42 Essential Comedy Albums


[Editors note:  This was originally posted June 3, 2013.  We are reposting in honor of today being record store day.  Comedy records are records too! Support your local record stores!]

For over 60 years, the comedy album has been the best way for comedians to express whatever they wanted without direction from an executive or show runner. Even with the advent of new technologies, the album has stood the test of time, becoming a cornerstone in bringing their material directly to the public.  Some of the greatest comedy that has ever existed can be found on this list. Use it. Enjoy it. There is nothing on this list that will waste your time.



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Let Us Know What We Missed


  1. Foggy_Otis

    June 3, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    Whoever wrote this up is the shit!
    I’ve LOVED Radio Dinner since childhood!
    (Still listen to it!)

  2. Morgan : from parts unknown

    June 3, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    Love it

  3. Sittington

    June 3, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    pretty spot on

  4. Vikingdog71

    June 3, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    Great picks. I would also include Richard Pryor’s That N#ggers Crazy, George Carlin’s A Place For My Stuff,  Cheech And Chong’s 1st Album and Firesign Theater’s Don’t Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me The Pliers.

  5. PatReinke

    June 3, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    I got to go with 90’s Carlin.

  6. KurtisMuller1

    June 3, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    Bill Burr

  7. Don from NPR

    June 3, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    That niggers crazy is Pryor’s best. Bill Cosby Wonderfulness.

    • FanBoy1

      June 4, 2013 at 12:04 pm

      Don from NPR agree with both…. I have wonderfulness on Vinyl it was my fathers.

    • Elwood

      June 4, 2013 at 1:21 pm

      Don from NPR I still have my original copy of “That Nigger’s Crazy” that I bought when it first came out. I had to hide it from my mother.

  8. _Richie

    June 4, 2013 at 1:14 am

    Missing: “Singing in Silence” by Fez Whatley.

  9. Toin Coss

    June 4, 2013 at 9:14 am

    Ouch. No Robert Klein ….Child of the Fifties.

  10. Binary Daoist

    June 4, 2013 at 9:42 am

    Memory lane

  11. FanBoy1

    June 4, 2013 at 10:43 am

    No Robin Harris?

  12. Docintoxicated

    June 4, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    No Jerky Boys? 
    I remember how awesome Jerky Boys 2 was, in fact I put it on a couple years back and still laughed my ass off.

  13. Narc Zito

    June 4, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    So glad he got Mitch Hedberg.

    • Yuuuck

      June 4, 2013 at 1:04 pm

      Narc Zito I liked Hedberg but the one time I saw him he followed Steven Lynch, came on stage wasted, and proceeded to eat it.  I think a bunch of people walked.  He died maybe a couple weeks later.  Still kinda pissed I didnt get to see him do a good set.

      • Narc Zito

        June 4, 2013 at 1:08 pm

        Yuuuck Narc Zito I think I saw him on the same tour.  It was the third time I had seen him, and he destroyed.  Tore the fucking roof off.  Even did some improvised material too.

      • MugPush

        June 4, 2013 at 1:14 pm

        Yuuuck Narc Zito Was this show in Phoenix at the Celebrity Theatre? I was at that show, and Mitch kinda ate his balls that night, sadly. Not a fan of the comic/guitarist, but Lynch really did a good job.

  14. drewodrew

    June 4, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    Norm MacDonald’s Ridiculous is an old school type of comedy record. “Mr Fantastic!” Quality.

  15. Dreaster21

    June 4, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Good job kid. Some people in their 30’s and 40’s don’t know about The 2000 Year Old Man, I’m impressed that a 22 year old knows it.

  16. samechick

    June 4, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    National Lampoon Lemmings, The Firesign Theatre …

    • pokerface1947

      June 6, 2013 at 11:52 am

      samechick I agree, Firesign Theatre – I Think We’re All Bozos On This Bus and others!

  17. Narc Zito

    June 4, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    I like this kid’s take on Patrice.

  18. jimmyolsenbluesIamthRealone

    June 4, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    this kid did a great job on this list. NICE JOB.

  19. Cletus from Brooklyn

    June 4, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    No Bicentennial Nigger? Pepper eats caca…

  20. Vickroy

    June 4, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    Miss Greg G. When he fought with Denis Leary on Tough Crowd I was speechless.

  21. Listblow

    June 4, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Cool another list

  22. BrianInChicago

    June 4, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    My folks had the Bill Cosby album on vinyl…first comedy album I ever listened to.  Its a great one.

    • ILoveAngelDust

      June 4, 2013 at 1:56 pm

      BrianInChicago I just bought 5 Bill Cosby records at the thrift shop for 50 cents a piece.

  23. SarahMcPants

    June 4, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    Good job kid!

  24. jerkaruso

    June 4, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    I’ve done a 180 on Shelby. Kid rules

  25. Cletus from Brooklyn

    June 4, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Molly is a FUCKING noying…

    • SarahMcPants

      June 4, 2013 at 1:45 pm

      Cletus from Brooklyn I like her. I do not miss Dana.

      • Cletus from Brooklyn

        June 4, 2013 at 1:47 pm

        SarahMcPants Cletus from Brooklyn no one misses that hole. Molly gives you what you want to hear. Shelby keeps it real (like the youngsters say)…

  26. SarahMcPants

    June 4, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    Molly likes hipster boys that make up funny songs….Kokomo Catholic Joe would be perfect. Hes the Andy Samberg of SiriusXM. Play her the radio shark song and watch her swoon.

  27. SpongeSteve

    June 4, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    Ok, they fooled me for a couple days, Molly really is Daba.

  28. rexdart936

    June 4, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    simon and grudnyk’s “retail comedy at wholesale prices” was a fantastic album.

  29. BadNewsJeff

    June 4, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    I knew I liked this kid.  Abortion punch cards!

  30. rexdart936

    June 4, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    no Tom Leher?

  31. rexdart936

    June 4, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    no firesign theatre? you are philistines.

  32. JJandS

    June 4, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    What the fuck where’s no cure for cancer

  33. Brocknstock

    June 4, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Sounds like the kid is sucking helium

  34. JJandS

    June 4, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    Fuck this kids voice and fuck this googled up list I know he don’t know shit about half of these albums

  35. bmqq316

    June 4, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    Used to love listening to Dennis Miller before he turned into Mr Right Wing…I don’t mind he’s a Republican, he’s just not funny anymore.

  36. HerbinHousewife

    June 4, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Sandler? oof

    • EmmSee

      June 4, 2013 at 2:28 pm

      HerbinHousewife That album is great.  Conan!

      • ILoveAngelDust

        June 4, 2013 at 4:11 pm

        EmmSee “Yes, it’s a veritable forrest down there.”

  37. DanielGoldstein

    June 4, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    Doug Stanhope…. No refunds!

  38. clemato

    June 4, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    Attell is perfection

  39. DanielGoldstein

    June 4, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    No chapelle Killing me Softly?

  40. pepperjackb

    June 4, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    No ‘The Great White North?’  Shame.

  41. Bruisedandcatless

    June 4, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    This kid doesn’t know a guy with a hot dog stand down in Seaside hieghts with a comedy album?

  42. fezitorium

    June 4, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    Great list! I vote for Robert Klein Mind Over Matter as one you missed. Funny as hell even when I was a kid too little to understand half of it.

  43. Cletus from Brooklyn

    June 4, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    What? No carrot top…

  44. MichaelDiGioia

    June 5, 2013 at 7:58 am

    Steve Martin: A Wild and Crazy Guy.

  45. pokerface1947

    June 6, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    First comedy album in our house as a kid back in the ’50s was “Inside Shelley Berman.”   He wasn’t exactly a stand-up comic.  He sat on a stool with an invisible telephone in one hand and a real cigarette in the other.  You may remember him as Larry David’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” father.  His call to the police department to report a person perched on the ledge of a building is actually reminiscent of some of the recent real-life 911 calls to clueless cop clerks.

  46. pokerface1947

    June 6, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    Oh, and it’s really an oversight to not have The Wonderful World of Jonathan Winters on the list.  Robins Williams took his act and Winters also inspired other legends like Carlin, Carrey and Cosby.

  47. pokerface1947

    June 6, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    I like this 42, can you tell?  It occurs to me that there are no impression comics on the list.  I’d nominate Vaughn Meader’s “The First Family”.
    And in the category musical comics, I still cherish and listen regularly to Stan Freberg Presents The United States of America – Volume 1.

  48. BadNewsJeff

    January 20, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    Nice work Ibang for putting this back on the front page today.

  49. LouDog55

    January 20, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    JJandSIt’s on row 7, column 3.

  50. MrLahey

    January 20, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    Working class zero is also a gem

  51. Henduey

    January 21, 2014 at 12:39 am

    WOW no Maria Bamford?? Fuck you classic Shelb.

  52. MrLahey

    January 21, 2014 at 9:06 am

    In the clearance bin…where it belongs. You really think the asshole song is funny?
    We get it Dennis, you like cigarettes.

  53. MacHarris

    January 21, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    Andy Griffith “Just for Laughs” belongs on there somewhere…

  54. Waldo Lydecker

    January 21, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    Imus “This Honky’s Nuts”.

  55. Chris_EsT

    January 21, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    HerbinHousewifeIt doesn’t really hold up, but my friends and I listened to this constantly when it came out. We were also heavily “medicated”…

  56. HIMcDunnough

    January 21, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    Cheech and chong los cochinos.  I loved that album growing up

  57. WilliamFBaldwin

    April 19, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    I bought Cheech Chong Big Bambu when I was 8 from my friends older brother for fifty cents. Deal was he got to keep the rolling paper

  58. pokerface1947

    April 21, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    In addition to those I mentioned the first time, I’d nominate Firesign Theater (at least 5 candidate albums), Musically MAD (as in MAD Magazine), Bill Cosby Is A Very Funny Fellow – Right! (with his version of Noah’s Ark) instead of the Cosby album listed on the 42, and An Evening Wasted With Tom Lehrer.

  59. Stig63

    April 21, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    No Monty Python albums?

  60. blahblah75

    April 29, 2014 at 11:26 am

    Um…”Another Monty Python Album” is right there

  61. Purple Guy

    May 16, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    Club soda Kenny has a cameo on Dice Clay’s albulm see if you can find him.  http://youtu.be/RdUxDoy5m3o