Friday, January 9, 2009

Stand-Up Guys

Kate and I are really big fans of live stand-up comedy. Come to think of it, we're also fans of TV stand-up comedy. I guess that makes sense, since I love comedy and I love TV, the two sort of go together. Anyway, going to see a live show at a comedy club is one of our favorite things to do. I think it's actually one of the few things that we both enjoy doing that involves going out at night and doesn't involve eating. Kate's not really a big fan of movies. I've seen more movies since she's been in Indy then I did in the past couple of years. We also have a running joke about going out to a trendy club. Usually when we're just hanging out at home and comfortable, one of us will say something like "Wanna go to Ice tonight? I heard they have this amazing new DJ." We're not really dance club kind of people, but 'Ice' sounds like the kind of place where the cool kids hang out. Anyway, this is a post about stand-up comedy, not Kate's movie viewing habits or our inside jokes. That will probably be another post. So I thought I'd give some live comedy recommendations. I'm not an expert on comedy (or anything, really) but if you find this blog to be at least mildly entertaining, then you'll probably like these guys.

Jim Gaffigan - You probably have seen or heard him, but might not realize it. He did some Sierra Mist Commercials a couple of years ago (he was a TSA agent, some spots also included Kathy Griffin), but his stand-up act is great. He usually talks about food. Mostly things like cake and Hot Pockets. Here are a few of my favorite Gaffigan jokes:

Life is a little easier for attractive people. Think about it, if a stranger smiles at you and they’re attractive, you think, “Oh, they’re nice.” But if the stranger’s ugly, you’re like, “What do they want? Get away from me weirdo.”

It is amazing how email has changed our lives. You ever get a handwritten letter in the mail today? “What the?... Has someone been kidnapped?”

Mike Birbiglia - Probably not as popular as Gaffigan, but just as funny. He has recurring bit called his secret public journal that he does on the Bob and Tom Show. Yes, I realize the irony of referencing a morning radio show one day after my negative post about AM radio. I get it. Anyway, Birbiglia has a sleeping disorder that causes him to sleep walk, sleep eat, and sleep lots of other stuff. He frequently works this into his stand-up act. Here are a couple others:

My family isn't really Italian. We're more like Olive Garden Italian

I shouldn't say bad things about the illiterate, though.. I should WRITE IT. That way they won't find out.

I went to a funeral recently, and they handed out Kleenex before the funeral. Which I thought was cocky

Dane Cook - Not really. Actually I can't stand the guy...I just wanted to check and see if you guys were paying attention. I don't get him at all. Comedy Central has a Dane Cook special coming up and the promo described him as "the most popular comic in America." This really upset me. Not because I don't think it's true (it is) but because that says something about the collective sense of humor of our country (check local listings). Sure he's okay to look at, but he's no Ryan Reynolds. Sorry to be negative, but I can't make it any entire post without saying something mean-spirited, it just isn't my nature.

Mitch Hedberg - Going to be sort of difficult to see him live, as Mitch passed away a couple years ago. Still, you should check out some of his concert CDs if you get a chance. or download it or whatever the kids are doing these days. Anyway, he's worth listening to:

I want to hang a map of the world in my house then I’m gonna put pins into all the locations that I’ve travelled to. But first I’m gonna have to travel to the top two corners of the map so it won’t fall down.

I used to do drugs. I still do, but I used to, too.

Alcoholism is a disease but it's the only the disease you can get yelled at for having. Damnit Otto you're an alcoholic. Damnit Otto you have lupus. One of these doesn't sound right.

Editor's Note - The last two jokes probably give you some insight into Mitch's demise. 

Demetri Martin - I haven't had a chance to see him live yet. I've watched his Comedy Central special about 10 times. I feel like if I keep watching it, then maybe it will influence Comedy Central and they'll decide that he's the most popular comedian in the world. Damn, too bad that I don't have a Nielsen Box to track my television watching. I did a little research on the topic, and apparently they don't take volunteers. They want it to be random so that they get an accurate sample. Oh, but if any of you out there in blog land have a Nielsen box that you don't want to have anymore, I'll take it off your hands. You can even keep the money that they pay you and the free dinners and stuff. I just want advertising and programming decisions to be based on what I watch. Anyway, here are a few Demetri Martin quotes:

“I like video games, but they’re really violent. I’d like to play a video game where you help the people who were shot in all the other games. It’d be called ‘Really Busy Hospital.’”

"If you can't tell then difference between a spoon and a ladle, then you're fat."

A quick way to start a conversation is to say something like “What’s your favorite color?” A quick way to end a conversation is to say something like “What’s your favorite color…person?”

Well, sorry that this blog is mostly other people's jokes and not a whole lot of original content. I didn't think about anything really interesting today, but wanted to keep my streak of 'consecutive days with a blog post' alive. If you have any favorite comedians, post them as comments. Please don't use the comments section to defend Dane Cook. You're not going to change my mind on that one. Oh, and before I sign off, I should say that Kate really likes Kathy Griffin and Chelsea Handler. I had to write that or else she'd read this and be upset that I didn't mention them. Okay, that's all.


JustJen said...

Don't apologize, it was still amusing. I used to think I wanted to be a stand up comic but then I realized I have terrible stage fright and am only funny when I've been drinking.

Nate said...

Hey jen -

If the drinking helps with the stage fright, you still might have a future in the business. Half of the stand up guys I go see have been overserved before their set.

bojengle said...

Daniel Tosh is really funny. I just saw his comedy central special recently.

Christina said...

Stopping by from Kath's blog to say hey...

I loooove Dimitri Martin! His "people in glass houses" just kills me every time I see it, I cry with laughter!

Amanda said...

Fact 1: Demetri Martin is my future husband.

Fact 2: He's getting his own TV show.

The other guys (exception: Dane Cook) are hysterical. I loved the bit Mike Birbiglia had on NPR's "This American Life" a couple weeks ago, where he was talking about something horribly inappropriate that he did... and the audience groaned... and he goes "I know! I'm in the future too!"

But, for the record, Eddie Izzard is The Greatest Living Stand-up Comedian. Ever. Youtube him (perhaps youtube his routine 'dress to kill''s my favorite) and tell me he isn't.

Kath said...

WE LOVE COMEDIANS TOO!!!!! I love David Cross. Actually, we're going to see Jon Reep on February 7th at the Blumenthal. Any chance you guys want to join us? Maybe next Sat. we can do something comic. Or a movie.