1. Eddie Murphy “Delirious”
2. Tie: Comedy Central Roasts of Pamela Anderson & Flava Flav
3. Chris Rock “Bring The Pain”
4. George Carlin “George Carlin: 40 Years of Comedy”
5. Richard Pryor “Richard Pryor: Live in Concert”
6. Lisa Lampanelli “Dirty Girl”
7. Dave Chappelle “Killing Them Softly”
8. Andrew Dice Clay “The Dice Man Cometh”
9. Damon Wayans “The Last Stand”
10. Eddie Griffin “Voodoo Child”
1. Eddie Murphy: Delirious
The best stand-up I’ve ever seen and it still hasn’t been beaten after 27 years. For anyone who never saw Murphy in his prime, this stand-up will shock you as it’s so vulgar and brash, it’s hard to recognize this other Murphy we see on the movie screen these days. It’s about ninety minutes without once pause for you to take a break from laughter. Still the ultimate stand-up force to be reckoned with.
2. Comedy Central Roasts of Pamela Anderson & Flava Flav
Okay, it’s a weird pick and technically a “roast” but there’s plenty of stand-up in these roasts to warrant a place on this list. Both roasts gave me some of the biggest laughs of my life, nailing Anderson with jokes you wouldn’t dare say behind her back much less while she’s sitting there on stage. The punchlines on Pamela were a lot colder than Flav’s but there were lines from Flava’s roast that are some of the best I’ve ever heard.
3. Chris Rock: Bring The Pain
It was a long time before anything had come close to Delirious but Bring The Pain is almost as good. Almost. But where Eddie Murphy nails you with a few hilarious stories, Chris Rock delivers tons of great one-liners and stomach busting theories that you’ll be hurting after watching it.
4. George Carlin: 40 Years of Comedy
I cheated on this one and gave the third spot to a tribute given to George Carlin by Comedy Central. The reason is because it was able to use a good amount of his routine material, the ones many of us are aware of and in awe of.
5. Richard Pryor: Live in Concert
This was just after his infamous experience with freebasing where he burned himself terribly. But Pryor attacks the issue head on, making fun of it and showing why he was one of the greatest of all time. It’s probably his best big concert ever and really brings out some of his best comedy.
6. Lisa Lampanelli: Dirty Girl
Not that the comedians in front of her on this list aren’t ballsy enough but of all the comedians I’ve ever watched, which is a lot, Lampanelli probably has the biggest pair of balls in the business. Go figure. She’s the most foul-mouthed comic out there today but her risky sashay around usually touchy political correctness issues is what makes Lampenelli and this particular stand-up so good.
7. Dave Chappelle: Killing Them Softly
There’s so many good parts in this one but I always seem to remember his limousine ride through the D.C. ghetto where a baby is standing on the corner at three o’clock in the morning. Chapelle: “Hey baby! Baby, go home, man! It’s 3 o’clock in the morning man, what the fuck are you doing up?” The baby says, “I’m selling weed, nigga!” Obviously, it’s a lot better to hear him deliver it.
8. Andrew Dice Clay: The Ice Man Cometh
For a few years in the late eighties, there wasn’t a comedian in the world as popular as Andrew Dice Clay. He faded and isn’t nearly the comic of anyone else on this list but this special is the best of his best, The Dice Man summed up in one special that is definitely worth a look.
9. Damon Wayans: The Last Stand
As Damon Wayans was mired in fame from In Living Color, he came out with this stand-up that knocked me on my ass laughing. There’s a lot of funny material here with a great Mike Tyson impersonation (which he also did on In Living Color) as well as a hilarious tale of when his punk nephew visits.
10.. Eddie Griffin: Voodoo Child
If it weren’t for the horribly unfunny movies he did, Eddie Griffin would be considered a better comedian than he is a character in crappy movies. If you want to see his comedy at best, and where he recycled a lot of his material the last ten years from, check out Voodoo Child. Nobody does a better Michael Jackson impression and it’s not close.