9 Comedy Albums That Changed My Life.

Questlove from the legendary Roots crew did a masterful post of 9 albums that changed his life on instagram which inspired me to make this.  These are nine different comedy albums by nine completely different artists but they all have one thing in common:  They all made me go, “I didn’t know comedy could do that.”

  • Dick Gregory On… This album just blew me away.  Did you know that Dick Gregory was the first black comedian to make a million dollars doing comedy?  Listen to this album and you will see why.
  • Chris Rock | Born Suspect – This is my favorite album of Chris’ because he’s not yelling.  He’s just talking and he was the first comic I heard attack material from an intellectual place.  Later I would go on to work with him on Everybody Hate’s Chris.
  • Franklyn Ajayé | Don’t Smoke Dope, Fry Your Hair – what a title.  what an amazing act.  I first heard this album in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Me and another comic got John Evans got it from a thrift store.  Franklyn was the first black comedian I heard who was not from the hood or grew up poor, the brotha went to law school and he made that funny.  He taught me to talk about who you are and what you know.
  • Eddie Murphy – The one with the flower in it.  this was before Delirious.  It’s just so funny and amazing the way Eddie brings characters to life even on audio.
  • Richard Pryor | Craps – I got introduced to Richard Pryor later in life.  I was around 26 when I heard his first record.  Franklyn Ajayé told me that “Craps” was the first album Richard recorded after he had his famous Vegas meltdown.  You can hear him piecing together all of his characters, rhythm and style that would eventually change the game of comedy forever.
  • Martin Lawrence | Talkin’ Shit – I listened to this CD over and over and over again in college.  Martin was the man!  And seeing that he grew up a couple of towns over from where I did I had a personal stake in his success.  Think about it, this man would change the way a generation talked with phrases like, “You go girl!”
  • Bill Hicks | Dangerous – this cat was the truth.  He was the first comedian I heard make abortion funny.  There was no topic he wouldn’t tackle.  He was like a hip hop George Carlin to me.
  • Redd Foxx | I Ain’t Lied Yet – Red Foxx was a wordsmith.  I loved listening to his albums because you can tell most of them were recorded in a tiny club, you can hear the glasses clink from the patrons, and all the sounds you hear in a club.  And his timing was so flawless.  A true comic.
  • Robin Harris | Be-Be’s Kids – There will never be another.  Here’s a fun fact: D.L. Hughley introduces Robin Harris on this album.  I dare you listen to it and not laugh.  This brotha breathed funny.