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Favorite funnies?

I was thinking today about what got me interested in stand-up comedy, what my earliest memories of comedians are, what made me laugh as a kid that still makes me laugh today.

My parents were fairly strict about monitoring my TV and movie watching habits growing up, so I was never exposed to, say, Richard Pryor or George Carlin. (Except, of course, when Carlin appeared as The Conductor on “Shining Times Station.” Choo chooooo.) But Dad was a huge Mel Brooks fan, and the jokes encompassed enough innuendo that, as kids, we didn’t get it when Young Frankenstein‘s Inga vanted to take a roll in ze hay, or when Blazing Saddles’ Lili Von Shtupp crooned that men were always coming and going and going and coming…too soon. We just thought that Frau Blucher was silly, that Sherrif Bart was goofy. We just liked to laugh.

Then, when I discovered Gilda Radner…I was hooked. I’d found my idol. Most girls my age were into (and I’m dating myself here) Debbie Gibson and Tiffany and the New Kids on the Block. I loved Gilda. Loved Steve Martin. Loved loved loved Gene Wilder.

What about you?


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Comment from John
Time: October 15, 2009, 9:51 am

Ironically, what made me put comedians on a pedestal, wasn’t initially that they were funny, but that they were so confident. I was impressed by the likes of Johnny Carson who could stand in front of hundreds of people and be as cool as a refrigerated cucumber.

Comment from Raero
Time: October 16, 2009, 9:23 am

Gilda was my #1 too! With Debbie Gibson, a close second of course…

Comment from Ken Reid
Time: October 16, 2009, 11:05 am

The usual suspects come to mind: Bob Newhart, Cosby, Pryor.

But I also was a big fan of things like the guys on the Young Ones, Joe Bob Briggs, “Commander USA”, Jonathan Ross and alot of general comedic television hosts. Every interview I saw as a kid with John Waters played a big part.

When I was a pre-teen/teen I watched a lot of the original Comedy Channel/Comedy Central and really got into guys like Dana Gould, Louis CK, Rick Overton and Bill Hicks.

No real shocks.

Comment from Ken Reid
Time: October 16, 2009, 11:07 am

I should also add I was very into Debbie Gibson and will forever associate Tiffany with “Growing Pains” (the use of the song “Coulda Been” in one of my favorite episodes being a major factor). But that’s more sad than funny.

Comment from Dave B
Time: October 16, 2009, 11:56 am

Oh man, Gilda Radner is THE BEST. She is well-loved but vastly underappreciated. It doesn’t get much better than Jackie O. as a weightlifter.