Divine Comedy: 25 Best Stand-Up Specials and Movies

From classic HBO specials to arena-comic concert flicks, these bits continue to crack us up

7. 'Bill Cosby, Himself' (1983)

Yes, it's damned near impossible to watch anything the tainted comedian has done and not think of the headlines, the heckling, the revelations and what is, by any definition, monstrous behavior. But for many years, Bill Cosby's attempt to one-up Richard Pryor in the stand-up concert movie arena was considered nearly as influential as the latter's filmed Sunset Strip gig. "It's stuff that hold up," Hannibal Buress (of all people) told GQ back in 2013. "All of it is evergreen." From brilliantly re-enacting a dentist's visit to a blow-by-blow account of getting his kids to bed, Cosby's casual charm, humor and peerless grasp of the universal condition feels so potent; he made stand-up comedy (actually, sit-down comedy) seem damned near effortless. "I've been doing stand-up for 25 years," comic Ray Romano said in reference to the film. "I know all the tricks. And yet [when I watch this] I swear I feel like Bill is just telling this story for the first time, like he’s just having a conversation with you." TG

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