comedy end of year 2013

Best Comedy Albums of 2013

9.1.14

All of the albums and specials to follow have been released on CD or DVD which you can buy from Amazon etc, some on download formats via the artists’ websites and some are available to stream on TV services like Netflix.

All of the albums and specials to follow have been released in 2013, as well as more than a hundred others have, that didn’t make this short list. From those, honourable mentions should include: Tom Papa, Sarah Silverman, Bill Cosby, Kevin Hart, Kristen Schaal and Jimmy Pardo.

All of the albums and specials to follow are funny and worth your attention.

All of the albums and specials to follow are dangerous.

5. Pete Holmes: Nice Try, The Devil

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It’s not an easy job having to follow Conan, but somebody’s got to do it and this guy not only manages to pull it off, but he’s taking one great step after another towards becoming part of the top league. He produces one of the most popular podcasts for quite a while now, he did a very funny comedy album a couple of years ago, now he’s got this late night talk show on TBS and at the same time does this Comedy Central special, also released as a proper album. Pete Holmes doesn’t play smart. He’s silly, goofy and probably if he keeps the momentum on, it wouldn’t be surprising if soon enough this guy becomes a household name comedy-wise.

4. Mike Birbiglia: My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend

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Birbiglia wanders around love, marriage and relationships in general. The intense storytelling brings out the laughs, yet it’s very emotional and at points bitter. This show’s been running off-Broadway since 2011, so this 2013 live at Carnegie Hall finale, being released on an album was definitely worth the wait.

3. Maria Bamford: Ask Me About My New God!

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Maria Bamford has that special talent in her flexible voice, that makes it sound easy how she acts this one out. Her newest album is brilliantly performed, written on the verge of a hard fight against depression and mental illness. It is so very funny because it is so very honest.

2. Louis C.K.: Oh My God

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If there should be a crowning of an one and only, sole King of Comedy in our times, the honours would probably had to go to Louis C.K. The man could stand there still and stare at an empty space and still be hilarious. Every album, every special is better than the previous one and as Louis gets older, struggling with his self-awareness, his feelings and behaviours, we’re surely due for many more brilliant albums to come. That’s one of the two reasons Oh My God is not at the top spot of our list. Louis will simply be at number one many times in the years to follow. The other reason is…

1. Anthony Jeselnik: Caligula

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Who cares if The Jeselnik Offensive got cancelled way too soon. That doesn’t make Jeselnik any less of a sharp mind and a brilliant writer. Caligula is his second album, following 2010’s Shakespeare and he’s two for two. Again, his jokes are short, most of the times one sentence long, simple yet so deep and profound. Jeselnik is irritatingly confident, cocky at some points and always courageous enough to joke about rape, murder, tragedy, death like nobody’s business. He doesn’t seem to care if you’re offended at all, but if you are, even better, he’ll go on until he finishes you off.

I really enjoyed all five of these (and many more) comedy releases this year, but honestly, Caligula was the one that fried my brain. That’s why I think it’s the well deserved Comedy Album of the Year.

ZR

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