In the world of stand up comedy, the ability to make people laugh sometimes means pulling out all the stops on stage–or just pulling out your guitar. There's no denying that jokes can sound a whole lot funnier with some musical accompaniment, we're not sure why–it's a law of the universe we'd rather not question. But for a select group of comics who can hit the right note as easily as they can tell an elaborate fart joke, the ability to entertain the masses goes up exponentially. With that in mind, we wanted to highlight some of the greats that entertain us in more ways than one. And for the record, please believe it was hard to put these uber-talented entertainers in order because everyone on this list fucking shreds.
10. Zach Galifianakis
Long before Zach Galifianakis became a favorite from the Hangover movies, he was a favorite on the stand-up stage. This superb comedian and actor also tickles the ivories, providing hysterical one-liners while getting the audience involved by way of plenty of interaction. When it comes to talking about everything from oral sex, drinking, calling 411, and pancake mix, piano-playing, joke-telling, multi-talented Galifianakis is always at the top of his game.
9. The Lonely Island
Made up of Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone, The Lonely Island earned a special place in our hearts thanks to a little show called Saturday Night Live. And even though SNL hasn't been all that great in a while, seeing The Lonely Island indeed made it worth sitting through all of those sketches. Hitting us hard with songs like “I'm on a Boat,” “Lazy Sunday,” “Dick in a Box,” “Jizz in my Pants,” and “I Just Had Sex,” The Lonely Island are the kings of viral, XXX earworms we can't help replaying again and again. They even got Michael Bolton into the act with “Jack Sparrow.” Pretty impressive.
8. Adam Sandler
During his time on SNL, he brought us "Opera Man” and then continued to dazzle us with his guitar in tow singing songs like "Lunchlady Land” and "Red Hooded Sweatshirt.” With several hit comedy albums under his belt, Jews all over the world are also grateful to Sandler's skills on "Hanukkah Song” because now they don't have to be jealous or left out during the holidays.
7. Tim Minchin
One of the U.K. greatest comedy exports in the last few years has to be Tim Minchin. If you're not familiar with Tim (or only know him from last season of Californication) then trust us, you're seriously missing out. Covering subjects from religion to sex while crooning songs such as "Peace Anthem For Palestine,” "Confessions,” and "The Pope Song,” Minchin pounds the piano while tickling our funny bone to the core.
6. Lahna Turner
Lahna Turner adds some much needed estrogen to this list, blending comedy and tunes and guitar while singing about things you would never expect to come out of her gorgeous little mouth. Dirtier than the average lady, Turner somehow remains "all woman” while belting out tunes on topics like Anne Frank and Helen Keller, stereotypes, and of course, banging sheep and schlong's. You go girl!
5. Steve Martin
The comedy legend is a fantastic self-taught banjo player shredding the four string since his early years in Orange County. After a few decades he's also got the accolades to show for it. He won a Grammy in 2009 and winning Entertainer of the Year from the International Bluegrass Music Association in 2011.
4. Reggie Watts
This comedian and musician does something different than all of the other comics on this list. To be perfectly honest, it's actually different than anything we've ever seen. Like ever! Using a keyboard, a looping pedal, and his beat boxing skills, Reggie mixes stand-up and a cappella sounds to create tunes that keep you smiling and have you nodding your head to the original beats and nonsensical lyrics. The combination of the two is fro-nomenal.
3. Jimmy Fallon
Just like Adam Sandler, Jimmy hit a musical high while on SNL and he didn't stop there. Interjecting songs while crooning during the Weekend Updates and teaming up with pal Justin Timberlake on "Barry Gibb Talk Show,” Fallon showcased his gift for music and we just all ate it up. With spot on impressions of Bob Dillon, Dave Matthews, Bruce Springsteen, and John Mayer, Fallon continues to push the musical envelope while we blow the roof off with laughter.
2. Flight of the Conchords
Before their HBO "One Night Stand” aired out here in the States, not a lot of us even knew about New Zealand's Flight of the Conchords made up of Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement. I guess this is the part where we thank HBO. (Thank you!) Their stand-up is more like a sketch comedy that is filled with songs that make crowds howl with laughter. Keeping a poker-face all the while, FOTC's banter is nothing short of epic.
1. Weird Al Yankovic
Ah, the Godfather of parody songs! With or without his accordion in hand, it seems that when Yankovic takes a stab at pop culture, there's now song he can't screw with. Cranking out humorous hits like "Amish Paradise,” "Eat It,” "Smells Like Nirvana,” and "White N Nerdy,” Al has even won Grammy's for his work rendering him, the best of the best, hands down.