Thursday, August 8, 2013

A Few of My Favorite Comedians...On Religion

It will come as no surprise to readers (there's no good reason for 'reader' to be plural other than to not damage my fragile self esteem) that I am an atheist. Atheism and skepticism are two of my favorite topics to think about, read about, or talk about. Comedy, though, is my favorite topic of all. Fortunately, many of my favorite comedians are also atheists and have provided us with a lot of really funny bits on religion. Here's just a few of my favorites:

Doug Stanhope

Doug is known by many for his time on Comedy Central's "The Man Show". I didn't watch much of "The Man Show". It's Doug's stand up act that speaks to me. Not just an atheist, Stanhope is also known as a libertarian and an anarchist. In his book, Satiristas, Paul Provenza says of Stanhope: "From his outsider vantage point, we see the forest, and the questions about where we stand among the trees can often be unsettling". In the bit below, Doug riffs on an idea I think about often; making your own version of Christianity.


George Carlin

Carlin is considered by many to be the greatest standup comedian of all time. His "Seven Dirty Words" comedy routine was central to the 1978 U.S. Supreme Court case F.C.C. v. Pacifica Foundation, in which a 5–4 decision by the justices affirmed the government's power to regulate indecent material on the public airwaves. Carlin was one of our finest social critics and he didn't shy away from the topic of religion. In this bit, well...Carlin comes right out and calls religion bullshit.

Jim Jefferies

Australian comedian Jim Jefferies has used his confessional style to become one of the most popular and acclaimed comedians in the world. No subjects are off limits when Jefferies is on stage. In this clip, he starts off talking about having no fear of death...but he doesn't stop there.

Jimmy Carr

Jimmy Carr is an English comedian with a deadpan delivery and a fondness for dark humor. No joke is too offensive for Carr. In 2006, Jimmy wrote a book titled, "The Naked Jape: Uncovering the Hidden World of Jokes". The clip below is just a small sampling of some of Carr's most offensive jokes, including some about religion. 

Tim Minchin

Minchin has been performing his unique brand of musical comedy all over the world since 2005. His songs cover topics such as rationalism, prejudice, logical fallacies, guessed it...religion. Here, Tim talks about religion and finishes up with a lovely little song called, "If You Open Your Mind Too Much, You're Brain Will Fall Out."

Ricky Gervais took a different route to success in the comedy world. Gervais worked a number of odd jobs and tried his hand at music and radio before having success as a writer on a number of British television shows; the most famous being "The Office". He's continued on to have many other successful television projects. Ricky has also become a very popular and well respected stand up comedian. Ricky is very public about his atheism; talking about it on The Piers Morgan show and writing a piece about it in the Wall Street Journal. Here he is talking about religion and the accuracy of the Bible. 

You didn't think I would write a post like this and not include Provenza, did you? I've written about Provenza a lot on this blog (here and here and here and that awkward?), but that's because I agree with Penn Jillette, who said that Paul is the greatest mind in comedy today. The Aristocrats...The Green Room...Satiristas...Set get the idea. Here's two clips of Provenza talking about religion. (When I first heard the "clerical error" bit on The Green Room, I laughed so hard that I cried). 


Well? What do you think of my list? Did I miss some of your favorites? If I did, post them in the comments. Until next time...


How the fuck did I forget Anthony Jeselnik?!?


  1. I can't find a YouTube link, but I love Patton Oswalts 'sky cake' routine.

    1. I found it and watched it. Wow! Great stuff. I may have to do a "Part 2" post. Thanks.

  2. Replies
    1. Terrible oversight on my part. Awful. I'm going to have to do a second post and include a few I missed. did I forget Hicks?!?

  3. Bill Burr is great, and most of what he says in his specials are about religion