2009 was a great year for comedy, which means this was a difficult list to put together. So starting from #10 and working our way up the funny charts…
10. Paul F. Tompkins, “Freak Wharf” (AST Records) – An entertaining storyteller and golden boy amongst contemporary comedy nerds, Paul F. Tompkins released this much anticipated follow-up to his debut album, “Impersonal” – but this time it’s a full set and not just random bits. The first three tracks are simply fantastic and are supposedly just Paul riffing! …which would be amazing if comedians weren’t such liars.
9. Eugene Mirman, “God is a 12-Year Old Boy with Aspergers” (Sub Pop) – New York (via the Soviet Union) native Eugene Mirman has a comic style all his own. Weird bits about weird things. He’s not afraid to talk about his childhood days in Special Education. And he’s not afraid to write angry letters to the Electric Co. and read them out loud.
8. Doug Benson, “Unbalanced Load” (Comedy Central Records) – Stand-up comedy’s favorite stoner Doug Benson adds a second album to his impressive portfolio of television, film documentaries, and stage shows. If you like jokes about marijuana or jokes that were obviously written while high on marijuana…look no further.
7. Big Jay Oakerson, “An American Storyteller” (Comedy Central Records) – Not sure it’s an appropriate album title unless American storytellers only tell stories about penises and sex, but Big Jay Oakerson’s persona is calm and cool and very enjoyable…and I never get tired of dick jokes.
6. Laurie Kilmartin, “Five Minutes to Myself” (Rooftop Comedy) – This is the first comedy album where I’ve ever said, “Why the hell isn’t the audience laughing as hard as I am?” Usually it’s the opposite. Even if the audience didn’t appreciate her as much as I did, Laurie’s refreshing style brings new life into bits about children, relationships and foreigners.
5. Patton Oswalt, “My Weakness is Strong” (WEA/Reprise) – One of my favorite comedians, and my favorite storyteller-style comic, Patton Oswalt, doesn’t exactly rock my world like his previous albums, but is certainly a worthy addition to his ever-growing CV. Unfortunately this is one of those albums that was a DVD first and CD just because…I hate when they do that.
4. John Mulaney, “The Top Part” (Comedy Central Records) – SNL writer John Mulaney releases his debut album with great success. His honest storyteller style reminds me a lot of a young Patton Oswalt, which is a real compliment. Can’t wait to see and hear more from this guy.
3. Matt Braunger, “Soak up the Night” (Comedy Central Records) – I’ve always hated FOX’s “MadTV”, all 14 seasons of it, but how can a sketch show be such shit with talent like Matt Braunger? His first album is already a classic. And just in case you’re wondering, I lift weights to Morrissey too.
2. Todd Glass, “Thin Pig” (Comedy Central Records) – If you enjoy observational-style comedy, than this is a must-have from comedy veteran Todd Glass’ debut album. And if you think K-Mart is just as good as Target, Todd has some news for you.
1. Maria Bamford, “Unwanted Thoughts Syndrome” (Comedy Central Records) – Maria Bamford is clinically insane but insanely funny. Only a crazy person would kick off an album with voicemail messages from the Baby Jesus. After multiple listens, this is no doubt my favorite album from 2009 and proves once more why she is the world’s funniest female comic.