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Timeless Comedians

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Jeff Breuer
Timeless Comedians
on May 19, 2009 at 10:54:13 pm

So the other night my wife and I sat down and watched Sherlock JR, an old Buster Keaton silent film slapstick comedy. I had never seen it but knew I would enjoy it (I'm a big Keaton fan), but my wife who rarely watches old movies really enjoyed it as well. My love for Keaton started when I randomly attended a showing of "The Navigator" in college and laughed until my heart flung out of my throat and made a mess on the screen.

This revived an idea I had discussed with an Improviser I know. He proposed that there are comedians out there who understood and executed comedy so well that we could pick them up an drop them off at any time of existence or any culture and they would do well as a comedian.

Keaton, I would say is one. Johnny Carson, Mel Brooks, Carol Burnett would be great candidates. Chaplin, yes. Another of my personal favorites, Tim Conway.

Who else? What screen legend would you pick for this experiment?

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Harry Pallenberg
Re: Timeless Comedians
on May 19, 2009 at 11:31:29 pm

Benny Hill.


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Chris Poisson
Re: Timeless Comedians
on May 19, 2009 at 11:34:36 pm

Jeeze Jeff,

If you weren't my assistant, I wouldn't admonish you for missing:

Richard Pryor
George Carlin
Lenny Bruce
Woody Allen
Chris Rock
Steve Martin
Rodney Dangerfield
Bill Cosby
Roseanne Barr
Eddie Murphy
Jerry Seinfeld
Robin Williams
Bob Newhart
David Letterman
Ellen DeGeneres
Don Rickles
Jonathan Winters
Bill Hicks
Sam Kinison
Dennis Miller
Robert Klein
Steven Wright
Redd Foxx
Bob Hope
26. Ray Romano
28. Jack Bennye
Garry Shandling
George Burns
Albert Brooks
Andy Kaufman
Phyllis Diller
Jim Carrey
Bill Maher
Billy Crystal
Jon Stewart
Dave Chappelle
Joan Rivers
Richard Lewis
Adam Sandler
Henny Youngman
Tim Allen
Denis Leary
Lewis Black
Damon Wayans
David Brenner
DL Hughley
55. Alan King
Colin Quinnr
Jeff Foxworthy
Bobcat Goldthwait
Jackie Mason
Richard Belzer
Cedrick the Enter.
Kevin Pollak
Wanda Sykes
Red Buttons
Bernie Mac
Paul Rodriguez l
Bobby Slayton
Howie Mandel
Norm MacDonald
Drew Carey
Paula Poundstone
Dana Carvey
Louie Anderson
David Alan Grier
Sandra Bernhard
Janeane Garofalo

So there.

Have a wonderful day.

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David Roth Weiss
Re: Timeless Comedians
on May 20, 2009 at 5:08:59 am


I'm appalled. How could you mention Woody Allen and Gallagher in the same list? Gallagher's sledgehammer is no match for Woody's typewriter.

David Roth Weiss
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Chris Poisson
Re: Timeless Comedians
on May 20, 2009 at 8:27:17 pm

I apologize, I was substituting quantity for quality just to add a jibe to my assistant, who started this thread. Many of the ones I left in are unworthy, my bad.

Have a wonderful day.

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Mark Suszko
Re: Timeless Comedians
on May 21, 2009 at 5:28:11 am

Add Rowan Atkinson. Mr. Bean is basically an immortal and timeless, wordless clown-mime creature, he could fit into any time period. And Atkinson should know...

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Jeff Breuer
Re: Timeless Comedians
on May 22, 2009 at 7:06:10 pm

Yes! Great choice. Atkinson studied Engineering at Oxford so I love to hear him talk about comedy. He understands it's elements and can explain its pieces very well.

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Doug Collins
Re: Timeless Comedians
on May 28, 2009 at 3:51:22 pm

The Marx Brothers

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Bob Cole
Re: Timeless Comedians
on May 30, 2009 at 1:34:15 am

notice how few females....

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Jeff Breuer
Re: Timeless Comedians
on Jun 9, 2009 at 5:50:30 pm

Yes. I think it is rare to find a truly hilarious female that really stands out. I don't mean to sound sexist, it's just an observation. There have been some brilliant female comedians that have graced the screened, and here are a few that I think have really left a mark:

Undeniable Legends:
Lucille Ball
Carol Burnett

And Incredible still:
Tina Fey
Vicki Lawrence

I'm sure we could list more, but those are hard to argue with. Ellen DeGenerous might make that list too.

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Ramona Howard
Re: Timeless Comedians
on Jun 10, 2009 at 4:11:54 pm

I always like Ed O'Neill, although not from the comedic background, he certainly made me laugh.

And today.....

Jon Stewart. Funny in a really sad way. He certainly can deliver painful, honest news that leaves you laughing and crying at the same time.


Play hard today, it may be raining tomorrow!

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Blane Pierce
Re: Timeless Comedians
on Jul 20, 2009 at 12:34:22 am

You can't forget Don Rickles, Richard Pryor, Marx Brothers.

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