There are about as many alternative types of comic as there are kinds of combined drinks; there are storytelling comedians, observational comedians, bodily comedians, socio-political comedians… the record goes on. However no shot goes to your head – at a membership with a two-drink minimal – like one {that a} one-liner comic mixes for you. It’s brief, pithy, and to the purpose, and as efficient – if no more so – than no matter joke that storyteller’s been stirring up for about 5 minutes now. Here’s a have a look at ten of the most effective one-line-model comedians, from years previous in addition to these presently working (exhausting) in the present day.

(Be aware: please don’t get hung up on the rankings, one thing die-exhausting comedy followers are particularly infamous for. The comedians talked about listed here are offered for his or her uniqueness of voice, not their superiority over each other.)

Henny Youngman

This comic is the prototypical comic upon which all stereotypes are constructed. Born Jewish, kicking off his profession with a radio gig within the thirties, and performing roughly 200 reveals a yr within the forties after failed makes an attempt at performing, Youngman is the quintessence of the working comic. He’s well-known for his tommy-gun-fast succession one-liners, and most of all of the basic, “Take my spouse… please.” Dwelling to see many of the twentieth century, he’s most not too long ago recognizable for his half in Goodfellas, as himself. Get pleasure from these:

“My physician grabbed me by the pockets and mentioned, ‘Cough!’”
“I’m now making a Jewish porno movie. 10% Intercourse, 90% guilt.”
“Getting on a aircraft, I advised the ticket girl, ‘Ship considered one of my luggage to New York, ship one to Los Angeles, and ship one to Miami.’ She mentioned, ‘We will’t do this!’ I advised her, ‘You probably did it final week!’”

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Here’s a man that “by no means obtained no respect” (double unfavourable meant), and so he identified in just about all of his self-depreciative jabs… at himself. His voice is unmistakable, each on stage, and in movie (most of all, Caddyshack). Listed here are a few of his hits:

“A lady phoned me the opposite day and mentioned… ‘Come on over, there’s no one residence.’ I went over. No one was residence.“
“I may inform my mother and father hated me. My bathtub toys had been a toaster and a radio.”
“I appeared up my household tree and came upon I used to be the sap.”


Steven Wright is the grasp of understatement. Which could have one thing to do with the Age of Irony throughout which he was below the highlight (an period additionally populated by Janeane Garofalo and different sarcasm-spouters). His jokes, which form of lazily fell out of his mouth greater than he carried out them, had been absurd in the best way somebody who reads quite a lot of philosophy textbooks would possibly vogue a joke (he studied at Emerson Faculty in Boston). Listed here are a few of his biggest one-liners:

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“Went to court docket for a parking ticket. I pleaded madness.”
“I prefer to tease my crops once I water them. I prefer to water them with ice cubes.”
“I noticed a financial institution that mentioned ‘24 Hour Banking,’ however I don’t have that a lot time.”

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This British comedian’s model is extra overtly American than a few of his friends; it’s relatively blunt and as offensive as he could make it. There’s one phase the place the extraordinarily well mannered-sounding comedian tells his viewers he’s going to steadily enhance the offensiveness and tastelessness of the fabric, to see at precisely what level jokes elicit unanimous groans relatively than laughter; the true shock worth was the place his viewers truly applauded a Holocaust joke. That being mentioned, listed here are a few of his high (discretion suggested):

“I fear about my nan. If she’s alone and falls, does she make a noise? I’m joking, she’s useless.”
“I did a gig within the U.S. as soon as for the homeless. I mentioned ‘It’s good to see so many bums on seats.’”
“British scientists have demonstrated that cigarettes can hurt your youngsters. Honest sufficient. Use an ashtray!”

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Right here’s one other one-line comedian who employs a disturbing form of darkish humor, the place laughter is greatest served with ample squirming. This made him a selected sensation on the final two Comedy Central Roasts – of Donald Trump (“The one distinction between you and Michael Douglas from the film Wall Road, is that no one’s going to be unhappy if you get most cancers.”) and Charlie Sheen (“The one motive you’re on T.V. now’s as a result of God hates Michael J. Fox.”). His voice is considered one of un-apology, with a touch of Christopher Walken (Jeselnik admitted to this in a Comedy Central highlight characteristic). Listed here are some extra squirm-inducers:

“Once I completed highschool, I wished to take all my commencement cash and purchase myself a bike. However my mother mentioned no. See, she had a brother who died in a horrible motorbike accident when he was 18. And I may simply have his motorbike.”
“I’ve obtained a protracted historical past of suicide in my household. The excellent news is it skips a technology. So, if I’m fortunate, my children will kill themselves.”
“You don’t know something about ache… You don’t know something about ache till you’ve seen your personal child drowned in a bath… And also you positively don’t know something about how you can wash a child.”

This comic is a marijuana champion. Other than overtly being in a perpetually-baked state, he starred in a documentary spoof off of Supersize Me referred to as Tremendous Excessive Me. In it, he compares his ranges of performance throughout 2 months wherein he alternately will get excessive all through the day on daily basis, after which doesn’t. For example, he took the SAT throughout every month, and located that he scored increased through the stoned month. So, his joke model suits his voice, one which caters to brief-consideration spans and followers of pot-logic. Listed here are a few of his sweetest pot brownies:

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“Individuals say pot-people who smoke are lazy. I disagree; I’m a multitasking pot-smoker: simply the opposite day I used to be strolling down the road, I used to be placing eyedrops in my eyes, I used to be speaking on my cellular phone, and I used to be getting hit by a automobile.”
“Like most comics, I simply broke up with my girlfriend. And the rationale we broke up was I caught her mendacity. Below one other man.”
“I noticed a canine in a cage. And that cage had an indication on it that mentioned, ‘I chunk.’ And I used to be like, ‘That’s good to know doggy, however that’s not a very powerful factor about you. It is best to make an indication that claims, ‘I make indicators.’’”

Demetri Martin 9E

Demetri Martin is actually an entertainer. In any given stand-up particular (and particularly on his brief-lived sketch present), he will be seen taking part in the guitar, piano, harmonica (generally concurrently), all of the whereas he tells jokes. His act is a really stimulating one, teeming with additional-comedian creativity – chocked stuffed with sonic and visible aides – which makes him come off as a failed kindergarten trainer. His greatest one-liners, a intelligent assortment of skewed insights and non sequiturs, come out whereas he’s strumming some chord progressions. Listed here are a few of his greatest:

“I like to make use of ‘I Can’t Imagine it’s Not Butter’ on my toast within the morning, as a result of generally once I eat breakfast, I prefer to be incredulous. How was breakfast? Unbelievable.”
“I feel it’s fascinating that cologne rhymes with alone.”
“I used to be strolling within the park and this man waved at me. Then he mentioned, ‘I’m sorry, I believed you had been another person.’ I mentioned, ‘I’m.’”


Sadly Mitch is now not with us, O.D.-ing effectively earlier than his prime. (He solely had a number of Comedy Central specials and comedy albums in his identify previous to his demise.) However in that brief span of time, he left an influential physique of labor, buckets of 1-liners in each particular, from which we are able to simply pull out one if we want fun on a very making an attempt day. His jokes had been absurd and his model was a sedated cool, giving off an air that the seventies by no means really died. Listed here are a number of tokens to recollect him by:

“An escalator can by no means break, it will possibly solely grow to be stairs. It is best to by no means see an ‘Escalator Briefly Out Of Order’ signal, simply ‘Escalator Briefly Stairs. Sorry for the Comfort.’”
“I can whistle with my fingers, particularly if I’ve a whistle.”
“I like to carry the microphone wire like this: I pinch it collectively, then I let it go, you then hear an entire bunch of jokes without delay.”

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Jim Gaffigan is a particular form of one-liner comic; he can take one subject, and simply riff on it for an hour, with an countless string of cynical one-liners. And often that subject is meals (e.g. bacon, MacDonald’s, Scorching Pockets, cake, breadsticks, and so forth.). By no means had artwork been so influenced by one thing as banal as what we shove in our face. That’s what makes him so hilarious; how a lot he can fixate on such, which could come off as a severe psychological dysfunction if he didn’t have an viewers at his (rubbish) disposal. His abundance of fabric appears to be a symptom of his love for his artwork. Which might be why he pulled a Louis C.Okay. and launched a DRM-free (i.e. simpler to pirate) particular that may be downloaded from his website ( for $5, 20% of which proceeds go to a non-revenue group that helps veterans. Listed here are a few of his greatest hen nuggets:

“Truly, the rationale I appear to be it’s because my father was from Sweden and my mom was Elton John.”
“We’re by no means glad with regards to meals. ‘You understand what’d be good on this burger? A ham sandwich. As an alternative of a bun, let’s use two donuts. That method we are able to have it for breakfast. Look out McGriddle. Right here comes the donut-ham-hamburger!’”
“Ever marvel what individuals obtained Jesus for Christmas? It’s like, ‘Oh nice, socks. You understand I’m dying on your sins proper? Yeah, however thanks for the socks! They’ll go nice with my sandals. What am I, German?’”


Zach Galifianakis is all the excitement as of late. He will get film offers left and proper, showing subsequent to stars larger and extra severe about performing than himself, and he – with the assistance of Tim and Eric and Will Ferrell’s Humorous or Die – has mastered the web technology. His beard is a everlasting fixture, as is that sense about him the place you by no means truly know if he’s kidding or not (even when he’s on stage). And if his jokes had been treasured stones, you can purchase the Taj Mahal, and even simply movie a 3rd Hangover film there. Listed here are his greatest jokes, though three is rarely satisfying sufficient (except, once more, you’re speaking in regards to the Hangover franchise – the stage is the place he shines brightest, though he steals the present in something he does):

“I’ve quite a lot of rising as much as do. I noticed that the opposite day inside my fort.”
“My girlfriend appears just a little like Charlize Theron, and rather a lot like Canine the Bounty Hunter.”
“Typically, I prefer to learn the bible in public and yell out, ‘Oh Bullshit!’”


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