2011 has been a great year for comedians; even better, it's been a great year for the fans. Standout albums, mainstream TV, movies, award-winning podcasts and even music charts, our favorite comedians are showing up everywhere and getting the mainstream recognition they deserve. Some of the comedians in our Top 10 Comedy Albums of 2011 are well-known, some are "alternative," some you might not recognize and some might just be a person you follow on Twitter, but all of them put out laugh-out-loud comedy recordings this year.
10. Daniel Tosh, Happy Thoughts
The Comedy Central star of "Tosh.0" and every teenager's favorite comedian Daniel Tosh released his third album with Happy Thoughts. Sticking to his usual pop culture observations and trying hard to offend, Happy Thoughts doesn't disappoint his diehard fans. Recorded in front of a live San Francisco audience, Tosh touches on everything from his girlfriend to illegal immigrants to the offspring of Brad Pitt and David Beckham.
9. Dan Levy, Congrats On Your Success
With Congrats On Your Success, Dan Levy lives up to the hype after being named "Comedian of the Year" for 2011 at the Young Hollywood Awards. Levy is straight to the point: taking down his wife, his cell phone provider, himself.... He has no problem calling everyone out. "Whateva Whateva Shoes," the story of him meeting Justin Timberlake, is the album's highlight and something you'll really try to retell your friends, only you'll never be able to do it as well as Dan.
8. Tig Notaro, Good One
Tig Notaro's long awaited first comedy album is a strong debut. Good One showcases just how natural Notaro is on stage, making you root for her from the beginning. You aren't force fed jokes. The unassuming album allows you chill with Tig as she makes you laugh with perfectly worded anecdotes. You and your friends will no doubt be saying "No moleste" to each other very soon.
7. The Lonely Island, Turtleneck & Chain
The Lonely Island's sophomore effort,Turtleneck & Chain, is truly, off the chain. They mix geek with swagger so well that you're almost convinced to start rocking a turtleneck and chain. The craziest thing about this trio is they'd be a popular music group even if they weren't comedians. That's how great their beats are! Their weird and hilarious lyrics are just an amazing bonus. Starting with the hardcore "We're Back" and gems like "I Just Had Sex" and "Jack Sparrow," Turtleneck & Chain hits on all levels.
6. Natasha Leggero, Coke Money
If you only know Natasha Leggero from "Chelsea Lately" or "Last Comic Standing," Coke Money will make you appreciate her on another level. And not just because she's really hot on the cover art. Her combination of old school elegance, perfect tone and great writing allows her to pull off jokes about toilet babies, meatheads and hookers ("Bragging that you had sex with a prostitute is like bragging that you got some Doritos from a vending machine").
5. Amy Schumer, Cutting
Amy Schumer might be the crudest comic working today, saying things that are so wrong…they end up so right. Her jokes are dirty, witty, mean, shocking and insulting, yet rarely offend. She puts words and situations together in such a perfect way, you can't help but laugh, even if it's a guilty laughter that leaves you feeling ashamed. Get Cutting and enjoy your hilarious time spent in the filthy head of Amy Schumer.
4. T.J. Miller, The Extended Play E.P.
T.J. Miller is one bold guy. For no reason other than the fact that he wanted to, Miller put out a musical comedy album. As bad as that idea sounds at first, the end result is pretty amazing. His jokes are still senseless and odd, which is what his fans love. But now there's also solid beats and surprisingly good lyrics. With guest appearances from Doug Benson, Pete Holmes, Bo Burnham and more, and the stellar "Battle Of The Century" tracks, T.J. Miller brings the ruckus and the funny.
3. Wyatt Cenac, Comedy Person
Wyatt Cenac, best known as a correspondent on "The Daily Show," is slowly becoming one of the best standup comics working today. In Comedy Person, Cenac focuses mostly on observational humor, but also touches on current events. He's smart, perceptive, funny, witty and a must-know comic.
2. Marc Maron, This Has To Be Funny
The album starts with Marc Maron saying, "Let's do an honest sound check." Like everything that follows, it's raw, but profound, and funny. Even if you only marginally enjoy Maron and listen to his "WTF" podcast more for the guests than him, you must give This Has To Be Funny a chance. Even when he feels the need to assure an audience member that "this has to be funny," it's obvious the audience is on-board Marc's self-loathing inner-monologue roller coaster--because it is indeed funny.
1. Louis C.K., Hilarious
There are moments when people are at the top of their game. It's rare, so we're lucky when we seeit. Well, we are witnessing that now with Louis C.K. The best and most prolific comedian working today, he found time from his family, performing live, and writing, directing, editing and starring in the Emmy-nominated sitcom "Louie" to produce Hilarious. His cultural criticism and unflinching honesty are so well done, it often feels like he's saying things you know but never had the words to express so perfectly. Hilarious is as close to "hilarious" as any album can be...but don't tell Louis we said that.
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