There are many words in here you can't say on television.
Stand-up comedy mines plenty of territory in its search for laughs: death, taxes, the deal with airline food. But there are few topics quite so rich for the lampooning as sex, love, and of course, the many differences between men and women. Here now, are the best stand-up comedy routines about sex, love, and dating. Do not listen out loud in your office.
30. Kevin Hart
Strikingly original material isn't a prerequisite for great comedy; sometimes a great comic can make even the most well-trodden ground seem freshly hilarious. To wit: Kevin Hart on how long-term relationships can make the smallest of things (a request for a sip of juice, for instance) into all-out war ("Walk your fat ass inside, you sippin'-juice bastard").
29. Michael Ian Black on the first girl he ever fingered
Here's an inspired concept: letters to the first girl you ever fingered. The drily funny (and secretly vulnerable) Michael Ian Black milks the conceit for all it's worth, hilariously evoking his eagerness to get a response and his multiple problems with miscommunication.
28. Patrice O'Neal: "Boo bear, can I pee on you?"
The late Patrice O'Neal never really broke through to the level of fame he deserved. He could shift from absurdity (thirty seconds of mumbling into the mic) to well-sculpted bits on a dime. Here he is on the challenge of introducing watersports into a relationship.
27. Norm Macdonald on sexual prowess
Norm Macdonald is truly subversive. His meta-bomb of a performance at the Comedy Central Bob Saget roast was a thing of uncomfortable beauty, and so it makes perfect sense that he'd come at sex in a similarly odd way. It's not like darts, you see.
26. Andy Kaufman (as Tony Clifton) on picking up girls
Andy Kaufman didn't seem to perform stand-up so much as give birth to fully-formed, terrifying characters. Seeing him transform so fully into louche lounge singer and lady's man Tony Clifton is kind of disturbing given what we've found out about Kaufman's life since, but by itself, it remains a work of comic genius.
25. Steve Martin on sex, generally
Steve Martin didn't pioneer the art of seeming at once completely confident and totally clueless, but he certainly did it very well. Clad in a three-piece white suit, he talks about where the ladies can find him after the show ("To be honest, I'll probably be hanging out in the parking lot") and the importance of an emotional connection to lovemaking ("I'm not into that one-night thing. I think you should get to know someone and even be in love with them before you use and degrade them").
Next: Rob Delaney, Dave Chappelle, and many more…
24. Rob Delaney on women's grooming habits
Rob Delaney is extremely funny, but he's also dark, absurd, and occasionally outright terrifying. Here, he expounds on wanting to have sex with a woman who could build a shed with her bare hands (then have sex with him in it), before reassuring us that if he wanted to fuck a child, hey, he's a big guy — he could do it.
23. Dave Chappelle on being directed where to come
If you're looking for valid sex advice, Dave Chappelle might not be your guy, but if you're looking for a laugh, he's your man. He educates us on the pros of being told where to come, and the cons of being told when to come, and how all relationship problems can be solved by a girl "sucking on her own titties."
22. Jerry Seinfeld on how men view sex
In a world where gender and sex are constantly being discussed and defined, who better than Jerry Seinfeld to explain to us the differences between men and women? "Men are like firemen. To men, sex is an emergency." And ladies, he also answers the long-pondered question, "What are men thinking?" with the most obvious and penetrating response: "Nothing!"
21. Lewis Black on losing his virginity
Lewis Black is best known for his apoplectic rants about politics and the little annoyances of everyday life, which makes this bit that much funnier. Touching on learning about sex in the '60s and the utter terror of losing your virginity, Black still finds time to give that vein in his forehead a workout.
20. Phyllis Diller
Wiry, self-deprecating, and relentlessly on point, Phyllis Diller was a groundbreaking comedienne. Here, she snarks about the rampant horniness of youth: "The current definition of a virgin is an ugly third grader." She says she's on the losing side of the sexual revolution, but we don't believe her.
19. Ellen Degeneres on making home videos
Honestly, if we had to pick one person in the entire world to teach us any subject, we'd pick Ellen Degeneres. Especially if that subject was how to film your own porn. Degeneres touches on the egotism, self-consciousness, and awkwardness that can easily occur. But its her big heart that wins you over, especially as she bites her own lip to keep from laughing.
Next: Marc Maron, and Amy Schumer on the ending of every porn ever
18. Marc Maron on married life
A woman's true role in a relationship is to bring a man down. Err, we mean, to give him perspective. Just ask Marc Maron. He imagines a would-be terrorist checking in with his wife before work: "We are going to go and fly the plane into the building." "You're not going anywhere. We have people coming over," his wife protests. It's bleak and it's irreverent, qualities that make Maron one of the best comic voices out there.
17. Lily Tomlin on vibrators
Here's the endearing spit-fire on the perks of being a housewife when the vibrator salesman comes to your door: "This is no threat to the family unit. Think of it as a kind of Hamburger Helper for the boudoir." Comparing the vibrator to the waning gratifications of romance, she poses a good question: can we afford not to have one?
16. Patton Oswalt, on why being in love ruins comics, sex, and violence
Patton Oswalt's work hits on deeper themes in life, without overreaching. Here, he veers from one of the broadest questions there is — does being happy make for bad comedy? — to the subject of his girlfriend's double standards about sex and violence, without making it seem like he planned a thing.
15. Amy Schumer on porn endings
Amy Schumer is rapidly making a name for herself as one of the most fearless women working in comedy today. Unlike Sarah Silverman, she doesn't sugarcoat her observations in a funny voice, or with musical numbers. Frankly, there aren't many other comics with the tenacity or skill to work Helen Keller and Nicholas Sparks into the same joke about money shots.
14. Eddie Izzard on animal procreation
Eddie Izzard talks about animal sex with hips swinging and tongue blazing: "Human beings, well, doggy fashion, cat fashion, giraffe fashion, sheep fashion — whatever the hell you want, basically. Hang upside down like a bat. Play the banjo. Do it on a golf course." With one caveat, of course. "As long as you got guilt in there somewhere, we really don't mind."
13. Chris Rock on offering dick
Prowling the stage in that ridiculous suit, Chris Rock finds yet another curve in the timeless "differences between men and women" vein of comedy. It's his feral, restless delivery that really makes this bit work: the way he lunges into the back half of his punchlines should be a tutorial for aspiring comics everywhere.
Next: Margaret Cho on gay men having sex with women, Bill Hicks on blowjobs, and Joan Rivers' advice for her daughter…
12. Margaret Cho on keeping an open mind
Margaret Cho endorses taking a lick from the pansexual buffet, advising, "if you have not had sex with women before, you should try it, like, one time." A minute-long pantomime of a gay man eating pussy ensues. Cho makes us believe in physical comedy again.
11. Bill Hicks on blowjobs
Bill Hicks is famous for genius bits about politics, spirituality, and smoking. But he was an equally insightful observer of the smaller things in life. Watching him mime an unenthusiastic blowjob is funny enough to temporarily make you forget that this man was equally concerned with the Kennedy assassination and finding a god within yourself through hallucinogens.
10. Rodney Dangerfield on his marriage
Rodney Dangerfield's entire schtick is so archetypal at this point that it's hard to remember quite how sharp it was. But he had self-loathing and marital boredom honed to a razor-sharp point, as this classic clip shows.
9. Joan Rivers on advice for our daughters
Joan Rivers performs great stand-up, but she also offers solid advice to all mothers. She implores them to tell their daughters this: "When you get old, your vagina's going to drop, but it's a good thing, because you can have sex in the bedroom and still be watching TV in the living room." That's wisdom.
8. Robin Williams on Viagra
Watching Robin Williams work through a bit can be exhausting; he rarely stays in one voice or personality for more than one line. But that's the charm of watching him careen through this bit about Viagra — there are more jokes per second in here than there have been in Dane Cook's entire career.
7. Sarah Silverman on having sex without crying
Sarah Silverman's tactic of delivering incredibly foul-mouthed, blue material in a baby voice is polarizing, to say the least, but there's no denying the rock-solid construction of her jokes. This clip finds her launching into an elaborate musical number about porn stars. The coal-darkness of a line like "Do you ever take drugs so that you can have sex without crying?" is leavened, like the rest of Silverman's material, by her incredible voice and delivery.
Next: Eddie Murphy works Raw, and we hear from Lenny Bruce and Woody Allen…
6. Eddie Murphy on making love vs. having sex
Eddie Murphy is probably one of the better-looking comics on this list, so when he expounded on the difference between making love and having sex, it wasn't hard to believe he had lots of experience in both fields. The absurd series of faces he uses here to illustrate "making love" is proof that all he needed to make us laugh was that charming mug.
5. Louis CK on delaying orgasms
Louis CK is currently stand-up's biggest star, seemingly more for his refreshingly brutal honesty and self-laceration than for any snappy one-liners. His rambling, seemingly off-the-cuff style is fully on display in this clip, in which he deconstructs Woody Allen's orgasm-delaying baseball fantasies with some of the most cringe-inducingly funny imagery ever heard.
4. George Carlin: "Make fuck, not kill"
Despite being known for some of the most cynical stand-up ever, George Carlin was a romantic at heart. He was with longtime girlfriend Sally Wade until the day he died, and wrote her love letters frequently. In this bit, he talks about the national tendency to conflate sex and violence, and how we could solve some of that by simply switching the two words.
3. Woody Allen on sex and baseball
Much of Woody Allen's material about sex and dating is readily available in film form. But his work in front of an audience really showcases his comic timing and skill for one-liners. This bit about sex and baseball was the template for a whole half-century of references.
2. Richard Pryor on men's doubts about sex
Richard Pryor doesn't really need an introduction — it's better to get out of the way and let the master work. Like all of Pryor's best work, this bit is brash but vunerable: it shows that although the man had an exaggerated personality and a wicked way with a punchline, he also had a keen eye for mining universal male insecurities, like the question of whether you've adequately satisfied your woman.
1. Lenny Bruce on the main difference between men and women
Before he was convicted of obscenity, Lenny Bruce was dishing out scathing heaps of satire. In this classic bit, he narrows down the differences between women and men in the bedroom pretty damn succinctly: men can detach and women can't. "Guys can have head-on collisions with Greyhound buses in disaster areas… get him to the hospital, the guy makes a play for the nurse," Lenny quips. It hurts because it's true, and it's the best because it was one of the first.