Not since the heady days of Richard Pryor, Monty Python and George Carlin has there been such a fervent audience for stand up albums. But the greatest stand up albums are created by seasoned pros who have taken years to hone and perfect their craft, traveling the country and pouring out their inner most turmoil to a crowd that laughs straight back in their face, and they wouldn't have it any other way. They love entertaining. These stand up albums that will make you laugh again and again until you (most likely) lose control of your entire bodily functions.
Louis CK – "Hilarious"
Louis CK is a comic’s comic. He embodies the old school, east-coast aura of George Carlin and Lenny Bruce with his ability to deliver relatable material that echoes your own life. In "Hilarious", Louis delves into his own personal feelings and relays stories and anecdotes that are heartwarming, honest and most importantly, funny as hell, all whilst being a balding ginger. Kudos Mr C.K. Kudos.
Patton Oswalt – "Werewolves and Lollipops"
You may not know the name, but you'll definitely recognize Patton Oswalt, with his adorable podgy face it's hard to forget him. But it's with his acerbic and scintillating performances as a stand up comedian that Patton has unleashed his most sublime pieces of work, and with "Werewolves and Lollipops" he has managed to create a stand up album that is funny, yet poignant. Listen to the entire record and soon you'll be dreaming of murdering George Lucas yourself.
David Cross – "Shut Up You F*****g Baby"
Much like Patton Oswalt, David Cross's career as a stand up comedian is often overlooked because of his success in TV. From "Mr. Show" to "Arrested Development", Cross has created some of the funniest moments in the history of the small screen—and yes we know he starred in Alvin and the Chipmunks, but everyone needs to earn a pay check. His stand up work though, especially "Shut Up You F*****g Baby" is an insightful, sharp and biting look at contemporary America with all its trappings and pitfalls. It might even make you want to go and see "Alvin and the Chipmunks 3". On second thoughts, it definitely won't.
Todd Barry – "Medium Energy"
A cult comedian with a devoted and passionate following, Todd’s low-key and soft delivery style perfectly compliment his varied material that ranges from his hatred of hipsters to his upbringing in Florida. His self-released debut album "Medium Energy" is a comedic masterpiece of timing with Barry's hypnotic delivery about everyday observations setting him apart from almost every other performer on the current comedy circuit. Not too bad for someone who looks exactly like Gollum.
Jim Gaffigan – "Beyond The Pale"
Effortlessly uncool, Gaffigan spends most of his time on this album explaining how white he is and his unfathomably terrible diet. Gaffigan's self-deprecating material has seen him become the everyman of stand up comedy. His most memorable slice of material is the running commentary he provides throughout his show, where he critiques his jokes on behalf of the audience. Do be warned, staring directly at his alarmingly pale skin has resulted in permanent blindness.
Bill Hicks – "Rant in E-Minor"
Bill Hicks has developed almost a mythical status, to the point that when virgin ears hear his material for the first time they are inevitably disappointed. However, his material was pivotal and integral to the cultural landscape of the early '90s, but still feels relevant, fresh and funny today.