Too Much Culture

Some Inimitable Stand Up Routines

Posted in Uncategorized by tneenan on 07/23/2010

Here in the UK, veteran entertainer Keith Chegwin has been causing a stir for “stealing” other comedians jokes and posting them on micro-blogging site Twitter. Too Much Culture takes a look at some of the most famous stand up routines of all time.

Bill Hicks

In Bill Hick’s short career he had a number of famous and controversial routines. His most celebrated is probably his “Bad things are bad” routine in which he launches an excoriating attack on murder, rape and war. “All murderers should be sent to jail” Hicks yelled at an appreciative crowd before laying into poverty and famine.

Chris Rock

Much imitated, much repeated, but nothing can come close to hearing Chris Rock’s “black people vs Godzilla” routine for the first time. “Every time a black man wants to have a good time, Godzilla’s got to stamps on some buildings” Rock highlights with pinpoint accuracy. It’s worth pointing out Rock borrowed heavily from Andrew Dice-Clay’s “women vs bitches” routine, although Andrew fails to find any difference between the two.

Woody Allen

Woody’s Moose story is a text book example of how to structure a perfect stand up routine by making the situation more and more ridiculous. It starts with Woody shooting a Moose, builds on it by getting married and adopting a daughter, before the inspired pay off where he divorces his wife and marries his step daughter. Ridiculous and brilliant. Allen also famously said “the difference between sex and death is I don’t look like I’m about to have sex.”

Michael McIntyre

Macintyre doesn’t give a damn who he offends, as evidenced in one brutal routine where he lays the smack down on Sainsbury’s Bags For Life.

Andy Kaufman

The king of controversy had a number of famous stage moments both as himself and as his alter ego Paul Giamatti. But who can forget the time he forced an audience to endure a two year rendition of all ten series of Friends. Only six audience members stayed to hear Kaufman’s horse voice conclude: “And then they say lets go for coffee, and Chandler asks, where?” For a brief time Kaufman held the record for longest stand up routine, but was beaten in 2006 when Dave Chappelle described everything that had ever happened in his life.

Richard Pryor

Pryor’s incredible stories of drug addiction won him a legion of fans, but sadly lost him his sponsorship deal with crack.

Michael Winslow

The Police Academy sound effects maestro reproduces sounds so accurately he received a standing ovation for his recent Udderbelly gig. His impressions included microphone feedback, microphone interference, angry Winslow footsteps, Winslow arguing with sound guy, sound guy being slapped, sound guy crying, before returning to the stage and doing a car engine.

Peter Kaye

Two words “garlic bread!?” Kaye could never recreate the success of his original routine, despite attempts to recapture the magic with “Basmati Rice!?” “Shredded Wheat!?” and “Iceberg Lettuce!?”

Bob Newhart

Bob Newhart wowed audiences with his trademark stammer for many years. He sadly had to put a stop to his most famous act after he received an abusive one-sided phone call while on stage in New York. Fans were confused to see a distraught Newhart crying into his right hand clutching an imaginary receiver.


One Response

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  1. Russ said, on 07/23/2010 at 11:33 am

    In 2008, Stewart Lee took Dave Chapelle’s record by repeating a single punchline for a staggering 48 hours.

    For his 2011 show, Dave Gorman will lock himself in a cupboard then describe in real time the absurdity of his attempts to escape from a situation entirely of his choosing.

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