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Monday, July 22, 2024

Each Grammy Winner for Finest Comedy Album, Ranked


The Grammy Awards for Finest Comedy Album are woke! Apart from George Carlin in 1973, a girl or individual of shade received the award yearly from 1965 by means of 1977. The Comedy Grammys aren’t woke! Do you know that both Dave Chappelle or Louis C.Ok. has received six of the final eight awards, virtually all post-scandal? 

It’s a protracted, difficult historical past, which makes rating all of the winners difficult. Do I bear in mind the ethical failings of comics like C.Ok. and Invoice Cosby? If we’re being trustworthy, the good Richard Pryor has a historical past of conduct that ranks with the worst of them. So I’m solely contemplating the fabric on the albums right here — until these failings make their means into the precise successful comedy (see Dave Chappelle’s Sticks & Stones). I additionally downgraded winners that had been primarily audiobooks, with a choice for dwell comic performances in entrance of an viewers. 

With these caveats, let’s get to the definitive rating of greater than six a long time of Finest Comedy Album Grammy winners. As Marty DeBergi says when introducing Spinal Faucet, “Sufficient of my yakkin’! Whadya say — let’s boogie!”

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Peter Schickele, P.D.Q. Bach: 1712 Overture and Different Musical Assaults
(1990)

Peter Schickele, P.D.Q. Bach: Oedipus Tex and Different Choral Calamities
 (1991)

Peter Schickele, P.D.Q. Bach: WTWP Classical Talkity-Discuss Radio
(1992)

Peter Schickele, P.D.Q. Bach: Music for an Terrible Lot of Winds and Percussion (1993)

The comedian subtleties of P.D.Q. Bach are misplaced on cultural heathens like me, who fail to understand the hilarity of classical music parodies. Primarily based on 4 consecutive wins, Bach had an viewers that acquired the joke. I simply wasn’t a part of it. (Weirdly, the parents voting for Comedy Grammys had been nominating a number of old school acts within the early ’90s — Bach beat out performers a long time previous their prime like George Burns, Jonathan Winters and Bob and Ray.)

Dave Chappelle, Sticks & Stones
(2020)

Dave Chappelle, The Nearer (2023)

Not like problematic comics resembling Cosby or Woody Allen, Chappelle’s points are literally about his recorded comedy. Despite the fact that these albums had been rewarded by Grammy voters, jokes concentrating on transgendered individuals, the LGBT group on the whole and youngster sexual abuse didn’t age properly in actual time. I doubt historical past shall be kinder. 

Robin Williams, Good Morning, Vietnam (1989)

What’s this soundtrack doing right here? A couple of tracks of film dialogue that includes Williams, surrounded by oldies from the Seaside Boys and the Marvelettes. Not a comedy album!

Louis C.Ok., Sincerely (2022)

The comedy is okay. The self-pity on show right here isn’t. 

Allan Sherman, Good day Muddah, Good day Fadduh (A Letter From Camp) (1964)

An amusing little ditty from the period of the novelty music that may most likely nonetheless resonate with youngsters anxious about sleepaway camp. However nonetheless, a trifle.

Vaughn Meader, The First Household (1963)

This is likely to be the file that holds up the least properly, given the excessive diploma of topical humor centered across the Kennedy administration. Meader’s presidential impression was okay, however the file’s success had extra to do with Kennedy’s reputation than the comedian’s. 

George Carlin, Mind Droppings
(2001)

George Carlin, Napalm and Foolish Putty (2002)

Carlin scored back-to-back wins for studying his books of comedian essays out loud. Meh. The comedian has a number of albums of precise stand-up larger up on this listing. Carlin is best when he’s berating actual individuals as an alternative of a microphone.

Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner, The 2000 Yr Previous Man within the Yr 2000 (1999)

The unique 2000 Yr Previous Man recordings from the Sixties are timeless hilarities, however by the point Reiner and Brooks acquired round to taking one other swing a long time later, the routine was properly previous its sell-by date. 

Whoopi Goldberg, Whoopi Goldberg (Unique Broadway Present Recording) (1986)

As a comedy album, Whoopi Goldberg is a good Broadway present recording. 

Jonathan Winters, Crank(y) Calls (1996)

Like Brooks and Reiner, the Grammys would have carried out higher to acknowledge Winters at his comedic heights within the Fifties. Crank(y) Calls seems like a profession achievement award. Bravo, however there are funnier albums on this listing.

Al Franken, Rush Limbaugh Is A Huge Fats Fool and Different Observations
(1997)

Jon Stewart and the Solid of The Day by day PresentThe Day by day Present with Jon Stewart Presents… America: A Citizen’s Information to Democracy Inaction (2005)

Extra audiobooks. Humorous, however nonetheless any person studying you a e-book.

Stephen Colbert, A Colbert Christmas: The Best Present of All 
(2010)

Jimmy Fallon, Blow Your Pants Off (2013)

The late-night hosts staff up with well-known musicians for albums stuffed with humorous songs. Amusing however these data really feel misplaced amongst all of the stand-up.

Invoice Cosby, Revenge
(1968)

Invoice Cosby, Sports activities
(1970)

Invoice Cosby, Why Is There Air? (1966)

For six years beginning in 1965, the Grammy Award for Finest Comedy Album may have been renamed the Invoice Cosby Award. These three albums really feel like lesser variations of his different winners, however early Cosby was nonetheless a grasp of comedic storytelling that appealed equally to women and men, Black and white, younger and previous. Non-Grammy winner Jerry Seinfeld says Why Is There Air? impressed him to turn into a comic book.

Shelly Berman, Inside Shelly Berman (1960)

Berman modified the sport along with his conversational, erudite strategy to stand-up, typically improvised as he thumbed by means of the day’s newspaper. This one would seemingly be misplaced on a brand new listener in 2024, however essential comedy historical past nonetheless.

Tiffany Haddish, Black Mitzvah (2021)

Elevate your hand for those who knew Tiffany Haddish made a comedy album in 2021. Humorous however possibly we had been too busy with COVID to note.

Flip Wilson, The Satan Made Me Purchase This Costume (1971)

It’s not clear why comedy followers have forgotten Flip, an absolute phenomenon within the early Nineteen Seventies. Wilson scored with ladies characters like Geraldine and this preacher’s spouse blaming Devil for her psychedelic skirt.

Richard Pryor, Rev. Du Ceremony (1981)

The least important Pryor album on this listing, recorded after his Nineteen Seventies incendiary peak however earlier than his rise from the ashes in Stay From the Sundown Strip.

Steve Martin, A Wild and Loopy Man (1979)

An absolute smash (it contained the hit single King Tut), however a large number of a comedy album. Martin had grown so fashionable that he was enjoying stadiums. Shouting jokes to enviornment low-cost seats was a chore so strenuous that Martin quickly stop stand-up.

”Bizarre Al” Yankovic, Eat It (1985)

It’s exhausting to not chuckle at Bizarre Al and his goofy parody songs, however the diploma of issue right here — altering “Beat It” to “Eat It” — wasn’t precisely Mensa stage.

Invoice Cosby, These of You With or With out Kids, You’ll Perceive (1987)

Cosby was properly into his sitcom dad section right here, nonetheless humorous however with a wholesome dose of “Why don’t the younger individuals pull their pants up?” finger-wagging. 

Robin Williams, Stay on Broadway (2003)

Perhaps it’s me, however I normally choose the hungry-comic-working-the-clubs model to comedians of their legend-in-their-own-time-playing-Broadway section. Not right here, although. Williams continues to be nice, buying and selling hazard for maturity in what comes off as a good swap.

Kathy Griffin, Calm Down Gurrl (2014)

Earlier than Griffin was holding up the severed heads of her political enemies, she was the toughest working gal within the comedy enterprise. Her gossipy concentrate on celebrities and her low standing amongst them isn’t for everybody, however she earns her laughs.

Flight of the Conchords, The Distant Future (2008)

A six-track album of goofy tunes ranks this extremely as a result of the songs are literally a) good and b) humorous.

George Carlin, It’s Unhealthy For Ya (2009)

Lastly, a return to the stage after a handful of Grammys for studying his audiobooks. It’s Unhealthy For Ya was Carlin’s last stand-up particular, recorded at 70 years previous. Not the comedian at his peak however contemplating this was particular #14, a rattling wonderful efficiency nonetheless.

Dave Chappelle, The Age of Spin & Deep within the Coronary heart of Texas
(2018)

Dave Chappelle, Equanimity & The Hen Revelation (2019)

What to do with Chappelle? The comedian wasn’t at his Chappelle Present apex right here, however he nonetheless proved extra introspective and intelligent than virtually anybody within the sport, together with his 2020s self. If nothing else, the man was prolific, pumping out a number of specials (and albums) every year.

Lewis Black, Stark Raving Black (2011)

The specifics of his materials won’t nonetheless be related, however sputtering, righteous indignation by no means goes out of fashion.

Rodney Dangerfield, No Respect (1981)

No Respect would possibly include extra precise jokes than any album on this listing — a machine-gun flurry of self-deprecating one-liners that stand the check of time.

Invoice Cosby, I Began Out as a Baby (1965)

No comedian has mined his childhood for laughs extra efficiently than Cosby, right here laying the groundwork for the Fats Albert universe to return. 

Chris Rock, By no means Scared (2006)

Nice stuff — simply not as nice as his Nineteen Nineties stand-up pinnacle.

Robin Williams, A Night time on the Met (1988)

A convincing portrait of a comic book getting ready to go away stand-up for a profession on the films. 

Sam Kinison, Stay From Hell (1995)

The final album from Kinison earlier than his premature demise, catching the comedian simply as his rage-fueled routines had been taking up a brand new maturity. (Don’t fear, there’s nonetheless loads of nasty id speaking right here.)

“Bizarre Al” Yankovic, Poodle Hat
(2004)

“Bizarre Al” Yankovic, Obligatory Enjoyable (2015)

By the 2000s, Bizarre Al had left behind the simplistic, accordion-fueled parodies like My Bologna and ventured into extra subtle territory with songs that had been each extra intelligent and musically complicated. The century is plagued by Bizarre Al Grammy nominations (he has 10 in all) — these albums signify his evolution into nerdy comedy icon. 

Invoice Cosby, Wonderfulness (1967)

Extra childhood Cos, highlighted by the spooky and hilarious Hen Coronary heart.

George Carlin, FM & AM (1973)

This creative idea album options an AM aspect that focuses on suit-and-tie, Ed Sullivan Present-period Carlin with an FM aspect pointing to the hippie-dippie counterculture comedian he was turning into. 

Richard Pryor, That Nigger’s Loopy 
(1975)

Richard Pryor, Is It One thing I Mentioned?
(1976)

Richard Pryor, Bicentennial Nigger (1977)

Pow. Pryor was a bottle rocket within the mid-Nineteen Seventies, churning out consecutive albums that made comedians like Cosby appear positively quaint. Bicentennial is a masterpiece, displaying off Pryor’s presents for mimicry, perception and outraged chaos.

Lewis Black, The Carnegie Corridor Efficiency (2007)

Black jokes within the album’s first monitor that nobody is allowed to say “fuck” greater than 12 instances at Carnegie Corridor. The outraged comedian makes it to 75 earlier than I gave up counting.

Louis C.Ok., Hilarious 
(2012)

Patton Oswalt, Speaking for Clapping (2017)

Relying in your style, Oswalt has funnier comedy albums — Feelin’ Kinda PattonWerewolves and Lollipops and Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time come to thoughts for me — however let’s take into account this a profession achievement award with the Grammys making up for earlier oversights. This dude is without doubt one of the greatest. 

Elaine Could and Mike Nichols, An Night With Mike Nichols and Elaine Could (1962)

The improvised interactions of Nichols and Could are remarkably sturdy, nonetheless hilarious and effortlessly charming. Simply put this one on repeat and revel in. 

Robin Williams, Actuality, What a Idea (1980)

Whoa. Nobody like Williams — not even his idol, Jonathan Winters — had ever been captured on vinyl fairly like this. There have been no jokes per se, simply wild free associations, improvisations and pop-culture explosions from a mind constructed for pace. Williams would do smarter, extra mature work later, nevertheless it was by no means fairly this thrilling. 

George Carlin, Jammin’ in New York (1994)

One other reinvention of Carlin, this time as an indignant comedian god talking fact to energy. This and FM & AM are wonderful albums, however for my cash, his greatest is the non-Grammy winner Class Clown

Invoice Cosby, To Russell, My Brother, Whom I Slept With (1969)

A tour de power, with a whole aspect of the album dedicated to the nighttime antics of younger Invoice and his brother Russell. Rattling close to good. Spin referred to as this the most effective comedy album of all time.

Bob Newhart, The Button-Down Thoughts Strikes Again! (1961)

If it had been eligible, this spot can be taken by the comedian’s The Button-Down Thoughts of Bob Newhart. It wasn’t nominated for Finest Comedy Album that yr however as an alternative received the Grammy for Finest Album of the Yr, the one comedy recording to ever obtain the respect. Newhart additionally took dwelling Finest New Artist that yr as a result of, properly, duh. Each data are unassailable, with Newhart’s stammering supply working completely on vinyl.

Chris Rock, Larger and Blacker (2000)

That is Rock’s Sgt. Pepper’s, a dizzying assortment of authentic and bitingly trustworthy comedy sketches, music parodies and provocative stand-up tracks. Selection couldn’t get sufficient, calling Rock “the wittiest and most dynamic comic working the American live performance stage in the present day as a result of the person’s acquired some main league balls. In a stand-up sport dominated by disingenuous, raunchy blowhards and dangerous boys who tiptoe by means of the minefield of political correctness, Rock scorches the earth with fiery, razor-sharp rants with out a lot concern for the physique depend.”

Larger & Blacker introduced Rock as a famous person, prepared for no matter challenges the stage or display may supply. Sensible.

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