10 Classic Comedy Routines
Here, in no particular order, are ten seminal comedy routines from the greatest laugh masters of all time.
1: Jackie "Moms" Mabley was one of the most ingenious women ever to take the stage, she was 81 years old when she died and she used her advanced age as the lynchpin of her comedy. She dressed like the crazy, toothless lady up the street who wears her nightgown out in public.
This diminutive, seemingly harmless old lady would shuffle out from behind the curtain and tell the most outrageous bawdy stories and the audiences loved it. She was a popular guest on variety shows like The Ed Sullivan Show, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, The Carol Burnett Show and the mid-day talk shows like The Merv Griffin Show. Before she was discovered by the TV audiences in the 1960s she was commanding big bucks playing the Apollo Theater and before that she toured the "chitlin' circuit." She was billed as "The Funniest Woman on Earth" and I suspect she was in her time.
In this bit Moms talks about raising children, this is one of the funniest monologues you'll ever hear. Listen as Moms lets the comedy tension build to a rousing conclusion, she was a master of timing and pacing.
2: Growing up in the South I heard Andy Griffith's 'What It Was Was Football' many times; it was recorded in 1953 but was such a hoot it remained popular for decades on morning radio down in Dixie.
3. That reminds me of the late, great Jerry Clower, one of the funniest guys to come out of the South and one of the few that made it somewhat into the mainstream before the days of Jeff Foxworthy (who forever mainstreamed redneck humor).
Jerry Clower had some great comedy bits but his unique delivery was enough to carry over any bit. He loved to talk about Marcel Ledbetter, these stories were based on true events and actual people although there was some exaggeration to be sure.
Clower's most famous routine might be 'The Coon Hunting Story' from his first hit platinum-selling comedy album. Southern comics relied on an authenticity in the same way Richard Pryor, Bill Cosby and Jackie Mason did, the audiences wouldn't have it any other way.
4: Flip Wilson's 'Ugly Baby' routine absolutely killed on the Tonight show in the 1960s; he told it again on other shows. The impact it had on his career was enormous, suddenly everyone was talking about Flip Wilson. This was during a time when the most respected comedians told funny stories instead of rattling off jokes.
5. One of the great storytellers to come out of the 1960s was Bill Cosby, his comedy albums sold in the millions and with good reason, they're all a scream. This bit, 'Noah,' is a perfect example of Cosby's brash, masterful storytelling skills. It's easy to see how the Saturday Night Live style of comedy a decade later came directly from Cosby's wry, confrontational absurdism.
6: Hollywood Squares may have been a cheesy daytime game show but there were some gut busting moments thanks to regulars Paul Lynde and George Gobel.
7. Rodney Dangerfield was a comic made for TV. He broke out on The Ed Sullivan Show in the 1960s and soon became known for his "I Don't Get No Respect" routine, a genius hook for a comedy bit.
Dangerfield appeared on the Tonight show 35 times, he was one of Johnny Carson's favorite guests and no wonder, he killed every time and was right in line with Johnny's sense of humor.
8: Jack Benny - who can forget the Great Frank Nelson ("Yeeeeeeeees?") when he would go up against penny pinching Benny.
9: One of my favorite modern comics, Paul Mooney, talks about white movies and the Lassie TV show from one of his older comedy CDs. In 2006, Mooney swore off using the 'N' word, I never understood why that word had to come back in the first place. Incidentally, NBC was the first network to ban the word, back in the 1940s, and was the first to bring it back with regularity on Sanford & Son.
10: Red Buttons was another second banana that I enjoyed on the rare times he would turn up on TV. By the 1970s he was mostly relegated to the daytime TV talk circuit but I still remember watching this first routine from Red Buttons and roaring with laughter, from the Dean Martin Roasts.
Of course, these ten great comedy routines are just the tip of the iceberg, but that's all for now.
12 Classic Comedy Routines
Please consider a donation
so we can continue this work!
Local Kid Shows / Movie Stars on TV / Saturday Morning Shows / Video Vault / TV Goodbyes / Fabulous Fifties / Unseen Scenes / Game Shows / Requested Forgotten TV Shows / The Super Sixties / The New * * Shows / 1980's Wrestling / TV Blog
|TV's Embarrassing Moments / Action Shows of the Sixties / TVparty Mysteries and Scandals / Variety Shows of the 1970s / The Eighties / The Laugh Track / 1970's Hit Shows / Response to TVparty / Search the Site / Add Your Comments|
Hit Shows of the Seventies: Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy / Gene Roddenberry in the 1970s / 1977-1978 Superhero & Science Fiction TV Shows / Patrick Duffy of Dallas Interview / Best Season of Dallas Ever? / TV Show Book Tie-Ins / Mary Kay Place Albums of the 1970s / That Girl & TV's Single Working Women / Star Trek Animated / Dark Shadows / Dark Shadows Movies / Dark Shadows Novels / Dawn Wells / Gavin McLeod / The Music Dark Shadows / 1970 TV Shows / Mike Wallace, Virginia Graham & Jim Longworth / Dick Clark / 1973 TV Shows / Thriller / The Jacksons TV Show / Fall Previews of the 70s / Lance Link, Secret Chimp / Star Wars Holiday Special / Alias Smith and Jones / 1977 Year in Review / Top Ten 1970-76 / The Rockford Files / All in the Family / Sam Hall (Dark Shadows) Interview / Battlestar Galactica / Wonder Woman / Network Jingles / Class of '74 / Happy Days / Good Times / Mr. Bill / Dinah! / Maude / Doris Day Show / Pamelyn Ferdin Interview / The Bicentennial Minute / Jingles & Catch Phrases of the 1970s / Early Cable TV 1970s / TV commercials for Women / TV Moms / Country Music TV Shows of the 1960s & 1970s / Betty White Show / Ron Palillo / Shirley Jones Interview / Tom Bosley / Rodney Dangerfield / How Sanford & Son Ended / Sanford & Son Spin-Off Grady / Great Memoirs / Virginia Graham Show / The "N" Word on TV / 10 Classic Comedy Routines You Have To Laugh At Before You Die / Hollywood Squares / 1970's Teen Idols & The Hudson Brothers / TV Stars with 3 Hit Shows / The Rookies / Unsold Pilots / Jackie Cooper / The Good Guys / Match Game / Make Room For Granddaddy / Mannix & Gail Fisher / Bette Midler in the 1970s / Bonus 1970's Stuff: Silent Star Marion Mack / Biff Burger / 1970s Fast Food Chains / Latin Casino / Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire / 1970's Daytime Talk Shows / The Fess Parker Show / Love, Loss & What I Watched
|Classic TV Commercials / 1950's TV / 1960's TV / 1970's TV / Lucy Shows / Classic Cars / John Wayne / Gene Roddenberry / Rockford Files / Sea Hunt / Superman on DVD / Toy Gun Ads / Flip Wilson Show / Big Blue Marble / Monty Hall / Carrascolendas / Mr. Dressup / Major Mudd / Chief Halftown / Baby Daphne / Sheriff John / Winchell & Mahoney / Fireball X-L5 / Mr. Wizard / Captain Noah / Thanksgiving Day Specials / Disney's First Christmas Special / Saturday Morning Cartoons / The Magic Garden / Amahl & the Night Visitors / Holiday Toy Commercials / Lucy & Desi's Last Christmas Show / Joey Heatherton / Fat Albert / The Virginian / Bewitched / Death of John Wayne / 1974 Saturday Mornings / Chuck McCann / Rudolph Collectables / Shrimpenstein / Local Popeye Shows / New Treasure Hunt / 1966 ABC TV Shows / 1967 TV Shows / 1968 TV Shows / Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes & Baby Doll / Fridays / TV Moms / Red Skelton / George Lindsay / Star Wars / KISS / Lancelot Link / Saturday Morning Cartoons / The Magic Garden / Wonder Woman / Classic Comic Books / Andy Griffith / Cher / TV Shows on DVD / Outtakes & Bloopers / 1967 TV Shows / Romper Room / ABC Movie of the Week / The Goldbergs / Daws Butler Commercials / Saturday Morning Commercials / Captain Kangaroo / Chicago Local Kiddie Shows / Boston Local TV / Philly Local TV / NYC Local Kid Shows / Amos 'n' Andy / Electric Company / Bette Davis / Judy Garland / Christmas Specials / Redd Foxx / Good Times / Sitcom Houses / What's Happening! / Winky Dink & You / Sonny & Cher / Smothers Brothers / Commercial Icons of the 1960s / Soupy Sales / TV Terrorists / Irwin Allen / The Untouchables / Carol Burnett Show / Batman TV Show / Green Hornet / Today Show History / Our Gang / Doris Day Show / 1970's Commercials For Women / Bill Cosby in the 1970s / The Golddiggers / Lola Falana / 1970s TV Shows / David Bowie on TV / Hudson Brothers / Jackie Gleason / Hollywood Squares / Match Game / Bob Keeshan / Gumby / The Flip Wilson Show / Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour / The Bobby Darin Show / The Richard Pryor Show / George Burns / Celebrity Commercials / Rudolph / Movie Posters & More!|