Seriously, I'm a nut for stand-up. I can't imagine a more important talent to have than the talent for making people laugh. Moving folks via music, acting, etc., is one thing...moving them into fits of laughter with nothing but your mouth is another. The more I watch stand-up performances, the more I'm intrigued less by the jokes and more by the sense of timing and the natural rhythm of language. Here, dig Richard Pryor on cocaine:
And dig Carlin on what lame-asses white people are:
Now, below is the guy they owe it all to, as everyone knows. There aren't many great clips of Lenny Bruce on YouTube, but this will give you an idea of the kind of verbal jazz trip the guy was onto. His Carnegie Hall show is like listening to Ornette Coleman...he gets on a trip and his language turns automatic. Sometimes his free-association doesn't make any sense, but jesus, the man turned language into electricity!!