Earlier this week, an awesome fan of Mitch Hedberg’s set a donut (and receipt of course) on his grave. It got me thinking about the connection people have with the comedians who make them laugh. From Richard Pryor to Rodney Dangerfield, Robin Williams to George Carlin, there’s a specific kind of comedian for every person out there. When I was in middle school, my dad and I would turn on Mitch Hedberg (this was right as the internet was kicking in) while I did school work and he did evening work. It was a special time that brought us closer with big laughs. So, in remembrance of that kind of connection and the great Mitch Hedberg, we asked the Uproxx staff to think back on their favorite comedians and, more specifically, the ones that made them laugh the hardest.
Hardest I’ve laughed is likely Patton Oswalt’s first comedy album. It was moment after moment that I listened to constantly, with a highlight being his bit on Robert Evans.
My second choice is Richard Pryor in Stir Crazy. Not standup, but the whole segment in lockup is classic.
Bill Hicks is someone I keep going back to the well with. Scott Dikkers is someone no one knows. He was The Onion’s long-serving editor-in-chief. And Mr. Show has constantly produced laughs and in-jokes for my friends since 1997.
Sam Kinison on world hunger. George Carlin on religion. Richard Jeni on football refs. Greg Giraldo on pretty much every roast he was on. All equal parts piss and tears. All-time favorites… and all dead way too early.
From recent memory, Jamie Foxx’s impersonation of Doc Rivers on Jimmy Fallon’s show. First time I saw the clip I laughed so hard that my head and stomach ached horribly. Not to mention the tears that made me look like an emoji. I laughed so damn hard that I had trouble catching my breath and thought I was going to die. It was great!
Bill Hicks, with his routine about Dick Clark, which might be the single filthiest extended joke this side of The Aristocrats. It starts fairly prosaically, for Hicks, explaining his logic that Dick Clark is the Anti-Christ. But then it takes a turn that involves the host of Hollywood Squares and Kenny Rogers and… well, just listen to the bit. Sadly, it’s really hard to find the best version of this bit, because it’s hidden somewhere in the notorious “I Am Sorry” bootleg show, but this is a good facsimile.
Bill Hader’s Stefon character has a habit of making me nearly black out from laughing. These are guttural humor-wails, not mere laughs. Humans don’t make the noises I make when Hader barely gets through an escalating parade of lunacy as New York’s most traveled and adventurous club kid/travel correspondent. I miss his appearances on Weekend Update terribly. We deserve one of these a year. It should be pop-culture law.
However. Stefon is not a stand-up comedian or a character derived from that art form. And I respect rules and order. So, Robert Schimmel. Another late great comic. Schimmel was the filthy kind of comic. This really appealed to me when I was 16. I listened to his Comes Clean and If You Buy This CD I Can Get This Car albums obsessively, laughing every time. In the late ’90s, when my parents dragged me to see Beauty and the Beast on Broadway, I brought my disc-man and listened to Schimmel instead. Laughing hysterically and loudly throughout the show. Man, 16-year-old me was a real prick.
So, which comic makes you laugh the hardest?