Entertainment Weekly asked Aristocrats producer Penn Jillette his top 12 comedy albums in their recent “Listen To This” supplement for subscribers. I can’t find the link anywhere on their site, so I thought I’d list them here, as I think they’d be quite educational to any comedian or comedy writer.
The interesting thing about Penn’s descriptions of the albums (which I won’t type) is that he mentions memorizing almost half of them. Though obviously doing someone else’s material is wrong, memorizing a comedy album is learning by doing, imitating. Here’s the list:
- Smothers Brothers - Sibling Rivalry: The Best of the Smothers Brothers
- Albert Brooks - Comedy Minus 1
- Firesign Theatre - Don’t Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers!
- Stan Freberg - Stan Freberg Presents The United States Of America, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2
- Team America: World Police
- Phyllis Diller - The Best of Phyllis Diller
- Gilbert Gottfried - Dirty Jokes
- Martin Mull - Martin Mull & His Fabulous Furniture in Your Living Room
- National Lampoon Radio Hour: Best Moments
- Lenny Bruce - The Lenny Bruce Originals Volume 1
- George Carlin - FM & AM
- Marshall Dodge and Robert Bryan - Bert and I & More Bert and I
UPDATE: Entertainment Weekly finally put Penn’s Choices up on their website.