By Mandi Bierly
October 11, 2007 at 12:00 PM EDT

I’ve spent roughly 20 hours with George Carlin and Robert Klein recently — they’ve both released boxed sets of all their HBO specials. This got me thinking: What are the best stand-up routines ever recorded? Do they include Carlin talking about those seven (or 10) words you can never say on television? (Big-time NSFW warning, folks.) His bit explaining the Persian Gulf War by detailing the U.S.’s “Bigger D— foreign policy theory”? (Still TV-MA. Obviously.) Maybe his timeless — and shockingly clean — dissection of the differences between baseball and football, as viewed below?

Tell me: Which stand-up bits do you consider classics? And have you identified the comics that helped shape your sense of humor? (Mine: Paula Poundstone, Rita Rudner, Judy Tenuta, and Sam Kinison. That explains so much.)