11 of the Funniest Stories Told by Comedians

By | August 29, 2011 at 9:21 am | 47 comments | Audio/Video, Features, Lists | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Story telling is an integral part of stand-up comedy. Most comedians, in some form, tell stories. Maybe a story comes as a quick aside to further explain the premise of a joke; sometimes it takes the form of an extended tag at the end of a minute-long bit. At times, a comedian will tell a story about his or her day to break up the more scripted part of their set. For most comics, the story is just one of many tools they employ to urge laughs from their audiences. But for other stand-up comedians, telling stories defines who they are as a performer; it’s not a means to an end. The stories are the end. And when a comedian does it right — see Bill Cosby: Himself — this kind of live comedy could be the most satisfying type of art you can take in.

With that in mind, I wanted to list some of my favorite contemporary stories told by comedians and share them with you. Some of you will be familiar with most of these while, for others, these will mostly be new experiences. Either way, I truly believe there’s something here for every taste of comedy. So, sit back and enjoy 75 minutes worth of well-crafted, hilarious stories.

JOSH SNEED: Let’s start off with a good fart story, shall we? Don’t sneeze (or fart) at the concept. Even George Carlin was a huge fan of flatulence humor. So, yes, we shall begin with poop jokes. In this one, from the 2008 album Unacceptable, Josh Sneed regales us with a story about his encounter with pop superstar Jessica Simpson. It’s a metaphor for the concept of dominance and the battle between economic classes. Or, it’s just a fart story.

Josh Sneed — “Farting On Jessica Simpson” by Laughspin

LOUIS C.K.: As a parent of a nearly three-year-old and a newborn, I take great comfort in Louis C.K.’s parenting material. And this track is no exception. From his newest album Hilarious, released in January, Louis C.K. thankfully tells us way too much about a cookie-related fight he had with his younger daughter as well as a story about some messy bathroom business.

Louis C.K. — “My 3-Year-Old Is A 3-Year-Old” by Laughspin

JOHN MULANEY: In your youth, did you ever fuck around with people in a public place– because, you were simply bored and were a bit of a wise ass? Sure, we all did. Or at least, we all tried. My friend Joe once took a dump on the street outside my friend Mike’s house and led Mike to believe it was dog shit. Hilarious, right? Subtle? No. But John Mulaney and a friend were more subtle than a street shit when they decided to use music to terrorize diner patrons.

John Mulaney — “The Salt and Pepper Diner” by Laughspin

TIG NOTARO: I was lucky enough to catch Tig tell this story at Bar Lubitsch in West Hollywood nearly a year ago. So I was super excited to see it pop up on her newly released album Good One. A master of pacing and timing, Notaro turns some chance encounters with 1980s pop star Taylor Dane (“Tell It To My Heart) into a surrealist piece of art.

Tig Notaro — “Taylor Dayne” by Laughspin

DANE COOK: Dane Cook’s 2009 album Isolated Incident found the hugely popular comedian in a much more personal and, at times, darker space than in years past. Both his mother and father had died somewhat recently before the recording and while most of the album maintained the levity Cook’s known for, he surely didn’t shy away from getting in touch with his anger. This story about how he handled a single piece of hate mail makes me smile every time I listen to it. Sometimes redemption can be funny.

Dane Cook — “Haters” by Laughspin

MIKE BIRBIGLIA: Arguably the best comedic storyteller today, Mike Birbiglia delivers a perfectly-balanced recalling of the time he was invited to perform at the MVP Awards for Major League Baseball. If you know even a little about Birbigs, you know he doesn’t exactly feel at home around a bunch of millionaire jocks. And so classic, hilarious awkwardness ensues. This track is the last story he tells on his 2007 album My Secret Public Journal Live.

Mike Birbiglia — “Roger Clemens Hates Me” by Laughspin

RON WHITE: Like Birbiglia above, Ron White has come to be known as a guy who almost only tells long-form story jokes. And he’s amazing at it. The story below is no doubt his most popular, as it explains the origin of his nickname “Tater Salad” as well as references the title of the 2003 album on which it was first released, Drunk in Public.

Ron White — “They Call Me Tater Salad” by Laughspin

JIM NORTON: Hey, remember that time you had a threesome with a famous porn star during at the porn awards? Right, exactly. This type of shit never happens to people like us. That’s why this Jim Norton story — from his album Despicable, released in March — is so great to listen to. Picture it: Jim Norton, Ron Jeremy, Ron Jeremy’s infamous member and an unnamed female companion– all getting along wonderfully on a hotel bed.

Jim Norton — “Ron Jeremy’s Giant Cock” by Laughspin

SHANE MAUSS: There’s a handful of great stories on Shane Mauss’ 2010 album, Jokes To Make My Parents Proud, which is heavy on good old-fashioned fun-for-fun’s-sake humor. But this is my favorite example. It’s about Mauss and his girlfriend and the trials of anal sex. Enjoy.

Shane Mauss — “Butt Hockey” by Laughspin

DOUG STANHOPE: We all know Doug Stanhope has lived a full life. Euphemistically we can call him a “life adventurer!” Pragmatically, we can say the dude lives life like maybe he wouldn’t mind dying, so long as he does so creatively. This story, about his experience with a tranny hooker (from is 2000 album, Sicko), was probably just part of another slightly-odd day for Stanhope.

Doug Stanhope — “The Transvestite Hooker Incident” by Laughspin

BERT KREISCHER: I wanted to save the newest recorded story on this list for last. And here it is: “Bert Kreischer Is The Machine.” Comedian Kreischer recently visited Joe Rogan on his podcast and told this incredibly detailed story about a college trip to Russia. It’s become somewhat of a comedy nerd’s Internet hit, wracking up nearly 125,000 views on YouTube as of this writing. Kreischer is now even planning to sell Machine-themed T-shirts. Animator Corri Loschuk created a South Park-style mini episode out of the audio, which helped propel this piece to star status. But even without the visual component, the story is amazing.

Bert Kreischer is the Machine by Laughspin

About the Author

Dylan P. Gadino

Dylan is the founder and editor in chief of Laughspin. He launched Punchline Magazine in 2005 (which became Laughspin in the summer of 2011) with childhood friend Bill Bergmann. Dylan lives in northern New Jersey with his wife and two sons. He hopes the Shire is real.

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  • hailey

    but some of the other guys were way worse and inappropriate than Dane?

  • http://slrman.wordpress.com/ James Smith

    This humor is inappropriate and I will not tolerare it

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1245753472 Chad Nielson

    Any comedy list in automatically invalidated by the inclusion of Dane Cook. Which is too bad, because otherwise this would be pretty great. But f*%k Dane Cook.

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  • Listen to this:

    Brian Regan is awesome!

  • Erik

    Just Listened all .. great.. thanks mate.

  • Mjsak

    stupid
     

  • Adam Myskow

    Here they go:
    Eddie Murphy – the cookout — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1viJF2hgl0
    Eddie Murphy calls home — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkHthk4OMBk
    Gabriel Iglesias – the racist gift basket — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbppTv4pCGQ – somebody mentioned him earlier

    And, since the one you chose isn’t the best long skit from Cook, there you go:
    Dane Cook – Chicken Sangwich aka the B.K. Lounge showdown — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVgbE_QyIJU

  • Adam Myskow

    I miss Eddie Murphy’s cookout story (with the follow-up, the one with Eddie getting a beating and calling home) – that’s probably the funniest stand-up story ever.

    And as for Dane. I know he gets a lot of bad press. I know his jokes seem not to have any punch lines. But the way he keeps “blowing the balloon” and not letting it pop in his stories is just hilarious, as well as his tendency to exaggerate the most ordinary things.

  • http://www.lifequoteslove.com/ Jimmy Raine

    Hah, always appreciate a good ol’ joke from these guys.  I’d have to agree with the comment from Dan, though – Dane Cook doesn’t have exceptional jokes.  On the other hand, he is a really great story teller.  I think that’s his real claim to fame.  To each their own, though – Life goes on.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=807660441 Dan Livermore

    Dane Cook should never be included in any list that is titled “The (x) Funniest” anything. He’s an awful comedian, caters to a dumbed-down crowd (hello, 18-22 YO sorority girls), and worst of all he’s a joke thief. There are so many better stories by so many better comedians that you could have chosen. For example: Patton Oswalt’s rat in the backyard story (“looked like Danny DeVito dressed in a rat costume”), Tom Papa’s smoking pot at the Broadway play bit, Gabriel Iglasias getting pulled over in the desert, Ed Byrne’s story of the 12 YO at the airport wearing “juicy” pants (a brilliant bit that I would bet that less than 1% of your readers have heard). The list can go on and on, and all of them are funnier than the dead parents story.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=807660441 Dan Livermore

       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSx_42ivLPk

      Turns out the girl was 11, not 12. My bad. Take a few minutes to watch anyway….it’s great.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1245753472 Chad Nielson

      Well said, Dane Cook sucks miles and miles of s*%t.

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  • http://twitter.com/MurphGuide Sean Murph

    Thanks for compiling these.  Just finished.  Great listening.

  • Andy Paskin

    Richard Pryor working in mafia club is the best ever.

  • Anonymous

    Humor has gone down the toilet.

  • Andrew McCarl

    Need to add something from Brian Regan here!

  • Andrew McCarl

    Need to add something from Brian Regan here!

  • Anonymous

    I think the funniest thing I heard all day was that Roy Blount Jr. was “Americas next Mark Twain’.

  • Anonymous

    I think the funniest thing I heard all day was that Roy Blount Jr. was “Americas next Mark Twain’.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brandy-Wilson/100001939501985 Brandy Wilson

    ron white is so funny!!

  • Siouxzanna

    Jim Jeffries taking his friend with MS to a whore house – now THAT was funny !!!!

  • Siouxzanna

    Jim Jeffries taking his friend with MS to a whore house – now THAT was funny !!!!

  • Siouxzanna

    Jim Jeffries taking his friend with MS to a whore house – now THAT was funny !!!!

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  • Griesrt

    Florida State

  • BADLIST

    No jim jefferies? Really? 

  • Scott

    If you get a chance to see Ari Shaffir’s “This Is Not Happening Presents” do so. I am not sure how often he does them in other states, but, seems about once a month or every other month here in LA. But he picks a theme, and has comics tell stories based on that theme. It is only 5 bucks at The Improv here in LA. Can’t beat that. Saw “The Machine” there, as well as Burr and Rogan tell some great stories. Ari also has some great stories, most recent one I saw him tell was about having diarrhea in a foreign land. Hilarious. 

  • Scott

    If you get a chance to see Ari Shaffir’s “This Is Not Happening Presents” do so. I am not sure how often he does them in other states, but, seems about once a month or every other month here in LA. But he picks a theme, and has comics tell stories based on that theme. It is only 5 bucks at The Improv here in LA. Can’t beat that. Saw “The Machine” there, as well as Burr and Rogan tell some great stories. Ari also has some great stories, most recent one I saw him tell was about having diarrhea in a foreign land. Hilarious. 

  • Bean

    Where’s the outer-American comedians then? I love these but poor effort at looking like you know anything outside of America (which you SHOULD if you like comedy)

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  • Marc Heuck

    Considering that for over a decade, David Letterman has asked Jay Thomas to come on his Christmas show and tell his “Lone Ranger” story, I don’t think you can have a list of “Funniest Comedian Stories” without it.  I know every time I hear that payoff line, I’m on the floor.

    http://youtu.be/I7XWOWJ2tF0

  • Vald Bagina

    gotta second the kyle kinane shit story.  it’s glorious.

  • kc

    Another great storyteller is Daniel Kitson. 

  • http://twitter.com/thejokewriter thejokewriter

    Noiiice job, Dylan!

  • lilwriter_12

    Haha awesome!

  • http://www.facebook.com/shane.hedmond Shane Hedmond

    Good list, Vic Henley’s story about his black friend’s encounter with the KKK is one of my favorites too

  • Derek

    Kyle Kinane’s shit story is a great one.

  • Jack Low

    Yeah great list, you should add billy connolly to that list
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KN2SOzzJZI
    One of the best storytellers ever.

  • http://twitter.com/dmsjr_writer Don Smith

    Great list… here’s my favorite! Marc Maron on ‘shrooms at a Grateful Dead concert:
    http://youtu.be/QfujciMPMHw

  • ArtL7

    Great material  – hear some of the original long-form monologues of original radio humorist, via this web overview of available links:http://artlevine.posterous.com/how-to-hear-online-americas-greatest-live-sto

  • George Rausch

    Dylan, amazing list. Thanks for sharing. More!

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