The Best Standup Comedy Shows of 2014

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Christopher Titus at the Edison Theater.

The Best Standup Comedy Shows of 2014
Rebel Entertainment

Some comedians make it look effortless. Christopher Titus did not. Every punch line, callback and pause was as meticulously prepared as the spikes in his hair. Anyone can make a joke -- only Christopher Titus can write a special called "Arm the Children" and leave you in tears of laughter and a whole new perspective on how far gone we truly are.

Mary Mack & Tim Harmston with Andi Smith and Jeremy Essig at Foam.

The Best Standup Comedy Shows of 2014
Mary Mack photo by Christina Gandolfo. Tim Harmston photo by Wendy Maybury

Rather than hand the mic off and leave the stage after introducing, comedians Mack and Harmston simply took a few steps back and sat down -- directly behind the featured acts. There were interruptions, do-overs and the one-of-a-kind moments of hilarity that are only possible by embracing the spirit of improv.

Sean Patton with Ian Douglas Terry & Zach Noe Towers at Foam.

The Best Standup Comedy Shows of 2014
Gersh Comedy

This show was special because 90% of the audience were friends, family or friends of family of Zach Noe Towers. At most shows the crowd thins out after the person they came to see leaves the stage. This time, nobody left -- and it wasn't on account of politeness. They stayed because they were laughing -- despite not knowing who the other guys were.

Tig Notaro at the Ready Room.

The Best Standup Comedy Shows of 2014
Victoria Will / Invision / AP Images

Tig's appearance in St. Louis was a long time coming. The crowd was eager and ready to sit down and listen up. She gave us what we wanted -- a reason to laugh in the face of cancer, androgyny and how a little misplaced inflection can really mix things up.

We Still Like You! at Jon & Leetah's Apartment.

The Best Standup Comedy Shows of 2014
We Still Like You!

We Still Like You! is a house show created by Tyler Snodgrass and Dan Sheehan. They travel from town to town, take over a living room and, with the help of local comics, a cartoonist puts on a show that could be the most fun (and drinks) you've ever had at an intervention. A comic takes to the corner of the living room and shares a shameful story while an artist draws their interpretation. At the story's close, everyone raises their glass and chants, "We still like you!"

Dave Chappelle at the Pageant.

The Best Standup Comedy Shows of 2014
PRNewsFoto / Live Nation

Featuring Bobby Jaycox on Night One & Kenny Kinds on Night Two Eight shows in four nights and each was different than the last, but no less funny. And when the punch lines came the crowd erupted. He more than proved he is a master of the trade, but it's not like anyone doubted that.

Follow through for a look back at the year in comedy.

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