Ho Ho Ho!!! It’s almost Christmas, Hannukah and other assorted gift giving holidays. Is there any better gift than the gift of laughter? Support your favorite comedians while making your friends incredibly happy with the greatest gift in the world. Here are some new releases that will make great gifts in 2014. You don’t have to leave your chair, just click a few links, and your holiday shopping is done. Don’t be a cheapskate! But a few! You need the friends. Just click on the link in each listing to purchase and you’ll be done in minutes.
Buy the Gifts of Stand Up Comedy
Lots of funny people said and sang funny things into microphones this year. Luckily, someone was on hand to record much of it. Plenty of comedy albums and specials to choose from 2014.
- Jim Gaffigan, Obsessed. Good, clean fun with Gaffigan, as per usual. (CD, Vinyl, DVD, Blu-Ray) Order Jim Gaffigan: Obsessed.
- Kyle Kinane, Whiskey Icarus. Kinane is the voice of Comedy Central and a killer standup. He proves it here. (CD, Vinyl)Order Whiskey Icarus (CD+DVD).
- Ryan Dalton, I’m Married, Let Me Tell You About It (CD) Order I’m Married, Let Me Tell You About It [Explicit].
- Cameron Esposito, Same Sex Symbol (CD). Order Same Sex Symbol.
- Marc Maron, Thinky Pain (CD, Vinyl, DVD) Order Thinky Pain.
- Dan Mintz, The Stranger (CD) Order The Stranger [Explicit].
- Bob Odenkirk, Amateur Hour. His first comedy album, which is reason enough to grab one. Order Amateur Hour.
- Patton Oswalt, Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time. It’s Oswalt. He’s always awesome, and this release is no exception. (CD + DVD combo)Order Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time (CD+DVD).
- Big Jay Oakerson, The Crowd Work Sessions: What’s Your F@!?#ng Deal?! Oakerson does something terrifying here: engages strangers for an hour and keeps them entertained the whole time. (MP3) Order The Crowd Work Sessions: What’s Your F@!?#ng Deal?! [Explicit].
- Sarah Silverman, We Are Miracles (CD, Vinyl)Order Sarah Silverman: We are Miracles.
- Weird Al Yankovic, Mandatory Fun. Help someone own the first comedy album in more than 50 years to reach Billboard’s number-one spot. (CD, Vinyl)Order Mandatory Fun.
- Kurt Metzger, White Precious. Order White Precious [Explicit].
- Chris Gethard, My Comedy Album. Order My Comedy Album [Explicit].
- Mark Normand, Still Got It. Order Still Got It [Explicit].
- Tommy Johnagin, Stand Up Comedy 3. Order Stand-Up Comedy 3.
- Nick Thune, Folk Hero. Order Thick Noon.
- Mike Vecchione, Muscle Confusion. Order Muscle Confusion.
- Tom Segura, Completely Normal. Order Tom Segura: Completely Normal.
- Artie Lange, The Stench of Failure. Order The Stench of Failure [Explicit].
- Dave Attell, Road Work. Order Dave Attell: Road Work.
- Hannibal Buress, Live From Chicago. Order Hannibal Buress Live From Chicago.
Comedy Books and Books by Comedians
- Megan Amram, Science…For Her! We know what you’re thinking: women + science = does not compute. But Amram, Parks and Recreation writer and Twitter absurdist (also she keeps a pretty comprehensive list of people who are not her dentist), is here to make sense of that equation. And it’s not just for the ladies. Amram admits the book is for dudes, too, “especially if you’re dumb or gay!!” Order Science…For Her!.
- Bob Odenkirk, A Load of Hooey. A comedy album, a trailer for the Breaking Bad spinoff, Better Call Saul, and now a book, Odenkirk is having a good year. Add all that to the fact that he was an SNL writer, a main player on the Emmy-winning Ben Stiller Show (which has grown in esteem since it was canceled during its first season), and a storied founder of Mr. Show, that’s not a bad career. In short, check out his book. It’s Bob Odenkirk. Order A Load of Hooey (Odenkirk Memorial Library).
- Kasper Hauser, SkyMaul 2. Where America Buys His Stuff – The follow-up to the coveted cult hit from the comedy troupe Kasper Hauser brings you more happy crap you can buy on a plane. Not familiar with Kasper Hauser? Check out their podcast. Order SkyMaul 2: Where America Buys His Stuff.
- Mike Thomas, You Might Remember Me: The Life and Times of Phil Hartman. Phil Hartman was known as “the Glue” by fellow cast-mates at SNL because he was integral to keeping the sketches together. Biographer Mike Thomas traces Hartman’s impoverished beginnings in Canada to his show business days on SNL and Newsradio to his tragic end most readers know is coming. Order You Might Remember Me: The Life and Times of Phil Hartman.
- Andrew Dice Clay, The Filthy Truth. Dice’s memoir gets real. Order The Filthy Truth.
- Martin Short, I Must Say: My Life As a Humble Comedy Legend. It’s all right there in the title. He’s a legend. I Must Say: My Life As a Humble Comedy Legend.
- Amy Poehler, Yes Please. She’s not done cementing herself as a legend, but here’s her story so far. Order Yes Please.
- Dick Cavett, Brief Encounters: Conversations, Magic Moments, and Assorted Hijinks. Cavett’s career is amazing and his storytelling rivals that. This book focuses on the people and moments that contribute to an incredible life. Order Brief Encounters: Conversations, Magic Moments, and Assorted Hijinks.
- Jim Gaffigan, Food: A Love Story. Jim Gaffigan loves food. This love affair may account for his child’s observation of him that named his first book, Dad Is Fat. In Gaffigan’s second book, the reader peers into the real-life romance one man has with his meals (and snacks). Order Food: A Love Story.
- Joan Rivers, Diary of a Mad Diva. Joan Rivers was not done yet. Not by a long shot. This book, along with her other projects and touring schedule, proves it. Order Diary of a Mad Diva.
- Aasif Mandvi, No Land’s Man. Comedian, actor, and Daily Show correspondent’s life is a story is most likely not like yours. Let him tell you his story. Order No Land’s Man.
- John Cleese, So, Anyway. The Monty Python member recounts his life, which includes how he was on the verge of practicing law, but got into professional silliness instead. Order So, Anyway….
- Scott Saul, Becoming Richard Pryor. Richard Pryor is an important figure in the comedy world and his life requires further examination. Saul does so, placing Pryor in a context to illuminate his importance. Order Becoming Richard Pryor.
- Richard Zoglin, Hope: Entertainer of the Century. One would assume that Bob Hope, a comedian and now historical figure, would be remembered as an influencer of the comedy landscape. However, not many comedians list him as an influence. Zoglin attempts to correct this injustice and put him in what he sees as his rightful place as king of comedy (commander of comedy may be a better term since Hope did all those USO tours to entertain the troops who out there fighting against the tyrannical rule meted out by a king). Order Hope: Entertainer of the Century.
- James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales, Live From New York: The Complete, Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live as Told by Its Stars, Writers, and Guests. A must-have for anyone interested the history of the comedy and television institution that launched scores of careers, this book is the oral history of Saturday Night Live and consists of patched-together interviews thematically and chronologically structured. Originally published in 2002 and updated this year, the book traces the wildness of the early years to the years when show was all but irrelevant to the relative tameness of the modern era. And there’s a whole chapter dedicated to the show’s founder, Lorne Michaels. Order Live From New York: The Complete, Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live as Told by Its Stars, Writers, and Guests.
- Brian Abrams, AND NOW…An Oral History of “Late Night with David Letterman,” 1982-1993. This Kindle Single brings you behind the scenes of the broadly influential show that earned Letterman reputation. Order AND NOW…An Oral History of “Late Night with David Letterman,” 1982-1993 (Kindle Single).
- Patton Oswalt, Silver Screen Fiend: Learning About Life from an Addiction to Film. Pre-order Oswalt’s second book, due out in January. And if it’s anything like his first book, Zombie Spaceship Wasteland, disappointment won’t be part of your experience. Pre Order Silver Screen Fiend: Learning About Life from an Addiction to Film.
- Paul Reiser, How to Get to Carnegie Hall. This is a Kindle Single, so it’s short (and cheap), but it’s Reiser telling his story. Order How To Get To Carnegie Hall (Kindle Single).
- Bob Saget, Dirty Daddy. Remember Full House and America’s Funniest Home Videos? Bob Saget has no shame about being on those shows. In fact, it helps the raunchiness factor post sitcom and user-generated-clip-show-with-amusing-host-commentary show (come to think of it, that sounds like a familiar premise—was Saget doing Tosh.0 before Tosh?). Dirty Daddy is Saget’s foray into committing his foul language to print. Order Dirty Daddy: The Chronicles of a Family Man Turned Filthy Comedian.
- Chelsea Handler, Uganda Be Kidding Me. She doesn’t have her E! Network show anymore but she does have this book, and you can have it too. Order Uganda Be Kidding Me.
- Andrea Martin, Lady Parts. This SCTV alum has had quite the life, and she tells you all about it here. Order Lady Parts.
- B.J. Novak, One More Thing. Novak has been busy, this being his second book published this year (though, to be fair, the other was a children’s book with no pictures and probably a couple hundred words, a portion of them made-up). In this one, Novak applies his writing skills to the short story, which range from funny to affecting. Maybe a novel is in the works. The jump from comedy writer to novelist is not unprecedented—Steve Martin, for instance.
- B.J. Novak, The Book with No Pictures. And here’s one for the kids. Comedian, actor, and sitcom writer, Novak has created a children’s book with no pictures. It may sound ludicrous, but kids seem to love it, according to the marketing materials. Order The Book with No Pictures.
- Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein, and Jonathan Krisel, The Portlandia Cookbook: Cook Like a Local. Being a local isn’t always enough. Sometimes you need to cook like one, too. From the creators of the show that showed you how to put a bird on it, they’ll show you how to put a bird in it—it being your plate, oven, belly, or wherever. Order The Portlandia Cookbook: Cook Like a Local.
The Gift of Television
Face it. Your friends and family are couch potatoes. Help them be the best furniture tuber with these offerings from the boob tube—contemporary TV, canceled sitcoms, animation, sketch shows, and classic TV.
Contemporary Comedy on TV. It’s what’s on now. More precisely, it’s what was on in the near past. Here are the most recent releases from contemporary shows.
- Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Season 1. Andy Samberg won a Golden Globe for his performance in this series that takes both crime solving and comedy seriously and features Chelsea Peretti, Jo Lo Truglio, Andre Braugher, and Terry Crews. Order Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season 1.
- Community. Season 5. A couple of changes to process with this season: After being canned by the network, creator Dan Harmon is back, but Donald Glover departs early in the season. Chevy Chase, meanwhile, is still gone. Order Community: Season 5.
- Drunk History. Seasons 1 and 2. Comedians get bombed and take the viewers through some important piece of American history. Most of your teachers were probably drunk, so this series will ultimately remind you of high school. Order Drunk History Seasons 1 and 2.
- Eastbound and Down. Season 4. The final season of Eastbound finds Kenny Power returning to his hometown, where the series began. Order Eastbound & Down: Season 4 Trailer [HD].
- Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret. Season 2. Order The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret: Season 2.
- Ja’mie: Private School Girl. Australian comedian Chris Lilley, a man who recently turned 40, reprises his role as Ja’mie (pronounced: juh-MAY) from 2006’s Summer Heights High for another mockumentary series. And he convincingly plays a high-school girl who attends an elite private school in Australia and goes through the emotional turmoil associated with young people that age. Order Ja’mie: Private School Girl.
- Louie. Season 3. No need for explanation here. Order Louie Season 3.
- Mike and Molly. Season 4. Order Mike & Molly: Season 4.
- The Mindy Project. Season 2. Order The Mindy Project: Season 2.
- Parks & Recreation. Season 6. Order Parks & Recreation: Season 6.
- Reno 911! Complete Series (DVD) Order Reno 911: The Complete Series.
- Tosh.0. Volume 4
- Veep. Season 2. Julie Louis-Dreyfus gets better as time goes on. This show is the proof. And it doesn’t hurt that she’s supported by Tony Hale and Matt Walsh. Order Veep: Season 2.
- Wilfred. Season 3. Order Wilfred Season 3.
- Workaholics. Season 4. (DVD, Blu-Ray) Order Workaholics: Season 4.
Cancelled Sitcoms. Not all of America loved these shows, but some certainly did, the networks hope, enough to want to own these non-syndicated series. Since you can’t see them on tv anymore, you’ll really appreciate these DVD versions.
- Dads. Martin Mull, Seth Green, the some of the minds behind Family Guy. How bad could it be? (DVD) Order Dads: The Complete Series.
- Better Off Ted. Season 2. With Arrested Development and Andy Richter Controls the Universe alum, this sitcom was fortunate to make it to second season and, after airing its final episode way back in 2010, it finally gets a DVD release for the season. Order Better Off Ted: Season 2.
- Growing Up Fisher. Order Growing Up Fisher: Season One.
- Legit. Season 1. Of all the canceled shows in this list, it stings to see Legit here. A solid series from standup Jim Jeffries, the show failed to gather a sufficient audience when it moved from FX to FXX for its second season. (DVD, Blu-Ray). Order Legit: Season 1.
- The Millers. Order Millers: Season 1.
- The New Normal. Order The New Normal: The Complete Series.
Animated Comedy and Sketch
Animated Comedy on TV. It’s not just for kids anymore. (That’s been true for a long time.)
- Adventure Time. Season 4 (DVD and Blu-Ray) Order Adventure Time: Season 4.
- American Dad. Volume 9. Order American Dad Volume 9.
- Archer. Season 4. Order Archer: Season 4.
- Bob’s Burgers. Season 3. From the co-creator of Home Movies comes Bob’s Burgers, a show with so much comedy pedigree, it’s unfair. It’s like getting everyone in comedy in a box. Order Bob’s Burgers: Season 3.
- Boondocks. Complete Series Order The Boondocks: The Complete Series.
- Black Dynamite. Season 1. Order Black Dynamite: Season 1 [Blu-ray].
- Brickleberry. Season 1. With voices from Kaitlin Olson, Tom Kenny, Daniel Tosh, Jerry Minor, and others, watch as park rangers patrol Brickleberry National Park. Order Brickleberry: The Complete First Season.
- King of the Hill. Seasons 7 and 8Order King of the Hill – Season 7.
- Simpsons. Season 17. The episodes comprising this season aired about a decade ago, when people were asking, “This show’s still on?” And ten years later, the answer to that question is still affirmative. Order The Simpsons: Season 17.
- South Park. Season 17 Order South Park: Season 17.
- Venture Brothers. Season 5 Order Venture Bros: Season 5.
Sketch on Television. Sketch is a form of comedy that harkens back to the vaudeville days. The following shows aren’t that old.
- The Birthday Boys. Season 1 (DVD) Bob Odenkirk is involved. That’s all you need to know. Order The Birthday Boys DVD.
- Comedy Bang! Bang! Season 2 (DVD) The sketches are bookended by the scripted talk show hosted by Scott Aukerman and often improvised musical interludes by house band Reggie Watts. Guests, who are in on the gags, include Zach Galifianakis, Sarah Silverman, Casey Wilson, Andy Richter, Jessica Alba, Jim Gaffigan, David Cross, and Rashida Jones. Order Comedy Bang! Bang! Season 2.
- Key & Peele. Season 3 (DVD, Blu-Ray) – Comedy Central found a couple of winners in Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, and this season features sketches about Obama’s college years, Hootie and the Blowfish’s frontman confronting his past, and an insult comic who selects his target of derision poorly. Order Key & Peele: Season 3 [Blu-ray].
- Portlandia. Season 4 (DVD) A constant celebration and lampooning of the ’90s from the people who taught us “to put a bird on it.” Order Portlandia: Season 4.
- Upright Citizens Brigade. Season 3. The final season of Upright Citizens Brigade, which aired on Comedy Central in 2000, is now available on DVD. See Amy Poehler in a pre-SNL capacity as she and Matt Besser, Ian Roberts, and Matt Walsh orchestrate chaos through scripted sketches and improvised bits with often spooked public woven together with interludes from the secret lair of the UCB, a group “with no government ties and unlimited resources.” And it’s also a good time to pick up the first two seasons, which will only run you $7 and $11, respectively. (DVD) Order Upright Citizens Brigade: The Complete Third Season.
Classic TV on DVD. If your friends and family like to kick it old school, check out these programs.
- The Bob Newhart Show. Complete Series. Bob Newhart had two hit sitcoms. This was the first one. And here it is in its entirety. Order The Bob Newhart Show: The Complete Series.
- Dean Martin Show. Celebrity Roasts. Comedy Central picked up where Dean Martin left off. See the original as they roast the likes of Ronald Reagan, Hank Aaron, Betty Davis, Joe Namath, Ralph Nader, Jackie Gleason, Suzanne Somers, Mohammed Ali, and many others. Order Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts: Complete Collection.
- Here’s Lucy .Complete Series (DVD) Order I Love Lucy: The Complete Series.
- Newhart. Season 4. Bob Newhart is back and this time he’s running an inn in Vermont. By season 4, brothers Larry, Daryl, and Daryl have become regulars on the show. Order Newhart: Season 4.
- Laverne & Shirley: Season 8. See the circumstances under which Laverne and Shirley part ways in the final season of the classic sitcom. (DVD). Order Laverne & Shirley: Eighth & Final Season.
- Mystery Science Theater 3000. XXXI Turkey Day. This 4-disc set features the gang watching Jungle Goddess, The Painted Hills, The Screaming Skull, and Squirm and new Turkey Day intros from Joel Hodgson. And, perhaps most important, it all come packaged in a limited-edition tin. And out just in time for Thanksgiving! Order Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Turkey Day Collection (XXXI) [Limited-Edition Collector’s Tin].
- Pioneers of Television. Season 4. A generally fascinating series about TV’s history, this season is especially of interest for its episode dedicated to standups who went on to find astronomical fame on their own sitcoms, including Jerry Seinfeld, Tim Allen, Roseanne Barr, and Bill Cosby. Also included is an episode that takes a look Mork and Mindy starring Robin Williams and other sitcoms.Order Pioneers of Television: Season 4.
- Taxi. Complete Series. Before it was a pants-splitting action-comedy starring Jimmy Fallon and her highness Queen Latifah, Taxi was a sitcom starring Judd Hirsch, Danny Devito, Tony Danza, and Andy Kaufman. Now available for binge watching. (DVD) Order Taxi: The Complete Series.
- Three’s Company. Complete Series. Will Jack Tripper, portrayed by the late John Ritter, sleep with his attractive female roommates? He seems to comes close at times and at others he seems to have little interest in them. What gives? Figure it out with this complete collection. Order Three’s Company: The Complete Series.
- Welcome Back, Kotter. Complete Series Order Welcome Back, Kotter: The Complete Series.
The Gift of Comedy Movies
How many of your friends never even made it to the theater this year? Buy them the movies they never got to see for less than the price of two tickets to the local cineplex. Here’s some of the comedy movies that they might have missed this year. There’s something here for your smart friends, your pot smoking friends, your kids, nieces and nephews. No need to guess what anyone wants this year. It’s all right here.
- Trip to Italy. Steve Coogan, and Rob Brydon’s sequel to “The Trip.” Send this to smart friends who like indie comedies. Order The Trip to Italy.
- Magic in the Moonlight. Woody Allen directed this rom-com starring Colin Firth and Emma Stone. Order Magic in the Moonlight [Blu-ray].
- The Skeleton Twins. Former SNL castmembers Kristen Wiig, got rave critical reviews for this dark comedy. Order Skeleton Twins.
- 22 Jump Street. Probably the best crowd pleasing sequel of the year. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum star. Order 22 Jump Street (2 Discs) [Blu-ray].
- Tammy. A Melissa McCarthy comedy is always a good gift, especially for SNL Fans. Order Tammy (Extended Edition) [HD].
- Sex Tape. Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel with Rob Lowe, Ellie Kemper and Rob Corddry. Order Sex Tape.
- The Fluffy Movie. Gabriel Iglesias’s super hit. Order The Fluffy Movie – Extended Edition.
- A Million Ways to Die in the West. If you have Seth MacFarlane and Family Guy fans on your list, this is an easy pick. Order A Million Ways to Die in the West (Blu-ray + DVD + DIGITAL HD with UltraViolet).
- Night at Museum 1 and 2. You know, for the kids. Ben Stiller. Owen Wilson, Robin Williams, Steve Coogan. Catch up before you head out to see 3. Order Night at the Museum 1 & 2 [Blu-ray].
- Chef. One of our top picks on the list, your foodie friends will love this. John Favreau is outstanding and your friends will love you for this one. Order Chef (Blu-ray + DVD + DIGITAL HD with UltraViolet).
- Neighbors. It was last summer’s big Seth Rogen comedy, and will make anyone in the family happy. Order Neighbors (Blu-ray + DVD + DIGITAL HD).
- Think Like a Man Too. Kevin Hart can’t do anything these days that isn’t a giant hit. Got a Kevin Hart fan on your list? This is your pick. You’re done. Order Think Like a Man 2 (DVD/UltraViolet).
- Grand Budapest Hotel. Two words. Wes Anderson. Every Wes Anderson fan wants to own every Wes Anderson movie. And you need to see this at least 5 times before you even begin to take it all in. Ralph Fiennes, Bill Murry, Tilda Swinton. It’s a gorgeous film. Order The Grand Budapest Hotel.
- Young Frankenstein 40th anniversary edition. Mel Brooks classics. Hard to believe they both premiered 40 years ago.Order Young Frankenstein: 40th Anniversary [Blu-ray].
- Blazing Saddles 40th anniversary edition. These two picks have ‘amazing gift’ written all over them. Order Blazing Saddles 40th Anniversary [Blu-ray].
Want more ideas? Read our past gift guides, which are still great!
Good Luck, Happy Shopping and Happy Holidays