Scott Hardie | October 20, 2004
Who are the funniest comedians active today? This can also include humorists in general, such as Dave Barry or Jon Stewart or Mike Judge.

For example, I'm partial to Steven Wright and Louie Anderson, but both men are long past their prime. I'd to know what you think about the peak of the current state of comedy.

Amy Austin | October 20, 2004
I've really enjoyed "The Last Comic Standing" -- I hope it will stick around for a bit... and I think there's been some real promising talent there. In particular, I really enjoyed John Hefron (Heffron?), Alonzo Bodden, and Gary Gulman. Jay London is a special breed -- the old-style self-dep punster... pretty daring, I think, as far as comedy crowds go.

Of course, I don't want to sound like a whiny feminist here, but... I have noticed that the females don't seem to last as long -- I was just sure that Tammy Pescatelli would go further than she did, and I think that Kathy Madigan has that great Rosie O'Donnell tone (way before her talk show, okay?). Much as I hate to say it, I think that it's still a bit of a "man's world" there...

I keep thinking that maybe I just might make stand-up my next day job. Hmmm... my living keeps feeling doomed every day.

Amy Austin | October 20, 2004
I think Kathy Griffin is starting to hit a peak, though.

Scott Hardie | October 20, 2004
Yes, I've noticed the male dominance in the field, too. Hell, my five examples were all men.

Ellen DeGeneres is still considered relevant, isn't she? I know Wanda Sykes is.

Amy Austin | October 20, 2004
Ellen! Now there is one funny lady -- how could I have left her out?! She is the person whose quick wit I'd most like to have! She is so funny!!!

Yes, Wanda has her "Wanda Does It" show on Comedy Central now -- but I think I liked her more on Crank Yankers (and that show isn't always funny, either...) She's good.

Kris Weberg | October 20, 2004
Jon Stewart is up there for me, as is Lewis Black. Sykes rocks too.

And aged though he may be, I still like Steven Wright.

Amy Austin | October 20, 2004
I like Jon Stewart, as well -- when I told my Rush Limbaugh-loving dad that I use "The Daily Show" to keep on top of current affairs (and yes, I do fully realize that this does not make me "informed"!), I thought he might stop claiming me as his daughter! (Not really -- he wouldn't do that... but you get the point!) He only even knew who he was because some nutso guy like O'Reilly or somebody interviewed him! (This struck me as ironic -- can you truly call yourself informed if you do not "know the enemy"???) Anyway -- he is funny.

And nobody beats Steven Wright for deadpan humor.

Lori Lancaster | October 20, 2004
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Scott Horowitz | October 20, 2004
Lewis Black is hysterical. But no one compares to the Master of Comedy.... George Carlin!

Anna Gregoline | October 20, 2004
Amy - did you see that study they did recently that people who watch The Daily Show are actually more informed than people who don't watch it?! Here it is.

Jon Stewart is just gaining popularity by the second. I hope it doesn't come with a fall afterwards, I love him too. I think they extended his contract with The Daily Show till 2008!

I love a stand-up comedian named Dane Cook. He's got that almost-out-of-control vibe I dig.

Females? There really aren't many funny females out there right now. Most of them are so annoying I want to choke them - like Wanda Sykes.

Todd Brotsch | October 20, 2004
I think they should follow form and Give John Stewart the Late Late Show, like they did with Craigers.

As far as best, I gotta agree with Ho, Lewis Black is a riot.

Wanda Sykes does deserve an ass beating, couldn't be better than the one Bill Cosby gave her.

Anna Gregoline | October 20, 2004
Didn't John Stewart already take over the late late show before the Daily Show? I heard that he might be slated to take over the Tonight Show after Leno is done.

Jackie Mason | October 20, 2004
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Todd Brotsch | October 20, 2004
Conan is taking the Tonight Show (from Leno) in five years.

Anna Gregoline | October 20, 2004
Ok, it was Conan I was thinking of - but I thought that in the article I read about John Stewart it said he was taking over for Conan, in a way. That he was going to get his own late night program.

Amy Austin | October 20, 2004
No, I had not seen that study, Anna -- but THANKS... I e-mailed that link to my diehard GOP dad! He'll find a way to be dismissive, though. Gotta' love your folks -- especially when you're a black sheep, eh?

Erik Bates | October 20, 2004
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Amy Austin | October 20, 2004
heeheehee!!! That was FAST -- he is so predictable. Daddy says:

I guess “stoned slackers” can get lucky once in a while.

To which I replied:

ohhhh... the "even a blind squirrel can sometimes get a nut" theory, eh?


Anna Gregoline | October 20, 2004
I guess "stoned slackers" actually care more about politics than the rest, I'd say, since they know more about it.

Amy Austin | October 20, 2004
hehehe -- I think they (I guess "we", since I do fit into the second half of that equation!) just have more time on our hands and that Jon Stewart is an intelligent comedian who cares more about it than the rest.

Amy Austin | October 20, 2004
heeheehee -- another response from Big D:

Or…. even a monkey can write a great novel if left in a room with a typewriter long enough.


I think that scenario is far less likely -- I don't think monkeys would live that long! Cheeser.

Anna Gregoline | October 20, 2004
Well, one can argue with facts all they like, but the facts will still be facts in the end.

Amy Austin | October 20, 2004
(sigh) Some people argue with facts, and yet others argue just to "argue" it seems...

Are you talking about my comment or my dad's?

Anna Gregoline | October 20, 2004
Your dad's.

Amy Austin | October 20, 2004
We don't always see "eye to eye" -- but we can peacefully disagree and love each other very much. I wish it could be that way for everybody.

Anna Gregoline | October 20, 2004
That's the way it is with my friend Melissa - we don't agree on things political, but we still love each other and try to avoid talking about it.

Anna Gregoline | October 20, 2004
Ooo oo! Sara Silverman is a hysterical female comic.

Scott Hardie | October 21, 2004
I don't mind Wanda Sykes's voice, which I imagine can sound fairly grating to some people. And I don't mind her use of Ebonics, which I noticed has declined since Bill Cosby put her in her place for it. What keeps me from enjoying Sykes is her pacing. She's all setup, no payoff. I watched about twenty minutes of her standup on Comedy Central a few nights ago, with mounting incredulity every minute that went by without a punchline. Some comedians are good at setup, passing from the old "did you ever notice how" standby to the actual jokes with no hesitation, but Sykes seemed to be stuck indefinitely at take-off.

If we're name-dropping, I'll mention The Onion and Homestar Runner as representatives of the best online humor (or at least the most popular).

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