Being funny on Twitter is hard. First, there's the character limit – it's nearly impossible to get any coherent thought out in 140 characters – and then there are the trolls, reminding you every single time you slip up and express an actual opinion.
Since Twitter's launch in 2006, and its global acceptance a few years later, most users have moved away from posting thoughts and observations – even hilarious ones – in favor of sharing articles, videos, or participating in endlessly aggravating fights. Given the reactionary climate, it's somewhat surprising that anyone still puts themselves out there for public ridicule. Here, 25 hilarious people that are still going strong, bringing their quips, barbs and stoned late-night ramblings to the Internet – no matter the outcome.
I bet the worst part of dating a documentary filmmaker is when he brings up things you did in the past and sets them to banjo music.— Julieanne Smolinski (@BoobsRadley) September 10, 2016
When Julieanne Smolinski isn't starting fights with Will Shortz about the definition of "illin'" or contributing to shows like Grace and Frankie, the L.A. writer shares her perfectly-crafted one-liners with the world, making Twitter a better place for everyone.
We're in the exact point of climate change as when wile e. coyote runs off the cliff but hasn't looked down yet— Megan Amram (@meganamram) September 2, 2016
After graduating Harvard in 2010, Megan Amram quickly became a Twitter star, which landed her gigs in writers' rooms at Parks and Recreation, the Kroll Show and, most recently, The Good Place.
Um can someone tell me why "Bucky" from Capt Amer so unstoppable and why would they name a unstoppable man "Bucky". Please Splain!— Leslie Jones (@Lesdoggg) September 15, 2016
Leslie Jones has practically made live-tweeting an art form — she was so hilarious commenting on the Olympics last summer that NBC actually flew her to Rio. The Saturday Night Live and Ghostbusters star occasionally has to go dark because people on the Internet are terrible, but always comes back with her sense of humor.
I was just viciously body shamed by my mirror.— Danny Zuker (@DannyZuker) September 7, 2016
Danny Zuker's the man behind sitcom behemoth Modern Family, so it's no surprise that he's a hit on the internet. Plus he's been getting into Twitter fights with Donald Trump since before it was cool.
heads up, if you click #ChelseaNYC, you'll find absolutely no additional information on the incident but you will find lots of ppl to block— maura quint (@behindyourback) September 18, 2016
You might remember Maura Quint from her viral Facebook post last year calling out Josh Ostrovsky (a.k.a. the Fat Jew) for stealing jokes. But her originals are better than any of his memes, from her thoughts about religion ("And on the seventh day, God look[ed] on that which he had created and he said unto it: 'Fuck it, send.'") to the true meaning of “Steal My Sunshine.”
Say what you will about Donald Trump, but ya gotta give him this: he *IS* a bloated corpse come back to life.— Jen Statsky (@jenstatsky) September 8, 2016
Jen Statsky has some of the best comedy bona fides of the 2010s — stints at Jimmy Fallon, Parks and Rec and Broad City — so it's not surprising that she's also hilarious in short form, whether she's talking about Trump or how maybe the death penalty's OK in the case of the guy who stole that envelope of Wilco tickets off her door.
Girl likes boy. Boy doesn't like girl. Girl runs off with other boy. Girl is trapped in a cult. I need you to pick me up in Allentown, PA.— Charlene deGuzman (@charstarlene) October 9, 2012
Expect to see a lot more of Charlene deGuzman. The dancer-turned-comedian successfully completed a Kickstarter campaign for her film Unlovabable, a based-on-her-real-life story of a girl addicted to love and sex that she developed with Mark Duplass. If it's anywhere near as good as her Twitter feed, we expect big things.
"Excuse me, I'm a KlansPERSON, you cisgender asshole." -- sometime in 2018, probably— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) September 11, 2016
Patton Oswalt is a perennial favorite for best-of-Twitter lists, probably because he's been able to use the format better than just about anyone else – like the time he trolled the entire Internet using clever two-part tweets. He's been relatively quiet since his wife, Michelle McNamara, passed away earlier this year, but was back to tweet his Emmy win — and promised he'd be regularly "telling jokes" again soon.
Am I too late for a Matthew McConaughey “alt-right, alt-right, alt-right” tweet?— Conan O'Brien (@ConanOBrien) August 28, 2016
OK, including Conan O'Brien is almost a cop-out – he's one of the country's most successful comedians and has been hosting a late-night show for most of the past 25 years. But unlike some of his peers, he still takes time once or twice a day to tweet a good left-field one-liner, and remind us all why we loved him in the first place.
I bet a lot of teachers look at Facebook posts and think "oh now you wanna write an essay"— Michelle Wolf (@michelleisawolf) September 10, 2016
New York comic Michelle Wolf has played big audiences – opening-for-Louis-C.K.-at-Madison-Square-Garden kind of big – so she's not scared to open up on a medium like Twitter, covering everything from Apple's questionable new products to how early you have to get up to be a criminal these days.
you can always gauge your depression level by how realistic a food package's "serving size" sounds to you— lauren ashley bishop (@sbellelauren) September 14, 2016
Caramel is a great snack if you're looking for something sweet that can also undo any dental work you've had done.— Demetri Martin (@DemetriMartin) September 6, 2016
Demitri Martin's show didn't last on TV, but the short format of Twitter works well with his deadpan thoughts, observations and ideas for inventions, like "a dartboard that makes a little 'ouch' sound whenever a dart hits it."
If the Russians can find my old iTunes playlist, that would be so great.— Steve Martin (@SteveMartinToGo) July 28, 2016
He made The Jerk. He helped establish Saturday Night Live. And yet somehow it's still a little surprising that 71-year-old Steve Martin is just so good at Twitter.
Instead of 3 big meals, try eating 6 small meals throughout the day. Or 10 tiny ones. Or 100 micromeals. Or whatever you're still gonna die.— Scotty (@MarylandMudflap) September 16, 2016
One of the more reclusive picks on this list, this L.A. resident (and Maryland native) goes only by "Scotty," telling Rolling Stone that he'd rather stay anonymous so he can "dine at Red Lobster without incident."
Kanye wants to be Beyoncé so bad. I get it. #VMA— kelly oxford (@kellyoxford) August 29, 2016
Kelly Oxford was one of the first Twitter stars, landing screenwriting gigs and a book deal on the strength of her tweets alone. Six years later, she's still going strong – though part of the credit should probably go to her 8-year-old daughter Bea, who has brilliant takes on everything from female beauty standards to Beyoncé to her confusion about why women have to menstruate on weekends.
Good question. Yes, the purpose of this time-travel mission is to kill Hitler. But on the way we're going to stop at Warped Tours 1996-1999.— Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) September 1, 2016
Ken Jennings is smarter than everyone, and he proved that in 2004 by winning 74 consecutive games of Jeopardy. Now he's proving that he's funnier than everyone, too, trolling everything from Wheel of Fortune to the Republican party.
"Those who are preaching hate in our country will be asked to leave", says Donald Trump, not understanding the concept of irony.— Ronan Farrow (@RonanFarrow) August 15, 2016
Mia Farrow and Woody Allan's son Ronan – who looks a whole like like Mia's ex Frank Sinatra – generally leaves his complicated family life off Twitter, instead mixing up in-depth war reporting with clever memes about politics, Kardashians and his own choice of costume during interviews.
Dentist- "You have to wear a mouth guard because you grind too hard." Me- "On the dance floor?" Dentist- "No. What are you talking about?"— Ben Schwartz (@rejectedjokes) July 21, 2016
Ben Schwartz – who you might know as Jean-Ralphio, Aziz Ansari's unforgettable business partner on Parks and Rec – could fill his feed entirely with links to his hilarious podcasts, movies and clips. But Schwartz still manages to sneak in great jokes amid the retweets – and perhaps most surprisingly none of them are about Trump.
kind of offended my skydiving safety instructor is assuming i want to survive this— chuuch (@ch000ch) August 30, 2016
Philadelphia's Dave Alexander – no, not that Dave Alexander – has a PhD in clinical psychology, is trying to make it as a writer and comedian and manages to fit near-perfect jokes about dating, mortality, and life after death into 140 characters.
[presidential debate]— Bob Vulfov (@bobvulfov) September 19, 2016
TRUMP: i propose we kill everyone
HILLARY: do u want a president who says he'll kill everyone
TRUMP: i never said that
Brooklyn stand-up comic Bob Vulfov, a Moscow native, has claimed he learned English by watching Hey Arnold! – but he's clearly been more influenced by his training at Upright Citizen Brigade, where he still performs, tweeting daily about topics like sponsored orgasms or Trump's creepy doctor.
Oh my god I just realized we all have to keep doing stuff until we die— AmberTozer (@AmberTozer) September 16, 2016
Few people could make sobriety as funny as L.A. writer Amber Tozer, whose memoir, Sober Stick Figure, was released last summer. While the book, illustrated throughout by Tozer herself, has some serious and poignant moments, her Twitter account tends to stick to lighter subjects like lying to her diary and the childhood trauma of whoever designed the iPhone 7.
You think getting friend zoned is bad, imagine your creepy male friend thinking you owe them sex.— Solomon Georgio (@solomongeorgio) September 1, 2016
Solomon Georgio, born in Sudan to Ethiopian refugees, came to the United States when he was 3 – and it's fair to say he's made the country a better place. On Twitter, he rails on Trump, racists, homophobes and even his trolls, calmly telling them off with lines like, "Go play elsewhere."
iPhone may have Mario and the best PokemonGo support, but itll never trump the classic Android game "Guess Which Emoji The Apple User Typed"— shut up, mike (@shutupmikeginn) September 7, 2016
L.A. writer Mike Ginn makes rent working on Comedy Central's @midnight, but his humor shines in his twitter account, where he writes about interacting with strangers, Chris Brown and his future plans to waterboard Siri.
i dont think lemonade needed to win an emmy because it would be like putting a burger king crown on a glowing orb of eternal light & beauty.— Aparna Nancherla (@aparnapkin) September 19, 2016
Comic Aparna Nancherla just had a half-hour special on Comedy Central, but you've probably heard her jokes on Late Night with Seth Meyers, seen her doing stand up on Conan or appearing in the occasional sketch on Inside Amy Schumer. But her Twitter account is still some of her best work.
I am the only person remaining in this USA who still thinks that a landline in a bathroom is the meaning of "fancy"— jenny slate (@jennyslate) September 15, 2016
Jenny Slate found out she was unceremoniously fired from SNL on the Internet, so it would be well within her rights to never log on again. But between her film projects – Marcel the Shell, Obvious Child – and her on-point Twitter account, Slate has proved that it's only Lorne Michaels' loss.