These are just a few stand out stand up moments in history.
First up Woody Allen’s Moose, this was a massive joke at the time, it also shows off Allen’s mad skillz… the story goes that three quaters of the wway through his act he would take out his watch to check how he was doing for time and to cover this he wrote the gag:
“Wanted to flash this watch, I flash it all the time. It’s my antique pocket watch, and it makes me look British, and I need that for my analysis. It is a georgeous gold pocket watch, however, and I’m proud of it. My grandfather, on his deathbed, sold me this watch. My grandfather was a very insignificant man. At his funeral, his hearse followed the other cars. It was a nice funeral, you would have liked it, it was a catered funeral. It was held in a big hall with accordion players, and the buffet table was a replica of the deceased in potato salad.” (This copy was taken from here where some guy has transcribed the compilation Woody Allen Stand Up 64-68)
Bob Newhart was also massive in this era, his records sold in the gazzillions and The Driving Instructor was the story that everyone knows from his repertoire, it’s also still pertinent. It represents the mainstream of what people were listening to then but the way Newhart counjours up the scene is brilliant.
This is Seinfeld’s first apppearance on the Tonight show, he’s bold, he’s confident and he’s very, very funny but you don’t watch this and think… Jesus that man is going to be rich.
Finally Steve Martin’s act was also crazily huge with him performing at vast stadium gig, he talks about it in his new book and he is one of my favourite stand up just because he’s so surreal so out of it that the act itself is the gag like Toomy Cooper or even, if we really want to bring some culture in here Ionesco. for more crazy cultural leaps, you’d better go here to The Culture Club. This is one of his most famous diversions into the surreal: