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Modern Stand-up Comedy Styles and Influences

A friend of mine has a great potential to be a stand-up comedian. She has a high comedic sensibility and is a natural storyteller. This feature is rare, even among most performers. I created this list as a way to explore some favorite comedians and to try and synthesize our conversation on stand-up comedy styles. Like painters comedians are not 100% a certain style. In fact they follow style very loosely. This list is not a way to pigeon hole them as one trick. All great comedians, like painters, use all of the great tricks.

The Anti-Obfuscation Comedians
Iliza Shlesinger, Rodney Dangerfield, Jim Jeffries, Chris Rock, Lenny Bruce, Bill Burr
The Wrechedness Comedian
Louis CK


The Droll Comedians
Steven Wright, Tig Notaro, Norm Macdonald, Bob Newhart

The Personal Pain Comedians
Richard Pryor, Jim Jeffries, Tig Notaro

The Art is Dead Comedians
Andy Kaufman, Bo Burnham, Zach Galifianakis, Reggie Watts

The Metaphor Comedian
Patton Oswalt

The First Comedians
Lenny Bruce, Groucho Marx, George Carlin, Phillis Diller, Andy Kaufman

The Clean within Dirty Comedians
Sarah Silverman, Dave Chappelle, Anthony Jeselnik

The Observationalist Comedians
Jerry Seinfeld, George Carlin, Hannibal Buress

The Jaded Philosopher Comedians
Bill Hicks, Mitch Hedberg, Sam Kinison, Louis Black

The Dangerous Comedians
Eddie Murphy, Roseanne Barr, Chris Rock, Jim Jeffries

The Contempt Comedians
Bill Burr, Brian Regan, Jerry Seinfeld, Louis CK, Patrice O'Neal

The Storyteller Comedians
Eddie Izzard, Mike Berbiglia, Jim Gaffigan, Kevin Hart, Gabriel Iglesias

The New Phenom Comedians
Ali Wong, John Mulaney, Bo Burnham, Scott Auckerman, Lauren Lapkus

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