Favourite comedians

As Charlie Chaplin supposedly said, a day without laughter is a day wasted, or something like that, so today’s topic is put in place to hopefully make you chuckle.

Please share your favourite comedians, their jokes, their clips.

Here’s Billy Connolly, who, as well as topping a recent Channel 4 poll to determine the British public’s favourite stand-up (the other 99 can be found here, if you’re interested) also celebrates a birthday today.

More interestingly, or perhaps not, Channel 4 had previously concocted a list of the finest 50 comedians as voted by their peers. The results are here.

As it would be easier to list five that I don’t like from each list, I’ll just respectfully tip my hat to the late, great and delightfully-cantankerous Dave Allen.

And lastly, although I receive no payment whatsoever for such a plug, I hereby declare that Guy Pratt’s last ever UK gig, a revised and updated-just-in-time-for-Christmas version of his ‘Breakfast of Idiots’ show, takes place on Wednesday 9 December at the 20th Century Theatre in London’s Notting Hill.

If you haven’t yet experienced what’s it’s like “being seated on a train journey next to the most interesting man you ever met,” according to The Sunday Times, or wish to experience it all over again, please see here for all the necessary details.

Author: FEd

Features Editor of David Gilmour’s official blog, The Blog (‘Features’ previously being its rather naff title), affectionately – or lazily – shortened to ‘FEd’.

67 thoughts on “Favourite comedians”

  1. hi fet ed . long time no chat . i hope all is well . apart from how liverpool have been playing lately .

    i love older comedy . stuff like monty python and the goodies . dare i say it i even like the 2 ronnies . mostly for the verbal side of thier comedy . you have to admit ronnie barker was a very good comedy writer as well as performer . i love billy connolly .

    also this year i have been going to see a bit of live improv comedy . paul merton’s impro chum and steve frost improv all stars ( basically some of the lesser known stars of the tv show whose line is it anyway . ) i loved it . the 2 guest were sean lock and greg proops .

    now i am getting to the point where i am listening to more radio comedy then i am watching it on the tv . if i might be permitted to make a plug there is a show on for the next 4 mondays on bbc radio 4 monday 18-30 gmt called i’m sorry i haven’t a clue . it is brilliant . you don;t have to listen to it as it is broadcast . you can use the bbc radio 4 listen again function .

    if you have never heard the show before , mornington cresent is a fictional game and the point is no one understands it & samantha is’nt real !

    i have seen guy pratt this year as well and he is an amazing perfomer and a nice person to boot ( though why a person wants to boot him is beyond me !). do get along to see his show if you can .

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  3. George Carlin only got funnier as he got older. The media always refers to the “Seven Dirty Words” routine, but I think the stuff he did from the early 90s until even his last HBO special was far better. The “Modern Man” routine is funny on so many levels, and it didn’t even need a dirty word.

    “I’m an alpha male on beta blockers.” That line gets me rolling every time I hear it and I can’t even explain why.

  4. I’m just after seeing one of my fav’s – Bill Bailey played Belfast on Sunday night with his remarkable guide to the orchestra to tour… a show recorded earlier this year is just out on DVD… great gig!!

    I was lucky enough to see Billy Connolly last time he was here as well… the only thing I really remember he said was about a women he knew who wasn’t the prettiest, he remarked “she had a face on her that would turn a funeral up a side street”… quality.

    Guy’s show is well worth a visit… seen him at the Fringe festival a few years ago and he was excellent!

  5. I’m surprised that Jasper Carrott isn’t on the Comedian’s Comedian list! 😮

    Jasper’s one of my favourites, along with Billy Connolly.

    Here’s one of my favourite clips. (WARNING! It’s from Billy Connolly, so you know what to expect – lots of swearing!!!)

  6. Larry the Cable Guy: Is there a more laughable icon in the world than the American redneck?

    Honorable Mention: Chris Rock

    My favorite cinema comedians:

    Jim Carrey- Fun with Dick and Jane has gotten me through some seriously intense times
    Eddie Murphy- Trading Places and Coming to America
    Dan Akroyd- Trading Places
    Mike Myers- Shagadelic!

    1. I’m actually a southerner, so I don’t find Larry funny at all.

      Other than Mitch Hedberg, I really like Demetri Martin and Jim Gaffaghan.

  7. Off topic

    LIFE project launches new European Week for Waste Reduction

    The first ever European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR), that is set to go ahead from 21st to 29th November, as part of an innovative three-year multi-Member State project supported by the LIFE + Programme’s Information and Communication component.

    Maybe it could be interesting to someone.

    Hope you are fine, dear Fed and all people there.

    Thanks, bye/ciao

    1. Thanks, Elisabetta.

      I’m pleased that Wales has met the latest EU target a year early and reduced the amount of biodegradable waste that’s sent to landfill, although approximately 63% of Wales’ waste is still landfilled and biodegradable waste accounts for some 30% of Wales’ methane emissions.

      The targets aren’t high enough. The latest is that 70% of waste should be either recycled or composted by 2025. Why not make that 2015 instead? And why not fine those that are too lazy to recycle, like they do in San Francisco?

  8. My favourite of all time’s Jerry Lewis, incessantly brilliant, generous, humble, goofy, romantic.

  9. My favourite (and much missed) comedian is Tommy Cooper. How many people could walk onto a stage and make you laugh without even saying anything?!

    I don’t think I can ever really recall anyone so perfectly built for the show he decided to put on. He may have been given an unlucky face for the ladies, but it was perfect for us and even his voice matched perfectly.

    Anyone who can make the most pathetically bad jokes sounds funny must have talent. In fact, his clumsiness was meticulously planned.

    A man so funny, people laughed as he died…

    1. :))

      I’d like to say that we’d do it with out hands tied behind our backs, using only our teeth, but then I’d expect an English person to jump in and make a joke out of it (likely to involve sheep), so I’ll stop now. 😉

    2. Whilst on the subject of sheep and comedy, when I went to see Shakespeare’s Cymbeline at the Swan Theatre, Imogen (King Cymbeline’s daughter) was making her way to Milford Haven, Wales.

      In one scene Imogen’s brothers, Guiderius and Arviragus, who were kidnapped 20 years ago at age three and lived in Milford Haven, were just about to enter the stage when a stage hand rolled a single sheep onto the stage, therefore indicating that the scene had moved to Wales. The whole audience in the Swan Theatre roared with laughter.

    3. No offence intended by the way, particularly as I love the Welsh and Wales and bear a Welsh surname.

  10. I find a great deal of people funny, many of them comedians.

    If I were to pick my two favourites – the two that spring to mind are:

    Eddie Murphy
    Peter Kay

    Eddie Murphy’s standup (Delirious, RAW) are very funny and I think they are the only ‘stand up’ DVD’s I own.

    Peter Kay, I’m sure everyone here in the UK at least will admit, is at this time the king of comedy, whether it be Pheonix Nights, Max and Paddy, or his stand up shows, it is brilliant, and he does it all without resorting to swearing or being offensive – mostly – unlike Mr Murphy.

    Ooh, just remembered Bill Bailey is very good also.

  11. Hi FEd and all of the DG followers,

    It’s been a long time and although I haven’t been gone, just super busy getting my business set up a ready for the holidays. Miss you all.

    My favorite may not be considered stand-up comedy but for the record Cheech and Chong use to be hilarious, or maybe it was just the setting. 😉 I don’t remember. :))

    I would also add Monty Python and Eddie Murphy and George Carlin.

    There used to be a guy called Dr. Dirty. His name says it all but it was funny stuff too, a little on the dirty side.

    Hope you are well and have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday. Do you have Thanksgiving holiday??

    Love to the World,

  12. Hmm, let’s see:

    Kenny Everett – Cunning Stunt
    Pythons – …and now for something completely different
    Jim Carrey – Fat Busters!
    Chistopher Walken – I need more cowbell!
    Groucho Marx – Marry me and I’ll never look at another horse!
    Peter Sellers – as Dr. Strangelove
    Homer Simson – D’oh
    Buster Keaton – …

    Mr. Chaplin was right, BTW!

    Best regards,

    1. Kenny Everett – Cunning Stunt

      Wasn’t that “Cupid Stunt”? A clever Spoonerism that! 😉

  13. Fed, I would have to say that my favorite comedians were Laurel and Hardy, WC Fields and The Marx Brothers. When growing up I would find myself watching these comedians on TV and would find myself laughing my head off. I just wish they would start showing those old reruns again for they had to be the greatest.

    Take Care,

  14. Tempted to answer the question about favourite comedians by referencing a few politicians but that would be cruel!

    For me it’s Buster Keaton.


  15. Dave Allen is an absolute legend. His video clip about the Vagaries of the English language is a particular favourite.

    Lee Evans is a favourite. The energy he puts in is fantastic.

    Tommy Cooper for me though, has to be, the most hilarious man I’ve ever seen.

    Happy Days,
    Simon J

  16. Man, there have been so many great ones over the years. For me the absolute best was George Carlin, especially the late 70s early 80s stuff.

    Some others I enjoy are:

    Eddie Murphy (Back in the 80s when he was still doing stand up)
    Dave Chappelle (His stand up was funnier than his show)
    Dane Cook
    Nick Swardson
    Lewis Black
    Steve Byrne (Not well known yet but man, that guy is funny)
    Ron White
    Brian Reagan (I might have butchered his last name)
    Jimmy Carr
    Ricky Gervais (From what I’ve seen… hilarious!!!)
    Katt Williams (Before he started getting arrested for firearm possession and breaking and entering and robbery and stuff 🙁 )
    Dan Cummins (I’ve only seen one special with him but… great stuff)
    Mitch Hedberg (RIP)
    Stephen Lynch (musical comedy)

    There are countless others worthy of a “best of” but these are the folks I could think of off the top of the ol’ noodle.

    And an honorable mention to George W. Bush because everything that guy did/does is a joke… a bad one perhaps but a joke nonetheless!

  17. Modern day, it’s probably Ricky Gervais and Larry David (though not a stand up comedian).

    In my lifetime, in no particular order: Richard Pryor, Derek & Clive (Moore & Cook), Python, Billy Connolly, maybe a little ashamed to admit it bit…. Sam Kinison.

    Before my time: Laurel & Hardy, Abbott & Costello, Marx Bros. come immediately to mind.

    1. I love Ricky Gervais’ stand-up, but what’s with the bland, rom-com drivel he’s churning out now? I wouldn’t watch any of it if he paid me.

    2. I agree re: Ricky. His films seem to be a blatant attempt to appeal to a mainstream American audience. Even his podcasts with Steve and Karl are sounding somewhat ‘phoned in’.

      Still, I love listening to his old radio shows while on XFM, where he discovered Karl. Most of all of the work he has done since his time at XFM can be found from his chats with Steve and Karl, from his stand up to his TV shows.

      I guess I should have added Steve Merchant and Karl Pilkington to the list.

  18. Wow, great thread. Lots to chose from…

    1.) George Carlin
    2.) Bill Cosby
    3.) Eddie Izzard (this guy is a rip!!)
    4.) Ricky Gervais (though he’s a comedic actor, this guy kills me ESPECIALLY on the marvelous Office series – BBC, not the half baked US version).
    5.) Bobby Collins
    6.) Morecambe and Wise
    7.) the Two Ronnies
    8.) Red Skeleton


    1. I would love to see his show to see if I would like him in this. Not crazy about the US version either.

      Not a comedy, but:

      Another show originating in England was ‘Life On Mars’. My husband and I rented the DVDs. It was great, but the US version was a real dud.

  19. “A day without laughter is a day wasted”, so true.

    Life is not easy these days, lots of serious problems everywhere, we need a good (belly) laugh from time to time. Laughter is life’s best medicine, and it’s contagious, too.

    I read somewhere “Children laugh on average 400 times a day and by the time they reach 35 years of age, this number has radically reduced to 15 times a day”. I wonder, I think I laugh less than 15 times per day. :!

    I like this quote by Victor Hugo: “Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face”.

    I don’t think you laughed tonight, FEd, I feel really sorry for your Reds. Mais, n’oubliez pas, “Après la pluie…” – Toujours. 😉


    1. No, there was not much laughing after last night’s football.

      I’ve passed the laughing stage. Now I’m snapping at the TV and the post-match interviewees, correcting them when they say they played well, deserved to win and showed character. I don’t know if they’re convincing themselves each time they say it, but they sure as hell don’t convince me.

  20. Gotta love George Carlin and Rodney Dangerfield as mentioned earlier by fellow bloggers.

    My ultimate favourite comedians have to be The Three Stooges. Love em or hate em. They are classic. Jackie Gleason on the Honeymooners and Carroll O’Connor (Archie Bunker).

  21. Well, maybe no-one will know any German comedians, like Otto, so my fave AngloAmerican comedians are: Mr. Bean and Jay Leno, and yes, the Benny Hill show was hilarious too!

  22. I think the new guy, Michael McIntyre is pretty good. I do believe his father wrote some of the comedy sketches for Kenny Everett. When I have more time, I shall have to research that more. I have always been a fan of fellow Brummie Jasper Carrott. Paul Hogan always used to make me laugh too.

    I will always have a soft spot for Morecambe and Wise too. I used to love watching them in the Seventies when I was a child.

  23. I have been watching some Kenny Everett clips on YouTube lately and it reminded me how funny he was.

    Mad as a brush of course but hilarious, his do-it-yourself Bee Gees kit is a classic.

  24. I think the new guy, Michael McIntyre is pretty good. I do believe his father wrote some of the comedy sketches for Kenny Everett. When I have more time, I shall have to research that more. I have always been a fan of fellow Brummie Jasper Carrott. Paul Hogan always used to make me laugh too.

    I will always have a soft spot for Morecambe and Wise too. I used to love watching them in the Seventies when I was a child.

  25. Some of my favorites are:

    George Carlin
    Red Skelton
    Robin Williams (mainly when a guest on Johnny Carson’s show)
    Johnny Carson
    Bob Newhart (the Buttoned Down Mind)
    Dame Edna
    Jack Benny
    George Burns
    Shelly Berman

    A few shows with great funny stuff such as:

    Barney Miller
    Are You Being Served

    Ricky Gervais I find too crude or rude. At least from the bit I’ve seen of him.

    Best movie was “Bedazzled” with Dudley Moore and Peter Cook. And what an absolute mess the remake was.

  26. Hi!

    As Ulli wrote before, no one here knows German comedians like Otto Waalkes or Maddin Schneider or Dieter Nuhr.

    And now to something completely different…

    Monty Python


  27. I’ve got to be honest, I really don’t have much time for a lot of today’s ‘alternative’ comedians. That said, Noel Fielding of the Mighty Boosh is really good. Other than that, I prefer the likes of Billy Connolly, Bill Bailey, Dylan Moran, Lee Evans. Oh, and Eddie Izzard, purely for his timing.

    If you look on YouTube, there’s an American comedian from the 1970s called Foster Brooks. His act was based on him being completely p****d as a newt. He was completely sober, but his delivery has me in tears every time. As every good comic should.

  28. No one has mentioned the late, great Lenny Bruce yet so I will.

    Without Lenny there would have been no Carlin, no Dangerfield (then known as Jack Roy), no Pryor or Sam Kinison. Lenny did bits that were like movies for your mind with him playing all the characters. From the prison break in Father Flotsky’s Triumph to the unmasking of the Lone Ranger in Thank You Masked Man to the sheer brilliant portrayal of a bombing US comic in Britain in The Palladium Lenny Bruce was the master of story telling and hysterical scenarios. He lured you in like a fish and then delivered some of the finest comedy ever recorded.

    In his later days of free form performance Lenny satirized the laws that were shutting him down. He was a victim of the law for reporting the wrong sides of it and paid the ultimate price. Lenny told the truth but the lies of society ultimately killed him. As he said, “There is only what is. The what should be is a dirty rotten lie.”

  29. Nice and light subject FEd.

    My favorites would be:

    Benny Hill
    The Three Stooges (low brow I know but still funny)
    Cheech & Chong
    George Carlin
    Tim Conway
    Bob Newhart
    Milton Berle
    Phil Silvers
    Carol Burnett
    Lucille Ball


  30. I’m surprised nobody has mentioned Ross Noble but stunned that Bill Hicks (link has swearing for those that are put off by that kind of thing) hasn’t been mentioned either! Hicks was a brilliant comedian, but more than that he had a lot of spot-on stuff to say about the state of the world… he came across as angry to some, but personally I saw it as passion rather than anger. He had a lot of great stuff to say about music which I suspect Floyd fans would agree with.

    A couple of other great comedians worth checking out:-

    Emo Phillips
    Reginald D Hunter

    1. Bill Hicks really was something else.

      Who else could start a show by introducing himself, saying that he’s been doing comedy for X number of years, and ask for a moment to plaster on a fake smile to allow him to go through “this shit” one more time? :))

  31. It’s a very funny video FEd!

    I didn’t know Billy Connolly before this video.

    It’s a nice surprise for me. His jokes are very “noisy”and they make me laugh very much for some minutes. :))

    Bye, Hydrea

  32. Dear F.ed.,

    Yes Charlie Chaplin, the king of silent comedy, is one of the greatest comedians of the world.

    I very much like Robin Williams, Award-winning American actor and comedian so polyhedric, exhilarating, complete and brilliant actor in every performance he does.

    Among Italian comedians, I quite like Roberto Benigni, especially for his explanation and recitations of Dante’s Divina Commedia by memory: The English performance incorporates dialectic discussion of language and verse and is a celebration of modernity and the concept of human consciousness as created by language.

    Bye/ciao Elisabetta

    P.S. Today is foggy, a typical November’s day…

  33. I am terribly sorry for going off topic here but a thought occured when I was in the process of upgrading my collection of pieces Berlin Wall.

    I managed to purchase some chunks of Berlin Wall when I went to RW’s The Wall concert in Berlin in July 1990.

    Anyway, when I was shopping for some original pieces of Berlin Wall from the day when the wall actually did come down in November 1989, I thought to myself: “Good God. It looks like Capitalism prevailed in Berlin because there were people chipping bits off the wall and “selling” it.”

    Gosh knows what happened to the proceeds of sale. I hope it went to the rebuilding of Berlin. I will look into it.

    Once again, sorry for going off topic, but sometimes I just like to get my thoughts out as they happen.

  34. Nice topic. 🙂

    All of my favourites have already been mentioned. They are Laurel & Hardy, Buster Keaton, Monty Python and Benny Hill.

    As for Charlie Chaplin, I think he was just a genius. I still remember how I was laughing while watching this for the first time.

  35. Hi Fed

    Difficult one this, but I think there are individuals as well as a collections of people working together. “What is he talking about?” I hear you ask. Let me explain.

    I think individuals like Spike Milligan, Tommy Cooper, Tony Hancock and Dave Allan were great, but equally so were certain shows like the Goons, Round the Horn, Monty Python and then things like Only Fools and Horses, Faulty Towers etc.

    The person to make me split my sides more than anyone was Billy Connolly and Harold Lloyd, not together obviously!

    Note from Spike Milligan’s memoirs:

    We were on a ship. Gad, it was hot. We were sitting in our bath chairs watching the sun go by. Suddenly there was a shout of “Man overboard”. We raced to the side and there was a man flailing about in the water. He shouted to us “Drop me a line.” I shouted back “Certainly. Give me your name and address.”


    Have a good weekend.

  36. Great question! I had to think about this one. There are so many to name, but my favorites have to be:

    Louis C.K.
    Craig Ferguson
    Dane Cook
    Russell Peters
    Robin Williams
    Jim Carrey
    Steve Martin
    Harland Williams
    Mitch Hedberg
    Ryan Stiles
    Colin Mochrie
    Ryan Reynolds
    Keegan Michael Key
    Larry David

    Wow, I really must stop there! The more I think about it, the more I could go on, hahaha! There are just so many great comedians out there. None of these are in order of preference (except of course for Louis C.K. – saw him last year and nearly busted a gut!).

    Great topic FEd!

  37. G’day,

    I’ve been on holidays, on an island.

    Hang on; I live on an island. OK, a smaller island, and yes of course, I took On An Island.

    You guessed it, I’m no comedian.

    I vote for Guy, he’s the only comedian I’ve seen in the last (I don’t know if I should tell you that), let’s just say I long time. It was a great night with lots of laughs and good stories.


  38. I love really good comedians, almost any of them. I guess my favorite is Grant Turner. He’s as funny live as on TV.

    I also love Steven Wright. “I can levitate birds, but nobody cares.” 🙂

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