Saturday, November 03, 2007

Best Stand-up Comedian in the Business

I've seen a lot of stand-up comedians in my life. Jerry Seinfeld, John Cleese, Dana Carvey, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, Norm MacDonald, Adam Sandler, Lewis Black and Jay Mohr are the best that come to mind. None of them touch seeing Robin Williams live, however. I saw him for what must be about the sixth or seventh time tonight at Bimbo's 365 and he was fantastic as usual. To see Williams at Bimbos is a real treat because it's a small venue (~300 people) and he is much less filtered than he is in his HBO special that aired a few years ago (links to selected clips below). Before I forget, if you live in the SF Bay area and you want tickets to his shows get on this mailing list. You get a days' warning before tickets go on sale, and you better be ready to snap them up in the first 60 seconds or they're all gone (and you can only get two tickets). That being said it's definitely worth it.

Tonight Williams did a few bits I've seen before (he does a great one on intelligent design that is funny every time), but he did a few new ones as well. Of course a good chunk of his material is just him making it up as he goes along which is part of the fun. This one woman in the front row kept getting up to go to the bathroom and he made fun of her every time she got up and every time she got back.

He did a bit on the first answering machine that was pretty funny. In it he pretended to be Alexander Graham Bell playing his outgoing message for a caller.

"Hello, you've reached Alexander Graham Bell. I'm not sure how you're calling me seeing as I have the only phone in existence. Please leave your name and number and when I invent a second phone I'll call you back."

The second new bit that he did relied one of his many fantastic character voices. This is possible his best of them all -- his French "I don't give a sh*t/life sucks" voice (where he's constantly pretending to smoke a cigarette. Why? Because he's French). In it he created a scene where a French clown went to a small child's birthday party. The entire bit focused on the clown telling the child how depressing life is and how the birthday merely meant that the child was a year closer to death. I can't remember all the details, but it was really funny.

The last one-liner that he had that was pretty funny was (again) using one of his voices. He was talking about Bono being at a concert recently where he was having everyone clap their hands together. Then he (Bono) says, "Every time you clap your hands a child in Africa dies." Williams then says a Scotsman in the back then shouts out (and this works best if you know what his Scottish accent sounds like), "Then stop clapping your f@cking hands!" If you don't know what his Scottish accent sounds like or you've never seen his bit on golf you should check this out.


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randy said...

George Carlin is THE greatest stand up comedien of ALL time. Period. Look at his body of work. Most comediens have one album of material...including seinfeld (who rips carlin off at every opportunity)....Also Bill Hickws was GREAT. Also Sam Kinison was genius!

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