man.htm
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0121802

    Bill Hicks was so truthful that his stuff often wasn't humorous. Dave Chappelle's un-scared baby in the ghetto at 3 (?) a.m. will always be funny, I think.

  • ||

    Let's just say George Bush, Ronald Reagan, Quayle and Barbara Bush get involved.

  • Armed&Hammered||

    What? No Lewis Black? Dennis Wolfberg (R.I.P.)? Sam Kinison?

    Shit, man...Lewis Black kills me.

  • ||

    Stand-up comedy (for the Rock 'n' Roll era) pretty much peaked with the Beatlemania-like Steve Martin craze of the late seventies. There have been some brilliant performances since then, but nothing with the cultural impact of the Wild And Crazy Guy.

    ...no one so far has mentioned Jonathan Winters from the so-called golden age.

    Or Lenny Bruce.

    Or Lord Buckley. BTW: Contrary to conventional wisdom, I believe Lenny Bruce was actually overrated as a groundbreaker (guys like Buckley were waaaay ahead of him) and underrated as a comedian (Burce's Palladium bit was a masterpiece; the storyline and characterizations are better developed than most movies).

  • Gimme Back My Dog||

    I heard Hicks stole all his material from Dennis Leary.

    Let me just throw out Nick DiPaolo and Louis C. K. as two of the best working stand ups out there.

  • dhex||

    um, late period bill hicks is fucking genius.

  • grylliade||

    Jim Gaffigan is another stand-up comic that's brilliant, and still putting stuff out.

  • ||

    Lewis Black does, indeed, rock. Don't know Bill Hicks but anyone that nails Rush so nicely to the bathtub is worth looking into.

  • dhex||

    the bathtub routine is, um, really gross.

    in a good way, though.

  • Warren||

    Steve Martin's stand-up was some of the best ever. He's done a lot of funny stuff since, but he's had his share of misses as well. If he's getting or receiving an award, I too find him annoying.

    Lenny Bruce was hit and miss. A lot of his material was just not funny. But when he was on, oh man! Funny like no one else ever.

    I grew up checking out Cosby's records from the library over and over again. He remained a very funny man until about the third year of The Cosby Show.

    I get a giggle out of Dave Chappelle sometimes, but I don't think he's half as funny as everyone else.

    I like Lewis Black's stand up. I think he's funnier than Stewart and Colbert put together, but I don't think he's "stand-up hall of fame" worthy

    Emo Phillips = %100 unfunny

    Don't know if it qualifies as stand-up, but Tom Lehrer is on my all time favorite list

  • Wild Pegasus||

    Let's hear it for Sarah Silverman, easily one of the most daring comics out there, and extremely funny.

    - Josh

  • ||

    yeah, thats a terrible example of Bill Hicks. More typical was his response to military brass testifying to congress against gays in the military:
    "Excuse me, aren't you just a bunch of hired killers? Shut the fuck up. When we want to blow the shit out of a nation of little brown people we'll let you know."

    And, since all my other favorite comedians have already been mentioned, Margret Cho is pretty funny. And I hearby nominate Dave Schapelle best comic of the 21st century.

  • ||

    Love Tom Lehrer...

    "Everybody say his own
    Keer-ee-yay Elayison,
    Doin the vatican,
    Doin the vatican,
    Doin the vatican Rag!"

  • ||

    When I live in Orlando in the mid-to-late-90s, he used to call into a local radio station each afternoon and give a rant about the state of the country in his redneck persona. It was pretty funny, he had the Sanford/Bithlo redneck down perfectly.

    He'd start off each rant with "What the Hell is this, Russia?" He was even a guest DJ on their morning show for awhile.

  • ||

    No....more typical of Hicks was...

    "What's with all these Christians wearing crosses. You think when Christ comes back he wants to see a cross? That's like walking up to Jackie Onassis wearing a rifle pendant."

  • ||

    Bill Hicks was one of the greatest stand up acts ever.

    I believe the Bill Hicks' Rush routine culminates with Barbara Bush defecating on Rush's chest resulting in Rush finally getting an erection that neither Reagan, George Bush or Quayle had been able to achieve with their urinary efforts.

    My favorite bit involves fundies and evolution:

    You believe the world's 12 thousand years old? 'That's right.' Okay, I got one word to ask you. A one word question. Ready? 'Uh-uh.' Dinosaurs.

    You know, the world's 12 thousand years old and dinosaurs existed, and they existed in that time ... you'd think it would have been mentioned in the fucking Bible at some point. 'And lo, Jesus and the disciples walked to Nazareth. But the trail was blocked by a giant brontosaurus ... with a splinter in his paw. And O, the disciples did run a-shrieking: "What a big fucking lizard, Lord!" But Jesus was unafraid, and he took the splinter from the brontosaurus's paw, and the big lizard became his friend. And Jesus sent him to Scotland where he lived in a loch for O, so many years, inviting thousands of American tourists to bring their fat fucking families and their fat dollar bills. And O, Scotland did praise the Lord: "Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Lord."'"

  • ||

    I don't think any of that Hicks stuff is funny. Have you guys ever listened to Carlin? Most of those gags, "bombing brown people" and the like Carlin has been doing for years, only a lot better.

  • dhex||

    john, hicks is to carlin what the book of mormon is to the bible: a hilarious evolution of an already funny act.

  • Warren||

    dhex?

    WTF? Carlin is a master craftman of language. Hicks, as far as I can tell from this thread is just toilet jokes.

  • ||

    Why do I suspect that John would find Hicks hilarious if the joke involved Michael Moore, Al Franken, Nancy Pelosi and Ted Kennedy.

    I am sure that if Hicks was alive today, he would have some primo material involving Ann Coulter, Condi Rice, Michelle Malkin, bondage and strapons.

    BTW, comedians like Carlin have said during interviews that Hicks was the best they had ever seen or performed on the same stage with.

  • ||

    Add me to the list of Bill Hicks fans.

    Nothing wrong with a little anger mixed in with humor. Also why I like Lewis Black.

  • ||

    Why write jokes about Michael Moore, Al Franken, Nancy Pelosi and Ted Kennedy? They're jokes in and of themselves.

  • ||

    i do see alot of calvin pissing

    I've always wondered how many people with those decals actually know it's Calvin. And just how did those decals evolve into Calvin pissing from the rather generic "bad boy" pissing?

  • ||

    Remember when Dennis Miller used to be funny? I saw one of his more recent shows on DVD, and it was a little disappointing, but his stuff from the late 80s/early 90s was great.

  • Warren||

    I've always thought that Dennis Miller was funny only to semi-literate people.

  • dhex||

    warren, i hereby command you to go out and seek some live hicks material.

    also: i've never really been much of a carlin fan, so that may affect my otherwise brilliant powers of observation.

  • ||

    I don't think any standup has made me laugh as hard as Louie Anderson when he was starting out.

    "(Click-click) Yegads, is HE home?"

  • ||

    Carlin kicks ass. Except when he gets political, then he proves to be ignant.

    Ron White has the best overall act of the redneck comedy group.

    but LTCG has the best individual jokes. The fat sister, the drunken schoolbus driver, the gay bar in LA.

    Dave Chapelle has the best race jokes ever.

    Chris rock was awesome. Best sexist jokes. "a good place to pic up on chicks is an abortion rally because you know they put out, and you ain't going to be stuck paying child support.

    Larry David is pretty funny too, in an oddball way.

    David Cross is not that funny. His whole skit is "we think these jokes are funny because we are not dumb like most Americans"

  • ||

    Dave Attel is surprisingly funny when he gets behind a mic.

  • ||

    That clip is pricelessly painful. LTCG still uses that granny-dragging-her-butt-on-the-carpet gag, too.

  • ||

    I heard Hicks stole all his material from Dennis Leary.

    I think you have that backwards.

  • ||

    i do see alot of calivin pissing on ford or calvin pissing on chevy or calvin pissing on jesus fish

    I've always wanted to make a variant of those for the Jesus fish/Darwin fish thing with a Calvin-style cartoon Jesus pissing on the Darwin fish or a Calvin-style cartoon Darwin pissing on the Jesus fish. Or better yet, Jesus/Darwin pissing on Calvin pissing on the Jesus/Darwin fish. Or perhaps Jesus and Darwin both pissing on Calvin who is pissing on a Darwin/Jesus fish that is pissing on a Chevy or Ford logo. Or maybe just Jesus and Darwin pissing in each other's mouths. I'm not sure what it'd mean, but its bound to piss somebody off.

  • dhex||

    i dunno about funny, but i give LTCG points for making cash off of something that sounds like me and my effete sophisticated urbanite friends getting hammered on $9 martinis and making fun of the rest of 'merica.

  • ||

    Jim Gaffigan is good, and I agree that Carlin is still the king.

    Whats funny about Larry TCG is how some people dont realise that its an act and are offended by him lol. These people are too dense to realise that he's on their side in making fun of rednecks.

  • ||

    I can't believe no one has mentioned Gallagher.

  • ||

    If from this thread you think that Bill Hicks is all toilet humor, you really need to get some of his stuff. It actually tends toward the thought provoking. His routine on acid trips is dead on and as funny as anything I've heard. I was lucky enough to see him perform. One of the funniest and smartest guys out there. I miss him. (and no, emphatically no, Hicks did not steal from Leary. Leary borrowed Hicks' pro-smoking, it's my body to pollute routine.)

    I saw Mitch Hedberg not long before he passed. I loved his stuff, but it wasn't nearly as challenging as Hicks'. He hated to be compared to Steven Wright, but they had a similar style.

    Rereading this, I wonder, am I the death knell for comedians? Maybe I should get to the next Jeff Foxworthy show...

  • ||

    Some of Gallagher's social/political commentary is very funny and poignant. As was the sledge-o-matic bit was when it was fresh. Remember that it is a parody of Ron Popiel's schtick and a telling satire on what fascinates the American materialistic mind. (nice alliteration, don't you think?)

    Yes, I know it degenerated into an excuse to cover his audience in food. That is the danger of satire, to become the thing originally ridiculed. The bit does seem as mindless now as the original target.

  • Warren||

    I can't believe no one has mentioned Gallagher.

    Ahhh yes. A classic and tragic tale of comedy. I suspect few of you will remember Gallagher from before he routinely spewed upon his audience. He was a gifted prop comic.

    One of the bits from this time was about how all drivers should own one of those toy suction-dart guns. Every year when you renew your license, you would be issued five darts with a tag attached that says 'stupid'. Anytime you see someone doing something stupid, like cutting you off, you tag em [lick *pop*]. When a cop sees a guy driving down the road with three of these things stuck to his car, he pulls him over and gives him a ticket for being an asshole.

    He was hard working, and as successful as one could reasonably hope for. Then it happened, he created the immaculate stand-up routine. There's a certain amount of zeitgeist associated with Sledge-O-Matic. To appreciate it you needed to be immersed in a culture of UHF television and Ronco products. If, like me, you were fortunate enough to have seen the original Sledge-O-Matic routine, without any contaminating foreknowledge, then for seven minutes you were blessed by the gods of comedy.

    Of course the tragedy of creating such a sublime piece of work is that one instantly recognizes that they have exceeded their own capabilities, and can never hope to aspire any higher. Like so many performers who achieve success, an actor with a character, or a musician with a song, Gallagher became a prisoner of his own work. He reworked the bit over the years, trying to keep it fresh, but he could never escape it. Finally he succumbed to that most common ailment of aging entertainers, and became a parody of himself

  • ||

    Speaking of people who used to be like rock stars: Chevy Chase. Used to be HUGE. Used to be funny, too. Now what's he in? Karate Dog III? What the hell happened to that guy?


    And speaking of the late greats: Zero Mostel. Completely stole A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum, if you ask me. And I still grin remembering his appearance on the Muppet Show.

  • ||

    Chevy Chase...What the hell happened to that guy?

    I heard it summed up in a piece about SNL a few years ago featuring a reunion of some of the original and past players with the current cast.

    Basically, Bill Murray is a great guy whom they'll all admired. Chevy Chase, on the other hand, was a monumental prick none of them could stand. Don't know if it's true...just what I heard.

  • ||

    Sandra Bernhard is very hilarious. So was Roseanne, back in the day.

    Now, of course, Roseanne is insane. Dunno what Bernhard has been up to lately.

  • Warren||

    Zero Mostel. Completely stole A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum, if you ask me.

    Zero, was great. Of course he did his best work in the theater. What we have of him on film is but a shadow. However, you can't say he stole Forum, he was the star, the whole thing was written to showcase his comedy.

  • ||

    I just bought Sarah Silverman: Jesus Is Magic, and it is hilarious. I also bought a Bill Hicks DVD based on what little bit of material of his I'd heard on Tool's Aenima CD. Hicks is a fairly libertarian comedian. Lewis Black is akin to Hicks in that he makes angry funny.

    "Why do I suspect that John would find Hicks hilarious if the joke involved Michael Moore, Al Franken, Nancy Pelosi and Ted Kennedy.

    Comment by: Scott at June 23, 2006 05:11 PM

    I suspect you're dead on the money there, Scott.

  • ||

    also, Larry the Cable Guy was originally a character developed by Ron Diaz, a morning radio DJ in Tampa and Ron Bennington, a stand-up comedian who became his co-host of the Ron & Ron Radio Show. They created the character and gave it to Dan Whitney. Whitney's radio character was a very amusing satire on anti-intellectual, anti-PC locals. There was a falling-out, and Whitney basically stole the character and ran with it, according to Ron & Ron, before they had their own falling-out.

  • ||

    Reinvention or not, he was the best thing in Cars. Other than Click and Clack ...

  • ||

    This thread prompted me to check out Bill Hicks on YouTube. Sorry, dudes...not funny. Richard Pryor mops the floor with him.

  • ||

    I tried to post links but it was unallowed. I'll try it one at a time.

    Bill Hicks was fucking funny.

  • ||

    OK, I spoke too soon - "If not for the death penalty, we wouldn't be celebrating Easter!"

  • ||

    David Cross's and Bob Odenkirk's Mr. Show was fucking funny.

  • ||

    Les - I don't think I've ever laughed as hard as when I saw the one with rich fat kids' camp. The rap-off nearly made me piss myself. "Rap! Rap! Rap rap rap! Rap! Rap! Rap cat nap!"

  • ||

    David Cross can be fucking funny.

  • ||

    other Mark, I consider Mr. Show (and a lot of Sid Caesar) to be the only sketch comedy in the same realm of funny as Monty Python.

  • ||

    Les, come now.

    Second City stuff was great. MadTV's first 2 or 3 season had some worthy moments. In Living Color, while hardly ground breaking, is not to be sneezed at.

    And then there's Ernie Kovacs.

  • ||

    Like it or not, Larry the Cable Guy's comedy may become as symbolic of this decade and the Bush era as Jerry Seinfeld was of the 90s and the Clinton era.

    I "get" the pride in ignorance thing. ...and it makes me nauseated.

  • ||

    I just watched the Bill Hicks clip. Didn't think it was funny at all. I mean, it was just a snippet, maybe he's got some good moments. Didn't think that was funny though.

  • ||

    madpad, Ernie Kovacs was indeed great, but like Sid Caesar, his brilliance came in flares. The cast of Second City were unsurpassed talents, but despite a fanaticism for the show in my youth, recent viewings have not held up for me. As far as MadTV goes, even SNL has its moments. But moments do not a show make. Mr. Show, like Python, made whole conceptual shows, with themes and beautiful segues.

  • ||

    I hate it when other commenters threadjack a perfectly good original threadjack. Stand up, people! Not movies (Mostel - yes, he did live stuff but isn't known for it) or prop routines (Gallagher) or sketch comedy (most early SNL cast members) but working "in one" before a live audience with nothing but a microphone. Stand up.

    Carlin's career has been, IMO, largely downhill after the mid-70s. (An early album, Class Clown, includes a liner note "Special thanks to Leonard Schneider for taking all the chances." Schneider was, of course, Lenny Bruce's real name.) His "Seven Words You Can Never Say" bit (... and tits isn't even dirty!) and Muhammad Ali bit (... if you won't kill them, we won't let you beat them up!) were wonderful. From the 80s on, though, it was all precious word play or left wing sarcasm. Not funny.

    BTW, I don't see the connection between Wright and Hedberg except, of course, that they do / did short joke humor. (By that reasoning we should throw Henny Youngman in the group, too.) Wright's stuff is far more esoteric and based on paradox, while Hedberg's stuff was more playful, even childlike.

    Of course, there's nothing unusual about a comic developing a persona utterly unlike his background or even off stage personality, so I say more power to LTCG for pulling it off so well. His success, though, like Foxworthy's, is just more evidence of the vast gulf between NASCAR America and, well, the sort of people who'd rather waste their time reading and commenting on blogs.

  • ||

    Oh, and my earlier comments about Bruce aside, he still did my all-time favorite stand up joke:

    My mother-in-law broke up my marriage....
    My wife caught us in bed together.

    She screamed at me "You pervert!"
    "What do you mean, pervert?" I told her. "She's not my mother!"

  • ||

    All these comments and not a single person has mentioned Carrot Top.

  • Thomas Paine's Goiter||

    Dave Attell, Mitch Hedberg (RIP), Sarah Silverman, Dmitry Martin, Louis Black - all of them as good as they come. Now, as funny as Newhart, Cosby, Pryor, Carlin, and Murphy? I dunno, but you're talking about 5 of the greatest over a 50 year period. That's like saying Vlad Guerrero is shitty because he's not Musial or Clemente.

  • ||

    >Subject: PRICELESS KIWI/AUSSIE HUMOUR....
    > >
    > >Three Aussies and three Kiwis are travelling by train to a soccer match at The World Cup in Germany. At the station, the three Kiwis each buy a ticket and watch as the three Aussies buy just one ticket between them. "How are the three of you going to travel on only one ticket?" Asks one of the Kiwis. "Watch and learn," answers one of the Aussies. They all board the train. The Kiwis take their respective seats but all three Aussies cram into a toilet and close the door behind them. Shortly after the train has departed, the conductor comes around collecting tickets. He knocks on the toilet door and says, "Ticket please." The door opens just a crack and a single arm emerges with a ticket in hand. The conductor takes it and moves on. The Kiwis see this and agree it was quite a clever idea. So after the game, they decide to copy the Aussies on the return trip and save some money (being clever with money, and all that). When they get to the station, they buy a single ticket for the return trip. To their astonishment, the Aussies don't buy a ticket at all!! "How are you going to travel without a ticket?" says one perplexed Kiwi. "Watch and learn," answers an Aussie. When they board the train the three Kiwis cram into a toilet and soon after the three Aussies cram into another one nearby. The train departs. Shortly afterwards, one of the Aussies leaves the toilet and walks over to the toilet where the Kiwis are hiding. He knocks on the door and says, "Ticket please."

  • ||

    Warren, that has to be the most precise comment I've read about Gallagher. I laughed so hard when i first saw the Sledge-A-Matic in the 80's.

    During those days a company like Ronco sold the Veg-A-Matic. It crushed rather than sliced and the walls needed cleaning. Almost forgot-- Why do hot-dogs come in packs of 10 and buns in packs of 8?

  • ||

    other Mark, I consider Mr. Show (and a lot of Sid Caesar) to be the only sketch comedy in the same realm of funny as Monty Python.

    The Armando Iannucci Shows was pretty hilarious for the brief period (eight episodes) that it ran.

  • ||

    Searched the thread.

    "The text 'Doug Stanhope' was not found."

    You all suck at knowing who's funny.

  • ||

    All these comments and not a single person has mentioned Carrot Top

    And if it hadn't been for you, it would've stayed that way, dammit!

  • ||

    I welcome our spamming Vietnamese masters.

    ...noticed what a metrosexual Jeff Foxworthy is?

    That's a tradition that goes back to Cavalier days. Didn't Ashley Wilkes seem kinda gay in Gone With The Wind? I mean, they even got an actor named Leslie to play him. Shoot.

    Someone mentioned Alan King above. King killed!

    "Survived by his wife...."

    Funny!

    Kevin

  • ||

    Dennis Wolfberg has always been a favorite of mine. Here is a nice page with some audio clips.

  • ||

    If I have such a problem with left wing comics, why do I like Carlin so much? I guess I missed him at the vast right wing conspiracy meetings. Hicks maybe funny. I have honestly never heard him. But the stuff on this thread is just bad toilet humor. You could replace all of the names with Al Franken, Randy Rhoades, etc.. and it still wouldnt' be funny.

    Warren,

    You are right about Gallagher and the sledgeamatic rountine. To anyone old enough to remember UHF and the Ronco commercials it was sublime. Unfortuenately, it was just too topical to age well, but at the time it was great.
    You are

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    Just wondering: has anyone ever heard of James Wesley Jackson? He worked during the 80s and turned up on one or two of the ubiquitous stand-up shows of the period ("Evening at the Improv," etc.). Then he seemingly disappeared. I still regard his "clap out of time if you're white" bit as one of the funniest I have ever seen. I thought he had real comedic potential and crowd-pleasing ability. Many of the "no-name" comics I saw on those old stand-up shows -- Jim Carrey, Rita Rudner, Murphy-St. Paul, Margaret Cho, etc. -- went on to careers of varying brilliance and longevity. But James Wesley Jackson fell off the radar screen. I wonder why, and if I was perhaps the only person watching...

  • ||

    "It's an open secret that Larry's good-ol'-boy schtick is phony."

    What part of 'Comedy act' don't you get Dave?

    Next thing you know, you're going to try and tell me he really doesn't install cable.

  • ||

    I was just able to see the video image that reason put up of the early Cable guy. Yeah, he sucked back then. The image makeover certainly was a winner.

    I can even see him doing the same joke in the Cable Guy persona, and it would be funnier, or at least more entertaining.

    Here is one of his jokes that I think are funny:

    I went to LA. There sure are some strange people in LA. I went to this bar, and shortly realizes that every one there was a queer.

    Queers all of them! Can you believe that? They were all Queer.

    Even the guy I was dancing with was a queer!

  • ||

    Next on Hit&Run: Iron Eyes Cody was Italian!

  • ||

    Of course the Ron White LA joke was funnier, and better deliverd. Can do it online because it involves an uppity voice when the hotel clerk says "Its already past 7:30 sir"
    and then he says
    "Where I come from, they roll round twice a day, can you wake me up on the next one?"

  • ||

    Read through everything, and no mention of Buddy Hackett's stand-up? One of the funniest Borscht Belt comedians there was. Heavy HBO rotation in the early-mid 80's.

    "That's right, ma'am. It's the dick."

    (From someone who's a fan of Carlin, Pryor, Lewis Black, Kinison, Jim Norton, Hicks, old Eddie Murphy, Kovacs, Winters, Seinfeld)

  • ||

    I have to agree with John. I've watched Bill Hicks (I know I saw a documentary that was narrated by Janeane Garafalo), and at best his comedy was hit-and-miss. However, it doesn't matter who you cast in the role of pissers and pissee, that joke could not ever be funny. I suspect that Hicks is revered more for dying in his prime than any actual talent. It didn't hurt that he appeared in Garth Ennis' Preacher comic book. I also suspect that I feel how I do about Dennis Wolfberg for the exact same reason (the dying before his time thing).

    And Buddy Hackett killed. His joke about fooling his penis into getting an erection while stranded on a desert island is classic.

  • Ron||

    Comedy is a subjective judgement as we have noted in this thread.
    I think Bill Hicks is a hero. I like David Cross and Doug Stanhope too. Doug is wildly nasty so those that are easily offended should stay away.

  • Warren||

    After three days of research, I've determined that Bill Hicks is not funny. Sometimes he approaches humor but always ruins it, usually by beating it to death. Watching his smoking bit, I couldn't help but think how much funnier Dennis Leary was.

    OT speaking of Leary, Rescue Me is the best show on FX.

    Oh and if you want some genuinely funny southern stand up, circa early 60's, check out "Brother Dave" Gardner.

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    I decided to do a little digging on the web, concerning James Wesley Jackson. It turns out that he was often the warmup act for P-Funk back in the late 70s through early-90s. Apparently, he was still doing standup as late as the late-90s. I have no information after that, but now I know to ask the P-Funk fans as to his present-day whereabouts. Apparently, some of his routines were included on the P-Funk concert recordings (e.g., Brides of Funkenstein, Live at the Howard, 1978). He also played juice harp for the band (which I seem to recall from the TV standup shows, also). I'm going to look up those old recordings and I recommend that any fan of comedy do the same. JWJ was definitely funny; his routines will prove worth the time and effort you may take to find them.

  • dhex||

    "I couldn't help but think how much funnier Dennis Leary was."

    may god have mercy on your soul.

  • ||

    I just want to say that, in both iterations, Daniel/Larry is a fucking idiot.

  • ||

    wow. a comedian's persona on stage is a "schtick?"

    what a frigging SHOCKER

    and people accuse him of being "fake" etc. because of this?

    hey. it's comedy. a comedian's stage persona is not supposed to be some sort of truth in advertising reality.

    if larry had 3 PhD's from harvard, was a member of the social register, and read foucault in his spare time - who cares?

    does that affect whether or not he is funny? that's kind of the goal of a comedian. imo, he's not

    secondarily, comedians can engage in social commentary, but if they don't meet the first criteria (being funny), they are gonna lose me on the 2nd.

    props to larry for developing a workable schtick and on his success.

    i don't personally find him funny, but you can't argue with his success

  • ||

    oh, here's another newsflash

    father guido sarducci is not actually an ordained priest

    wow. the things you can learn here (rolls eyes)

  • ||

    Next thing you're going to tell me Chico Marx wasn't Italian, and was really named Leonard or some such!

  • ||

    biologist,

    The Ron & Ron show was great radio. I still remember some of their bits, even after all of these years. Like Young Spock--classic :)

  • ||

    I need to put in a good word for Greg Giraldo. I've only seen his material from the Insomniac tour with Dane Cook, Dave Attell and Sean Rouse, so I can't speak with 100% confidence, but if that set is indicative of his ability, he's really good. Definitely the best of the four guys on the tour.

  • ||

    It's pointless to get into the "this era was better than that era" debate. Especially for stand-up. It either makes you laugh or it doesn't.

    There are lengendary older stand-ups like Carlin, Bruce, Allen, King, etc. There are too many to mention in the years since - Murphy in his prime, Martin, Leno before he sold his soul to mediocrity, etc. And there always seem to be great ones that pop up now. Who can say whether on balance Eddie Izzard is funnier than George Carlin. Both of them have made me laugh until I almost passed out. I'll call it a tie. So, for that matter, my favorite modern stand-ups are Izzard, Cross, Silverman - who singlehandedly hijacked The Aristocrats, Hedberg, and a handful of others. I saw Patton Oswalt do five minutes as an intro act at a music festival and he killed. So, I don't know if he'd make my list, but he was funny enough to track down in the future.

    Completely don't understand lack of love for Hicks. But, then, my girlfriend hates him, too, so I'm used to it. He reached heights of incendiary hilarity that no one has matched, though Lewis Black is a good similar act. And even though I found Leary funny now and then, you can never forget that he stole much material and his persona directly from Hicks.

  • ||

    What? No David Brenner mention? Dangerfield? Shandling? What about Andy Kaufman? OK, I threw that in for shock value. I never cared for Kaufman. Most people watched him like they watch a car wreck. A lot of people loved Robert Klien, but I always found him annoying.

  • ||

    Bill Hicks was easily one of the greatest of all time, on the same level as Bruce, Carlin, and Prior.

    There's still plenty of great and original comics around: Jim Norton, Patrice O'Neil, Greg Giraldo, Bill Burr, Robert Kelly, Rich Vos. If any of these guys are in your area you should check them out. Well, maybe not Vos...

  • ||

    The funniest comic I have ever seen live was, believe it or not, Tim Allen. In 1988 or so, years before he was a celebrity, he did a set with a lot of the tool guy stuff that would later make him famous. He totally killed then, now I avoid anything with his name on it.

    D.A. Ridgely wrote: "Stand up, people! Not ... prop routines"

    Prop comics are stand-ups. Others have already defended Gallagher enough. Two other prop comics worth noting are Heywood Banks (not sure if he's still around or not), and Joel Hodgson, who is much more famous for MST3K.

  • ||

    Whit,

    I just have a small disagreement with your post. If Larry had 3 PhD's from Harvard, was a member of the social register, and read Foucault in his spare time - who cares? Well, lots of people would. If Larry had 3 PhD's from Harvard, was a member of the social register, and did the same schtick that he does now, he would be labelled a "Liberal elitist who is condescending to 'real, hard-working Americans.'"

    A good part of comedy depends on context. As a left-leaning, professional, white male who works in San Francisco, I can not perform the same comedy routines that others do. If I was to perform Chris Rock's jokes, I would be labelled a racist. If I told the same jokes on stage that Larry the Cable Guy does, I would be mean spirited, and condescending to middle America. Humor is very subjective, and the person who is telling the joke can have just as much effect as the joke itself. That is just a fact of comedy - one joke told by two different performers can have completely different results.

    For example, the New York Times did an article on the "Blue Collar Comedy Tour" a while back. And they interviewed audience members and most of the feedback was how other (read: Coastal, Liberal, Elitist) comedians were condescending to red state values and ways of life. Whereas the "Blue Collar" comedians represent their values better. And this is even though most of the jokes they tell are very similar.

    But I guess in this political era, where liking anything belies your political affiliation, I guess that liking Larry the Cable Guy is just a sign of red state solidarity.

    And, by the way, I do not think that he is funny - then and now.

  • ||

    Okay, late to the party, but my wife and I have seen Gilbert Gottfried and also Judy Tenuta a few times in DC, in the 90s.

    Gilbert was utterly hysterical...10 seconds into his bit I was laughing out loud, and less than a minute later, tears were streaming down my cheeks, and my gut was in pain, in that good, funny way, for a day or so.

    Ditto with Judy. We sat far enough away from her that I wasn't abused...her show was phenomenal.

    Echoing the Jonathan Winters love. Also, Buddy Hackett...the guy could kill you with laughter with a raised eyebrow.

    Leno: I have no idea how the standup guy could be so damned funny and original and the Tonight host is so brain numbingly boring, trite, and obnoxious.

  • ||

    *reads David Cross's bit*

    Professional jealousy is a sad thing. Cross doesn't even play to the same demographics as LTCG, but knowing that the guy is making far more money than him really brings out the barbs.

  • ||

    I'm surprised that no one has mentioned this, but two years ago Comedy Central actually produced a list of the fifty greatest comedians of all time: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/100_Greatest_Stand-ups_of_All_Time

    Anyway, I thought it'd be neat to debate the rankings.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    >WTF does "git'r done" mean anyway? Is that
    >like "just do it"? If so, how is that funny?

    As Foxworthy once put it, "git'r done" is like Latin for "insert punchline here".

  • ||

    Emo Phillips is a genius.

    madpad and Warren, you're dead to me. Dead. My ears do not hear you. Comedy? It is an Emo Phillips worship word -- you will not speak it.

  • Rottin' in Denmark||

    David Cross and Larry the Cable Guy deserve each other. Each one represents the most vile wing of their respective political parties. Did you guys get to the part where Cross wants to have a fan-off?

    "My fans are pretty smart as well. They are also, I imagine, as "hard-working" as your fans. Not all of them of course, but most. And I'm sure that they may come up with some genuinely interesting, insightful points ..."

    Republican simpleness vs. liberal smugness. I don't know which one's more annoying.

  • ||

    I recall seeing Larry the Cable Guy in Atlanta when they were just starting up the Blue Collar Tour. He was at the time the opening act, and Foxworthy was talking him up as stealing the show out from under him and Bill Engvall (who were the only two comics anyone had heard of at the time).

    At the time, Larry the Cable Guy had not yet found his catchphrase. Then, he was pushing "I'm wit youuuuuuuuuuu." As in "You know they're taking the Winston out of NASCAR? Ain't that wrong? I'm wit you!" A few months later he started doing Git-R-Done, and that took off. Larry was still pretty funny, even though his jokes were as stale as anything I had ever heard, because his timing and ability to work a crowd were both really good.

    At the time Ron White was a great discovery, though my wife didn't care for him as much as I did. He was also totally wasted at the show. Bill Engvall was falling off into shrill trying to get more punch for his jokes.

    What I really noticed was that Jeff Foxworthy was totally in a new zone, approaching Cosby's territory in his rated-G-and-hilarious zone. (Considering his fat-and-queer-joke start, it's been quite a journey.) Of course, he is still miles from Bill Cosby's impeccible comic timing and ability to use a pregnant pause to comedic effect, but that he can move to the same gentle ground and still keep a crowd going (albeit with a heavy warmup act) says a lot for him.

    But it was really interesting to see LTCG right on the verge of becoming the menace that he is now. (My poker buddies still cringe every time they hear Git-R-Done because of a crazy redneck at our poker game that was pushing all-in EVERY hand, whether or not he was in the room, punctuating the move with Git-R-Done. The gentleman in question is now a guest of the state).

  • Jeff||

    Gayish guy from Full House.

  • ||

    Ron White is an acquired taste....one I enjoy. That being said, I've never quite figured out how he fits in to the whole Blue Collar crowd. LTCG, Foxworthy and Engvall all play to the redneck or country and western crowd. White's drunken, allof, smart ass routine could fit into any crowd. His routine isn't "hick" or country really.

  • ||

    Ain't nothin make me laugh as hard as The Original Kings of Comedy in a long long time.. Particularly D.L. Hughley and Bernie Mac.

    Also, Jamie Foxx, worth catching uncensored on HBO.

    But the Bernie Mac stuff, priceless... O Tay!

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