The standard equation for great standup comedy is “pain x time = humor.” But when you add an interesting point of view and logic to that equation, you get standup comedy in its highest form. It’s almost like listening to a really funny professor that doesn’t give a fuck what you think because he/she knows that what he/she’s saying is probably right. It takes a crazy breed of human to even do standup and it takes an even crazier breed of human to inject their standup with a point of view that could change a person’s mind and simultaneously alienate hoards of people. Below are 5 jokes could change the way people think.
5. Louis C.K. On Evolution
What’s great about this bit is the way Louie takes evolution, something that usually explains how superior human beings are to all other forms of life and completely flips it on its head by pointing out how flawed we are. He questions how we’re still a species and then makes a point about our emotional capacity. What really amazes me about this bit is that he cut it from his “Live At The Beacon Theatre” special.
4. Jim Jefferies On Religion and Pandas
If you haven’t heard of Jim Jeffries, do yourself a favor and make yourself familiar. He’s so blunt and direct there isn’t any room for interpretation; you either get it or you don’t and if you don’t, it’s your fault. He shot this special in the United States, a God-fearing country. Through a series of incredible logic, he was able to make a theatre of people laugh by calling the Devil a bigger man than God. Talk about ballsy…
3. Doug Stanhope on Nationalism
If you gave Doug Stanhope a microphone that had speakers on every continent, he could start a world riot. I could envision a ton of people wearing NASCAR hats hating the idea of this bit, but upon hearing it, those same people would say something like, “Damn, that angry dude in the jersey had a point. I guess we should set our differences aside and just be human beings together.” It would probably never happen, but I hope I live to see that day that it does.
2. Bill Hicks A Positive Drug Story
The legend of Bill Hicks lives on! This is one of my favorite bits ever; not only is it so true, but it will always have a social relevance until the end of time. It’s timeless and the point of view is so clear and so well thought out. I wish someone important would watch this and take action because we the people will never be able to regulate propaganda. This video could very well have been switched with #1 and I think everyone still would have walked away happy.
1. George Carlin Religion is Bullshit
This bit literally changed my life. I heard it at the tender age of 13 and I began to question the way things were, the bit changed my point of view and how I perceived the world. Nobody breaks things down better than Carlin and this precious 9 minute and 37 second clip could very well be the best, most thought provoking comedy ever recorded.
There are so many more clips that could have made this list, but I was forced to narrow it down to 5 and these 5 had the greatest impact on me.
Aristotle is a Los Angeles based comedian who thinks that with the current trends, screaming goat compilations will one day replace standup comics. You can follow him on Twitter @STOTLE