As our celebration of the best comedy in 2014 continues, we are looking at the best comedy albums released this year. There were many strong contenders this year, and we picked ten favorites. Albums by Sarah Silverman, Big Jay Oakerson, Chris Gethard, Mark Normand, Cameron Esposito, Tommy Johnagin, Joe Mande, Nick Thune, Mike Vecchione, and Weird Al Yankovic topped our list for the funniest albums of 2014. We picked our top ten but we need you to vote for who had the #1 comedy special in 2014.
Sarah Silverman ‘We Are Miracles’: It’s hard to believe that Sarah Silverman’s ‘We Are Miracles’ is actually her first true stand-up special since her 2005 comedy/musical foray ‘Jesus Is Magic’. What really stands out about the album is that it was filmed in a small space at L.A.’s famed Largo theater in front of 40 people, putting it apart from the traditional larger theaters comedians usually use for specials. Silverman is her usual blue yet poignant self, riffing on topics from porn to adoption with the same likable sensibilities making it one of the best albums of 2014.
Big Jay Oakerson ‘The Crowd Work Sessions: What’s Your F@!?#ng Deal?!’ Most comedians use crowd work in their sets. It helps freshen up their act with something that isn’t pre-written and rehearsed. But having a determined act also gives a comic security on stage, something that comedian Big Jay Oakerson sheds on his new album ‘The Crowd Work Sessions’, recorded at The Stand NYC . Because he’s able to riff on any subject an audience member may bring up, Oakerson will make you actually want to get picked out of the crowd at one of his shows.
Chris Gethard ‘My Comedy Album’: Chris Gethard’s career and personal life has been a series of highs and lows, and he touches on both in his debut album titled ‘My Comedy Album’. Gethard is known in the comedy world for not pulling any punches when it comes to talking about his bouts with depression and anxiety. Gethard riffs about his ailments and weaves in stories about doing drugs and failed sexual conquests. Gethard unabashadly shares those stories that you would never dare tell, but with a style and demeanor that we all can relate to.
Mark Normand ‘Still Got It’: While many comedians rely on their onstage persona or story telling ability to carry their act, Mark Normand puts the weight of his debut album on his superb joke writing ability, which is among the best of any young comic working today. Normand jokes on every topic you can think of, from sex, drugs, race to the variety of odd jobs he has held over the years. What truly makes this album great is that Normand matches his great writing with great pacing and delivery, making it obvious why he is Amy Schumer’s first choice when choosing an opener.
Cameron Esposito ‘Same Sex Symbol’: Cameron Esposito has been a rising star in comedy over the past year thanks to one of the most memorable late night debuts in recent memory. You’d be lying if you didn’t admit the first thing that pops into your head when Esposito takes the stage is ‘Lesbian’ thanks to her patented wardrobe and side mullet, and that’s fine with her. Esposito is one of the most energetic and engaging comedians working today and that’s evident listening to her new album ‘Same Sex Symbol’. Esposito’s sharp wit and expertly crafted bits are matched by her genuine likability and stage presence. ‘Same Sex Symbol’ is a great welcome for Esposito and hopefully the first of many albums.
Tommy Johnagin ‘Stand Up Comedy 3’: Tommy Johnagin’s third comedy album, appropriately named ‘Stand Up Comedy 3’, blends great joke writing with experiences from his personal life to make one of the best albums of the year. Many of Johnagin’s jokes are great for their reliability, such as explaining to his mother how to work a computer over the phone, which could be funniest bits of the year on any album. Johnagin’s simple story telling ability is great, making you laugh while making you wonder if they’re embellished or not. ‘Stand Up Comedy 4’ can’t come soon enough.
Joe Mande ‘Bitchface’: Joe Mande’s debut album ‘Bitchface’ is both a progressive album and a bit of a throwback at the same time. Mande weaves pre-recorded bits with guests like Nick Kroll & Amy Poehler with his stand up, all while hip hop beats and drops break up the tracks in what could be the first comedy mixtape ever released. Mande’s stand up is clever and relatable, going from the hipster culture shock he experienced when moving to Los Angeles to his days living in the ghetto during college. Mande is always up to something new and weird, and ‘Bitchface’ is just the tip of the iceberg.
Nick Thune ‘Folk Hero’: Nick Thune’s new album is very different from many albums this year as it is just as musical as it is comedic. Thune gently strums away at his acoustic guitar and pushes away any reservations you may have about a musical comedian with original songs mixed with expertly written jokes. Thune lets his jokes do the talking while allowing his guitar to serve as background music, making it the perfect listen for comedy fans or someone just out on a relaxing drive. ‘Folk Hero’ can best be described as part stand-up/part variety show, making it the perfect listen for comedy fans wanting to try something new.
Mike Vecchione ‘Muscle Confusion’: A veteran of the New York comedy scene, Mike Vecchione’s debut album ‘Muscle Confusion’ combines Vecchione’s best jokes over his 14 years in comedy into one of the best albums of 2014. Vecchione’s great joke writing goes well with his original take on various topics as well as his soft spoken demeanor. Vecchione tells his jokes, stories and one-liners with a quiet intensity that makes him even funnier. Vecchione is just starting to get noticed nationally so ‘Muscle Confusion’ hits at just the right time.
Weird Al Yankovic ‘Mandatory Fun’: It couldn’t be a list of the best comedy albums of 2014 without including Weird Al’s ‘Mandatory Fun’, which became the first comedy album in forty years to chart number one on the billboard albums chart. It’s harder than ever to be a parody artist but Weird Al proves that he’s still the best in the game. Al parodies contemporary artists like Lorde and Iggy Azalea but with the style and intelligence you won’t get from a YouTube star. This could be Weird Al’s last album and it’s certainly one of his best.