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Jen Kirkman’s top ten stand-up comedians

The US stand-up and ‘Chelsea Lately’ star reveals her favourite comics

1/10

Kevin Meaney

‘I love to watch comedians do silly things and keep going with them. I could never pull that off.’

2/10

Judy Gold

‘I watched Judy for hours as a comic starting out in New York City. I’ve got a soft spot for those of us who imitate our moms.’

3/10

Roseanne Barr

‘I heard that “suck my dick” was a joke she told back in her open mic days and nothing is better than watching her get laughs on an HBO special for it.’

4/10

David Spade

‘I watched this video when I started out in stand-up and realised stories about personal failure is exactly what I relate to most.’

5/10

Dave Chappelle

‘This clip about “Sesame Street” is just pure observational silliness. We forget how silly Dave is. I will always laugh at, “Bitch, I live in a fucking trash can. Nobody’s helping me.”’

6/10

George Carlin

‘For when I want to laugh and also kind of get mad and nod my head in agreement.’

7/10

Sam Kinison

‘Sam was the first stand-up I ever saw on TV when I was eight, and it was the first time that hearing yelling made me laugh.’

8/10

Joan Rivers

‘She’ll always be my favourite. A woman discussing how it’s a man’s world from a feminist perspective and getting laughs on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in 1967 – you have to be funny to do that.’

9/10

Chris Rock

‘You can hear the audience finally decide it’s okay to laugh during Chris Rock’s “Niggas vs Black People” routine. It’s Chris’s truth and this comes from a real place for him. It’s risky that people won’t get it. And that’s comedy.’

10/10

Louis CK

‘This clip shows what every straight woman instinctually feels. I wish I thought to say it first, but it’s funnier when a man admits it.’

Read our interview with Louis CK


Ahead of her trip to London, we asked Massachusetts-born stand-up and writer Jen Kirkman to run down her ten favourite comedians. As well as her role as a panellist on ‘Chelsea Lately’ in the States, Kirman’s a regular contributor to fellow comic Paul F Tompkins’s laidback podcast ‘The Pod F Tompkast’ who, funnily enough, doesn’t appear in her top ten…

What do you think of Kirkman’s choices? Tell us in the comments box below.

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