Dennis Miller

Stand-Up Comedian Dennis Miller

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Born: November 3, 1953

Blue Meter: Tame

Member Ratings

  • Delivery: 14321
  • Material: 14321
  • Overall: 14321

Who's Funnier?

In match-ups against other comics:

58.87%

Won: 2040 | Lost: 1425

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Videos

All video pulled from YouTube.

HBO Comedy Special 2006 Dennis Miller All In  YouTube
HBO Comedy Special 2006 Dennis Miller All In YouTube Watch
HBO Comedy - Dennis Miller (Stand up comedy)
HBO Comedy - Dennis Miller (Stand up comedy) Watch
Dennis Miller  HBO Comedy Special 1994 They Shoot , Don't They]
Dennis Miller HBO Comedy Special 1994 They Shoot , Don't They] Watch

Works

Records

2014 Dennis Miller: America 180°
1994 Comic Relief VI

This album is a compilation, featuring multiple comics.

1992 Comic Relief V

This album is a compilation, featuring multiple comics.

1988 The Off-White Album
1985 Best of Comic Relief, Vol. 1

This album is a compilation, featuring multiple comics.

Specials (and other video)

2014 Dennis Miller: America 180
2010 Dennis Miller: The Big Speech
2006 Dennis Miller: All In
2003 Dennis Miller: The Raw Feed
1999 Dennis Miller: The Millennium Special - 1,000 Years, 100 Laughs, 10 Really Good Ones
1996 Dennis Miller: Citizen Arcane
1995 Comic Relief VII

Benefit show that features multiple comics.

1995 Dennis Miller: State of the Union Undressed
1994 Dennis Miller Live from Washington D.C. - They Shoot HBO Specials, Don't They?
1990 Dennis Miller: Black and White
1989 The 13th Annual Young Comedians Show

Host

1988 Mr. Miller Goes to Washington
1986 Comic Relief

Benefit show that features multiple comics.

Books (by and about)

2001 The Rant Zone
2000 I Rant, Therefore I Am
1998 Ranting Again
1996 Rants

Jokes

Now the ACLU is fighting to overturn a Mississippi state law that stops homosexuals from adopting children. You know folks, I’m no expert on the subject, but if you’re gay and you’ve chosen to set up shop in...

Reviews

travelinitman's avatar travelinitman says:
Delivery: 14321
Material: 14321

Stopped being funny long ago.  Probably writes his material using a dictionary and thesaurus and thinks ‘that ‘el wow ‘em.

Biography

Utilizing a sneering nasal voice and piercing pebble eyes Dennis Miller’s brand of mocking hipness won him some success in stand-up and greater fame for his “Weekend Update” news segements on “Saturday Night Live.” He replaced Chevy Chase’s 70’s coyness with what he called “low-key non-threatening cynicism,” a sulking and prickly brand of hostility.

At his best, Miller’s grousing and sarcasm melted pretension like acid through butter. On born-again Christians: “I’m a little indignant when they tell me I’m going to hell if I haven’t been born again. Pardon me for getting it right the first time.” On drunk drivers: “There are two groups of people in the world now. Those that get pathetically drunk in public—and the rest of us poor bastards who are expected to drive these pinheads home.” On female gymnasts: “The women’s uneven parallel bar event. I think I’m gonna be a little skeptical the next time a woman tells me I’m being too rough in bed. I’m watchin’ these girls bang their cervix off a frozen theater rope at 80 miles per hour. You don’t see men in that event, ok…”

Born in Pittsburgh, Miller graduated from Point Park College with a journalism degree. He hosted “Punchline,” a magazine show for teens in Pittsburgh, and performed comic essays on “PM Magazine.” After stand-up work in Pittsburgh in the late 70’s, he came to New York in 1980, moved out to Los Angeles in 1983, and then won a spot on “Saturday Night Live” for the 85-86 season: “What can I say? ‘Weekend Update’ was a job I’d always wanted…and now I do it. I don’t want to sound saccharine, because I hate people who do that, but then, how many people get to have the exact job they always wanted? I used to watch Chevy do it years ago and I thought, ‘Wow, I’d be good at that. My strengths are an ability to be pretty unflappable, to deliver reams of material at a fairly fast rate, and to be able to think myself out of a box canyon quickly and not look ruffled doing it.”

Miller wasn’t ruffled by critics who sometimes found a shallowness to his political humor and his brand of iconoclasm for its own sake. In October of 1989, for example, President Bush signed a pro-environment bill protecting the spotted owls in a national forest. Miller found something negative: “After a year in office it’s nice to see George is confronting the hard issues head on, huh?” Miller exposed his own petty interests, to the dismay of hardcore fans, when he appeared in the trendy “Gentleman’s Quarterly” magazine and answered such “hard issue” questions as “Where do you prefer to shop for clothes?” Answer: “Ron Ross in Encino. Jack Kellogg on Sunset….I prefer Perry Ellis shirts, wherever I can get them. The collar flares out right for me—not too long, semi-spread.”

Like any iconoclast, Miller seemed to resent being liked and enjoyed his reputation for being as difficult on screen as off. His catch-phrase to end his “Weekend Update” segments was one of studied disconcern and lofty disdain. Whether audiences laughed or hissed, he didn’t care. In the end, he could simply take the money and take a walk. Exit line: “I am outta here!” He was “outta” the show at the end of the 1991 season.

Miller’s personality was too strong to suffer defeat for too long, and Miller rebounded with HBO specials and hosting chores on a number of high profile specials (the MTV Music Awards, Billboard Music Hawards and even the Emmy show). HBO gave him his own weekly show and he’s thrived in the low-pressure environment, the half-hour anchored by his comic news segment and his weekly “Rant,” a one-to-one lecture to the audience with the background dark and the spotlights bright on his beady eyes.

Unfortunately, Miller’s attempt to barnstorm the talk show wars was an utter failure and it caused him to fire angry blasts at the competition, including his “former friend” Jay Leno. It would be many years before Dennis and Jay were again on speaking terms.

Miller fans are delighted to see the “Rants” appear in both book and cassette tape formats, and to find Miller playing the occasional acerbic sidekick role in a movie or two, notably “Murder at 1600” opposite Wesley Snipes and “The Net” with Sandra Bullock. He’s married to a model, Ali Espley and they have two children.