Thanks to the internet and streaming video services, comedy fans have access to a nearly endless supply of hilarious stand-up. Whether you want to hear a set from the legendary Jerry Seinfeld or check out a burgeoning funny lady like Iliza Shlesinger, all you have to do is logon to the internet. While videos are nice, and you can watch them in your underwear, nothing beats seeing a stand-up comic live and in person.
When you’re a member of the audience—whether it’s at a comedy club, a theater, or an arena—you’ll laugh harder and longer than you would if you were alone. It hasn’t been proven by a team of scientists or anything like that but laughing is contagious and when you’re surrounded by other comedy fans who are busting a gut over Louis C.K. or Chelsea Handler you’ll find it impossible not to LOL.
Currently, live comedy is dominated by the likes of Daniel Tosh, Kevin Hart, Lisa Lampanelli, Dane Cook, Bill Engvall, Ron White, Aziz Ansari, and Sarah Silverman. For a raucous, everyman look at the world you should check out Rob Delaney. For funny stories that make you think you’ve got to attend a Mike Birbiglia show. Brutally honest comic Doug Stanhope will crack wise about anything and will do it with a cigarette in his mouth. Then there’s the “red-nexican” Alex Reymundo, the quirky Brian Posehn, the acidic Marc Maron, and the musical Reggie Watts. Those names are just the tip of the comedy iceberg. Currently, there’s a plethora of hilarious comics touring the continent.
Although they’re not on the road as much as they use to be, keep an eye out for comedy’s elder statesmen (and women). We’re talking about comic icons like Jay Leno, Tim Allen, Kathy Griffin, Jaime Kennedy, Wayne Brady, Steve Harvey, and Joan Rivers. Rivers is in her 80s and she’s still sharp as a tack.
There are also comedy shows that are more than a microphone and a bunch of jokes. One of the most successful comedians in the world is ventriloquist Jeff Dunham. Every time he performs he brings out a cast of chortle-inducing puppets. “Weird Al” Yankovic has made a sizable living crafting hysterical parodies of some of music’s most popular songs. David Sedaris is one of America’s funniest authors. His unique brand of humor translates nicely to the stage and you’ll never hear him ask “what’s the deal with airplane food?”