It’s our sixth annual list of the ten best albums in comedy, and this year the number of comedians who recorded albums has exploooooded! Remember when you first realized EVERYONE has a podcast? Well the album is the new podcast, and with streaming fees now available, comedians young and old are eager to cash in. This means younger comedians are getting in on the album game sooner (often before they’re ready) and more seasoned comedians are getting back into the album game, because it provides another source of revenue.
We tried to keep this category pure so we did not consider any albums that were initially recorded as specials. Those recordings are eligible for the best comedy special category. Everything on our list was created as an album, available for sale as an album, and promoted as an album.
Last year, Adam Ferrara won album of the year for Unconditional. In 2017 you gave the award to Joe DeRosa, in 2016 you overwhelmingly picked Rich Vos V as your favorite album of the year, and in 2015, Jay Mohr won for the audio version of his special, Happy and a Lot. In 2014, our first annual album of the year award went to Big Jay Oakerson for the Crowdwork Sessions Vol 1.
One of our past winners has an album out this year– Rich Vos is going for a record two wins. And this year we included a bonus album of the year- it’s really just for residents of the Garden State- Chris Gethard’s love letter to New Jersey. So don’t vote for it, but do buy it and enjoy it.
On to the top 10! Scroll down to vote for your pick for the best album of 2019!
Rich Vos is a comedy legend, and the current reigning king of the comedy album. He’s a master of riffing, crowd work and killer material and you can hear all of those things on his new album WHEN I SAW HAMILTON. The thruline for the album is a running comparison between what’s happening in the moment at the show Vos is recording, and how that compares to a visit to the Broadway smash hit show Hamilton, and those comparisons pop up throughout. Everything is fair game for slaughter on Rich’s new album, including his family, and of course Vos’s ability to highlight his own shortcomings is unparalleled. He’s the dean of the smash and nobody can keep up with him. Vos is at his best talking about the grand canyon sized life changes between his current lifestyle and his younger days and he has an unforgettable story about Ron Jeremy, a porn star and a harmonica.
EMMY BLOTNICK is this year’s break out comedian. Not in terms of celebrity…yet. That’s coming. But just in terms of someone you may have overlooked a year ago and now is undeniably amazing, Emmy is right near the top of that list This is her first album, and she doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page yet, but Blotnick’s PARTY NIGHTS is one of the best albums of the year. You really don’t have to worry about whether Emmy is covering ground you’re tired of hearing about. Nobody else is going to have a track called “List Your Animals” and nobody else is talking about that time they went a year without a zero key on their keyboard, and got through of it with the help of that dude from Outkast. Emmy’s album can make you laugh out loud even after you’ve spend a week straight listening to comedy albums, and that’s a tremendous accomplishment. She’s positively adorable, a little bit weird and goes into self deprecating territory often, but in her own unique way. Her self deprecation comes from a place of power. Despite needing to convince herself that she deserves salmon in one track on the album, Blotnick is fully aware of her value.
If you feel like everything is a copy of a copy of a copy, and you are craving true originality, this is your album. If you are ready to get weird. If you kinda find people with OCD to be interesting but you don’t really understand them. If you want to go off the rails, then you need to stream download and listen to SEAN PATTON’s hilarious album SCUTTLEBUT. The highlight of this album is Patton’s explanation of his OCD habits, and how he has more than once pulled the universe back from the bring of disaster, but we also love Scuttlebut for Sean’s feelings about his best friend Alexander, his hilarious exploration of the New Orleans accent, and his bizarre story about a dream he had about waking up as a woman. You’ll never be able to predict the places any of those tracks are heading towards, because Sean doesn’t think like the rest of us and that’s why he’s so damn funny. Recorded in September at Helium Comedy Club in Philadelphia, Scuttlebut is a wild wild ride.
If you aren’t already familiar with LEONARD OUZTS then now is the time to get familiar with Leonard Ouzts. He is a stand out among stand outs and his new album YA HEAR ME? is a remarkable first album. If for no other reason you need to hear this album for the walk thru he gives regarding proper blunt etiquette (someone had to do it) but there’s so much more here. Like the white culture vs black culture insight that comes with learning the difference between parents counting up and counting down. Like his explanation of why Trump is such a fascinating President and how he got there. There’s great material about observations he made while working as a server at IHOP. And there’s no track on any album thats will have you rooting for someone’s success than his closing track, Thank You Melissa.
Add LENNY MARCUS to your list of comedians you absolutely have to see live. He absolutely kills on stage and his new album, HOME AND AWAY is a slam dunk packed with laughs from start to finish. The subject matter may be familiar: elevator encounters, subway idiots, and seasonal depression, but Lenny’s take is 100% his own. His vision of his near death experience is hysterical and that’s just the beginning of Home and Away. Everything annoys Lenny but for reasons you never even imagined, and by the time you are done with this album, you’ll be on his side about everything. Think Idaho is great? Think sex is better than soup? Are you pro man bun? Not for long. Marcus has thought all of these things through thoroughly. Maybe too thoroughly, but that’s what makes him so funny.
We’re so excited about CASEY BALSHAM‘s new album, SON OF A BARB. Casey has shot to the top of our list of favorite young New York talents this year, with a frenetic energy filled, silly, crazy, funny album. She’s a great writer with a killer stage personality. As the title suggests, the highlight of this album comes from a series of tracks about Casey’s parents, Jim and Barb, that is just hilarious, but we also love Casey’s take on young millennials, dating, ubering and taking care of your body. Casey recorded the special at her home club, New York Comedy Club in April in front of a great crowd and its just a blast to listen to.
NIMESH PATEL got major media attention when a college arts festival pulled him off stage during a performance at a diversity festival, because one of his jokes was not inclusive enough for the festival organizers. That’s just one of the topics that comes up in HEAD NIMESH IN CHARGE. It’s also a really funny look at cultural bullshit, (like the price of Tumeric Lattes, and the difference between Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts). Nimesh is incredibly skilled at looking at the culture, spotting stupidity and making us laugh at our own ridiculousness. He also delivers great commentary on the changing roles of Indians in American culture, including porn. America is ready for#DeepDikPatel.
You know SHULI EGAR from the HOWARD STERN SHOW and he’s also a killer on stage, and for Shuli, one album wasn’t enough. He recorded two for your listening pleasure. SHULOGY is a double album, ostensibly of the same material recored in two different states of mind- one delivered sober, and one totally wasted. What you get, is two very different albums as wasted Shuli veers off the planned path into new details, new material and even some new stories. But this isn’t just an experiment in inebriation, both albums stand on either own. Both are hilarious, and nothing this year can possibly top a story about a plane trip that involves a middle seat. Listen to both, back to back, first sober, and then wasted and enjoy the ride.
YAMANEIKA SAUNDERS is one of the funniest people you’ll ever sit down and listen to and DAMSEL IN DISTRESS is an album you’ll want to listen to over and over. She is a powerhouse of a comic and headed for giant successes. You’ll need headphones and you’ll need to make sure you’re not in public because its laugh out loud funny listening to Saunders talk about being single, her grandma’s unique rape prevention tips, how she got on the church prayer list, and all about being a maid of honor for a close friend. It’s her first solo album but it won’t be her last.
DOV DAVIDOFF is one of New York City’s best and his album, LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS is a manic look at his own experiences and the world around him. Whether he’s talking about the American Dream, the construct of “faith”, or the way the news’ covers the guy who fucks horses, he is all in and will take you with him. He’s got family matters covered too. How to know when you’re with the wrong person, for example or how to identify if you are one of those rare types who actually should reproduce. Dov is a seasoned vet, and listening to LOWER EXPECTATIONS, you can hear him just demolish every topic he talks about.
BONUS ALBUM! CHRIS GETHARD’S brand new release is a love letter to the state of New Jersey. If you’re not from New Jersey you may or may not understand what he’s talking about. These references go deep. But if you are from the Garden State or have spent any significant time there, this deep dive is mandatory listening. Put on TAYLOR HAM, EGG AND CHEESE, get your whole Jersey family together and get ready to talk all night at the Peter Pank over eggs. We’re ready for you to come back Chris! Welcome home.