Readers pick their own list of funniest Americans
We don’t care what the South Park boys say: Thank God for Canada. Especially Kael Jones of Guelph, Ontario, who said our 25 Funniest People in North America list was ”Brilliant! I wouldn’t change a single thing…especially Kelly Ripa.” We couldn’t agree more. Of course, Jones’ letter wasn’t exactly a typical response. That would be more like the subtly argued missive we got from Matt Swenson of Kimberly, Wisconsin, who wrote: ”YOU SHOULD ALL BE FIRED! I HAVE NEVER SEEN A WORSE ARTICLE!” So to placate our readers — and to preserve our jobs — here are your picks for the 10 funny folks we overlooked, be they potty-mouthed provocateurs or stingingly satiric newsweeklies. And as for the Sinbad fan club (all one of you), we’ve got some bad news. He didn’t make this list, either.
1 She’s the only bisexual Korean-American comedian who riffs on colonics, menstruation, lesbian sex, and every other off-color subject imaginable, and her trademark imitation of her heavily accented mother cracks us up every time. Plus, she’s bounced back from a disastrous failed sitcom (All-American Girl) with an arsenal of gleefully subversive one-woman shows (her new tour kicks off this fall). WHY WE LEFT HER OFF She was No. 26. We swear.
2 All conversations about his genius start here: Along with Bob Odenkirk, he created the cunning HBO sketch series Mr. Show, which routinely put SNL to silly shame. And not only does Cross (pictured) work little miracles in supporting roles (witness his current gig as feckless freak-job Tobias on Fox’s Arrested Development), he can drop some pretty fearsome stand-up (who else talks about being raped by the Virgin Mary?). Simply put, this dude never kowtows for his funny. WHY WE LEFT HIM OFF He’s never quite matched the hilarity of Mr. Show, which ended five years ago.
3 To catch a glimpse of a real live Tasmanian Devil, look no further than this madcap comedian. As hairy as he is hilarious, Williams can enliven any telecast with his zany improv bits and Energizer Bunny-on-crack energy. And while the Oscar-winning actor has recently taken on a string of rather bleak roles (One Hour Photo and Insomnia ain’t exactly what you’d call feel-good flicks), he’s also made a triumphant return to the comedy stage, completely selling out his manic 2002 tour. WHY WE LEFT HIM OFF These days, Williams’ jittery sputtering seems more creepy than comic.
4 The rabble-rousing, button-pounding comic has been working the circuit since the ’60s, when his antiestablishment tirades made him one of the country’s most talked-about talents. His legendary ”Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television” bit is still a censor’s worst nightmare — and even more relevant in a post-nipplegate universe — and crowds still flock to hear Carlin rant, rail, and mock every little thing that irks him. WHY WE LEFT HIM OFF In the hall of fame, no doubt, but his stuff hasn’t been fresh since the Carter administration.