TRIVIA CLUB COMEDY 100: #25 to #11

March 10, 2015

Spoiler alert: You're only going to see one other #1 in this section. Though a lot of folks that ended up in the 25 to 11 range ranked highly, they didn't neccesarily rank highest. This is where the numbers game, because don't get me wrong people LOVE these people. Oh, and second spoiler alert: the other half of Broad City is about half-way down this list. Bet you were curious!

25. Nick Kroll
Points: 613
Ballots: 8
Highest Vote: 4th (Saad)

24. Kumail Nanjiani
Points: 616
Ballots: 8
Highest Vote: 16th (Leah)
LEAH: I really adore Kumail for one reason and one reason only. I buy his boyish awkwardness. It makes me happy in a way I can’t begin to describe.  Yes, he is genuinely witty and makes amazing observations and can dead pan a delivery with the best of them. But all I really care about is that he always seems slightly nervous saying anything, this is highly endearing to me. Another way to describe it: he is the kind of guy that would be really into me, which makes me really into him….does that make sense?

23. Mike Birbiglia
Points: 630
Ballots: 8
Highest Vote: 3rd (Sarah)
SARAH: Mike Birbiglia is a remarkable storyteller. He is a master of the long-form. Everything he puts out continues to affirm that. Bravo.

22. Chelsea Peretti
Points: 631
Ballots: 9
Highest Vote: 9th (Robb)

21. Bill Hader
Points: 634
Ballots: 9
Highest Vote: 6th (Saad & Megan)
RUSSEL: Hader broke out this year. Not necessarily into the stratosphere, ala Wiig with Bridesmaids… but he DID prove, speaking of Wiig, that leaving SNL was the best of all the choices! In Skeleton Twins he showed a dimension of heart-rending that propelled forward and supported the strange funny that we had come to known and love from Hader.

His return home to SNL, to host early in Season 40 cemented WHY we loved that strange funny and just how much it’s influenced this current crop of the cast from McKinnon to Mooney.

20. Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Points: 639
Ballots: 8
Highest Vote: 4th (Rob)
ROB: This may come off wrong, but when Seinfeld was serving as the prototype for the no-hugging sitcom of unlikeable characters, she perfected it even with the burden of being the only female lead on the show, in a medium where female characters seem to have extra pressure to be cute and delightful. Years later, everyone talks about Lena Dunham playing with the boundaries of unlikeable female characters, but it’s Louis-Dreyfus on HBO stablemate Veep who can say things like this and you still root for her.

19. John Mulaney
Points: 669
Ballots: 10
Highest Vote: 3rd (Saad & Hannah)
RUSSEL: Here’s the big secret of this list, most people voted in advance of the Mulaney sitcom debuting on FOX. This shouldn’t take away from John being an honestly funny guy, buuuuut that may have changed his ranking. Still, it’s not like we have Bill Cosby on this list or anything (spoilers), so you should be happy to know that Mulaney is still a funny, warm hearted, and weird individual. His appearances on the Kroll Show for instance shows that he CAN perform, and New In Town proved without a doubt that he is funny.

Also, that he is a proud Asian-American woman!

18. Mindy Kaling
Points: 672
Ballots: 9
Highest Vote: 2nd (Krissy)
KRISSY: I love Mindy Kaling. 

In fact, I love Mindy Kaling so much I can't even write this paragraph about her.  You know that feeling like nothing you can say will be good enough?  That's how I feel about having to convince you how funny and clever Mindy is.  And so, just like when her character, Mindy Lahiri,  feels down and out and overwhelmed she takes to the floor, I'm doing the same.  In a manner of speaking.

ANDREW: So I’ll admit it. I’ve never watched the American version of The Office. As an anglophile, I felt as though I’d be cheating on the UK so I never got around to it. Because of this, I had no idea who Mindy Kaling was until The Mindy Project.

As Mindy Lahiri, Kaling plays an OB-GYN who is trying to negotiate her way through life—both professionally and personally—in New York City. What’s brilliant about Kaling is her ability to play an obviously smart professional who has graduated medical school as an incredibly approachable and unassuming character. If anything, she seems better read in popular culture, and this proves to be incredibly frustrating for everyone else in her life. What I like about the character than anything else is the fascinatingly hilarious contrast between who she portrays herself to be and who she really is. An example of this is when she tries to “do the club right” by saying, “Let’s talk to the DJ and see if he’ll tell us the Wifi password to this place.”

Kaling plays Lahiri with incredible confidence, even when everything seems to be going wrong in the character’s life, and this is what endears the character to the audience. She has the perfect balance of physical humour and sardonic wit which makes her one of the most humourous characters on television right now. And Kaling plays her with total perfection.

Beyond her work on TMP, Kaling is an excellent writer/performer, even in more unusual settings. Check out her commencement address at Harvard’s Law School to see her in her element. 

Elle Woods who?

16. Abbi Jacobson
Points: 679
Ballots: 9
Highest Vote: 8th (Sarah & Rob)
SARAH: Abbi Jacobson is relatable as shit. She’s the girl next door for the Millennial generation. She’s the type of friend you’d want to plan your bachelorette party. She’s the better half of Broad City.

16. Amy Schumer
Points: 679
Ballots: 8
Highest Vote: 4th (Laura)
SAM: What's amazing about what Schumer has been able to do is that she's done it so sneakily. Like Sarah Silverman, only if anything more political, she's a drive-by feminist. She sucks you in with hilarious sketches about a world where men's balls are as objectified as women's breasts and seems like one of the guys only to leave behind an important message about women's role in comedy and society. And on the network that gave the world Tosh.0 no less! Given the rampant mysogyny online and some of the cultural debate around women in men's spaces going on right now, that's downright brave on top of being riotously funny.

15. Andy Samberg
Points: 713
Ballots: 9
Highest Vote: 10th (Hannah)
HANNAH: I’m continually surprised by the staying power of Andy Samberg. Aren’t you?  For someone reason I feel some sort of ownership over Samberg. Perhaps it’s because I will never forget the first time I saw episodes of “The ‘bu” on Channel 101 when I was in like grade 8 and thinking he was the funniest little weirdo in the world. That opened up all the Lonely Island videos (I’m talking pre-Dick in a Box Lonely Island) Like Awesometown, and Just 2 guys and KaBlamo filmed on like a handy cam in their apartment…it was genius! I hate being a comedy hipster but Lonely Island was the first time I felt like I had found this little hidden gem that was all mine.

So, this year when Andy won the Emmy for his role as Jake on “Brooklyn 99” I was so weirdly proud of him! Like my little toothy pal in a hoodie had won an Emmy! High fives for Andy, am I right you guys? Dude has been on an almost textbook rise in his career, internet famous, SNL Famous, Making bad movies with Adam Sandler famous and now a starring role on a hit TV show. We’re gonna call that a win!

Also if you haven’t seen some of the original Lonely Island stuff, or if you just haven’t revisited it in a while, Watch this. Grade 8 Hannah thought there was nothing funnier in the world!

14. Stephen Colbert
Points: 759
Ballots: 10
Highest Vote: 3rd (Russel)

13. Nathan Fielder
Points: 764
Ballots: 9
Highest Vote: 2nd (Rob)
ROB: He gave us the gift of keeping a straight face when that realtor casually revealed, seemingly weeks into filming a segment about selling haunted houses, that she’d been “choked by a ghost in Switzerland.” He is a better man than any of you or I.

12. Paul F. Tompkins
Points: 765
Ballots: 9
Highest Vote: 3rd (Brian)
SAM: Tompkins appears in so many things that he’s amazing in! But if I had to pick one performance, his portrayal of one half of the boozy Beyond Belief medium couple  in Thrilling Adventure Hour takes it. Although, his many impressions of people like Cake Boss, Werner Herzog and Andrew Lloyd Webber are always delightful.

BRIAN: What can you say about PFT? Start with his incredible stand-up (I saw the exact same show twice at this year's JFL42 and I have no regrets), his Speakeasy webseries shows what a fantastic host he is; as does his puppet panel show on Fusion "No, You Shut Up". His appearances on @midnight are always brilliant. But it's his INCREDIBLE character improv work on various podcasts (most notably Comedy Bang! Bang! and Superego which he joined as a full-time castmember this season) that blows me away the most. The bizarre mix of characters from pseudo impressions like Ice T, Cake Boss (cake boss), Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, Werner Herzog, Garry Marshall, and Alan Thicke to original creations like Reverend Parsimony, JW Stillwater and Cake Boss's arch nemesis the Pie Minister show an incredible range and unparalleled comedic genius. Buy his stand up, see him live and listen to any podcast he's on.

Paul "turns" on the audience during this @midnight outtake:

11. Jenny Slate
Points: 783
Ballots: 9
Highest Vote: 1st (Sarah)
SARAH: Obvious Child is my favourite rom-com. Jenny Slate’s performance in it is without flaw. She is a singular talent. I propose that we replace Lena Dunham with Jenny Slate in the popular consciousness.

RUSSEL: Why deny Jenny Slate? Obvious Child proved to me that an errant f-bomb (which, I know, I can’t stop talking about) stole Slate from SNL and negatively affected the show for the last five years but not Slate's career. Even with a great cast, look at what they could have done with Slate… but then, without that freedom, especially in 2015, would she have been able to surprise us all with a THIRD Marcel the Shell video.

It’s a strangely endearing concept that shows the weird dimensions of Slate’s sketch comedy prowess, and something that the Kroll Show, and her appearances on Parks & Rec helps drive home. Obvious Child not only enabled Slate to be a funny stand-up, delivering some RAW material, but also gives her an excellent chance to be so honestly funny. It's why I had her at number two. No one this year was so blunt and entertaining with the funny this year, not as much as Jenny Slate. Well, except maybe my number one.

Jenny Slate, everyone! An amazing collection of funny people, all together. We haven't even gotten to the TOP TEN yet! Look for that to come right at ya, THREE DAYS from now when we reveal #10 to #6!

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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