Comedy is about the unexpected. When you expect someone to behave one way, and then they surprise you with something else, the human reaction is to simply laugh. Because of this, stand-up comedians often just crack crass jokes because we don’t expect the vulgarity. Vulgarity is a comedy hack guaranteed to draw laughs, but it comes at a price. Because comedians frequently say crude things, Christians often think that all stand-up comedians are offensive, missing out on this joyous form of entertainment. Thankfully, there’s a growing wave of comedians who are committed to only crafting jokes that contain clean content.
Because comedians frequently say crude things, Christians often think that all stand-up comedians are offensive, missing out on this joyous form of entertainment.
If you want to enjoy the fine art of stand-up comedy, but don’t want to risk being exposed to the language you’d prefer to avoid, check out this run-down of hilarious and family-friendly comedians.
Ryan Hamilton’s recent Netflix special, Happy Face, was a silly fun joyous delight. Raised in rural Idaho, Hamilton’s attempts at navigating the big city of New York are retold through hilarious stories. Hamilton proves particularly gifted at self-depreciating humor, specifically making fun of his own face in side-splitting way. Check it out:
Brian Regan has always been beloved for his ability to craft hilarious jokes that are completely free of any vulgarity. Regan employs physical comedy and fantastic character voices to bring the audience even deeper into his joyous observations. If you’ve ever felt the pain of flying coach, this bit is bound to make you smile:
Anjelah Johnson is an all-around entertainer. She’s gifted at both traditional stand-up as well as spot-on character bits. In addition to performing comedy, she’s acted on TV and movies and has even worked as an NFL cheerleader. Johnson is a committed Christian, and she often spotlights hilarious insights about Christian culture like we see here:
Jeff Foxworthy is one of the world’s best-known stand-up comedians. Hailing from the South, his commentary on southern “red neck” culture always delights. Foxworthy is open about his faith and often jokes about the challenges of being a father. For a classic example of him employing red neck humor, check out this video:
Sinbad has been making crowds laugh since the 80’s. He is well-known for his family-friendly acting throughout the 1990’s, but his razor-sharp (clean) stand-up is worth exploring as well. In this throw-back clip, Sinbad proves that jokes about childhood and candy are always timeless:
John Crist’s comedy career has been exploding in recent years. Crist leans specifically into humor that will delight a Christian audience. He is both a strong stand-up comedian as well as a hilarious sketch comedy actor with a large YouTube following. Take a look:
Mary Mack may first appear to be soft spoken, but this comedienne is a powerhouse. Raised Lutheran, Mack is both “Minnesota nice” and also a queen of self-depreciation. Her perfect embodiment of Midwestern culture showcases all the hilarious quirks of the Great Lakes area. Her recent Conanappearance is sure to make you laugh:
Jim Gaffigan is a wildly successful observational comedian. He’s best known for skewering “Hot Pockets” and also regularly integrates other hilarious food observations into his sets. While his early work contained cursing, he’s since removed vulgarity from his comedy and without swearing he still proves to be a huge crowd pleaser. Check out this older clip from 2000 about bottled water, it remains hilariously relevant even to this day:
If you’re seeking to discover the “next big voice in clean comedy,” Steve Soelberg earns our vote. Currently earning a name for himself within Utah’s clean comedy scene, Soelberg pokes fun at his conservative upbringing. He spotlights experiences that many Christians may relate to from their own childhood. Take a look at this hilarious video about accents and their contagious nature:
**Honorable Mention: Dry Bar Comedy
Dry Bar Comedy is a comedy club located in conservative Provo, Utah. While comedians who perform there are not necessarily “clean comedians” in general, they all clean up their comedy acts specifically for their sets at this club. Dry Bar will post the club’s funniest performances on their YouTube channel, serving comedians a great opportunity to gain more fans. If you want a safe and curated place to enjoy clean stand-up, subscribe to Dry Bar today!
Here are a few fan favorites:
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