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The 100 Best Things in Comedy We Were Witness To In No Particular Order of 2011

There have been 2011 comedy lists throughout the last two months telling people what the funniest album was, who was the funniest on Twitter, etc. We have a problem with those lists in that entire days of 2011 had yet to pass leaving time for funny things to fall through the cracks. Also, we don’t want to have bickering over ranking or forget to make a list about memes or web videos, and more. So, we just piled 100 in no order of any kind (that’s an ill advised number to shoot for, if you’re wondering) of the most hilarious things together that we had the chance to witness throughout the entirety of 2011. 

It’s a long, exhaustive list that probably many of you won’t read all the way through, but, at least, it’s better than this meta-horseshit we did last year with "Best of ‘Best of Comedy List’ List"

1. Neil Hamburger tweeting down “The Man”-Through @NeilHamburger alone, he rivals Tyler Durden in making pop culture (Britney Spears, AXE Body Spray, etc.) look really stupid.

2. Lizzy Cooperman banging her keyboard and telling jokes-Lizzy has jokes and a keyboard that she hits when she does stand-up. We’ve seen it several times and hurt from laughing so hard every time we see it.

3. Jon Dore & Rory Scovel performing simultaneously on Conan-This is one of the best late night TV performances of the year. That’s all you need to know.

4. Louis CK chasing George Carlin’s record-Many people are unaware of the fact that both his specials Hilarious and Live From the Beacon Theatre were both released in 2011, even though he said he’d stick to a 1-special-a-year pace. Combine that with the brilliance of his show Louie and there are grounds for the constant praise he gets.

5. Eddie Pepitone in anything he’s been in-2011 has been a banner year for Pepitone and rightfully so. Along with his spectacular album "A Great Stillness", @EddiePepitonePuddin’, being a heckler on ConanRunyon: Just Above Sunset, and more have proved Pepitone to be a comedic force to be reckoned with.

6. Kurt Braunohler miseducating the world with the World Wild of Animals-As one of the funniest web series we saw this year, we learned the most interesting facts, that might possibly be true, about Dolphins, Wolves, and Parakeets from a non-animal expert, Kurt Braunohler.

7. Patton Oswalt expands his comedy empire-His book Zombie Spaceship Wasteland and his album Finest Hour more than make him deserving to be guest editor of Spin Magazine’s Comedy Issue as well a spot on this list.

8. Sean Patton doing a spin move on Conan-Yes! One of the funniest people we know does a spin move while coming on stage on Conan. That’s only the tip of the iceberg of how hilarious he is.

9. Jesse Case’s joke about the supposed rule of waiting to call someone after you get their number-For our money, granted we don’t have a lot of it, it’s one of the best jokes of the year. Ask him about it @jessecase.

10. The only people that can Humblebrag are the ones most unaware they’re doing it-the poking fun game at over-entitled celebrities and rich people just got a lot more fierce with Harris Wittels and Humblebrag.

11. The Walsh Brothers Go Planking-Yes, the Walsh Brothers pretty much introduced “planking” into the U.S. earlier this year before everyone got so judgmental for how cool they made it.

12. Rory Scovel kills in complete darkness-Not only is it amazing that Scovel just pulls doing stand-up in the pitch black darkness with ease, he also insults the band, and, most importantly, does this all off the cuff.

13. Brent Weinbach touching an live TV audience member’s face-Brent does plenty of funny things that makes us question the foundations of comedy. One of them is limping in the creepiest way possible towards an real person and touching their face.

14. Andrés Du Bouchet does more than write for Conan-Hopefully, Du Bouchet gets way more notoriety in 2012 than him being a staff writer on Conan for his amazing comedy album of just character monlogues, Naked Trampoline Hamlet, and his delightful Twitter feed @dubouchet where he RT’s boners for kids.

15. Nerdist Industries takes more podcast under their wing-Taking in Todd Glass, Pop My Culture, The Indoor Kids with Kumail Nanjiani, Making It with Riki Lindhome, The Thrilling Adventure Hour, You Made It Weird with Pete Holmes, and more, the Nerdist family of podcasts sounds more like a formidable comedy army.

16. Joe Mande vs. Gilbert Arenas-Not that he would take a cue from Ron Artest (yeah, we’re still calling him that) not to mess with comedy, but Arenas gets “taken to school” by Joe Mande on Twitter and his blog

17. Nick Vatterott gets absurd-Showing how prop comedy is done on Conan and winning this year’s Andy Kaufman Award, Nick Vatterott makes the absurd no less absurd, but definitely very funny.

18. People start to find out about Jerrod Carmichael-Making “who to watch” lists throughout 2011 and going to JFL Montreal, Jerrod is rising fast and deservedly through the stand-up ranks.

19. Henry Phillips anti-cooks food on Henry’s Kitchen-Who cares if what he makes isn’t edible to probably any living thing? It’s all about the process that Henry Phillips goes through to cook it that makes it worth a good gut laugh.

20. Marc Maron masters his neuroses, maybe-His album This Has To Be Funny and theWTF! Podcast and how much acclaim they’ve both received are just proof that Maron is calming down, though not too much.

21. The Rise and (Still Rising) of James Adomian-Some of you might have gotten to see his face and his hilarious jokes on the last season of Last Comic Standing and Lopez Tonight, but more folks know him from his appearances (earning him Splitsider’s Paul F. Tompkins Award for Best Guest) on podcasts like the one on the Todd Glass Show.

22. The Muppets movie met the ridiculous expecatations it set for itself-For us, at least, we expected a lot from the new Muppets movie with Jason Segel and it delivered, despite cutting Eddie Pepitone out. 

23. Eric Andre and Duh Air Ache On Dre Shoe-Eric Andre crushes it as a stand-up comedian with making fun of the theme to Cops. See where such ideas come from the Duh Air Ache On Dre Shoe.

24. Pete Holmes reminds us to have fun-Holmes reminds us that being silly isn’t uncool with his appearances on Conan, his live album "Impregnated With Wonder", his new podcast You Made It Weird, and even playing Batman.

25. The Comics Sans font gets a defender in the Comic Sans Project-We had no idea that people were trying to exterminate the Comic Sans font, but now it has been brought out in the funniest, best way possible with the Comic Sans Project.

Thanks  to Robert Urquhart, Clif Dickens, Nico Hähnlein, Siim Teller, Camille Greatorex, Chris Weachock, Jonty Levine, Shayna Daitch, Douglas Montgomery, Lira Kim, Josef van der Faust, Ed Benson, Christine Self, François Bertrand, Timothé Buguet, Psy Oc, Samuel Blum, Romain Stievenard, Florent Molinier, Felipe Esteves, Alexandar Mechev, Colin Smith, Felipe Francisco, Merlin Mason, Saul Costa, Jan Andreas Knudsen, Kees Huyser, Arn Anderson, Heather Elsa, Aale van der Veen, Jamie Lewis, Brice Soulivong, Arnaud Bonnard, David Little … And from our Twitter account ; @depointzero, @Pulpalomita, @rchdly, @ZoomWolf, @BigRenoski, @Jovigun, @Eindacor_DS, @IknowScott, @dawashington, @danoprey, @SarahGraham1982, @Greensize Our special thanks go to Michael Fowler and Craig Winslow.

26. A marriage proposal at Holy Fuck, the live comedy show-Reed Hallstrom sincerely proposed to Jessica Ruiz at the wonderful weekly comedy show Holy Fuck! and it was beautiful, funny, and touching.

27. People believe in comedy at the Bridgetown Comedy Festival-At the start of This Is Not Happening, a storytelling show, at Portland’s fantastic annual comedy festival, there was a technical miscue when the show started without any lights. Audience members combined their cell phone lights to make host Ari Shaffir visible until the SNAFU was fixed.

28. Paul F. Tompkins doing anything-Tompkins showcased his Midas touch in comedy with continuing his live show at Largo running strong, recapping American Idol for Vulture, recording his 1-hr Comedy Central special of stories of shitty jobs he had, producing his oft-honored podcast the Pod F. Tompcast, and, of course, his impression of the Cake Boss.

29. @MeganAmram is just a hobby of Megan Amram’s-Megan is brilliant at Twitter, but has made her comedic presence known in longer forms as well as an “audition” for Glee.

30. Aubrey Plaza being interviewed on TV-Following in the footsteps of the late night talk show appearances of Harland Williams, Plaza makes for the one of the most intriguing, hilarious people to interview.

31. Lee Camp does stand-up at Occupy Wall St.-Firebrand of a comedian Lee Camp does five solid minutes with no mic, mic stand, or stage to the Occupy Wall St. crowd.

32. @blaudiablogan is, as they say, “criminally underfollowed”-Claudia Cogan is very funny in person as well as on Twitter, constantly and consistently: “How much does anal virginity go for? Preparing my financial outlook for 2012.”

33. Ryan Stout’s “Touché” is a perfect example of joke craftsmanship-Stout bucks today’s trend in comedy with his live album "Touché" by telling very concise and to-the-point jokes. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that especially when you can pull off talking about rape as a form of exercise without cursing and making it funny.

34. Drew Droege being a better Chloe Sevigny than Chloe Sevigny-Drew Droege is so funny cross-dressing and playing actress and fashionista Chloe Sevigny that he gets invited to host parties as Chloe and not himself. There’s a reason for that.

35. Mike Mills’ Beginners is what every romantic comedy should be from now on-We might regret that wish actually coming true, but Beginners was such a wondrous and funny look at how most of us have no idea what we’re doing in love even if it’s going well that we don’t regret saying it.

36. Jon Stewart Ranting about NY Pizza on the Daily Show-Stewart ranting about NYC’s pride in its pizza is one of the best clips this year on the Daily Show and it’s pretty much non-partisan.

37. Tom Scharpling revives the medium of music videos with funny friends-Simply, Tom Scharpling, host of the Best Show on WFMU, knows good music and really funny people and puts the two together in music videos he directs.

38. NY Mag’s Oral History of the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre shows us the origin of many funny people currently on television-Talking to many of the folks involved in the early years of the UCB Theatre in NYC, NY Magazine provides a necessary and very entertaining comedy history lesson.

39. Rob Delaney takes the title of Twitter King, but that’s not all-Delaney was crowned Twitter King by National Lampoon, but that’s only one facet of his burgeoning comedy career with his Comedy Central pilot @RobDelaney, his Vice column, Take A Stroll with Rob Delaney, and more funny things with his name on it.

40. Hal Rudnick visiting inappropriate places-The Midnight Show & The Daily Habit’s Hal Rudnick is really great at visiting “adults only” places like a porn set or Adult Con and not being there for any of the sex.

41. NTSF:SD:SUV still comes short of being as ridiculous as what it’s parodying-Paul Scheer premiered his hilarious Adult Swim series in an attempt to show how crazy TV police procedurals have gotten with the President of Navy being kidnapped, only to be outdone, as Scheer admits, by the “real” thing.

42. John Hodgman shares his world knowledge with That is All-In preparing for the end of the world next year, John Hodgman gives us something all to enjoy reading while waiting for our impending doom.

43. Asterios Kokkinos does the world’s 1st stand-up set in 3D-Asterios Kokkinos would be an evil genius of comedy, however he’s pretty much the opposite of evil as evidenced by telling 3D jokes in 3D.

44. Jesse Miller straight-up kicked comedy in 2011 in the face-Andre Hyland’s hilarious character Jesse Miller who comes off as white trash, but has an amazing depth of pop culture knowledge brought his exuberance to the Daily Habit, live audiences, and straight-up to some bitch-ass ghost of Christmas.

45. Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris brings us back to the Woody Allen we used to know-Allen has restored faith (and gotten several award nominations for doing so) in those thought that the old Woody Allen with the splendid absurdist romp that is Midnight in Paris.

46. CNN Comedy, thankfully, isn’t what you think it is-CNN did not produce an original comedy series and, instead, did produce an intriguing video profile series that captured the essence of many today’s leading comedians such as Maria Bamford, Marc Maron, and Andy Kindler.

47. RE:COM Magazine keeps the dreams of a print magazine about comedy alive-Keying in on where comedy is going, it’s great to see something just about comedy in RE:COM Magazine rather than Rolling Stone’s occasional nod to comedy.

48. @Aparnapkin is yet another victim of being “criminally underfollowed”-Aparna Nancherla has charmed all the audiences she has performed for live and does so daily with her tweets to a following that should be much larger. “Guys, I just finished the Internet! So good. Couldn’t put it down. Oops brb my eyes are bleeding.-The Future of Our Species”

49. The Super Serious Show proves Field of Dreams adage works in comedy-Not located at Largo or the UCB Theatre in Hollywood, The Super Serious Show has built a loyal, paying fanbase of their monthly comedy variety show that makes Culver City cool even if you thought it was stuck-up. 

50. Bridesmaids proves that isn’t funny without attaching the “female Hangover” label to it-Bridesmaids had so much funny in it from people that were just hysterical like Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, or even director Paul Feig that it really should stopped only be discussed as a comedy that should be nominated for an Oscar.

51. Danger 5 is the funniest web series that should be in America, but isn’t-Produced by a network in Australia, Danger 5 is what Inglorious Basterds should have been, especially if it was in the form of an Adult Swim show.

52. Jackie Kashian delved really deep into The Dork Forest-Jackie Kashian’s podcast The Dork Forest really took off this year and rightfully so with how funny Jackie is and her true appreciation of being a dork/nerd.

53. Bill Cosby doing the late night talk show circuit-Bill Cosby gave us a nice reminder this year on the late night circuit that he still knows how to do comedy.

54. The Sklar Brothers keep up their comedy duo dominance-Their album Hendersons & Daughters and their Earwolf podcast Sklarbro Country have left us wanting more Sklar Brothers for 2012.

55. The Superego Podcast ushered in the future of comedy podcasts-While podcasts can arguably be pointed to as where comedy is headed, The Superego Podcast has made a podcast of hilarious improvised segments or a “future of the future”, if you will.

56. The Beards of Comedy do plenty of good to the name of touring groups of comedians-Many touring stand-up groups identify themselves with a socio-economic or ethnic classification, but the Beards of Comedy, as evidenced by their album Cardio Mix, are together just because they’re funny (one of them had to grow a beard, if you were wondering).

57. Peter Atencio directs amazing sketches all year long-From the Midnight Show to Comedy Central’s upcoming sketch comedy series Key & Peele, Peter Atencio is a go-to as far as sketch comedy directors are concerned as can be seen in this PSA about driving.

58. Lost Moon Radio makes a comedy Christmas album to remember-"It Had To Be Yule" might be the perfect combination of comedy and Christmas to undo all the harm “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer” has done.

59. The Comedy Garage finally gets documented-Many people are unaware of how great comedy in a garage can be, especially with the likes of Sean Green, Cornell Reid, Paul Danke, Casey Feigh, and more at the helm. Thankfully, there’s a documentary showing exactly that.

60. The Imaginary Radio Program with Drennon Davis shames real radio-People that will catch this at the 2012 SF Sketchfest will be amazed at Drennon Davis musical and comedy virtuosity at work in this live sketch-radio program hybrid.

61. The Tommy-Wi Show features the one and only Tommy Wiseau playing video games-Tommy Wiseau + video games that he doesn’t understand + aliens = comedy gold.

62. Nerdist Theater has more than lived up to its name-Featuring all live things Nerdist, some of the best and most innovative comedy in LA has been coming out of the back of Meltdown Comics in Hollywood.

My Hymen Grew Back

63. Jim Hamilton speaks and writes funny things all year-@Jim_Hamilton is really funny on Twitter, awesome on The Daily Flailure on Tumblr, and just plain hilarious live. Find all three of these things in 2012.

64. Demorge Brown wins a Channel 101 Channy Award for one performance in Gumbel-As part of the amazing monthly TV series competition Channel 101, Demorge dazzled everyone with one episode of Gumbel as Gumbel. Just watch and you’ll understand.

65. Greg Proops still doing as much as he can in comedy and killing it-The Smartest Man in the World, stand-up, Improv-a-Ganza, Chelsea Lately regular, headlining Set List on the road, and more, Proops still got “it”.

66. Reggie Watts “does” the theme to Charles in Charge-Live at the Super Serious Show, Reggie Watts does what he does best by doing whatever he feels like doing like the theme to Charles in Charge, sort of.

67. Persona shows the many hilarious faces of Tony Sam and more-A monthly show at the Hollywood Improv Lab, Persona is a comedy show created by Tony Sam where everyone on the show plays a character in full costume. With the likes of Andy Daly, James Adomian, and more it’s certainly a stand-out show.

69. The Meltdown with Jonah Ray and Kumail Nanjiani makes the back room of a comic book store a go to destination-Every Wednesday, The Meltdown Show at the Nerdist Theater brings dozens of folks to watch the best in the LA stand-up scene and hasn’t failed us the several times we’ve gone.

71. Ted and Gracie is one of the best web series about getting married-Jena Friedman shows how funny it can be when you really don’t know who you’re about to marry with Ben Kronberg.

72. Everything ended and now needs to become a real show-The virtual Channel 101 institution of the video art compilation show Everything came to an end this year as it did not finish high enough in the results for Channel 101 on one month, but now Jason Whetzell and Danny Jelinek need to curate such a show on a bigger scale.

73. Paul Scheer memes Oprah-Paul Scheer is great at many things like comedy, TV, as well as spotting and making memes.

74. Marc Maron’s gives the Just for Laughs Keynote Address-This address should be the Gettysburg Address for stand-up comedians.

75. The Midnight Show makes some of the funniest videos on any side of the Internet-Web videos for School of French Kissing for DogsThe producer behind Rebecca Black’s Friday, and a great Muppets parody have all come from a stellar 2011 of the Midnight Show.

76. Ron Lynch killing without saying one intelligible word-Ron Lynch is one of the most under-appreciated comedians of our time because of this. See him wherever he’s performing and you might be lucky to catch him pull such a feat off once again without him saying much at all and not understanding him when he does.

77. Shelby Fero makes comedians wish they had started comedy earlier-The comedy prodigy already has a big following on Twitter and has figured viral videos out and she’s still in college. Maybe the takeover comedy isn’t the next logical step, but it’s only a few away, right?

78. Brody Stevens is still killing it-Even after his explosion on Twitter, Brody is still bringing the heat in his stand-up wherever he goes.

79. Hampton Yount finally giving George Washington his comeuppance-Hampton Yount has plenty of funny jokes and this is only one of them that we got to laugh over and over again this year. Download his CD Unbearable for however much you want to donate to get even more Hampton.

80. Dan Harmon can’t be knocked down-Despite Community being tabled by NBC, Harmon has some of the most loyal fans that voted Community #1 in TV Guide, will flash mob for him and certainly go to his live show, Harmontown. Also, Harmon still has his Channel 101.

81. American: The Bill Hicks Story gives the clearest picture of Bill Hicks to date-this documentary explores the early life of Hicks in such vivid detail that it is a must see for any comedy fan.

82. Katt Williams does not apologize for his comedy-In our opinion, there’s been too much apologizing for comedy in 2011 and, thankfully, Katt Williams stuck by what he said on stage when offending a Hispanic man during a live show.

83. Set List shows that improvised stand-up can not only be done, but done exquisitely-The improvised stand-up show, Set List, from the mind of Troy Conrad has proven to be a hit worldwide with some of the world’s best trying to make up jokes on the spot. Put this on the Definitely Do Not Miss of 2012. 

84. Liezl Was Here is a necessary book for all comedy nerds-Prolific comedy photographer Liezl Estipona made a book of all the great comedy she’s seen at all over the country and everyone who is into comedy should have it. 

Click to preview book

85. Comedian Dave Ross Tried to Get Sponsored by Vans-This is literally a thing that Dave Ross tried to do and for how funny and DIY he is, he should get Vans’ blessing and a bunch of free shoes.

86. Portlandia shows that pointing out how weird “Keep Portland Weird” as a city motto is-IFC Channel’s Portlandia with Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein shows that hipness can be successfully made fun of in a postmodern context without confusing anyone too much

87. Erin Gibson playing despicable women for Funny or Die-Erin Gibson has a knack for playing the roles of some of the most across-the-board despised women in comedy sketches like Michelle Bachmann or Megyn Kelly

88. @EveryTweet_Ever makes us all laugh while showing us how stupid our tweets are-No message of 140 characters or less is safe from funny ridicule thanks to @EveryTweet_Ever.

89. Comedy Royal gives a preview of what a comedy museum exhibit should look like-The good folks at The Comedy Royal know how the lexicon of comedy, whenever it’s compiled, should be presented.

90. Tig Notaro pushing a stool on TV-It may be oversimplifying it, but Tig pushing a stool across a stage is really f’n funny.

91. The Revitalization of the Hollywood Improv Lab-With Jamie Flam managing the reigns to the side room of the world famous Hollywood Improv, we got to see things we wouldn’t see anywhere else like Todd Barry making fun of a live jazz band.

92. Ron Babcock makes the theme blog everyone is thinking of, but aren’t funny enough to realize with Concocted Conversations-Ron sees things that are funny in real life and imagines the conversations had behind their creation, then shares the hilarity with the rest of us

93. Louis CK on the late night talk circuit-We tried to avoid as much repeating on this list as possible, but CK making fun of Jay Leno on the Tonight Show and explaining charities on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon deserves their own spot.

94. Matt Walsh has his directorial debut with High Road-A completely improvised movie with some of UCB’s funniest, both past and present in James Pumphrey, Abby Elliot, Lizzy Caplan, Horatio Sanz Ed Helms, Rich Fulcher, High Road made for a romantic buddy road ensemble comedy that hopefully more will get to see in 2012.

95. I Remain Champagne by Matt Champagne-Comedian Matt Champagne blogged everyday for an entire year to the joy of many in writing about such things as Red Neck Hipsters.

96. Dave Kloc gives an indie rock mythos to comedy shows with his posters-Designer of the posters for Meltdown and the Super Serious ShowDave Kloc really goes out his way to give live comedy the amazing posters it deserves.

97. The Green Room w/Paul Provenza aired its second season-Seeing the comedic minds of Garry Shandling, Bo Burnham, and Marc Maron go head to head on the Green Room moderated by Paul Provenza is something no other show did this year and was exceptional for doing so and more.

98. MitchHedberg.Net launched-It’s the best way to remember the legendary Mitch Hedberg

99. The Pardo Patrol goes on the prowl of unsuspecting guests on Conan-Never Not Funny’s Jimmy Pardo has a show within, between, and in & around the actual taping of Conan and it has been an absolute delight even as Pardo barges into dressing rooms and kicks people out.

100. Katie Crown being nothing but Katie Crown-Katie Crown is a rare combination of quirky and absurd the likes of which will instantly hook you the first time you see her perform. I mean how could you not love a joke that has Scooby Doo at an OB/GYN? 

Notes

  1. leitepreto reblogged this from thecomedybureau and added:
    i mean, the whole damned thing is pretty wild. (number 64 is my new favorite number. sorry 5— which was my old favorite...
  2. pleaseshowmehowtolive reblogged this from thecomicscomic
  3. thecomicscomic reblogged this from thecomedybureau and added:
    Nice lengthy list of happy fun times, proving that 2011 didn’t suck quite as much as we all thought it did!
  4. taegonmclaughlinsmells reblogged this from thecomedybureau
  5. thecomedybureau posted this