the artistry and psychology of gaming


The Top 10 Video Game Characters Who Would Make Terrific Stand-Up Comedians

The Top 10 Video Game Characters Who Would Make Terrific Stand-Up Comedians

A great stand-up is someone who is funny, and also has a great stage presence. He or she must be a very intelligent person, a good writer and a good actor at the same time. They have to control the crowd and entertain it. It’s a hard job. That’s why there are only great and horrible stand-ups. But the great ones are really great- no one should miss the likes of George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Bill Hicks, Lenny Bruce, Jon Stewart, Bill Maher, Woody Allen, Robin Williams, Rodney Dangerfield, Dennis Leary and Sarah Silverman.

Who would be the most eligible potential stand-ups in the world of video games? Read on.

Note: For the sake of comedy, I have written my list as if these people are really comedians and not video game characters. Some creativity for you folks.

Note number 2: This list will be cross posted on GameFAQs as well.

10. Duke Nukem from Duke Nukem series

Title: The commander of Blue Comedy

Gold Line:: Oh…your ass is grass and I’ve got the weed-whacker.

Duke Nukem specializes in two things, rudeness and self-satire. Like Stephen Colbert or Sarah Silverman, he pokes fun at what he satirizes by pretending to be one and then overexaggerating it to comic and surreal proportions. He pokes fun at the image of action hero by possessing all its features- muscular body, stupid blonde hair, a cigar, a huge sense of arrogance, a disregard for humanity, and a great sense of American exceptionalism and entitlement. He also satirizes the objectification and the oversexualization of women in media by objectifying and oversexualizing them even more. He portrays himself to be a badass- again, a bit too badass. Therefore his comedy consists of rude remarks, sexual innuendos, and over-the-top boasting.

Some may criticize his style for being a bit too rude. True, line after line he relies on poop jokes, sexual references, and borderline juvenile material. But in the end he deserves your respect because his comedy is brave and satirical and hilarious.

His deep voice and his massive presence which is impossible to ignore give him a powerful stage presence.

9. Dante from Devil May Cry series

Title: The King of Sarcasm

Golden Line: [To his brother]: Well, we have something in common. I have a dysfunctional family, too.

If Duke pretends to be a badass in order to poke fun at the concept, Dante IS the badass and and he knows it, and uses this fact to poke sarcasm at any poor soul who happens to be his target at the moment. He pokes fun at his many girlfriends and his own family, especially his brother after the fallout, and to those who criticize him. Whenever someone from the audience tries to heckle him (and this happens a lot) he puts them back to their place with a witty insult. He knows no shame and mocks people for their ugliness and stupidity.

Dante is exceedingly arrogant, but no one blames him for that, because his comedy is also informed by a great sense of justice and honor. More than anything he pokes fun at people because of their hypocrisy and immorality, and he has been a chivalrous agent of justice and he has strove to protect the weak.

Unfortunately, after some tragic accident he lost his sense of humor and became extremely serious. It is a great loss to the world of comedy.

8. Bayonetta from Bayonetta

Title: The Queen of Black comedy

Gold Line: You know, you’re not nearly so ugly when you’re screaming.

She is similar to Dante in that she too is a badass, and she too is a merciless satirist and specialized in insulting people she doesn’t happen to particularly like, and she’s similar to Dante in that she too cares for justice a lot- she used to take care of a small girl who was a stranger. Yet, her material is much darker and she usually targets people who seem to deserve it less. She targets angelic people who serve and people who serve light very frequently, and this makes her shows much more controversial as she defines herself as “demonic” comedian.

She rose to fame because of her gigs in a bar and comedy club called The Gates of Hell. She’s also a great dancer, does not shy away from shoeing some skin on the stage from time to time, and is regarded as a very sexy person by her male audience.

Sometimes her punches are below the belt, she frequently makes fun of the audience because of their ugliness and many of her jokes make fun of people’s looks. among her famous ones are “I’m sorry. I forgot to mention one of the reasons I hunt your kind. You’re much too ugly not to put out of your misery.” and “You know, you’re not nearly so ugly when you’re screaming.”

7. Cid Highwind from Final FantasyVII

Title: The Denis Leary of Gaia

Gold Line: This’s gonna be a big splash. Hold on to your drawers, an’ don’t piss in ’em!

Cid used to be a close friend of Cloud and Tifa, the famous J-Pop singers, Sephiroth, the male underwear model for Calvin Klein, and Aerith, the tragic victim of Manson family crime spree. He used to be a pilot but then turned to stand-up. His style of comedy is angry comedy. He is extremely uncouth and constantly swears and loses his temper. He is at his best when he suddenly begins shouting at the audience, sweating and shaking with genuine rage, curses strreaming out, yet what comes out of his mouth is sheer comic gold. He is a chain-smoker and smoking is a running gag in his skits. Like Dante, his comedy is informed by a sense of honor and morality and at heart he is a very kind character. His audience and fans know that he is angry over losing out on his dreams in life, and they sympathize with him even more. Global warming and pollution is his greatest concern and pet cause and he mercilessly mocks the deniers.

He is very well known for satirizing his own friends. Cloud and Shinra are his regular target, but that never hurts their friendship because they know the insults are not to be taken to the heart and there is genuine kindness and love between him and his friends. He has even named a plane after Shinra.

He stirred a massive controversy when he was invited to host a Disneyland show and maintained his rude style. He has been banned from live television for that. Guess they shouldn’t have taken him seriously when he said “Hey, I also do children shows.”

6. GLaDOS from Portal series

Title: The Queen of Deadpan

Gold Line: When I said “deadly neurotoxin,” the “deadly” was in massive sarcasm quotes. I could take a bath in this stuff. Put it on cereal, rub it right into my eyes. Honestly, it’s not deadly at all… to me. You, on the other hand, are going to find its deadliness a lot less funny.

GLaDOS sounds very calm, bored, and almost sad on the screen. she talk in monotone, and reminds you of a lazy lady who is nagging all the time. But this stage presence serves to emphasize her pure comedic abilities, as she continues to pour out witty, extremely sarcastic, and deeply offensive insult after insult. Pray you are not a target of hers, because she will inform you in that calm voice of hers that you bore her, and that you are ugly and fat, and that you should just shut up and die. She lies frequently, and uses her elevated language and complex mind to decorate you with every shade of shame. She will call you out for all of your shortcomings, whether imaginary or real.

She is purely evil. She does not care for you, or human decency, or political correctness. She wants to merely tramp you down in her overflow of insults. What makes her comedy so unique and so fascinating is the contrast between her formal language and polite tone and the incredible bawdiness and the rudeness of her content and subject-matter.

She is a comedian that you have to pay attention to. Her jokes are complicated and intelligent, and sometimes you have to think about them in order to grasp their true meaning. But the result will be rewarding.

5. The Bard from The Bard’s Tale

Title: The Parodist

Gold Line: Not knowing what I’m getting myself into has been the latest trend for me.

The Bard is lesser known than the other comedians on our list, but he is just as good. He specializes in lampooning the RPG genre by making fun of its conventions and cliches, pointing out its inconsistencies and illogical aspects. Long before memes like “Skyrim logic” became fashionable on stage, he was doing the same in a very more intelligent and funny way. His comedy serves as pure gold parody and he can be compared to people like the late Leslie Nielsen. But his literary and elevated style of speaking and his witticism makes him superior and more intelligent than them.

Like comedians such David Letterman and Conan O’Brien he has someone he can engage in repartee with, a voice called the Narrator who’s equally great in comedy and their dialogues are pure comedy material. He also frequently engages heckling audience and tries to shut them down.

His normal subject-material consists of making fun of the ideas of chivalry and heroism, as he exposes their cliches and inabilities, and in this he is not only not like Dante, he is anti-Dante. He also frequently takes on the differences between men and women. He is very skeptical of the possibility of both heroism and romance in the world and he functions as a destroyer of dreams and fantasies.

4. Manny Calavera from Grim Fandango

Title: The Reaper

Gold Line: As a rule, I never touch anything more sophisticated and delicate than myself.

Maybe the darkest and yet the funniest comedians on this list, Manny is obsessed with death. The majority of his jokes revolve around the topic, and he is extremely sardonic, pessimistic and deterministic about it. One wonders how he manages to be so dark and funny at the same time. He is incredibly sarcastic and quick-witted. In spite of his pessimism he too is heroic and informed by a great sense of right and wrong, and he too is heroic. He’s also extremely competitive and constantly compares himself to others in funny ways.

It is clear that Manny thinks he is wronged. He feels that the world has placed him in a wrong spot and he feels the injustice of the universe on his shoulders. He also portrays his relationship with women in a very sarcastic way, portraying them like funny femme fatals.

Manny is also deeply interested in thriller and film noire, constantly dropping references to the classics of the genre and parodying them.

3. Max from Sam & Max series

Title: The Bunny

Gold Line: Facilities be damned, I need a bathroom!

Max is cute, and he knows it, and he repeatedly asserts it (“I’m cute and marketable!”) but never trust this facade. He is ruder, more sarcastic, and more pessimistic than everyone on the list, and in addition to that, he’s entirely insane and imbalanced. His jokes are violent and show his absolute disregard for human life and decency, and he never hides the sadistic pleasure he derives in the pain of others. He also feigns to be an idiot, confusing simple words and social conventions. Nevertheless, his lines are extremely hilarious and intelligent, and you are ready to forgive any craziness on his part.

His best friend is Sam, another comedian, and they consist a comedy duo. They frequently hit the stage together. One would usually expect Sam to be a bit saner and keep Max in check, but he too is usually tempted by Max to take part in his shenanigans. Their repartee is the best in history. They frequently make fun of each other and exchange ingenues comebacks. To see their relationship is the best of dynamic comedy as one can imagine.

2. Morrigan from Dragon Age Origins

Title: The Darkest of Dark Chocolates; Bitter but Rich

Gold Line: Apparently everyone seems to agree that a Blight is the perfect time to start killing each other. Marvelous, really.

Morrigan might be one of the more controversial comedians out there. She regularly pokes fun at religion and social standards, and her comedy, although occasionally rude, it’s more famous for its biting satire and handling taboo subject matter rather than simple blueness and this sets her apart from Cid or Duke. She’s an unapologetic atheist and supporter of free love, and she specializes in exposing the hypocrisy and the meaninglessness of the society by targeting its very core, its so-called morality and traditions. She mocks the notion of love, altruism, and social justice, and therefore exposing the real face of society. She’s extremely practical and to the point, and with her pragmatic borderline Machiavellian attitude exposes and pokes fun at society and its stupid ideals and at the same time its double-faced nature.

She has had a traumatic childhood with a cruel and strict mother and she uses her background frequently in her gigs, as she targets her mother frequently. she seems to have a love-hate relationship with her mother, hating her and looking up to her at the same time.

She’s a master a of repartee, as she has a winning comeback in resort to every insult and she’s masterful in putting her opponents in their places. Of course, there’s no need of any stimulator as she readily insults everyone in a very rude manner without any provocation. Her relationship is especially rocky with the TV Evangelical host Alistair. They were on a show together and when a dog was brought on the stage she remarked: “How odd. Now we have a dog… and Alistair is still the dumbest one in the party.”

She is considered a great stand-up because she makes us laugh and think at the same time.

1. Guybrush Threepwood from Monkey Island series

Title: The Pirate-King of Comedy

Gold Line: I see a diorama of the children of the world living in peace and freedom. No, wait. It can’t be that. It’s just too dark to make out what’s in there.

What can one say about Guybrush? He is naive and yet handles humorous language like a genius. He appears to be a simple-minded dreamer (“I’m a mighty pirate!”) on the surface, but the complexity and the depth of his genius is revealed when he plays with jokes and reacts to the situation, where he points out extremely intricate points with a sophisticated language. His style of comedy is subtle, and he pokes fun at everyone, himself included. His comedy is not savage but it’s extremely intelligent and thought-provoking.

Of course, he is not always a nice guy, shoeing off his nasty stuff by treading into morally questionable realms from time to time. He is also arrogant and self-confident. Aside from his razor sharp wit, Guybrush also seems to be highly literate, able to read long passages of literature and pronounce extremely complex words and phrases without having to think about it or sound it out.

What makes Guybrush the number one on this list, apart from the quality of his comedy which is matchless, is his complexity. Nice and nasty, intelligent and naive, a lover and an opportunist, polite and rude, and his seamless and artistic transition between these poles. Everything you want from a comedian, you can find in Guybrush.


Honorable mentions:

All of the names below, except one, are suggested by the top 10 board. Thanks all of you for you kindness. I have commented on each, and as you see, I have absolutely no logical defense on my choice on not putting the majority hem on my list.

Wheatley from Portal 2 [Originally on the list but put off because I ultimately decided GLaDOS is funnier]

Kefka from Final Fantasy VI [Could have been on the list]

JC Denton from Deus Ex [Could have been on the list]

Earthworm Jim [as the poster mentioned, he’s more like funny things happening to him than being funny himself]

Varric from DA2 [Originally on the list but put off because I ultimately decided Morrigan is, well not funnier, but a better choice]

Jansen from Lost Odyssey [sorry]

Quina from FF9 [I disliked this character, sorry]

Gordon Freeman [The poster who suggested him is actually the comedian here].

Nathan Drake from Uncharted [to similar to Dante]

Wobbufet from pokemon [I think he’s funny in anime adaptation more than the games]

Joker from Mass Effect [Could have been on the list, might have fallen victim to my bias of Mass Effect series]

Zoq, the Fot, and the Pik [I have to confess to my own lack of knowledge here. I didn’t know them before BGH suggested them and my research was fruitless]

HK-47 [Could have been on the list, and I didn’t want more than one robot]

Spiderman, Joker from the Batman: Arkham games [neither original video game characters]

Roman and Brucie from GTA IV [Could have been on the list]

Daxter from the Jak series [Could have been on the list]

Gala from Legend of Legaia [Could have been on the list]

Xigbar/Braig, Axel/Lea, Demyx from Kingdom Hearts series [sorry, I don’t like them :(]

Barry Steakfries [not knowledgeable enough on him]

Voodoo Vince [not knowledgeable enough on him]

Kurt Hectic from the MDK series [not knowledgeable enough on him]

Lo Wang from Shadow Warrior [not knowledgeable enough on him]

Gilder from Skies of Arcadia [Could have been on the list]

Grayson from Bulletstorm [Could have been on the list, but too similar to Duke]

Eddie Riggs from Brütal Legend [Could have been on the list]

Zeke from inFamous [Could have been on the list]

Travis Touchdown from No More Heroes [Could have been on the list, but I honestly had nothing to add to the list about him]

Prince from Prince of Persia [I never found him funny]

DeathSpank [Too many similar characters already on the list]

Scooter from Borderlands [I never found him funny]

Announcers from MadWorld [not really a character]

The villain from Matt Hazard [not knowledgeable enough on him]

A Moogle [I disagree, they act funny but they are not funny outside the context of the game and on the stage]

Conker from Conker’s Bad Fur Day [Definitely could have been on the list, I’d say he’s my number 11]

Calypso from Twisted Metal [Definitely could have been on the list, I’d say he’s my number 12]

Ebisumaru from The Mystical Ninja: starring Goemon [not knowledgeable on him AT ALL]

Damon Baird from Gears of War [Could have been on the list, but too similar to Duke]

Nuke Usagimaru from the .hack games [Already a stand-up comedian and this makes me look less creative to put him on thelist]

Scout from Team Fortress 2, even half the crew of TF2 [They are funny in what they do, not on stage]

Hades from Kid Icarus Uprising [Could have been on the list, but too similar to Manny]

Miror B from Coliseum [not knowledgeable enough]

Greg the Grim Reaper [Could have been on the list]

Zanthia from the Legend of Kyrandia [I’m a great fan myself, maybe she’s my number 13. there are many characters from the genre already on the list as well].

Fawful from Mario and Luigi [not knowledgeable enough on him]

Nick Kang True Crime LA [I found him too unsophisticated]

Please feel free to drop in the comment section below and tell me that my list fails because of the lack of which character.

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