Due to overwhelming demand and also search engine optimization, I have pored through the last several months of Conan stand-up segments to assemble this, a list of the best recent stand-up segments on Conan. Here is some broad analysis: Wow, that’s a lot of white people, specifically white dudes! They really just keep coming, one after another after the next. Where do they get all these guys? Oh right, it’s show business. Hey Conan, here’s a free idea from me: Do fewer white guys on the show! It’s very boring and not funny, especially for those of us who have to watch lots of clips at once, but also I imagine for the viewer at home. Maybe your booker will say it’s challenging to find as many comics who aren’t white guys as comics who are white guys, but I bet you ten bucks it’ll get easier once you start doing it. Are you really so afraid of losing ten bucks?
Anyway, the list, yes. Let’s call it the best of 2017 so far. Some of these comedians you are probably very familiar with but hopefully others of them you are not. One or two of them have been covered extensively here at Paste, so do stick around and check out the goods, they’re good goods. Here you go:
10. Katherine Ryan
This set about how hard it is to learn Hebrew resonates powerfully with me, a guy who got kicked out of Hebrew School. If you like this then you may also enjoy Ryan’s Netflix special, and perhaps Paste’s conversation with her earlier this year.
9. Moses Storm
My favorite part of this set is the joke about a bucket, and my second favorite is the comments from very polite YouTube viewers: “Good stage presence. This kid’s going places. Now it’s our turn to cheer you on.?” “Refreshingly original.” “Great original material!” “King Joffery???”
8. Taylor Tomlinson
Just about everyone has a joke about online dating, but slightly more than nobody has a funny joke about online dating. Here’s Taylor Tomlinson with one of the latter, plus some heartwarming memories of her religious upbringing.
7. Dan St. Germain
Honestly, I’ll reflexively include any Day After Tomorrow joke on lists like these, but this is a great one! I also recommend St. Germain in the short film Hasta La Vista, whose creators Paste profiled here.
6. Josh Johnson
I enjoy this set, from Texas’s Josh Johnson, for the story about the time an opossum attacked him, and also the bit about when his friend accidentally when to a Klan meeting once. You can catch Johnson’s debut half hour on Comedy Central tomorrow night.
5. Myq Kaplan
Myq Kaplan, who talks very fast and makes self-deprecating observational humor seem like a new innovation, recently had a great Netflix special which apparently is now on Amazon. Highly recommended!
4. Emily Heller
Emily Heller, who has written for People of Earth and some show called Crowded which I just found out about, is a great stand-up who you have perhaps seen on @midnight or a dozen other shows. She came to Conan last year to tell some primo jokes about raising kids, a phenomenon she has witnessed but never participated in. “I’ve never seen a kid on a leash that didn’t need that leash.” Delightful!
3. Caleb Synan
You don’t see a lot of good states’ rights jokes these days, but here is Georgia’s own Caleb Synan with a killer states’ rights jokes, and then a surprisingly fresh bit about that most timeless of subjects, family members giving him ideas for comedy “skits.”
2. Shane Torres
We at Paste have spilled a few hundred words already about this Shane Torres joke, but you know what? Here it is again. Have you heard any better joke about Guy Fieri? No? That’s what I thought. While you’re at it, check out Torres’ new half-hour.
1. Joe Pera
Joe Pera is one of the top-ten funniest young comics in the world right now and this set just about captures why. This stuff is nuts to me. Where does it come from?! It’s so weird! Ah, what a breath of fresh air. If you enjoy this set, do check out Pera’s other work, for instance, either of his Adult Swim specials or his winning submission for the 2012 Andy Kaufman Award.
Seth Simons is Paste’s assistant comedy editor. Follow him on Twitter.