Friday, February 20, 2009

Mount Rushmore: Stand Up Comics

ESPN is currently running a feature that allows fans to pick the Mount Rushmore of sports figures for their respective states. Knowing a good idea when I see it, I figured I'd steal adapt this and put a pop culture spin on it for a series of posts.

For the kick-off post of this series, I'm selecting the Mount Rushmore of stand-up comedy. IMO, this funny foursome was/is the best at taking the stage with the purpose of making us laugh.

Richard Pryor- When it comes to turning personal pain (heart attacks, drug abuse, battles with his father, etc.) into humor, no one can touch Pryor.

George Carlin- Whether he was ranting about government waste, the hypocrisy of religion or the decline of common sense among the human race, George had the ability to not only make you laugh, but think as well.

Lenny Bruce- With the skill of a jazz musician, Lenny riffed on taboo topics at a time when mother-in-law jokes were the norm for most stand-up comics.

Chris Rock- The best social commentator working in stand-up today, what makes Rock's takes on topics such as interracial relationships and sports so funny is that what he says is true.

Who would make your "Mount Rushmore of stand-up comedy"? Feel free to not only list your four picks, but the reasons why you chose them.


Kristi Mantoni said...

I think you nailed it!

Have a great weekend!

Lori said...

Paul Mooney, would probably be the "biggest" face on my Mount Rushmore of comdey. I think he's an unsung genius. A lot of folks don't know he wrote material for Pryor, the Chapelle Show and In Living Color, if I'm not mistaken. He also wrote a lot of those classic lines in shows like Good Times and Sanford and Son.

Others on my wall might be Bruce, Bruce. Just looking at him, cracks me up.

And how about a couple of women, say Adele Givens and Sommore.

pjazzypar said...

I agree with your Mt. Rushmore, although I am not real familiar with Lenny Bruce's work. Both George Carlin and Richard Pryor epitomized mixing humor with social commentary. We already talked about Chris Rock, but I feel he is socially relevant and says things that other think, but are afraid to say. I love Wanda Sykes and I think she is hilarious. I wish TV ONE would air her series with Jurnee Smollett, Philip Morris, and Tammi Lauren...funny stuff!

Malcolm said...

Kristi: Pardon my lateness, but thanks!

Lori: I agree that Paul Mooney is an unsung genius. I know that he wrote for Pryor, In Living Color, and Sanford and Son.

Pjazzy: According to Wikipedia, TV One aired reruns of "Wanda At Large" starting in July 2006. I'm not sure if that's before you had it or not. I didn't realize that Tammy Lauren and Jurnee Smollett were in the cast.

Anonymous said...

My Mt. Rushmore:

1) Mitch Hedberg: died too young and tragically. The king of awkward comedy and quirky one-liners.

2) Richard Pryor: Self-explanatory.

3) George Carlin: Self-explanatory again.

There are so many other comics I love: Bernie Mac, Jim Gaffigan,Bill Hicks, Chris Rock.

How do I choose the 4th person?

4) Sam Kinison: Another comic who died too young. His comedy possessed that pure anger and rage....and that yell!

Dave Vacilek said...

Bill Hicks was one of the most brilliant people on the planet IMHO. Sam Kinison made me laugh at things I thought I shouldn't (at least at that time in my life). Bob Newhart has been hilarious for several decades. Listen to some of his old stuff if you ever get the chance. Carlin USUALLY hits it right on the head for me...enough that I think he deserves to be up there.

scorpionbbb50 said...

well X better late than never as they say so my pics are Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy ,Bernie Mac,Paul mooney but the list can go on ...on...on..Redd Foxx, George Carlin,Lawanda Page,Samore,Kevin Hart,Arie Speres,Arnez J. follow me lol. B.B.

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