Friday, January 14, 2011

Wittiest bits of comedy (in my humble opinion)

Comedy is a tricky thing. How many times did you think a movie was hilarious only two watch it a few years later and curse yourself for being so silly? I don't think it's only because we grow up and change or become more mature. I think comedies become less funny as we develop as a people. I suppose we can say that they can become irrelevant. Of course some don't fall into this trap. And that's what I think constitutes a good comedy. The best example to illustrate this is Friends and Seinfeld. Despite the heated debate on which show was best, I think few people can now argue that Friends is a classic. Although I was big fan of the show, I now watch most episodes with unease, wondering how I wasted so many hours of my life on one-liner jokes. Seinfeld, however, is still as great today as it was in the 90s. I won't go into why. It just is.

And for this post, I want to share with you a few moments of comedy that have stood/should stand the test of time. They are mainly stand-up, and unfortunately I couldn't find a single one by a female. You will also not find Eddie Izzard or Ricky Gervais, cause I think these go into the Friends category... Sorry.

So in these crazy times, I hope you enjoy 30 minutes of meaningful laughter and please share your own.

Jerry Seinfeld on Silver: No need for introductions. If you don't like Seinfeld, you refuse to be happy. That's all I'm saying.

Stewart Lee on Morality and a Bold Opening Conversational Gambit: I've only recently discovered Stewart Lee. A little too edgy, I don't think he's for everybody. This one is though.

Ed Byrne on Ironic: I've had another bit by this guy in a previous post. This one is actually ten years old, and when I saw it last year, I wanted to hug him for saying what I'd been too embarrassed to say to people throughout the 90s.


Jon Stewart on Bernie Goldberg: I know that The Daily Show is not really stand-up, but this bit kinda is. And it's a fantastic piece by the most amazing person on TV, and possibly in the world, right now (Yes. I'm a fan).

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
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Nis said...

Good one!

Lee is a great recent discovery of mine too (thanks to Rabi'). I would also add Curb your Enthusiasm ( although I know it's not as popular as Seinfeld is)..

Karl Sharro said...

Ah, we're finally talking about a subject that's really important to me. Firstly, good that I finally won the Friends-Seinfeld argument with you, even if 10 years late.

Secondly, Ricky Gervais in the friends category, heresy! And I know it's a matter of taste, but Stewart Lee? The smug snobbish working-class bashing pseudo-intellectual turnip? Very transient, I'm afraid.

Finally, no women? Victoria Wood, Shappi Khorsandi, Sarah Silverman, Jo Brand, come on!

Nis said...

Awsome! This is getting heated.

Tarek said...

Can't believe you put Eddie Izzard on the same category of friends. That's quite harsh! Dressed to Kill, Gloruis & Circle. We've watched those 10 yrs after they were released and they were still funny. Come on Lama! its not too late to change your mind.

Tarek said...

and i know its Glorious and not Gloruis, i was just typing fast. I was angry

Tarek said...

Eddie Izzard on the death Star Canteen:

Eddie Izzard on Dinosaurs and Jesus:

Tarek said...

while i was youtubing eddie izzard, i missed the announcement that an Arab dictator has relinquished his power. I hope it doesnt turn out to be that significant an event in the years to come. I dont want my kids asking me to describe what i was doing on this historic moment.

Lama Bashour said...

Karl. I know why you hate Stewart Lee. It's cause he constantly makes fun of your role model Jeremy Clarkson isn't it? And what Friends-Seinfeld argument? :P

No but seriously. Give me one Ricky Gervais bit that doesn't make you wanna beat him up and ask why he made such crappy movies, I will put that in. Sarah Silverman: Just because she's a woman who talks filth doesn't mean she's funny. The others I will definitely check out.

Tarek. Don't worry. If it makes you feel any better, I'll have to tell my kids that when the Arab street finally made a move, I was watching a cute but not so great bit by Eddie Izzard. And they'll go "Who?".

Loulia said...

Yes! Friends wasn't all that. Like you, I wonder how I wasted so many hours on that show in the past.
I still watch Seinfeld re-runs religiously.

Do you also lump Extras in the Friends box?

Have you watched Curb your Enthusiasm? That shit never grows old either.

Lama Bashour said...

Loulia, I haven't seen Extras again recently, but I doubt that I would lump it with Friends - though I wouln't rate it as high as Seinfeld either. As for CYE, I saw one season and to be honest Larry David started getting on my nerves eventually, and not in a good, Goerge Costanza way.

But since I've already gotten two recommendations for that on this post, I guess I'm gonna have to give it another go.

Anonymous said...

I lump Seinfeld and Friends in the same category.

The "Wittiest bits of comedy" class is reserved for Mitch Hedberg and Jimmy Carr.

That is all.

N said...

I told you Friends sucked 12 years ago. Is there a statute of limitations on I-told-you-so's?

Lama Bashour said...


LOL. I guess not. But it won't mean much if I don't know who you are.