When I first started using Twitter, I didn’t see the point in following any of my friends. I already read all their posts on Facebook. Every picture of every home-cooked meal they made, every photo taken at some obscure landmark, every time somebody squeezed out another kid – I didn’t need it repeated it to me on Twitter. Instead, I opted to use the service to keep up with stand-up comedians I liked, and for a long time that was all I used Twitter for. Nowadays there are certain politicians, bloggers, musicians, and randos that have made their way onto my feed, but for the most part it’s still dominated by jokes and angry rants from the funniest people in the world.
But still, making this list was difficult. Comedy on Twitter is complicated: Not every comedian out there does one-liners, and many of them find it difficult to condense their jokes down to 140 characters. For this reason, someone who’s a riot on stage might be pretty boring in your feed. Take Dave Chappelle for example – he’s quite possibly one of the funniest guys to hold a mic, but his tweets are few and far between.
So, after a few years of actively following hundreds of comedians, I’ve developed a decent sense of who’s active online and the stuff they like to post – which led me to put together this list of 20 of the best comedians to follow on Twitter. Be warned though – there’s bound to be some heavy bias.
Doug Stanhope @DougStanhope
Stanhope is without a doubt one of the most wildly-offensive, obscene, socially-conscious, and above all, talented, comedians still alive today. If you have delicate sensibilities, or might faint if you read the occasional transvestite prostitute joke, then you might not like his Twitter feed. Otherwise, definitely follow him and see him live when you get the chance.
Anthony Jeselnik @anthonyjeselnik
He’s relatively new to the comedy scene, but he’s easily one of most talented comics to arrive in years. His jokes are witty, obscene, often intelligent, and always perfectly timed. He tweets with the same arrogance that he brings to the stage, and you’ll love it. He might not post all that often, but when he does it’s always well-crafted dark humor that’s sure to brighten your day.
Joe Rogan @joerogan
Before he got that gig encouraging people to eat pig parts for cash, Rogan was a comedian. OK, he still is a comedian. I just really wanted to throw in a Fear Factor reference. Anyway, not only is this guy ridiculous on stage, his Twitter feed is insanely entertaining. He posts jokes on occasion, but oftentimes it’s the links and retweets he posts that are the best.
Jim Norton @JimNorton
If you hadn’t gathered, much of these comedians fall in the “offensive material” category. Jim Norton is disgusting and obscene on a level that most comedians can only dream of, and the best part is he’s one of the few guys who uses Twitter like a stage. Almost all of his posts are hilariously offensive and unapologetic one-liners.
Norm Macdonald @normmacdonald
I’m still not sure if he’s trying to be funny, or if he’s slipped so far into senility that all he posts about is what’s happening on the PGA tour. It’s really impossible to tell with this guy – he’s the quintessential anti-comic. Every other post is about Phil Mickelson or Vijay Singh staring down a 40-yard putt, and somehow it’s still funny to me.
Lewis Black @TheLewisBlack
I have a sneaking suspicion that if I searched for “grumpy old man” on Google, Lewis’s Twitter account would show up first in the results. You should definitely be following him. His tweets tend to reflect his style of comedy, so his feed is typically filled with cynical, sarcastic, and rage-filled social and political commentary.
Todd Glass @toddglass
I first heard of Todd Glass back in 2004 when he was a contestant on the reality show Last Comic Standing. He didn’t win, but that’s only because his material was too racy for primetime TV. On Twitter, the real Todd Glass comes out, and if his tweets are any indication of his personality, he’s absolutely crazy.
Louis CK @louisck
There’s a good chance you’ve heard of this guy. He’s taken the world by storm in the past couple years because he’s probably one of the funniest guys alive. Unfortunately, his tweets aren’t as funny as his stand-up, but he regularly posts updates on stuff like where he’s performing and when his shows are airing, so he’s definitely worth a follow.
Demitri Martin @DemitriMartin
Outlandish and witty one-liners are this guy’s art, and Twitter is a perfect canvas for them. Not every tweet is a joke, but the vast majority of his feed consists of the same style of odd, intelligent musing that you’ll find in his act on stage.
Lisa Lampanelli @LisaLampanelli
Lisa Lampanelli is proud to be one of the most vulgar female comics alive. Her Twitter feed is just as nasty and entertaining as her act is.
John Heffron @JohnHeffron
Much like Todd Glass, Heffron got his start on Last Comic Standing back in 2004. He’s incredibly clever, and pretty active on Twitter as well. He’s got that Jerry Seinfeld style of observational humor, but with an extra helping of weird and inappropriate.
Patton Oswalt @pattonoswalt
Patton Oswalt is one of the elite few in the comedy scene whose material leans toward social and political critiques, but instead of doing it with the anger of Lewis Black and Doug Stanhope, he does it with a whimsical, goofy, and culturally-aware style that you can’t find anywhere else. He’s extremely active on Twitter, and his feed is probably the most entertaining of all the ones listed here.
Kyle Kinane @KyleKinane
You might’ve caught this guy’s first special, Whiskey Icarus, on Comedy Central a while back. If you didn’t, then go watch it now – it’s a riot. His style is hard to describe because it still seems like he’s developing it, but it’s great because he often uses Twitter as a platform to test out new stuff and share his ridiculous musings with the world.
Brian Regan – @BrianReganComic
There are a handful of comics in this list that use Twitter as a platform to tell jokes, but most of them also post links and regular status updates. Not Brian Regan. Regan is a machine – he tweets anywhere from two to 10 times a day, and every single post is a joke he could easily tell on stage.
Whitney Cummings @WhitneyCummings
This lady has more dirty and disgusting jokes than most male comedians out there, and her Twitter feed is no different. Lately, her feed has been filled with stuff about her show Love You, Mean It, but between those posts you’ll find comedic gold.
Jim Jeffries @jimjeffries
The only downside to reading Jim Jeffries’s Tweets is that you can’t tell just how drunk and Australian he is. If you haven’t heard his stand-up before, just try to imagine every tweet being spoken in a slurred and hateful Aussie accent. Most of his posts are cynical observations of stupid people he sees during the day, or links to weird things he finds on intoxicated Web-browsing sessions.
Doug Benson @DougBenson
Doug is probably the funniest stoner in the stand-up comedy game, and also one of the most active on Twitter. Say what you will about his smoking habits, but there’s no denying that he’s super talented at writing jokes in 140 characters or less.
Seth MacFarlane @SethMacfarlane
When he’s not writing, producing, and doing the voices for his animated shows, Seth MacFarlane tweets at a furious pace. If you couldn’t already tell from the way an episode of Family Guy progresses, this guy has perhaps one of the most ridiculous senses of humor ever. You should definitely follow him.
Amy Schumer @AmyShumer
Amy is hands down one of the best female comedians ever. Her style is dry, witty, and offensive on a level that hasn’t been seen since Roseanne Barr quit performing. What’s best is she’s pretty good at condensing her humor down into a Twitter-friendly format.
Al Madrigal @almadrigal
You might know him as the “Senior Mexican Correspondent” from The Daily Show, but before he landed a gig with John Stewart, he was killing it on stage as a stand-up comedian. As you would expect from a guy who eventually made his way onto The Daily Show, his comedy is often politically and socially relevant.
Did we miss any of your favorites? Be sure to tell us who we forgot in the comments!