Monday, November 07, 2005

1. Anyone else think the BCS system in college football is retarded? Seriously. Why no playoff system? Obviously, the short answer is money. They make a ton of money on all of these crazy bowl games (The Weed-Eater Bowl, Blockbuster Bowl, Outback Bowl), and they fear they would lose money if they ‘did the right thing’ by creating some sort of playoff format. Hey, even if the NCAA did a 4-team playoff, it would be better than the muck they have now.

2. I had the pleasure of seeing Brian Regan this weekend. I believe I mentioned that in a previous post. He is one of my top-5 favorite comedians of all-time, so needless to say, I was stoked to see him, and he did not disappoint. In case you are interested, the other 4 on the list (in no particular order) are as follows:
a. Bill Cosby – He was one of the first comedians I remember seeing. His “Himself” show was (and still is) one of the absolute all-time greatest stand-up shows I’ve ever seen. Yes, he sucks now, and his Cosby Show was not so good, but he was awesome once.
b. Eddie Murphy – Speaking of being awesome once, has there ever been a comedian that had 3 huge hit shows in a row (Comedian, Delirious, and RAW)? Yes, he was much different than Cosby, and he cursed a ton. But, man, those shows were gold. Maybe he should put another one of these out, now that his career stinks.
c. Richard Prior – Talkin’ about shaking up the industry. This guy was a pioneer when it came to both sexual and political humor. I remember buying an album of his when I was like 10 years old. I had to put the volume really low, because not a sentence went by that he didn’t curse. Brilliant insight, though.
d. Bill Hicks – It is a shame this guy died so early. He could’ve been the best (in my mind, he was the best). Very political in his viewpoints, but his stories always had a point, and they were always funny (even though sometimes you felt guilty laughing at them).

4 comments:

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Ink and Stone said...

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1. Meh.

2. My favorite comedians (in no particular order):

Lewis Black - his anger he gives during a performance is enough to crack me up.

George Carlin - classic.

Steven Wright - His dry, almost monotonous delivery is great.

Robin Williams - Some of his old stand-up made me fall off my chair.

Richard Jeni - I saw him on Comedy Central not too long ago, hardest I've laughed in a long time.

The combo of Drew Carey, Ryan Stiles, Colin Mochrie on the improv show - Who's Line Is it Anyway? - They play off each other and make it funny as all hell.

Rev. Smokin Steve said...

Being a man who tried his hand at stand up comedy briefly, I can tell you that no entertainer in the world has my respect more than comedians. It is the hardest thing in the world to do. I've been a comic watcher for a long time.

This is my pantheon of stand up comedians in order...

1. Rodney Dangerfield... one thing I know about comedy is that if you hit on a successful gimmick, you can ride it all the way for the rest of your career. Henny Youngman had "Take my wife, please!" Kevin Meaney had his imitations fo his parents, "You're like a crazy person! That's not right!" No one was better at this than Rodney's "I don't get no respect" gimmick. No other single statement has ever defined a comedic career better. And he had the chops to tell great jokes to go with it. Truly the master of the craft.

2. Richard Pryor... no one ever was more honest and open with his comedy. He influenced more comedians than anyone in history. For a long time, there was Richard, then there was everyone else.

3. George Carlin... one of the rare comedians that has managed to be truly relevant and with the times in the 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's, and today. He is putting out another new HBO special. That's a testament to longetivity and true genius over a long period of time.

4. Robin Williams... in stand up, no one can bring more energy and more jokes in a short span than him. And no one can take over a late night talk show better than him as a guest. He is someone that can't be duplicated.

5. Bill Cosby... maybe his fastball isn't what it once was. But when his fastball was in the 100 mph range and he was at his funniest, he was one of the true greats. The amount of recorded material he has put out in tapes, movies, and records over the years is unmatched by anyone. And I still think his comedy is the equivalent of a decent 89 mph fastball with a little movement.

Now, I will give you other favorites of mine that are a notch below the pantheon in no particular order...

Eddie Murphy... there is only one reason he is not in my big 5. Yes, there was a period of time that he was the funniest man on the planet. And he once sold out sports arenas which only a select few comics could ever do. But he only sustained that for a few short years in my mind. He has been unwilling to take a stand up stage in a long time. I wonder if he will ever try to do that again. It might be tremendous if he ever tried that again, then again it might be a disaster.

Gallagher... I know he's silly at times, but he always made me laugh. And talk about hitting on a gimmick that worked. The Sledgeomatic bit actually drew people to his shows.

Bobcat Goldthwait... when I saw him live a few years back, he had abandoned his old screaming gimmick and did his own observations. And he was hilarious without the gimmick. That is incredible in its own right.

Whoopi Goldberg... if you only think of her as a movie actress, you are missing something with her stand up show on Broadway. It had me in stitches.

Andy Kaufman... I considered putting him in the pantheon, but his career was cut way too short. Plus, he bombed a lot, and many times on purpose. I admire his guts to try new stuff. And the stuff that did work was pure genius.

Bill Hicks... the man has cult status now after his death. Steve Trevelise told me a story about him where they worked a club together and Hicks was miserably sick with the flu. He had to be carried up the stairs behind the stage. But right before he got on stage, he snapped himself together and went out and did a killer set. Then, he left the stage and damn near collapsed. That takes brass balls.

Andrew Dice Clay... any comedian that can get themselves to the level of selling out sports arenas has done something special, even if it is for a short time. There was a time when he could do it.

Sam Kinison... the man was a preacher at one time in his life, and then went the route of comedy. There is no more unique set of circumstances than that. His career was cut way too short.

Richard Jeni... I was converted to a Richard Jeni fan after seeing his last HBO special. It was a riot. He's been at it for a long time, and I respect longevity in the stand up world. It doesn't happen to everyone.

Chris Rock... his stand up routines are quoted often by radio shows and other comedians as well as his fans. Anytime you give material that a lot of people quote you are a major success.

Jeff said...

1. Anyone else think the BCS system in college football is retarded?
** JoePa has been calling for playoffs for about 30 years.
** The answer is NOT money, it's university president stupidity. A playoff through the bowls would make more money than March Madness.
** And a playoff would make money for each school as well. When Washington won the national title in 1991, UW actually LOST money on the Rose Bowl trip -- despite its huge payout -- due to booking too many team activities. This would not happen in a playoff, because there might be another game, or you've already played enough that you can afford a little splurge.

2. I had the pleasure of seeing Brian Regan this weekend. I believe I mentioned that in a previous post. He is one of my top-5 favorite comedians of all-time
** My favorite comedian is any Hollywood moron -- er, celebrity who demands to have his views taken seriously. Sean Penn comes immediately to mind.