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10 Of The Greatest Stand-Up Comedians And Their Best Performances

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By Dhruv Arora:

Stand-Up comedy is one of my most loved art forms and has become essential viewing for me over the past many years. I believe I was introduced to stand-up much later in life, because of which I had to spend a lot of time (not regrettably so) looking up various artists and catching up on things. Here’s a list of some of my favourite Stand-Up comedians of all time, I hope you enjoy watching them as much as I enjoyed compiling them!

Louis CK: Why?

Lous CK has come to be known as one of the best comedians of this generation, and has gained recognition completely on his own without help from the major labels. In this video, as Louis talks about his (ahem) love for children, you will find out just what it is that makes Louis such a successful comedian.

Sarah Silverman: Low Self Esteem

Sarah’s sense of humor is more in-your-face than some of the others on this list, and she most definitely ranks up there with the best stand-up comedians of all time. This stand-up bit was intended to be a satire on society, one that will make you scream “OH MY GOD did she just say that!” and laugh your bottoms off at the same time.

George Carlin: Religion

Easily one of the best stand-up comedians of all time, George’s stand-up was more social commentary on the world as opposed to basic comedic bits. It will be hard for me to talk about George Carlin on the same league as all of the others here, because I am most definitely going to biased towards him. Why, you ask? Watch this video to find out.

Bill Hicks: On Music and Drugs

Much like George, Bill Hicks is one of the most influential and well known stand-up comedians in the history of the business, and for a very good reason. He too liked to commentate on things that mattered to him, and often spoke about things that would now be considered highly controversial, and that never mattered to Bill though, and this stand-up on music and drugs will tell you the reason why.

Kevin Hart: Confronting My Teacher

Kevin is one of the most entertaining stand-up artists on this list because his strength lies not just in how funny the joke may be, but how he delivers it. Even the smallest things sound funny when coming from Kevin, and this (I’m gonna say fictional) account of him confronting his teacher is a hoot and a half!

Ellen Degeneres: Of Massages and Flying

Although she is now known as the hilarious host of the fantastic Ellen Degeneres Show, Ellen too (not surprisingly) started off with Stand-Up comedy at first, and boy did she nail it! Here she is talking about massages and, well, flying.

Dave Chapelle: Baby On The Corner

Often considered one of the finest stand-up artists (and not exactly known to be very politically correct), this bit features Dave talking about a late night experience of going to an unknown place in a cab. I’ll leave the rest for you to watch.

Russell Peters: Arab Jokes

Probably among the best known modern stand-up artists in the list, Russell Peters has made a name for himself as one of the giants in the stand-up industry. Peters often talks about stereotypes in his bits, and in this segment, he talks about how the world looks at Arab people. Definitely worth your time!

Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias: Visiting Saudi Arabia

Gabriel Iglesias has come to be known as one of the greats because of his delivery of jokes. Gabriel is not afraid to laugh at himself, and this is why his stand-up bits have often succeeded in making people laugh till they cry. This may be a bit long, but every second is worth watching!

Bill Cosby: Chocolate Cake

A list on stand-up comedy wouldn’t quite be complete without some Bill Cosby on it. Although some say that Bill’s claim to fame was the Cosby Show, many know him as the legendary stand-up and one of the first people to establish stand-up comedy as a (not-so-)serious profession. Here’s one of Bill’s finest bits.

Of course, there are many more stand-up comedians and bits that I would love to include in this list and haven’t had the chance to yet.

Would you like to see more fantastic stand-up comedy bits? Let me on on twitter at @thedhruvarora

You must be to comment.
  1. Anubhav Shankar

    I think Jerry Seinfeld, Bill Maher, Chris Rock, Joan Rivers and Ricky Gervais also deserve to be named in an extended list.

    Awesome compilation non-the-less 🙂

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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