Last night my wife and I watched Christopher Titus on the tube. What can I say? The guy is great! I remember watching his sitcom way back when with Stacy Keach as his dad. It was hilarious. The trouble was that I was one of the two people who watched it. Anyway, after watching the show last night I started thinking about comics in general. With Comedy Central I can see a lot of stand up. Most of it is just bad. These people seem to think that if they can say F**k enough times people will laugh. I don't. There is one notable exception to this. Lewis Black. Yes, he is as foul-mouthed as anyone. But, his is not gratuitous vulgarity. It's always in context and, in many ways, speaks for the common folk who have to deal with stupid people day-in and day-out.
So, here are my top 4. (Not in any particular order.)
Jeff Dunham. Guys playing with dolls is not usually a good thing. But, Mr. Done-Ham brings these puppets to life. While there are the usual jokes, he tries to introduce a story line at the beginning of his show and follow it throughout. (Lotion, anyone?) Walter and Peanut give personality to his self-deprecating humor that is refreshing.
Sinbad. This gentleman seems to be following in the footsteps of Bill Cosby. His shows, at least the ones I've seen on television, are funny and clean. He brings everyday events and issues into hilarious focus. Well done!
Lewis Black. As mentioned before, the guy is just funny. His background in performance shines through his stand up. I enjoy social commentary when it's done well. Black does it well. I especially enjoyed his show on Comedy Central, "Lewis Black's Root of All Evil." His interaction with other comics and the audience was always done well, and, of course, was funny. Humor allows people like Mr. Black to say things that would get you or I slapped. It also creates an environment where serious social and political issues can be discussed. Well done, sir.
Christopher Titus. Family relationships can at some times, (all times?), be tenuous. Titus shares his experiences in ways that people can relate to. The overbearing father. Dipstick brother. Ex-wife. The tension that these relationships cause needs release. Mr. Titus releases his on stage. This allows us to share his experiences and gain some relief.
All 4 of these comics present a different way of seeing and dealing with the mundane events of life in America. All 4 are professionals who have taken their craft seriously and have honed their skills to razor sharpness. All 4 are my favorites.