Everybody loves to have a laugh, and that is what makes comedians some of the most adored people on the planet. Correction: That is what makes GOOD comedians some of the most adored people on the planet. It seems that the actors that are most remembered are the ones that played affable or comical roles-those that are typecast as bad guys only get a slither of the fame the good guys get in the long run. No wonder that every year there is renewed speculation over who’s the funniest person in America; somehow, action heroes and other acting niches appear to have a far lower turnover rate. Let’s face it, nobody wants to miss the chance to rub elbows with the funny guy or gal of the moment. This list of today’s best comics goes out in honor of the truly life-changing power of laughter; may it be employed for the most noble of ends.
1) Jon Stewart: it is enough simply to recount a few statistics to understand why this man is a serious comedy success story: He took the Daily Show from a non-entity status in the late 90s to top-of-the-ratings status in just a few years, hosted the Oscars twice in three years, penned one of the highest-grossing books of the decade, and launched his own comedy production house. Stewart has the subtle style of a well-educated man, though he lacks the pretentiousness that often besets the witty-humor category.
2) Dave Chappelle: this guy is just about the most creative and clever sketch-comedy artist in the world. His mix of potty humor and sophisticated irony have been unlike any other’s, and though his prime viewers are college aged, HD TV-owning, heavy-drinking men, he has struck a chord in the larger society. The DVD of his show’s first season was the best-selling DVD for a good long stretch after it was released: that says a lot. Though he has been keeping a low profile as of late, this comedian will only be getting better and better as time goes by.
3) Steven Colbert: in perfect harmony with Jon Stewart’s humor, Steven Colbert has set himself up as Comedy Central’s new star. With his always-in-character style (or is that really the way he is?), Colbert has tricked more than a few wise-yet unsuspecting-guests into being the victims of his satire. Always witty, and always with the best interests of the country at heart, Colbert is incorrigible and untiring, two key ingredients to be a great comic (or a sports star, which, with his physique, could also be possible).
4) Dane Cook: off-the-wall and with apparently unending reserves of energy, Dane Cook is sure to be at the top of this list in a few years’ time. Though he does somewhat more adolescent humor than some would like, he has an undeniably unique mixture of quirkiness, flamboyance, gesticulation, and absurdness that no other comedian can match (much less even attempt to reproduce).
5) Sacha Baron Cohen: nobody will ever be able to forget Borat, no matter how hard they try. The way in which Cohen managed to seemingly effortlessly get his unwitting guinea pigs to dig their own graves speaks of a truly brilliant, perhaps even twisted mind. Though people may disagree over whether they find the man himself funny, he has the ability to create the funniest situations, and that is an accomplishment worth noting in the field of comedy.
These laugh-mongers all have movies and shows available on cable or satellite TV, so don’t hesitate to switch on the tube and get a healthy dose of laughter to make your day. And no worries, you don’t have to have a high definition set to watch comedy…it makes no difference.