Junk Drawer: Favorite Stand-up Comedian

Alex: Kevin Smith

There are so many comedians in the world today that use different styles and talk about different kinds of content, but the one comedian that has stood out to me the most is Kevin Smith. Kevin Smith is an actor, comic book writer and podcaster as well as the director of films like “Mallrats,” “Clerks” and “Chasing Amy.” Out of all the things that he is known for, and the thing that I really like about Kevin Smith, is that he is a major fan of comic books. Aside from being a comic-book fan, I also like a lot of the films that he has created, especially “Mallrats,” which can make me laugh nearly every time I watch it. So even though there are a lot of funny celebrities in the world, Smith will always be one of my all-time favorites.

Ben: John Mulaney

I discovered John Mulaney doing a hardcore session of procrastination during that magical time at night when you suddenly realize it’s now, technically, “tomorrow.” Netflix tempted me with its large special promotion it does on the main screen: “John Mulaney: The Comeback Kid.” For the next hour, I was laughing so hard that I had to bite into the blanket I was wrapped in because I didn’t want to wake my family. John Mulaney chooses his material cleverly, mixing in pop culture icons like “Back to the Future” with anecdotal stories of his childhood that seem all too relatable to my own life. He’s charming and cheeky—just enough to keep it interesting but he never crosses into vulgarity. One of my favorite lines of Mulaney is “In terms of like, instant relief, cancelling plans is like heroin.”

Eduardo: Anthony Jeselnik

Dirty jokes, race jokes, political jokes, social-matters jokes—most comedians can make us laugh with any of these in a heartbeat, but few of them fall under the category of complete savages who make us feel bad about ourselves from laughing at their jokes. This is Anthony Jeselnik’s main talent and the reason I love his stand-up. I first watched his stand-up special “Thoughts and Prayers” on Netflix in 2015. My favorite moment of this stand-up was when he mentioned how he cannot visit Australia anymore since he got so many death threats after a joke he made in his “Jeselnik Offensive” show on Comedy Central. What was the joke? It was titled “Shark Party.” The whole point of it? Jeselnik threw a party with dancers in which he makes fun of a guy in Australia who was killed by a great white shark. Now, I know this sounds bad; it sounds terrible. The purpose of the skit was to show that humans kill more sharks rather than the other way around, but things got slightly out of hand, and it was just hilarious.

Heidi: Robin Williams

I don’t really know stand-up comedy that well. Honestly, the first time I watched stand-up comedy was after watching “The Office” episode in which Michael tries to imitate Chris Rock. Curious, I looked up the original performance, which was simultaneously hilarious and intelligent. The closest I get to stand-up comedy is SNL, as many of these cast members come from a background of stand-up comedy. The comedian that I keep going back to, however, is Robin Williams. With his witty observations and incredible energy, Williams was an exceptional comedian. His stage presence was incredible; he was always moving, accompanying his jokes with gestures that heightened the hilarity. Because of his amazing energy and eccentric personality, the audience never really knew where he would go. You couldn’t count on what Williams would do, but you could count on laughing.

Rebecca: Robin Williams

Our world has had many great comedians. Robin Williams was among the best. He made every movie he was in funny, full of both laughter and meaning. “Jumanji,” “Aladdin” and “R.V.” are some of my favorite movies that he was in. “Aladdin” especially stands out for me. Though the Genie is forced to work for different masters, the friendship he creates with Aladdin stands true. In the end, it is this friendship that releases him from a genie’s “itty-bitty living space” and gives him freedom. Robin Williams always wanted to make others smile. It was a sad day when he left this world, but he will always be remembered.

Sam: Dave Chappelle

Dave Chappelle is one of the pioneers of modern comedy and also had an amazingly funny sketch show. Chappelle has never been afraid to push boundaries and give his insight on controversial topics. Even though he took about ten years off from comedy for personal reasons, he is still an incredibly influential and hilarious man. I also need to give him major props for going off-script and shouting out A Tribe Called Quest at the 2018 Grammy Awards.


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