10. Doug Benson - Potty Mouth
Doug Benson smokes a lot of weed. Recorded on April 20th, Benson's fourth album comprises stories about CNN, movies, television and twitter -- all through the dry, red eyes of a pothead. I guess he's kind of like John Howard Griffin in that way. Bonus: the CD comes with all six episodes of The Benson Interruption that aired on Comedy Central.
9. Wyatt Cenac - Comedy Person
Wyatt Cenac, know by many as The Daily Shows expert in all things black, makes a strong debut stand-up album. Whether discussing how to "hipster hipster" or why not owning a TV makes you a douche, Cenac's record is consistent with the laughs. Though not political per se, he manages to tackle social issues and constructs while sounding way less pretentious than I do by even mentioning it. He also reminds me a lot of my black friend Cir, which is a huge compliment and maybe racist.
8. Brian Regan - All By Myself
Consistently funny, Brian Regan has developed into one of the most prolific of modern day comedians, regularly selling out theater-sized shows. Ashtonishingly, he manages to pull this off with an entirely clean set, void of blue humor and profanity. He doesn't even say cunt like once in the whole album. I think I like that his comedic sensibilities are just like mine.
It must be noted, of course, there is one tragic downside to this album. Whenever I say the title, I end up with that fucking Eric Carmen song stuck in my head for a goddamn hour.
7. Mike Birbiglia - Sleepwalk With Me
Mike Birbiglia is unique among most stand-ups in that he doesn't really tell jokes; his style is more of a raconteur monologist telling painfully personal stories in humorous ways. The NPR This American Life contributor covers his history of bladder cancer, sleep-fighting dream-jackals and nearly hemorrhaging out as a result of it, and his accidental engagement. He also wrote a book of the same name if that's your cup of tea. And if you're reading this, it's not.
6. Marc Maron - This Has To Be Funny
One would think having a breakout podcast propelling you to fame and New York Times pieces might allay some self-loathing, but apparently not. Still "panicky and weird" from the jump, Maron continues to find the humor in neurosis and a crippling sense of self-worth. Whether it be his mother admitting to not being able to love him as an infant or the braintrust behind the creation museum, Maron's fourth comedy record is a definite must-listen. Be sure to also check out his podcast, where he twice weekly talks with comedians and accuses them of being miserable, talentless, joke-stealing hacks.
Completely and totally unrelated, here's a Morgan Murphy video.
Aaaaaaaaaaand back to Maron:
5. Amy Schumer - Cutting
Oddly cute (the first auto-fill that pops up on google when looking for album artwork is "amy schumer hot") yet heinously offensive, Amy Schumer's debut album is very reminiscent of her ex-boyfriend Anthony Jeselnik's Shakespeare (quite possibly the #1 album of last year). In tackling topics ranging from bedding high-schoolers to incredibly uncomfortable eponymous anti-joke, Schumer blah blah blah pseudophilosophical rant about can women be funny. Yes they can, if their jokes were sexually transmitted by Anthony Jeselnik.
|Amy Schumer - Amy Jewmer|
4. Doug Stanhope - Oslo/Burning the Bridge to Nowhere
I don't think I'd be breaking new ground to say that Doug Stanhope is the closest we have to a modern-day Bill Hicks. Angry, offensive, and unashamed of his own degenerate tendencies, Stanhope continues to bring the comedy he's infamous for. Even after nine albums, he doesn't show signs of slowing down. In fact, he seems to be speeding up by including a tirade that included fantasizing about torturing and murdering his own audience members. I bet in real life, this dude would be kind of unpleasant to be around.
3. Tig Notaro - Good One
There's someone about Tig Notato where no matter what she says, I laugh my ass off. The title of her album- not even referenced in its content- is an impression she does that is simply a robot replying to people's jokes. She manages to balance story-telling (multiple encounters with a singer who I don't even know named Taylor Dane), observational humor (babies with fat, fat thighs but stupid little one inch feet) to the absurd. For more of the absurd, watch the second half of the video below (along with bonus Paul F. Tompkins appearance in the background)
2. Rory Scovel - Dilation
I don't know where this fucking guy came from, but it's a land of ridiculous hilarity so potent that I might now be sterile. Whether he's talking about driving on mushrooms being like flying a spaceship or making awesomely racist jokes about Precious or fighting Chinese kids (which make me totally guilt-free about laughing about the Precious jokes), this album is absolutely an instant classic. Though I have no idea why he named it what he did.
Here's a clip of him and another comedian Jon Dore on Conan doing one of the most bizarre bits I've ever seen.
1. Louis C. K. - Hilarious
What can be said about Louis that hasn't been said? If Live at the Beacon Theater was a comedy album and not just a video that sold hundreds of thousands of copies within a week, he'd have two items on this list. Louis is this generation's best comedian, and Hilarious is some of his best work. Not only did Louis, a Mexican with an unpronounceable real last name, manage two great comedy specials last year, but also managed to create/write/star in the 2nd season of an Emmy-award nominated TV show. He's like the Orson Welles of dick jokes.
This is one of my favorite Louis bits ever, despite how hypocritical it is because goddamn do I hate everything about being on an airplane.