8 Jokes From 1994 That Hold Up Today (and 5 That Don't)
We’re gonna take a look back on the state of comedy in the year 1994. Specifically, we want to look at how much of the comedy from that year would still fly today. Why that specific year? Two reasons: 1) Our editor pretty much pulled that year completely out of his ass, and 2) It turned out to be a pretty dismal year for stand-up comedy.
The stand-up comedy bubble of the 1980’s had already burst, and many of the most famous comics who remained were too busy making movies and sitcoms to put out any comedy specials or albums that year. Sure, we had Def Comedy Jam, but holy hell… so much of that material has aged about as well as the fashion choices on that show.
Plus, it was a very self-aware year, and so much of that comedy was very topical… and therefore very dated. For the first half of the year, all anyone could talk about was Rodney King, the L.A. Riots, Tonya Harding, John Wayne Bobbitt and just as those jokes were getting stale, we got to turn all of our attention to O.J. Simpson. Also, no one yet understood the internet, and comics were still miming their phone calls on landline phones. It all seems so primitive today.
So, after scouring the internet for all the 1994 VHS-transferred comedy we could find, here are eight jokes that we feel could still be done today and five that definitely would not.
Could Still Fly Today
Marc Maron on Homelessness in New York
“I like being back in this city. This is a very interesting city. I mean, there's actually a part of town down in the East Village, it's sort of like this 24-hour round-the-clock homeless Renaissance Faire. Now I'm not trying to be insensitive, it's just that there's a never-ending ecosystem of resellable garbage in Manhattan, and they have the market cornered now. Again, I'm not trying to be insensitive, but I had a very humane moment: There I was like a week ago, I'm walking in this neighborhood and this guy comes up to me. He's got no shoes on, he's wearing pants he looks like he's been sleeping in for weeks and he's holding the board game Sorry. And was one of those moments where I really didn't know what to do. So I'm standing there, I'm like, ‘Alright, Set him up. Let's play. I don't want to buy the game, but I'll spend some time with you, my friend.”
Bernie Mac on Marriage
“I love life. Life’s got a lot of things to offer. I’ve been married for 18 years, one child, no outside kids… Marriage is a funny thing, when you get married your wife is happy as hell. When you first get married and say you’re ‘husband and wife.’ Five years go by, you’re no longer husband and wife, you’re ‘him and her’. When you first get married, a girl asks your wife, ‘Girl, what'd you do last night?’
‘Girl, I went out.’
‘Who’d you go out with?’
Ask that same damn question five years later. “Girl, what’d you do?”
‘Who’d you go with?’
When you first get married, your wife leaves you beautiful notes: ‘Gone over to Mother’s. Be back in 15 minutes. Your food’s in the oven.’ Boy, I came home the other day, there was a big old sign that literally said ‘GONE,’ and underlined, ‘You son of a bitch!’”
Jeff Foxworthy on Southern Accents
“I'd travel around the country, people hear me talk and they'd automatically want to deduct a hundred IQ points. Which, I will be the first to admit maybe the southern accent is not the world's most intelligent sounding accent, I mean, let's face it, you wouldn't want to hear your brain surgeon say, ‘A’ight, now what we gon do is saw the top of ya’ head off, root ‘round in there with a stick, ‘n see if we can't find dat dadburn clot.’
No thanks, I'll just die. Of course I do think there gonna be a lot of people surprised when they get to heaven and Saint Peter says, ‘Y'all get in the truck, we're goin’ up the big house!”
Bobcat Goldthwait with a Sadly Evergreen Joke
“I said this before, but if you ever see me getting beaten by the police, put the video camera down and help me.”
The Gospel According to Eddie Griffin
Church would be way more entertaining if they broke down the Bible the way Eddie Griffin did in his 1994 HBO Comedy Half-Hour:
1994 Dennis Miller Sounds an Awful Lot Like 2022 Dennis Miller
“If my manner appears a little hesitant you'll have to forgive me. I haven't done this a lot in the last year. I had a talk show for a while but now i'm an a–hole again.”
Dave Chappelle on Terrorism
“If you go through airport security they're real tense. Everyone was real nervous because of terrorist attacks… everybody except for me. You know why I wasn’t scared? Because terrorists have never taken black hostages, and do you know why they’ve never taken black hostages? Because we are bad bargaining chips. They would call up the White House, ‘Hello?’ We have got five black people and we will kill-Hello?!?’”
George Carlin Unloading on Baby Boomers
“Now a lot of these cultural crimes I’ve been complaining about can be blamed on the Baby Boomers. Something else I’m a little tired of hearing about, the Baby Boomers. Whiney, narcissistic, self-indulgent people, with a simple philosophy: ‘Gimme-it it’s mine! Give me that it’s mine!’ These people were given everything. Everything was handed to them, and they took it all. Took it all. Sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll. And they stayed loaded for twenty years, and had a free ride, but now they’re staring down the barrel of middle-age burn-out, and they don’t like it. They don’t like it so they’ve turned self-righteous, and they want to make things hard on younger people. They tell them to abstain from sex, say no to drugs. As for the rock-n-roll, they sold that for television commercials a long time ago, so they could buy pasta-machines, and Stairmasters and soybean-futures. You know something? They’re cold, bloodless people. It’s in their slogans. It’s in their rhetoric. ‘No pain no gain’, ‘just do it’, ‘life is short, play hard’, ‘sh*t happens, deal with it’, ‘get a life’. These people went from ‘do your own thing’ to ‘just say no’. They went from ‘love is all you need’ to ‘whoever winds up with the most toys wins’. And they went from cocaine to rogaine. And you know something? They’re still counting grams, only now it’s fat grams. And the worst of it is, the rest of us have to watch these commercials on TV for Levi’s loose-fitting jeans, and fat-ass Docker pants, because these degenerate yuppie boomer c—suckers couldn’t keep their hands off the croissants, and the Häagen-Dazs. And their big fat asses have spread all over and they have to wear fat-ass Docker pants. F–k these boomers. F–k these yuppies. And f–k everybody now that I think about it.
Jokes That Wouldn’t Fly Today
Joe Rogan on Why Women Don’t Understand Men
“Women don't understand men ‘cause you don't have testosterone. That's the big thing. You don't have the donkey donkey juice, so you can't appreciate the way guys act. That's what it is because, guys, be honest… You can be talking to a good looking girl, but if you and the girl haven't had sex, it doesn't matter what you're talking about because all you're thinking while she's talking is donkey, donkey, donkey, donkey… She's going, ‘You know you have to save the world-’ donkey, donkey, donkey, donkey-little Energizer rabbit running around your brain 24 hours a day going donkey, donkey, donkey-still going-donkey, donkey, donkey…
We mostly wanted to share this clip because of the stark, hilarious contrast between Joe Rogan’s look then versus now. Aside from the fact that the makeup stylist on this TV show went way too hard, but what's with the shoulder pads? I know it’s the nineties, but c’mon, man…
Richard Jeni on This “New” Trend of… Condoms?
“I'm not against the condom, it's just so… I guess it's such a primitive form of contraception. I mean, how bright do you have to be to go, ‘Well, why don’t we just put a bag on it, man?’
I mean, I don’t care for myself, it's those poor little reproductive people that you know it's their one chance and they go, ‘Here’s our chance boys, let's go! (bump) Whoa! Must be some kind of a rain delay.’
But they're in now… Some women give you condoms, like some of them keep them in a dish on the coffee table. ‘Condom?’
‘No thanks, Trying to quit.’”
Pretty Much All of Martin Lawrence’s SNL Monologue
This was the set that earned him a lifetime ban from the show.
Bill Maher Being (sigh) Bill Maher
“Everybody's a victim. You listen to some of these names that we take for granted, we just hear them all the time, that are meant to evoke sympathy, you know? ‘Prisoner of fame.’ Oh, what a grisly fate that is, huh? Prisoner of Turkey, I think that's a bad thing to be. ‘Eating disorder’, you know, which means sticking your finger down your throat after lunch. To me an eating disorder is starving. That is a disorder involving eating. Throwing up after lunch is just very American. ‘Emotional rape’? ‘He forced his opinions on me!’ You know, everybody just has to grow up a little and realize, hey, life's tough for everybody. It sucks across the board. ‘Hi. I'm Bill. I'm a birth survivor.”
Brett Butler with Possibly the Most 1994 Joke Ever
“Don't wait for the news to tell you what is important. President Clinton is overseas right now trying to disarm 2,000 nuclear warheads pointed right at us, and yet the lead story on TV is two ice skaters getting in a catfight. You know, gosh Nancy, I'm sorry your knee hurts but Jesus Pete God it's not the Challenger accident, is it? I just wanted-(man runs on stage swinging a lead pipe) What-Not me, you idiot! Rita Rudner! Rita Rudner!”