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The 50 Funniest People Now

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Here they are: The 50 actors, stand-ups, TV hosts, Twitterers, radio personalities, septuagenarians and sports analysts making us laugh the most right now. In making this list, we took the "now" part seriously, and focused on comedians' recent work. That meant excluding some all-time greats who aren’t very active as funnymen (or aren't doing their best work at the moment) in favor of people who are truly killing it out there these days.

By Nick Catucci, Meredith Clark, Jon Dolan, Andy Greene, Joe Gross, Joel Hoard, Halle Kiefer and Jody Rosen

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Jerry Seinfeld

"People want me to spend a lot of time wastefully so that I can then waste their time," Seinfeld said in a recent New York Times profile. The post-Seinfeld Seinfeld has turned wasting time into quite the art form. But he's recently been pretty active-for-Jerry: last year, he did his first shows in New York since the Nineties (playing one night in each of his hometown's five boroughs), as well as the series of web shorts Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee, where he drives classic cars and talks shop with pals like Ricky Gervais and Larry David. He may never make another era-defining TV show but in the world of comedians he's still the Gandalf of joke telling. "Whereas most comedians are lazy bastards, he's the ultimate craftsman," Sarah Silverman told The Times.

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John Mulaney

Apparently it's not enough for some people to just write for Saturday Night Live – not even when that person co-created the immortal character "Stefon." For John Mulaney, SNL is now something of a day job (if your day job also won you Emmys); he¹s also one of the country's best young stand-ups. "It is 100% easier not to do things than to do them, and so much fun not to do them – especially when you were supposed to do them. In terms of instant relief, canceling plans is like heroin," he explained on his second album of wry, self-mocking observational comedy, 2012's New in Town. Mulaney has been making the late night rounds, filming appearances for Kroll Show and doing some of his best work on Twitter. "I had zero idea using counterfeit money was illegal!! Please, please know that BEFORE you hear Kohl's side of the story," he tweeted.

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Rob Delaney

How much wit and wisdom,and toilet humor, and nasty sex, and Mitt Romney-baiting,can you cram into 140 characters? A whole lot, if you're Rob Delaney, the L.A.-based stand-up who has staked claim to the mantle World's Funniest Tweeter. More than anyone else, Delaney has made Twitter a forum for comedy, filling his feed with a non-stop flow of horndoggery ("NO FATTIES* *may pass thru my fuck palace without getting a loving scrubdown from my strong hands"), Dadaist riffs ("I don't know why other men have nipples, but I have mine for 'nursing' my family of rats under the Santa Monica pier"), and, occasionally, rock criticism ("'Don't call me daughter' 'Roger that; we'll just keep calling you 'Eddie Vedder, Master Lyricist.'"). #Follow.

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John Oliver

After six years as The Daily Show's Senior British Correspondent, Oliver is still finding things in America that are too ridiculous to leave unmocked. The Birmingham, England, native has been an essential part of the show's campaign coverage for two presidential elections; this spring he sat down with former Presidential candidate Herman Cain for an extended interview. (You won't hear a politician give a speech against an invading alien menace on Meet the Press, but Oliver got one out of Cain.) Oliver turned down a regular gig on NBC's Community to stay with Jon Stewart, and he's brought his boisterous, exquisitely silly style to his stand-up series on Comedy Central, which has featured everyone from Maria Bamford and Eugene Mirman to Hannibal Buress and his Daily Show colleague Kristen Schaal.