My favorite comedians

Published 9:07 pm Friday, June 4, 2010

I’m a big fan of stand-up comedy.

At home, we have about half a dozen or more stand-up routines on DVD or on our DVR. Anytime there isn’t anything going on that particularly interesting, we’ll put on one of those routines and get a good laugh.

As I was listening to Lewis Black’s “Red, White and Screwed” last weekend, someone asked my opinion of Black and I said, “the funniest man alive.”

That line got me to thinking about who I really enjoy listening to the most. There are a lot of folks I think are funny and we’ve had some discussions in the office over the past few years about which comedian is the funniest.

Two of my favorites passed away in the last couple of years. Those were Bernie Mack and George Carlin. Those two men kept me in stitches every time I watched them.

All that said, here goes my list.

Honorable Mention: Dane Cook

His show “Vicious Circle” is one of the funnier things I have on DVR. I’ve watched it about half a dozen times in the last few months. His sense of the dramatic makes him fun to watch.

Honorable Mention: Steve Harvey

In his early days, there weren’t many funnier than Steve Harvey. His show “That’s Deep” is one of the most hysterical things I’ve seen and I still watch it.

Unfortunately, in his later years he has become too political for me and I was barely able to sit through his last show.

Honorable Mention: Alex Reymundo

I’ve seen some of his early stuff and it was okay, but his latest show “Red Nexcian” is one of the funniest shows I’ve ever seen. I laughed so hard the first time I watch it I thought I was going to wake my wife who was sleeping.

5. Bill Cosby

It seems almost sad to have Bill Cosby this low on my list, but he hasn’t done a lot of standup lately. His old stuff, however, is still funny today and that’s good enough to keep him on my list of the funniest guys alive.

4. Michael Colyar

He was on Def Comedy Jam several times and his HBO Half Hour Comedy special was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. Anyone who has ever watched him knows to practice safe sex.

3. Mike Warnke

Like Bill Cosby, his best days are far behind him it seems. Once the person I would have considered the funniest man on the planet, Warnke has also faded in his later years.

I had the privilege to meet him several years ago and have to tell you, he was as funny as I would have hoped.

2. Jeff Dunham

When I was younger, Jeff Dunham and his puppet Peanut kept me in stitches every time he appeared on The Tonight Show.

Now, with the advent of more avenues for his comedy, Dunham is a certified star in the comedy world and he deserves to be.

1. Lewis Black

He’s irreverent, shocking and sometimes just plain weird – all the things that made comedians funny. I sometimes recoil at the things he says, but I keep watching anyway because he makes me laugh.

Without George Carlin, there’s no chance Lewis Black would have had the success he has.

I’d love to hear from you, the readers, which comedians you listen to and why. Feel free to email me or give me a call. You may have a comedian I forgot or who I’ve never listened to.

Thadd White is Staff Writer and Sports Editor of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald and Gates County Index. He can be reached via email at or by telephone at 332-7211.