Top 5 Moments In Stand-Up History
While stand-up comedy seems to have lost prominence in popular culture due to feature-length films, nothing beats a good stand-up concert. In fact, many comedians see stand-up as a means to an end these days, formally retiring or choosing to take their acts to the big and small screens. In honor of the great lost art, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best moments from some of the most memorable personalities in stand-up over the past few decades.
5. Redd Foxx Explains The Importance of Hygiene…in Three Words
Take his advice and live by those three words. It’ll make the world a better place.
4. Eddie Murphy On Kids and The Ice Cream Truck
The great observational skills of great stand-up comedians are all on display here, as Murphy takes us back to the good ol’ days in Delirious.
3. George Carlin Says The Seven Words You Can’t Say on Television
Carlin’s 1978 infamous bit was important to a U.S. Supreme Court case that granted the FCC the right to monitor and censor indecent language. Earlier this month, the FCC suffered a setback in its crusade against television indecency and despite the ongoing debate, The Seven Dirty Words are still a hit.
2. Chris Rock on The Difference Between Black People and N***as
The pure comedic genius that is Chris Rock lets the world in on the fact that stereotypes exist within the Black community as well as outside of it, and exposes the nonsensical attitudes that do damage in our neighborhoods for what they are. The best comedians offer highly insightful social commentary through their work, and bits like this have earned Rock his ranking as the number five comedian on Comedy Central’s list of the 100 greatest to ever take to the stage.
1. Richard Pryor Renounces The N-Word
Pryor, the undisputed greatest comedian in history and a longtime user of the lightning rod known as the n-word, took a trip to Africa in 1979. On that trip, he had an epiphany about the word, its meaning and use, and declared during Live on the Sunset Strip he would never use it again. More importantly, he explained why the word could never accurately describe the group of people it had long been used to demean.
True stand-up may indeed turn out to be a lost art. If so, at least we have a number of masterpieces from the greats to keep us laughing for years to come.