QOTD #51: More comedic genius

Today’s Question: Sticking with the humor for one more day…..What were your funniest 3 (in order) “Chappelle Show” skits?

Yesterday’s Question: With the untimely passing of Robin Williams, having met his untimely demise, today’s question is: Of all the comedians that are no longer with us, whose comedy do you consider the greatest?



  
grizzlybear:Hicks, Pryor, Carlin.

Reading down the thread there are lots of decent suggestions but those three were transformative comedians and should be remembered as much more than men who stood up and made you laugh.

Sweet Lee:
I wonder if the almighty will swing a trade…you give us Kinison back and we will gladly give you Dane Cook and Kevin Hart.


I know I said this, and I mean absolutely no disrespect to Sam Kinison, but Dane Cook and Kevin Hart? Have you gone mad??????


TheGrailspiral:
Hope someone already mentioned Patrice O’Neil. Dude was hilarious in standup, roasts, and as a regular on Opie and Anthony. Loved the guy. George Carlin’s early stuff is just amazing too.


LJFCAT:
Oh, and as for comedians… I’ve never been huge into stand up, but anytime I watch Dave Chappelle I’m practically in tears (“bitch, I live in a fucking trash can!” *did* induce tears). Definitely my favorite, out of those I watched. I love Robin Williams and was CRUSHED by his passing, but for many other reasons – I’ve seen little of his stand up.

I think I probably should have clarified what I meant by “Gone too soon”. Fortunately, Dave hasn’t gone anywhere but Africa, with his crazy ass (and if you like Chappelle, you’ll like tomorrow’s topic).

THE YETAAAAY:
While not my all-time favorite, Lenny Bruce should get some recognition. Like with Carlin, I don’t find myself laughing at his humor for minutes at a time but I feel incredibly educated by it. Bruce did a shitload for free speech in this country as far as entertainers are concerned.

As for Carlin, the shelf-life for anyone in a mass-marketed medium is growing smaller by the day. With the overexposure of internet, social media, tabloids and television, the general public is growing tired of entertainers much more rapidly. That’s why I think a guy like Carlin will never come along again, who can evolve and adapt for over two generations.

X-Man:
Pryor and Carlin are my all-time two favorites hands down. Pryor was the saddest since MS robbed him of the ability to do standup in his last days. Carlin was able to perform up until the week before he died.

I was also a big fan of Robin Harris & Bernie Mac.. two Chicago comedians with the ability to make people laugh without even telling jokes. Very similar styles and even thought Bernie achieved greater success, they both died way too soon.

Marv Cresto:
For me this conversation begins and ends with Sam.

The man was a lightning bolt wrapped in flesh, no one was as funny, as quick, or as surprising as Sam Kinison. “Go to where the food is” is one of the funniest bits of all time as far as I’m concerned. The tragedy is that when he was killed in a car wreck he had allegedly been sober for quite some time and was finally getting his life together, had he remained alive we never would have heard of Lewis Black.

HM’s to Hedberg and especially Patrice O’Neal, there are hours and hours and hours of YouTube videos up of Patrice on the O&A show where he talks, by himself basically, for entire hours at a clip and it never for a second stops being uproariously funny.

How ironic that he used to be a writer for RAW!


The Polish Hammer:
Another vote here for Bill Hicks. His stand-up special “Revelations” is still one of the top 3 stand-up performances of all time to me.
(Insert mandatory rant hating Denis Leary for stealing his material)

The Fuj:
Who is no longer with us?

Bernie Mac: The KING of Comedy.

He was a fucking genius at observational humor. He could take anything and make it hilarious.

I think to anybody who watched Def Comedy Jam in the 1990s, the clip below is the 3 of the funniest 6 minutes in the history of the show. Kick iiiiiit!



Jared Bellow:
Though I love Bill Hicks’ rants and how ahead of his time he was, even in his personal life (his story about being a 30 year old man checking out Sonic The Hedgehog and Porno from the video store putting him in the realm of a creep, now video games and porn are the mainstream) – as some have pointed out he was a bit more in the realm of a political performance artist than a comic. He sadly predicted our political and intellectual decline. The “readin'” bit pretty much sums it up.

I would still say Richard Pryor is the best answer to this. He was “taken away” by his illness years before he died, and before that by a terrible, ill advised misadventure into mostly bad films. Pryor really got both down the soul bearing, personal side of comedy while being fucking hilarious. That he turned his very public incident with being caught on fire freebasing into one of the funniest routines of all time shows his depth and really exposes current comics outside of some of the more special
 talents like Louis CK and Patton Oswalt for how shallow they really are.

Bill Hicks is getting a lot of love from the blog! I have to admit – despite being from the same hometown (Little Rock, Arkansas), I’m not all that familiar with his work. I didn’t know who he was until the Letterman controversy, but other than Richard Pryor, Bernie Mac,  or George Carlin, he – by far – got the most responses.

Of course, the Godfather of Comedy hands down is Richard Pryor. No disrespect to Bernie Mac, Sam Kinison, George Carlin, Bill Hicks, or the very underrated Patrice O’Neal, but Richard Pryor is the greatest comedian of all-time.

There’s a popular saying that I believe Richard Pryor is very fond of saying: every comedian is funny to mask the pain – he alludes to this briefly here. I can’t help but think of this idea continually as we get more and more details on Robin Williams death.



One name I can’t leave without mentioning – a lot of people may not have heard of him, but I believe X-Man alluded to him: The guy who would have been the funniest comedian of the 1990s – by far was Robin Harris. It’s a shame he passed away in 1990 at 36 just when he was beginning to blow up.

Robin Williams said recently when asked what he thinks heaven is like “I hope a lot of humor.” Hopefully, he’s contributing to that cause as we speak. Robin Harris, Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Bill Hicks, Sam Kinison, Bernie Mac, Lenny Bruce, Freddie Prinze Sr. AND Robin Williams – 

May they all rest in eternal peace.