TRIVIA CLUB COMEDY 100: #10 to #6

March 15, 2015

We are in the TOP TEN, folks! What? Yes! Is it late? Sure! Thus has been the theme of the #TCC100 to an extent. Delayed expectations. Suffice to say our editorial head had to deal with Emergency Dental Work, which means he was high as fuuuuuu when he put this together. Five through to one will be released separately. Each post celebrating a member of the Top Five in a way that would make our #95 of this year's list proud! Before THAT though...

TOP TEN begins thusly:

10. Sarah Silverman

Points: 818
Ballots: 10
Highest Vote: 1st (Laura)

BRIAN: "Jesus Is Magic" was in my early 'comedy nerd' days and was a revelation. She's dark, funny, fearless bad smart. Seeing her headline at JFL42, reading/listening to her book "The Bedwetter" and seeing her various talk show, podcast and sketch appearances have only made me love her even more. She hosted SNL earlier this season and immediately won the night when her opening monologue featured clips of her form when she was in the cast asking questions in various A&As. Brilliant. HBO recently picked up a new series from her and I can't wait to see what she does with it.

Sarah Silverman is "offensive" on Letterman: 

9. Jordan Peele

Points: 832
Ballots: 10
Highest Vote: 3rd (Patrick)

PATRICK: The Comedy 100 is committed to ranking this year's most notable comedians in their proper place even if it means driving a stake between the wildly successful tandem of Key and Peele. One half of the eponymous sketch duo and reigning Barack Obama impersonation champion, Jordan Peele has shown himself more than capable of stepping into a wide range of characters and quite adept at commandeering your online leisure time.

ROB: Though I’m more of a Key man, Peele’s gift is his insane commitment to characters entirely unlike himself. He single-handedly made a 3-minute sketch entirely about a screaming man air-humping on top of various store mattresses work.

8. Scott Auckerman

Points: 837
Ballots: 10
Highest Vote: 1st (Matt)

BRIAN: Hosts the "Comedy Bang! Bang!" TV series and podcast and is just the master of being the ring leader juggling the 'regular guests' with the parade of insane characters who 'storm' the studio each week. He not only plays the straight man to the insanity but adds a hilarious edge to it, unafraid to drop references that the guests may not get but that just amuse him. His catchphrases/references are so ingrained to fans of both shows that we can't help but break them out, unwittingly at times, in real life. He also raised the bar with the 'it's so funny you won't care if you hate the band' podcast "U Talkin' U2 To Me?". I couldn't tell you a thing about the 'lads from Liverpool' (see 'catchphrase/reference note above) but I freaking love this show. His perfect chemistry with co-host Adam Scott and the infectious, unironic love of the band combine so perfectly with their comedic style that you'll want U2 to release a new album every month.

An off-hand comment from Scott becomes one of the most beloved recurring bits on Comedy Bang! Bang!: 

ROB: Even in a weak year for the Comedy Bang Bang podcast, the genius dynamic of U Talkin U2 To Me makes it a banner year for Aukerman. A podcast fueled almost entirely by in-jokes and anti-comedy, recorded late at night when the hosts are frequently cranky at one another, should not work. What part of it Aukerman brings versus what part is Adam Scott is indecipherable, so to the top of the list with both of them.

SAM: Aukerman is good at being very strange and silly but somehow also managing to be the straight man in a room full of even stranger, sillier people. His great talent is knowing when to hang back and let someone else run the room and when to reign someone in. It's a great fit for the Comedy Bang Bang TV show, but an even greater fit for the podcast format, which can often get sidetracked or meander and would be worse without his careful management of the proceedings.

7. Kate McKinnon

Points: 873
Ballots: 12
Highest Vote: 5th (Andrew)

ANDREW: It’d be easy to include Kate McKinnon on a list such as this simply for her spot-on impersonations on Saturday Night Live. Her Bieber got international attention. She’s appeared on “Ellen” as Ellen with even the host admitting that there are some eerie nuances and accuracies in capturing her essence. And her Angela Merkel is so good, it makes the Chancellor want to take off her man’s blazer, put on a man’s Hawaiian shirt, and let her German bowl cut blow in the wind.

But the true brilliance of Kate McKinnon is when we see her at her quirkiest. “Whiskers R We” is a case study in the perfect SNL sketch. As Barbara DeDrew, McKinnon commits to a socially-awkward, mom-jean clad pet rescue employee as a foil to the admiring Cat Muller played by Charlize Theron. The duo introduce “eligible CAT-chelors” up for adoption such as the multi-lingual “Shanghai”, “Pabst”, a cat she entered an unhealthy co-dependent relationship with, and “Damian”, a “feline sociopath.” The McKinnon-penned sketch is simple, but the subtle interactions, glances, and bizarre dialogue get some of the biggest laughs of the season.

As proof of her success, McKinnon was the only SNL cast member in Season 39 to be nominated for an acting Emmy and she won the 2014 American Comedy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Perhaps her relevance and importance to modern comedy can be best underscored by a performance on an episode of SNL’s current season: it takes a special kind of genius to steal a physical comedy sketch from Jim Carrey, but as an office worker dressed as the child dancer from Sia’s “Chandelier” video, even her SNL cast mate Taran Killam said that in that one sketch, McKinnon “steal[s] the show.” And she continues to do so in virtually everything she appears in.

LEAH: There are few people who delight me in the way Kate Mckinnon does on screen.  She is fun and versatile, in a way that you really just don’t see very often at all.  I feel that she has so many different levels and characters, and what is more surprising…. not a single one annoys me! That is saying something folks! Especially as an SNL cast member, it is really hard to differentiate the numerous characters every week.  She is by far one of the best I have seen at accomplishing this.  My hat is off to Kate, and I look forward to seeing her branch out from the SNL team.

6. Keegan-Michael Key

Points: 879
Ballots: 10
Highest Vote: 3rd (Johnny)

HANNAH: When I was in elementary school I wasn’t allowed to stay up late enough to watch SNL But, I was allowed to stay up until 11:30 to start taping it on an old warn out VHS tape to watch the next morning. Which meant I could pass the time by watching half of a MADTV episode. That is where I first met Keegan Michael Key. We all remember Coach Hines right? And so, for sentimental reasons, I have ranked Keegan Michael Key higher than his partner Jordan Peele.

Key and Peele has had such viral success in the last year! These two have been very smart in negotiating the changing face of TV sketch comedy (If it’s not on youtube, the kids aren’t watching!) and they create good content. What more do you people want! 

An SNL Fantasy League #1 pick, a stand-up all-star having the best year of her career, the podcast godfather, and Comedy Central's Dynamic Duo (our highest ranked pair of comedians) start our Top Ten! Who is #5? This Park's & Rec cast member recently had a big stand-up special released! You'll see THEM, tomorrow!

Russel Harder hosts Trivia Club at Cardinal Rule (5 Roncesvalles Ave) every WEDNESDAY, at Hitch (1216 Queen St East) every other MONDAY of the month, and Lou Dawg's near Ryerson (76 Gerrard St E) every TUESDAY!

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