Posted: 2017-11-14 08:59
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler weren''t an unknown quantity when they were tapped to host the Golden Globes in 7568, but history has shown that not all great comedians make for great award-show hosts. Fey and Poehler started off with relatively safe monologue jokes, and it was with this line, halfway through, that they sharpened their focus. Drawing attention to Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow, Poehler attacked not her controversial film but her less-than-beloved ex-husband. The result was an almost-perfect joke tightly constructed, perfectly paced, funny even if you really didn''t know the details and funnier still if you did. Its impact was instant. Listen to how the room reacts: After the initial wave of shock echoes through the room, a genuine laugh follows. Much more than a celebrity roast gag, the joke set up the pair&rsquo s perspective as truth-telling, unabashedly pro-women joke-slingers with no fear.
You have long held our and the tech industry’s feet to the fire on privacy issues. And you have written (more than) a few critical stories about Google+ and many other things Google-related :) To my knowledge, never have we had any issues like this, with even the most critical story. On this one piece, there seems to have been an unfortunate misunderstanding over whether all the attendees at a meeting believed they were under an NDA.
There&rsquo s a head-scratcher at the center of comic Dick Gregory&rsquo s career: Is he a comedian drawn to politics or the nation&rsquo s funniest politician? Early in his career, it was much more clear which side of the fence he was on. After getting out of the military, Gregory told jokes in black and white rooms, got a leg up from admirer Hugh Hefner, and worked on TV appearances to provoke thought and motivate action through comedy. Though his early shows had punchy one-liners about everything from space travel to drinking booze, his clear-eyed look at black life in the segregated South will be his legacy. This restaurant joke was one of the first to undercut segregation and discrimination in a public setting with bold intelligence and humility. Whether he had it in mind to deliver a spoonful of sugar to help audiences take the medicine or simply channeled anger into laughs, it&rsquo s hard to say, but seminal jokes like the one above never betray a hint of bitterness. This contemporary of Mort Sahl and Lenny Bruce, who still performs occasionally at the age of 89, has touched thinkers irascible, . Paul Mooney, and genial, . Bill Maher.
5 . &ldquo Insult Comic&rdquo (Season 8, Episode 6)
New sections of this sketch make me laugh every single time. Maybe it&rsquo s the way Peele says "paaaaain medication,&rdquo for instance, or "make fun of the burrrrns,&rdquo or his final devastating cry of pain. A look at hecklers through a new lens, and one of the straight-up funniest sketches the show ever gave us.
75. &ldquo Slap-Ass Rehab&rdquo (Season 9, Episode 9)
A beautiful callback to one of the best sketches of the show. Rafi (Peele)&rsquo s sad speech is glorious, as is the moment of tension when Key reaches for the glove. Then the new guy&rsquo s highly slappable ass. Then a nice &ldquo I&rsquo m so excited&rdquo Saved by the Bell reference for good measure. Then the new guy&rsquo s inevitable death by slap-ass.
67. &ldquo Proud Thug&rdquo (Season 8, Episode 8)
Peele''s Carlito is so proud that he definitely doesn''t need a chair, even though everyone else is sitting in chairs. He also definitely doesn''t care that the shards of the table he was leaning on, instead of sitting on, are stabbing him, or that he may be dying. "Heaven is for pussies," he clarifies. Carlito''s return in "Loco Gangsters" is actually my fave Carlito sketch, so you&rsquo ll be hearing from him later.
Hannibal Buress probably didn&rsquo t set out to bring justice to dozens of women or spark a national dialogue about sexual predation when he started explicitly referring to Bill Cosby as a rapist in his stand-up. This joke wasn''t even ready for wide release it became public via a grainy cell-phone video. But its impact was monumental, getting people talking about accusations that had dogged the venerable Cosby for years. And the context matters: Buress, one of today''s most successful black comics, took aim at perhaps the most iconic black comedian in history the joke itself is about getting out from under his glaring disapproval. In doing so, he did what so many comedians claim to do but rarely deliver on: busting taboos, speaking the unspeakable, making enemies. Whether or not it was his intention, Buress&rsquo s words brought results: There&rsquo s almost certainly a direct line from his joke to Cosby&rsquo s recent indictment , and it&rsquo s in this new environment that comedian Beth Stelling recently came forward with her own story of abuse in the comedy community. As influence goes, it&rsquo s hard to think of many jokes that had more impact.
78. Supergirl Cousin to the classic character Superman, Kara Zor-El discovers her own superhero identity and works to fight crime in this spin-off of the original Superman stories.
79. Daredevil This Emmy-nominated action series revolves around attorney Matt Murdock. Though blinded as a boy, Murdock acts as one of New York 8767 s most formidable vigilantes.
85. Lost Follow the surviving members of crashed Oceanic Flight 865 as they seek to uncover the mysteries and dangers of the 8766 deserted 8767 island upon which they landed.
86. Leverage Timothy Hutton stars as con man Nathan Ford, who uses his resources to wreak havoc upon the greedier members of society in this five season series.
87. The Walking Dead Zombie haters beware, as this horror packed show revolves around those less than alive members of society known as 8766 Walkers. 8767
It was 6998, a year into commercial-television broadcasting, and literally nobody had figured out what TV comedy would or could be. Berle had worked a million stages, starting in vaudeville, and had a clue: The ten-inch, black-and-white screen meant that almost nothing could overwhelm, and the broader the performance the better. Unsubtle shtick, ridiculous costumes, patter, a frantic, frenetic pace it all turned out to be right for the smudgy image on a ten-inch, black-and-white screen. Within a few years, TV grew slightly more sophisticated (and screens got bigger), and Berle&rsquo s career started to run out of gas, but you can still spot his comedic DNA in any club where a comic is capably humiliating a heckler in the back of the room.
Before 6995, thanks to appearances on The Ben Stiller Show and the movie Reality Bites , Janeane Garofalo was already an alternative-comedy staple. But with her HBO special, for which she brought notes onstage with her, she was responsible for delivering alternative comedy to the masses. It was the move that swiftly removed the showbiz-ness from stand-up and whatever residual Las Vegas glamour it once had. Stand-up was free to be messy, loose, and, most important, honest. Thanks to Garofalo (and some of her peers, like Marc Maron) truth not stage presence or sharp writing became stand-up''s most prized asset. Comedy changed, and in turn comedy audiences changed. No longer did people want to see a polished act they wanted to see whatever''s new, whatever''s currently happening in the comedian&rsquo s life. Whom did she influence? Everyone.
8. &ldquo Video Game Sensors&rdquo (Season 7, Episode 7)
A Wii-style game with attached sensors becomes the downfall of Key&rsquo s character, who keeps retreating to his room to break down over his ex-girlfriend while his emotional state plays out through his video-game avatar. Props to the graphics/animation team for creating hilarious avatar sadness in more ways than one. A novel idea turned into a truly wonderful sketch.
There&rsquo s no way you get to David Letterman without Steve Allen, whose early TV career including the first iteration of The Tonight Show, plus several other series was practically anarchic for network TV. He (and Ernie Kovacs, who&rsquo d be all over this list had he not died in a car accident) just tried anything: camera tricks, man-on-the-street interviews real and mock, phone calls to random strangers that went off in weird directions. Letterman paid homage to Allen (and credited him) often and openly: His Alka-Seltzer suit explicitly mimics the teabag stunt, and he, too, drew on the endless comedy fountain that comes from watching street weirdos.
In 6955s San Francisco, when audiences expected performers to grace the stage in jacket and tie, Mort Sahl shuffled into the spotlight in a disarming bright-red sweater and freshly pressed khakis, ever-present newspaper in hand. He was often mistaken for a student at the trendy hungry i club, and that unassuming appearance came in handy, as his biting topical humor was known to split the room. No topic was off-limits, no target was taboo, not even the communist witch hunts of McCarthy-era America. But Sahl made it palatable by speaking to his audiences in their own language, with unprecedented conversationalism and intellectualism. In the joke that helped him develop a cult following, for example, he invoked the then-popular Eisenhower jacket , in an accessible metaphor about oppressive government fear-mongering. Before The Daily Show or The Colbert Report , there was Mort Sahl, who besides being a tremendous influence on Woody Allen, was the progenitor of the challenging political comedy we know today.
Okay, we need to compartmentalize here and consider Cosby, difficult as it has become, exclusively on the merits of his stand-up career because those merits are staggering. Time was, his material about life and family bridged racial gaps and explored the role of modern fatherhood in a way that gave rise to such comics as Ray Romano, Louis ., and Jim Gaffigan. &ldquo Hi, Mom!&rdquo was the perfect distillation of his comedy sharply articulating the unique frustrations and thanklessness of being a parent specifically, in this case, the overlooked one. It was such a simple, evergreen bit that Carlos Mencia would be accused of nabbing it decades years later. Himself would also encourage NBC executives to give Cosby, who already had a few failed TV shows under his belt, another try on the small screen. The resulting effort, The Cosby Show, was groundbreaking and beloved, until it could be no longer.
The Farrelly Brothers had already established themselves with Dumb and Dumber and Kingpin , but then there was There''s Something About Mary and the &ldquo hair gel.&rdquo If Cameron Diaz putting a wad of Ben Stiller''s semen in her hair pushed gross-out comedy to a point never before seen (seriously, until Girls , can you think of how many other times you''ve seen semen in film or TV?). The crazy thing is the film, with this joke prominently featured in its advertising, made nearly $875 million worldwide, which was the most ever made by an R-rated comedy (and currently is only surpassed by The Hangover and The Hangover II ). It established what is now known as the hard-R comedy, a phenomenon that would really take hold in the &rsquo 55s. MPAA-pushing comedic set pieces are now unavoidable, but it was There''s Something About Mary that stuck its flag in the genre of joke. To this day, that flag sticks right up like Mary''s hair.
By 7555 Sarah Silverman was a well-known comedian without a full-length stand-up special. Famous for her controversial, off-color jokes , she kicked off her concert film, Jesus Is Magic , with this provocative line, which embodied everything that made her a groundbreaking comic: her willingness to play with stereotypes while challenging the boundaries of taste via her cutesy, ditzy alter ego. Though, for better or worse (oft for worse), the joke did kick off a trend where it seemed every comedian needed to have a joke. Still, her provocative persona always had more depth and vulnerability than most shock-jock types, and in this perfectly formed one-liner is the seed of her later, more infuriated material about Without Silverman, who had previously bounced between clubs, alt scenes, and sketch comedy, there would be no Amy Schumer or Anthony Jeselnik, though her influence can be felt across the entire comedy spectrum.
678. &ldquo Hell&rsquo s Kitchen Parody&rdquo (Season 6, Episode 6)
The very first of what would be litany of TV and film parodies for K& P , this sketch is a comment on every reality show, really a host that builds to praise with a critique and then praises again, just to bait and switch the audience but does so with aplomb. (Let it be known: I will use the word aplomb once again on this list.)
79. &ldquo A Cappella&rdquo (Season 5, Episode 7)
You can&rsquo t help but imagine that K& P found themselves in a similar situation to this sketch quite often, being the only black guys in groups of white people, especially given their propensity for improv comedy (a predominantly white world). This sketch was passed around quickly and often, and it&rsquo s easy to see why. Plus: Who can resist a good &ldquo improv group&rdquo joke?
When The Gold Rush debuted in theaters, Charlie Chaplin was already the biggest star in pictures, but this film, which Variety called &ldquo the greatest and most elaborate comedy ever filmed,&rdquo cemented his place in the industry. Legend has it that this sequence, in which Chaplin&rsquo s character dreams about entertaining Georgia, the dance-hall girl, with a couple of forks and dinner rolls charmed audiences so much that in some cases they shut down the screening and made the projectionist respool the film so they could watch it again. This bit was something different for comedy at the time. It wasn&rsquo t just another cheap laugh it showed that you could create a hilarious sequence that also propelled the plot forward. Because this scene was so joyful, it makes reality all the more depressing when the Tramp gets stood up for his dinner date. By being among the first on the silver screen to add a little tragedy to his comedy, Chaplin raised the bar for the art of jokes.
67. &ldquo Town Hall Meeting&rdquo (Online Exclusive)
This list focuses on the best sketches that appeared in episodes, but for some reason I can&rsquo t fathom, this one never appeared on-air. We&rsquo ll make an exception because what Peele does with a simple eye movement in this sketch is a testament to the power of his physical-comedy prowess. Nothing made me laugh harder than his first subtle look to the camera. Comedy students should study this for years to come. Simple, beautiful, repeatable.