It’s always tough to shop for a comedy fan…I guess. Actually, it probably isn’t really that much harder than shopping for anyone else. You buy something you think suits their sense of humor and hope they like it or at least that they can do a good job feigning excitement. They can’t all be winners. It’s the thought that counts.
But there are probably fewer tangible, clear-cut fail safes in the comedy gift department like there are with music (albums), TV (DVDs), drinks (alcohol) and books (books). Everyone just watches comedy online and I don’t think many people attach any sentiment to owning the physical copies of stand-up specials. With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of 10 comedy-related gift ideas for the holiday season. Enjoy:
Mike Birbiglia: My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend DVD
$12.95 at Amazon
Before filming a performance in Seattle and releasing it on Netflix and now DVD, Mike Birbiglia spent years refining the material in My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend, his hour-and-a-half special chronicling his romantic misadventures through hilarious story after hilarious story. Included on the just-released DVD is a short documentary called “How to Make Whatever This Is,” which details Birbiglia’s ongoing process of revision, and it’s fascinating to get a look behind the curtain and see how much really goes into making people laugh for 90 minutes. (Just make sure you’re springing for the Birbiglia’s special and not the 2010 Alyssa Milano rom com of the same name.)
Mother. Wife. Sister. Human. Warrior. Falcon. Yardstick. Turban. Cabbage. by Rob Delaney
$15.91 at Amazon
Inspiration. Laugh riot. Self-help book. Memoir. Coaster. Ham catalog…The recently published memoir from the funniest human on Twitter is many things, and proves that Delaney need not be restricted to 140 characters. As anyone who’s seen his stand-up knows, the comic’s long-form stories are just as hilarious as his tweets, and this book is full of them.
The Onion 2014 Daily Calendar
$12.99 at The Onion store
The Onion recently announced that they’ll be discontinuing their newsstand edition, but their desk calendar printing department is still firing on all cylinders. In honor of the now entirely digital satirical news publication, grab this ink and paper memento and treat yourself to a daily reminder of The Onion’s greatness in 2014.
Mustache Comb from the Nick Offerman Woodshop
$75 at the Offerman Woodshop
I know… Another year, another holiday season spent agonizing over the perfect gift for your mustachioed loved one. Thankfully, in 2013 your worries are over. This finely crafted comb from Nick Offerman’s woodshop is the pefect tool to keep those unruly lip whiskers in order, and for an extra $25 you can have some initials emblazoned on the hilt (And if the family is mustache-free, you can still pick up Offerman Woodshop “”meat paddle or “”bung mallet.)
Subscription to Netflix
$7.99/month at Netflix
Any comedy fan should have a subscription to Netflix. It’s loaded with classic specials from some of the best stand-ups working and, more importantly, more and more comics are choosing to premiere their latest specials exclusively on Netflix, most recently Aziz Ansari’s Buried Alive.
Upright Citizen Brigade Comedy Improvisation Manual
Price: ~$25 at Amazon
Few know about the craft of comedy more than the good people at the Upright Citizens Brigade—in this case, founders Matt Bessar, Ian Roberts and Matt Walsh—and with this book they divulge their tricks of the trade for off-the-cuff scene work.
McSweeney’s “It’s Decorative Gourd Season, Motherfuckers” Mug
Price: $12 at the McSweeney’s store
McSweeney’s off-beat pieces of essays, lists, columns and cultural satire make up a site that is some of the funniest and, honestly, most unheralded content on the web. This delightful mug is named after the title of one of the Internet Tendency’s most popular essays. As the description says, “You can own the mug that not only says, “I love fucking fall,” but also, “I love warm fucking beverages.”
Hollywood Said No!: Orphaned Film Scripts, Bastard Scenes, and Abandoned Darlings from the Creators of Mr. Show by David Cross and Bob Odenkirk
$10.87 at Amazon>
David Cross and Bob Odenkirk go way back. Known recently for their roles Arrested Development and Breaking Bad, respectively, the duo spent most of the ‘90s bouncing ideas off each other for Mr. Show and whatever else they could think of. This book is “whatever else they could think of,” a collection of scenes, scripts and ideas that never found a proper home.
Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman: The Complete Series
$224.94 at Amazon
Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman was a completely ridiculous daily soap opera parody that ran for a little over a year in the late ‘70s. This is the first time al 325 episodes have been compiled in one place, and you’ll have to go through 38 (!) DVDs to get through the whole thing. This is a must-have for fans of one of the greatest off-beat cult comedies ever.
The bear coat from Workaholics
$200 at the Comedy Central store
The “official” bear coat that Blake often dons in Workaholics. What more do you need to know?