I love to laugh, and I've watched a lot of comedy in my time. Here is a list of my ten favorite comedy specials, and some clips from them.
10. Redd Foxx "Video In A Plain Brown Wrapper" - 1983
Redd Foxx was more than Fred Sandford on TV's "Sandford and Son," much much more. Before his hit TV series in the 70's, and after it, he was a raunchy stand-up comedian. Foxx and other comedians like Moms Mabley set the groundwork for a host of epic comedians who followed - Richard Pryor, George Carlin, and Eddie Murphy. At one point in this clip, Foxx confronts a heckler who expresses disapproval in a joke by saying something to the extent of, "You don't like this show? Bend over. I'll drive you to Dallas." Classic.
09. Dave Chappelle "Killing Them Softly" - 2003
This special, and this clip in particular, are some great fucking comedy.
08. Lewis Black "Red, White, and Screwed" - 2006
I love Lewis Black. This was probably my favorite special. This clip is absolute genius.
07. Chris Rock "Bigger And Blacker" - 2000
I love everything he says in this comedy special because it's all true. This is probably my favorite clip from it. "The big piece of chicken." Makes me cackle every time.
06. Robin Williams "Live at the Roxy" - 1978
When I was 16 my dad moved to Joplin and got cable TV there. For the first time in my life I got to watch Comedy Central. Back then it was still a small time cable network. They showed old episodes of Soap and old comedy specials from the 1970's and 1980's. It was pretty awful for the most part. One special they showed over and over again was this one, featuring a Robin Williams who was at the time rising in popularity from his show Mork and Mindy. When I was 16 I couldn't believe how much energy he had and how quick things came to him on stage. He was utterly brilliant. Now I know why...every tissue in his body was saturated with cocaine...and looking back on this special I can see it. This old promo clip is the only one I could find on YouTube of this show, but it shows a pretty good variety of the craziness that was this special.
05. Rowan Atkinson "Rowan Atkinson Live" -1988
Yes, Rowan Atkinson did more than Black Adder and Mr. Bean. He was actually a pretty decent sketch style comedian too. This was another old Comedy Central special that ran a lot. I love every single sketch, but this one is my favorite!
04. Eddie Murphy "Raw" - 1987
This is Eddie Murphy on lots of cocaine. In this clip he is talking about his father. Makes me piss myself every time.
03. Dana Carvey "Critic's Choice" - 1995
Oh man....this comedy special still makes me laugh years and years later. My friend Paul and I still quote this special all the time. In this clip he impersonates Jimmy Stewart getting a blow job...what isn't to like?
02. Bill Cosby "Himself" - 1983
"Dad is great! He give us the chocolate cake!" Fucking funny.
01. Bill Connolly - "Pale Blue Scottish Person" - 1991
My sister had a friend named Devin who used to come over a lot with her friends. We didn't have cable TV because my dad was cheap, so we didn't get to see a lot of comedy except what was on Carson or Letterman. Devin had a VHS tape of all kinds of different comedy he would tape off VH1 and HBO. This special by Bill Connolly was one of those specials, and is the one that I remember the most. My sisters and I still quote about 90% of the lines from this special. It is so fucking messed up, but so fucking funny too. You ever get a chance watch it. In this clip Billy is talking about "having a wank."