The 10 Best Comedy Specials or Albums of 2014 (So Far)

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crowdwork.png 5. Todd Barry – The Crowd Work Tour

I knew that Barry’s Crowd Work Tour—a set of dates where he took the stage with zero prepared material, interacting with the audience and using his quick wit as his guide—would be a raging success. And watching this film from director Lance Bangs, which follows the comedian on his West Coast run of dates, has proven me dead right.—Robert Ham

jim_gaffigan_obsessed.jpg 4. Jim Gaffigan – Obsessed

By now most people know about Jim Gaffigan’s obsession with food. It’s his bread and butter. Over the course of several albums and comedy specials the lovable lug has dissected Hot Pockets, McDonald’s shame spirals and the beauty of bacon. Gaffigan’s comedy is sort of like a funnier Supersize Me—you’re either completely disgusted by what he’s saying, or you’re secretly thinking about how delicious a Big Mac sounds.—Mark Lore

normand.png 3. Mark Normand – Still Got It

Mark Normand’s Still Got It is packed with jokes. Normand’s voice, straight from vaudeville, fires joke after joke, all impeccably built and precision engineered to land exactly a second ahead of where the audience’s expects. Listeners come away not knowing much about Normand; he talks about race, religion and women, but seems less interested in his opinions as he is in mining those topics for perfectly crafted jokes. Still Got It showcases Normand’s Jerry Seinfeld-like observations and Mitch Hedberg-esque wit strongly enough to make the case that he could be the successor to both. —Casey Malone

buress.png 2. Hannibal Buress – Live From Chicago

Like previous Buress routines, Live is an enjoyable mixture of bizarre anecdotes, cultural commentary and uniquely Buress-ian non sequiturs. Of course, given the comic’s rising star, the biographical humor concerns topics like international travel and an encounter with Scarlett Johansson instead of shitty roommates, but none of that has dulled Buress’ signature weird edge.—Hudson Hongo

gethardalbumlead.jpg 1. Chris Gethard – My Comedy Album

My Comedy Album is, in a fashion, an extension of the spirit of Gethard’s public access TV show (The Chris Gethard Show, natch) in that it has a very inclusive, exploratory feel. His stories, whether they focus on his experiences doing drugs or losing his erection while being fellated, have a therapeutic quality. In relating some of his most awkward moments, you can almost hear the weight being lifted off Gethard’s shoulders.—Robert Ham

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