11 Generally Unfunny Comedians Worthy of Contempt
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11 Generally Unfunny Comedians Worthy of Contempt

By Agent Bedhead | Seriously Random Lists | August 8, 2012 | Comments ()


Sorry, Will Ferrell does not appear on this list of generally unfunny comedians because, while I am not a fan of his usual style, at least he redeems himself on with the occasional hilarious movie cameo (Wedding Crashers). Nor does Russell Brand make his presence known here either because I made (a hopelessly ridiculous) exemption for intelligent (albeit usually tasteless) comedians. With all of these other comedians who did make the list, I guess I "just don't get it." Plus, several of them are stealing from Louis C.K., so there's that justification as well. Needless to say, several of the below videos are NSFW. Enjoy!

Dane Cook: Here, Dane talks about his most memorable one-night stand ever. Why do women fall for this crap?

Gilbert Gottfried: That voice just kills me. Somehow, this guy spends several minutes "kicking out" his audience, and they persist in laughing.

Jay Leno: This is his first appearance on "The Tonight Show" when he was doing actual stand-up comedy. Sadly, he never got any better than this -- even when other people started writing his jokes.

Carrot Top: All of those damn props. If he was so amusing in the first place, he wouldn't need props!

Whoopi Goldberg: This video was pre-"View," but she still wasn't funny at all. Although I do admit that the profanity in this video is much appreciated.

Larry the Cable Guy: God only knows that I've reviewed enough of this guy's movies, but his standup routine is somehow even worse.

Carlos Mencia: Racism never gets old, right? Wrong.

Kevin James: At first, I was amazed that this guy went mainstream, but in retrospect ... not so surprising.

Chelsea Handler: Sure, it's cool to diss Angelina Jolie. But what about Brad? He's blameless, of course.

Andrew Dice Clay: This entry to the list seems obligatory because, quite simply, he is the sexist pig to end all sexist pigs.

Daniel Tosh: Making fun of the mentally handicapped is fun! And this doesn't even cover his recent rape jokes.

Agent Bedhead lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She and her little black heart can be found at Celebitchy.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Whorish Mouth

    Comedy is totally subjective. I've definitely both laughed and groaned at every comedian on this list at one time or another. I agree with some of the previous posters that this is a list of what the author doesn't like, but frankly, if Carlos Mencia says something funny, I'm not going to feel like an idiot if I laugh, no matter how much of a d-bag he supposedly is.
    By the way, I really hate Disqus.

  • kirbyjay

    Russell Brand should top this list. You said unfunny comedians, well he is so the number 1 unfunniest comedian he makes Dane Cook chuckleworthy. Throw in Gallagher and double up on Adam Sandler and this list should be dipped in platinum, awarded a Nobel Prize, made an amendment to the constitution and added to a mandatory reading list for schoolchildren, That's how much I agree with you.
    or maybe Agent Bedhead should be dipped in platinum, awarded a Nobel Prize, etc....
    Do you ever go to a comedy show and laugh so hard that you're chocking and clutching your sides and wonder how the poor bastard is still shlubbing away at local venues while these blowhards have actual careers?
    Me too.

  • yeeeeeaahboyyeeee

    If you can listen to Dice's The Day The Laughter Died and not laugh once...well you probably find Parks and Recreation the funniest thing on tv.

  • Tracey Sims

    It's weird to look back on Dane Cooke: The College Years. He had a certain Lamda Chi Alpha thing going on for a minute. And the Predator thing made me laugh. Then it goes on and on and on and just spirals into a date-rapey place. And then I hate myself for laughing at the Predator thing. Damn.

  • Littlejon2001

    Sister Act is a great movie, so Whoopi definitely should get points for that.

    Ok. Let's just be real honest here. Dane Cook has some very funny albums. Once he became megastar comedian Dane Cook...not so much. But Retaliation and Harmful If Swallowed are hilarious. I don't care what anyone says. If you don't laugh at his Kool Aid and Monopoly jokes, there's something physically wrong with you. I know its real cool to hate on Dane Cook, but he's got some funny stuff under his belt. And the whole stealing from Louis C.K. thing is complete and utter bs.

  • Ian Fay

    Let's also not forget that Mencia is a legendary joke thief (second probably only to Robin Williams).

    His confrontation with Joe Rogan is pretty awesome.

  • dahlia6

    What ever happened to Mencia? He was blowing up all over the place, and then, bam, gone. Not that I'm missing him, mind you, just curious. (wondering if we can send a few other shitty performers after him)

  • maxpurr


  • Steve

    As someone who once wrote garbage like this... Negative type list... And who does not anymore, because I actually got out and started performing comedy... Who do you think you are? While comedy is subjective and a matter of taste... Everyone on this list is now or was at one point a national headliner, making millions of dollars. Not only that but they could/still do draw thousands of people to their shows. What have you done? Write lists about how much people suck? Time to examine whatever it is that you think you are doing, and if you really want to see comedy done poorly, log in a few hours at an open mic... That's a place where comics get their start... And after ten or so years, thousands of open mics, awful road gigs, for little or no money, about 1 in a thousand of those open micers become national headliners.

  • PissBoy

    Bullshit preferential comment moderation. I dissent whole heartedly with part of this list but my valid opinion and its expression apparently aren't worthy.

  • Whorish Mouth

    My upvote to your comment keeps disappearing, too.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    Gilbert Gottfried = Ferengi in my mind. He cracks me up.

  • bucketofstars79

    Replace Kevin James with Jeff Dunham, and we're good. 'Sweat The Small Stuff' has some classic shit.

  • @nixon_james

    Hey I know! I'll make a list of entertainers who've already made it (i.e. proven they have talent/persistence/staying power) and be completely ignorant of actual shitty comedy because I don't know anything about the genre. But people will argue because I've included a talking point for most of these people and since they're already established people will argue with me. I could make a case that you're a fool for every selection on this list. smh

  • Slash

    Eh, I think Tosh can be funny. But if people wanna think he's an asswipe, well, he is an asswipe. I guess he's the new Dane Cook. And I kinda like Kevin James. He's not the funniest, but whatever, he's inoffensive to me. His movies are fucking terrible, mostly, but as a personality, I like him OK. Whoopi started out on Broadway in a very acclaimed show. I've never thought of her as a comedian, even in her movies, certainly not now. The rest are just annoying rather than contemptible to me and I avoid them whenever possible.

  • char

    you forgot Adam Carolla. What douche.

  • Ley

    All I know Gottfried is funny when he uses the voice effectively, like in Aladdin or when he read "Fifty Shades of Grey" (The way it's meant to be read). Otherwise, I agree with this list.

  • Slash

    OK, I actually would watch Gottfried read "50 Shades of Gray," his voice is so grating and annoying, it would distract somewhat from the awful writing.

  • dizzylucy

    I disagree with nothing.

    I actually liked Chelsea on the show she had before her talk show, it had some skits and stuff, but since then I've grown to dislike her.

    I'd add Russell Brand to the list too, though honestly I've never seen him actually performed. I'm just so repulsed by his voice and look that I physically can't watch him. The commercials for his talk show made me shriek and dive for the mute button, while averting my eyes.

  • Arrogant Bastard

    Replace the Dice Man with Russell Brand and this list is correct.

  • Jezzer

    Remember how Sting used to be really awesome and provocative, but then he got old and Easy Listening? The same thing happens to comedians when they get older. They start taking the easy, lame path. Whoopi Goldberg used to be hilarious and daring, but she started taking the comfortable route as she got older. Not to mention that you're not going to find a lot of really edgy material in a "Comic Relief" concert.

    This, of course, doesn't apply to comedians who were never any good (inb4leno).

  • lowercase_ryan

    I agree with the list but I have to say I kind of respect Gilbert. He may not be funny, and yeah the voice, but he's put in work.

  • MikeRoorda

    Fun Fact: Back before he invented the Larry the Cable guy persona, he was unfunny as Daniel Whitney as well.


  • Tom

    Ha! Way to pick out people's least interesting bits and use it as an example of their acts. Hey everyone, this blogger is worthy of our contempt! Look, he himself admitted, "I...don’t get it.” You're the worst.

  • Sofia

    I agree with most of these, except Chelsea Handler. I know I'm in the minority, but her books and her show have always made me laugh and she's big on giving opportunities to new commedians.

  • littlion

    This is gonna come off as a troll reply. It's really not. I just... my only exposure to Chelsea prior to this was roommates watching Lately,
    and I didn't... mind her? I mean, I wasn't interested, AT ALL, but she
    didn't seem like a reprehensible cuntmuffin who spreads blatant misogyny
    under the guise of comedy. Which is what I got from that video.

    Again, really not trying to start shit. Just, from the perspective of someone whose only exposure to her was a vapid talk show and that video... eugh.

  • Sofia

    Yeah, but that's one clip. I like her show and her books a lot better than her stand-up (I don't think it's particularly funny), but I don't consider her a mysoginist at all. There's a great interview of her by Katie Couric on YouTube, check it out if you have time.

    And disagreeing with someone doesn't make you a troll, so no worries ;)

  • Javier

    I gotta say I was a fan of Dane Cook and Mencia during their heyday in 2003-2005 (you know that meme of high scholl boys laughing at stupid jokes?, yeah that was me)...but revisiting their old material, it hasn't aged well or at least I don't find it particularly funny...and their current material? it gets a 'meh' from me

    Also, I once saw Mencia on Conan stealing a joke from Cook. I'll leave you to your own conclusions.

  • aw, i was TOTALLY with you up 'til daniel tosh. you say you don't include russell brand because of the intelligence factor-- and i agree-- but i think tosh deserves that exclusion as well. don't judge the guy based on the frat-boy demographic of his TV show. his material may occasionally offend the sensibilities of some of the more sensitive members of his audience, but his standup is freakin' hilarious (imho). also, i might kinda like kevin james, too, in spite of myself. i actually think some of his standup is pretty funny. however, i won't object too strenuously to his inclusion here simply because of his absolutely abhorrent taste in film projects.

  • lonolove

    Some of these, like Carrot Top, Gottfried and Dice Clay are so unhip and years beyond their prime that there is no reason to mention them. They are irrelevant now, and should be cleared off the list to make room for assholes like Jeff Dunham, the worlds shittiest ventriloquist. Why is that even a thing? Who the fuck laughs at his bullshit puppetry? Maybe I'm veering into unacceptable Daniel Tosh territory here, but I hope he gets fisted until he dies.

  • MonkeyHateClean

    Oh, I can't stand that racist no-talent asshole and fly into mini fits of rage each time Comedy Central airs his shitty specials.

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    I think I liked one of his specials the first time I saw it, but then everything else I ever I saw, I mostly couldn't stop thinking, "But his lips are moving. His Lips. Are. Moving." It completely distracts me from the potential comedy, though there's very little of that since he uses the same four damn puppets.

  • Devil Child

    I like Larry the Cable Guy's standup substantially better than any of his films except the first Cars movie, largely because even though he's a character, he's not just cracking jokes at every race except his own, unlike a few German-Honduran's and a certain ventriloquist you should've put on here.

    Most of all, I like that he's stopped making movies that get put into theaters, a lesson Ben Stiller's non-flamboyant douche bag persona needed to take about two decades ago. I don't count Cars 2 because he was actually funny and charming in the first one, and as bad as it could've been, it's definitely a step up from his live action films.

  • Tammy

    Gottfried can be so damned funny in the right context - like his stint in the movie "The Aristocrats." Pants-shittingly funny, mainly because he's afraid of nothing.
    Goldberg hasn't made me laugh in a long time BUT, her early work is legendary and treads that line between performance art and stand-up. She's actually in a textbook of mine from grad school on experimental solo performance (much like John Leguizamo).
    And parts of Kevin James' old special are insightful and hilarious (pre Paul Blart days).
    I'm right on board with the rest of the list. Comedy is subjective, but for most of these, the subject is "Shit That Don't Make Me Laugh."

  • laylaness

    This isn't a troll list? Am I having a heart attack? Does anyone else smell burnt toast?

  • BarbadoSlim

    I would trade the Diceman and Tosh for that dickhead tool Russel Brand in a heartbeat. Insensitive and cruel they might be but at least they're funny. Brand just has that accent that makes people think they are smart if they listen to him. Monty Python he ain't.

  • Is rape jokes a reason to be unfunny? If so Louis CK has had a lot of rape joke material in his set and is considered funny. Just curious where the line is drawn.

    Heck comics I like respect and like Dane Cook, I don't fault the man for his success and I find some of his material amusing.

  • I was covering Dane Cook's Vicious Circle taping in Boston for work (that's the show the clip above is from) and while I don't think the material has aged all that well, I gotta say, he was an impressive guy to be around in that environment. Beyond the fact that he filled the new Garden twice in one night, the guy just puts a LOT of effort into his performances to the point where I had no idea how he was going to do it all again after the first crowd left. An hour later he was up there again and he seemed to have even more energy for the second set and performed for probably an additional half an hour (the T's had stopped running by the time the show was over, I do remember that). Afterwards he still made time for press, which, fine, is just part of him being a professional and shouldn't earn any extra points, but the thing is he didn't just make time - he was good on camera after all that and I watched him interact backstage with fans and he was on point there too. Joke stealing and overall douche-ness are worthy of discussion, for sure, but I do have a level of respect for the guy as far as his work ethic goes. Plus, the whole "I hope you are reincarnated as a bible" bit is seriously funny, or at least I remember it made me crack up twice that night.

  • This explains it pretty well, for me at least: http://jezebel.com/5925186/how...

  • Honestly, it all seems "I like this comic so I'll let it slide" to me.

  • As the article said, the line is whether or not you are pointing out rape culture or contributing to it. The first is okay, and can be funny. The second may be funny to some, but probably not to anyone opposed to rape culture, and especially not those who have actually been raped. Does that make it clearer?

  • Uncle Mikey

    Oh for. crap's sake, no one is raping anyone because Todh's an asshole. Calm down and be consistent. Tons of comics do racist material and nearly as many wish terrible things on others in their acts, and hecklers get destroyed in hideous ways all over the place. These are arbitrary lines you're drawing.

  • I never made that argument. I have been entirely consistent in where I think the line is drawn. I am not responsible for your inability to comprehend the differences I pointed out (which the Jezebel article did so even more clearly). Also, way to go with the logical fallacy of weak comparison. I'm pretty sure no modern comedian has said to an audience, "Wouldn't it be funny if that black guy got lynched? Like right now?" At least not in a mainstream comedy club. But maybe you'd defend that, too. It's just a joke, right?

  • I just don't see how the Louis CK bit is better and more acceptable than Tosh's, that's all.

    "I’m not condoning rape obviously, you should never rape anyone. Unless you have a reason, like if you want to fuck somebody and they won’t let you. In which case, what other option do you have?"

    Doesn't seem to be pointing it out to me, maybe I'm wrong.

  • To me the CK bit works because he is taking the piss out of the perpetrator, obviously making fun of the mindset of someone who is going to fuck someone else whether they like it or not as completely and utterly insane. Tosh was making fun of a potential victim saying that she deserved to be raped for disagreeing with him out loud.

    And please don't take this as a defense of heckling, because if you speak up at a comedy show you deserve everything you get outside of a physical beating. I just think Tosh swung back in the least funny way imaginable.

  • Arran

    Weirdly, one of the better rape jokes I've heard is actually from Dane Cook. Even a stopped clock etc etc.

  • Quorren

    I think the last time I tried to explain rape culture to someone on this site, I was called "delusional." Good luck to you!

  • branded_redux

    And George Lopez, Tim Allen, etc etc. We need to explicitly call Leno, Dane Cook, Mencia, Larry the Cable Guy, and Carrot Top "generally unfunny"? Do we have to go on record with an SRL saying that water and breathing are "generally good for your body"?

    I'd rather take a ride in the way-back machine for DR's review of Jeff Dunham's old Comedy Central show:

  • Before Tim Allen became a TV star he was a hell of a comedian.

  • littlelion

    God damn. I tried playing a few of the videos of people I was less familiar with, and I couldn't make it through 30 seconds of ANY OF THEM.

    I didn't even try with Gilbert Gottfried. It really is the voice; the man could be the best comedian in the history of ever and I would have no idea because when he talks all I hear is squirrels being murdered.

  • Pnnylne

    Carlos Mencia makes me want to punch kittens in the face.

  • I... agree with this entire list. I agree with an entire Bedhead list?

    I think I need to sit down.

  • AudioSuede

    Gilbert is a legend, Tosh is actually much more heady than people give him credit for, and Whoopi legitimately opened up an entire world for female comedians of her generation. All of them started getting hate when they went mainstream. This list could be called, "People who sucked after they became big because fuck populism." I'll hate on Dane Cook and Carlos Mencia and Jay Leno and Chelsea Handler because their material is hackneyed and they're dicks to people in real life. But I'm gonna take issue with those three people in particular.

  • The Other Agent Johnson

    So the whole list is shit because you disagree with three of them?

  • AudioSuede

    Not quite what I wrote, but if you want to extrapolate from my comment, feel free.

  • jamie pants

    That's exactly what he said.

  • TenaciousJP

    Is this the same Whoopi Goldberg that was the star of Pajiba's "Defining Movie of Our Generation"? How can you degrade her like this??

  • Devil Child

    Think of Whoopi Goldberg as the female Robin Williams, a very talented dramatic actor who insists on shooting out schlock for inexplicable reasons.

  • Bandit

    Goldberg is a talented dramatic AND comedic actor. She's got brilliant comedy chops with the right material. Her timing is impeccable. I don't know, I have a huge soft spot for her; even when she spouts insulting drivel I can't stay mad.

    Andrew Dice Clay is a disgusting twat.

  • Ted Zancha

    Any time I hear or see Dane Cook's name I feel an enormous amount of shame for liking him in high school. What a douche bag.

  • e jerry powell

    God help me, but I have this aberration in my reflex loop that makes me want to rape Daniel Tosh.

  • Sam

    I actually like Daniel Tosh but I won't even try to argue with his inclusion on the list, he actually completely deserves any hatred thrown his way. But I actually find myself laughing at his show and specials.
    Remember that one summer when Carlos Mencia was really popular? What a terrible fucking summer. It was like that summer when Jeff Dunham was really popular so Mencia is like Dunham without talent, so basically just like Jeff Dunham.

  • Green Lantern

    I have a friend who was so excited to see Mencia when he came to our old home town. I just politely smiled and said nothing.

  • Devil Child

    For all of Dunham's racism, he had a substantially more tolerable decibel level, and at least he didn't pretend to be a Mexican while making racist jokes.

    Seriously, how fucking hard is it to make Honduran jokes at a volume that doesn't inspire suicide? Mencia's the seventeenth of eighteen children from an area of the world so violent it had more civil wars and rebellions in number than years it's been independent. That should be enough comedic material for the rest of his life, and he didn't even have the decency to use his middle name for his Mexican facade.

  • JH

    I'll step up and defend Kevin James's Sweat the Small Stuff. Revoke my Pajiba membership card if you must, but I think a lot of that routine is hilarious.

  • REL

    Amen. His movies are generally crap, but I actually thought his standup was halfway decent.

  • pumpkin

    Well, I will say this for Andrew Dice Clay. He was kind of sweet in the movie Casual Sex.

  • JoannaRobinson

    I really oddly love that movie.

  • Pumpkin

    Me too!

  • PerpetualIntern

    I agree with every single one of these. That is all.

  • Vi

    Aw, I can't hate on Gilbert, because Iago.

  • Pentadactyl

    Will Farrell redeemed himself to me with Stranger than Fiction.

  • Yeah, that was very good. His only good role as far as I can tell.

  • Mara

    Is this a site full of Anchorman haters?

  • PerpetualIntern

    @ffcc69d22d7f9c17b77c75bf2462cc4d:disqus - absolutely not. A lot of us love Anchorman.

  • Ugh, stopped watching that after 15 minutes.

  • $27019454

    While I usually am not on board with your lists, I am ON BOARD COMPLETELY with this one. Chelsea is pitiful, Dane is the zenith (or is it nadir) of unfunny and Jay Leno is certainly the most overrated "comedian" ever and his enduring fame is not only puzzling, but infuriating, inexplicable, reprehensible and every other polysyllabic adjective that registers increadulousness on a Richter scale of bafflement. The question is not "How does this man have a show?" but "How does this man have a career? In COMEDY?"

    So much douchebaggery in one Pajiba post. This post should have the HazMat sign on it.

  • Arran

    I dislike Leno's "comedy" immensely, but I will give the dude credit for one thing (which probably explains his continuing career): he WORKS. Like, all the time. He still does a couple of hundred stand-up shows a year and is apparently at work super-early every day to work on the show. And doesn't even have vacation days in his contract.

    I'm sure a lot of this is insecurity rather than dedication to the craft, but the amount he works when he could easily just sit back and let all the cash roll in is pretty impressive. He sucks, but he isn't lazy while he sucks.

  • Bert_McGurt

    Is THIS the Richter Scale you're talking about?

  • Martin

    Hard to find fault with any of these (possible amnesty for Gilbert.)

    FUCK Tosh.

  • Gary

    Classic misdirection with the Ferrell pic. Props bro!

  • POINGjam

    I'm not a big fan of any of the comics on this list, but I don't think most of them are bad at comedy. They have off nights or even major slumps, and plenty of them have no staying power, but that's true of the majority of comedians. Also, the rape joke thing, the Angelina Jolie thing, or anything else that offended the wrong people, it's just material that didn't go over well. If the bits had been funnier we'd be calling it edgy and groundbreaking, and not because it'd be any less offensive.

    Fuck Mencia, though. Joke thieves are bad.

  • MonkeyHateClean

    Mencia is also known for stealing other comedians' acts.

  • POINGjam

    Yeah, he's a joke thief and fuck him for that.

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    Well, I think the issue with Tosh isn't the rape joke as such, it's his reaction to heckling about the bad rape joke with, "Wouldn't it be funny if this woman got raped?" His material didn't go over well, and then he decided it'd just be hilarious to indirectly threaten someone with sexual assault. *FAIL*

    But I do agree that there's a certain amount of risk in trying to do those more controversial jokes, which is why I don't take any particular issue with Tosh's Special Olympics jokes-- they're just not that good, I don't think he's an asshole because of it.

    But I do because of the rape thing.

  • POINGjam

    The response to the heckler is a culture clash. I've heard many comics say much worse in response to being heckled. Comedians despise hecklers the same way you would despise someone who comes to your job and interrupts your work to shout about how bad a job you're doing so everyone in the office can hear it. The audience doesn't realize how bad heckling is, and comics aren't known for their patience with ignorance, so you get a culture clash.

    To be clear, I'm on Daniel Tosh's side for that one, as is almost every comic. That girl deserved to be banned from the club. His response was offensive as hell, but it was a joke and it made the audience laugh. That's his job, and that's the standard everyone in the audience agreed to when they bought a ticket to the show.

  • automatic365

    I was with you up until Tosh.

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