Below are the 10 best standup bits from the past few decades as determined by me. The rules: Has to be after 1990. Only one per comedian allowed. Went for longer bits over one-liners/quick-hit stuff (that's why no Hedberg).
1. Chris Rock: Black People vs. Niggaz
2. Louis CK: Why?
3. Bernie Mac: You don't understand
4. Paul F. Tompkins: Peanut Brittle (starts at 42:19 in at clip below)
5. Dave Chappelle: Women vs. men
6. Jim Gaffigan: Hot Pockets
7. George Carlin: God
8. Patton Oswalt: KFC bowl
9. Andy Daly: Knock It Off
10. Doug Stanhope: Fuck the Jews
And an honorable mention to Stephen Colbert's 2006 White House Correspondents Dinner speech where he mocked Bush while standing just a few feet away from him. Can't really single out one part as great, but it's def one of the ballsiest comedy sets ever.
Sandpaper Suit is NYC standup comic Matt Ruby's (now defunct) comedy blog. Keep in touch: Sign up for Matt's weekly Rubesletter. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 10 greatest standup bits of the past 20 years
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1. Peanut Brittle - Paul F.
2. Robert Evans - Patton Oswalt
3. Cinnabon - C.K.
4. Fireworks - Dave Attell
5. Marriage - Chris Rock
*6. Abortion - Mike Recine
Abbi, Maria Bamford's "Arch Enemy From High School" narrowly missed the list. Any suggestions for other gal bits that shoulda made the cut?
Danny, good choices too. CK and Rock woulda both had multiple bits on this list if I didn't stick to the one per comic rule.
Whenever I'm asked to list female stand-ups I start with Marsha Warfield so I'm not the person to ask. But as far as "memorable bits" that shaped the past TWO DECADES, I think it's weird that America doesn't hold material by, say, Roseanne or Ellen De Generes in high regard. Or Wanda Sykes or Sarah Silverman or Kathy Griffin. I mean, we all know them and enjoy them, but what are their famous contributions? Television appearances? Talk shows?
So I wrote Judy Carter and here are the famous bits she recommends:
Pricks vs. Dicks by Joy Behar
Tampon-a-wanna Lay Ya by Joy Behar
Hip Hop While you Shop by Jane Condon
Shoulder-pad to Shoulder-pad by Joy Behar
Abbi, if this list included the 80s, Ellen would def be on it. Her and Roseanne's best stuff was from then, before they became TV personalities (which tends to erode someone's standup chops).
As for the rest you mentioned, I can't recall any of them coming up with a bit as good as these I listed above. And I don't know any of those bits from Judy. If they are avail online somewhere, let me know.
Those bits weren't from Judy. I just think of Joy Behar as a Judy Carter-esque comedian. In my mind so is Susie Essman, Julie Kavner's Character in "This is My Life" and any lady that's white, bordering 50, Jewish or Italian, has kids or trouble dating. They also came up in the '80s so the fake bits are drawing from that.
I just find it remarkable that America doesn't have beloved women-bits. Not a critique on your choices, just an observation. "Beloved women bits" is funny.
Neil Hamburger, "Why Courtney Love Won't Be Having Any Cranberry Sauce With Christmas Dinner" from Comedy Death Ray... I love Hamburger, and I think this bit encapsulates all of the reasons why I love him.
Robert Evans is a good bit from Patton, but he's got so many that are equally great that it's hard to pick just one. I guess I'd have to pick "Christmas Shoes".
I'd have to throw in Greg Giraldo's "Civil War Love Letter" in the mix too. Short and sweet.
Patton Oswalt's "Black Angus" was the first joke that made me sit up and take notice of him.
I'm glad you included Bernie Mac's set. CLASSIC. I miss him.
Brian Regan needs to be on here somewhere. At least the "Goober-Grape" bit (where he doesn't mention the name Goober-Grape). I can't be opening and closing jars, dirtying WHO KNOWS how many knives...
Thanks for introducing me to Andy Daly (and Neil Hamburger at Schtick or Treat). By "greatest" do you mean "funniest"? I'd like to see a little blurb after the clip of why this made the cut (revolutionary / often quoted / spurred copycats, etc).
Great list, but I would add:
Dave Attell - "Jagermeister" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRQdJroRiNU)
"End of the Universe (Starbucks)" by Lewis Black
(Other great Lewis Black bits:
"Cake or Death" by Eddie Izzard
"Halloween" by Jerry Seinfeld
(starts a little bit into this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M523VCKvCVo; the version on "I'm Telling You for the Last Time" seems to be the definitive version)
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