Having a pitiful love life is a useful part of any comedian’s toolbox. From cringeworthy sexual misadventures to stories of one’s own ineptitude in seduction, the best stand-up comedy about dating makes you say, “Hey! I’m not the only one who feels this way!” Just as usefully, they give you the healthy dose of schadenfreude you need to get back out there, tiger!
If you ever feel like one of society’s single pariahs, a good stand-up set will incite the cathartic belly laughs you desperately need to get over it for a little while. (You’re fine! You swear!) Everyone from Joan Rivers to Eddie Murphy to Louis C.K. to Amy Schumer has crystallized the uniquely humiliating experience of modern romance. They’ve bravely offered up stories, observations, and lessons learned from their own dating lives, showing just how absurd the courting rituals of the human animal are. I’d go so far as to call them famous martyrs of humiliation, with a side of penis jokes.
We’ve teamed up with NBC's Undateable to gather some of the best stand-up sets about issues we've all encountered while dating. Catch the special one-hour Season 3 premiere of Undateable Friday, Oct. 9 at 8 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. CT on NBC. Why? 'Cause laughter is a great substitute for crying yourself to sleep.
Warning: Some NSFW language ahead.
Joan Rivers On The Female / Male Eligibility Double Standard
In this classic Ed Sullivan set, Rivers talks about feeling like a romantic leper as a single 24-year-old. Sure, it was a different time; today, we recognize that you're barely an adult at that age. That aside, her observations about the double standards in dating, and the barbs thrown at single women of a certain age, still ring true. All hail the queen of self-deprecating humor.
Louis C.K. On Going Against Your Better Judgment
Other than the scourge of having to put on pants and the mild annoyance of having to make small talk, one of the many reasons not to go out on a date is the very real potential of the person turning out to be Jack the Ripper reincarnated. Am I right, ladies? Louis C.K. hilariously explores that anxiety in the above set, and makes staying in and watching the entirety of Locked Up Abroad sound extremely tempting.
Mike Birbiglia On The Grossness Of Making Out
There's a lot of pressure put on that end-of-date kiss. Will it be a tasteful peck? Will it have just the slightest bit of, as Drew Barrymore's character in The Wedding Singer put it, "church tongue?" Or, as Mike Birbiglia describes in the above set, will it be a disgustingly sloppy and unpleasant makeout that looks like something similar to a dog eating a plate of spaghetti? Only time will tell.
Aziz Ansari On The Texting Struggle
You'd think that not having to interact with people on the phone makes coordinating plans with a stranger less anxiety-provoking. It doesn't. Next time that handsome Tinder fellow disappears into thin air after you attempt to make a pizza date with him, borrow the words of Aziz Ansari: "You're officially uninvited to the pizza party. I hate you now."
Sarah Silverman On The Fake Number Shuffle
Slipping someone the fake number is the oldest trick in the book to (sorta) let someone down easily. Every now and then, you feel bad about it, like Sarah Silverman. Her solution? Moving to the place with the fake number.
Iliza Shlesinger On The Culturally Prescribed Date Diet
With her physical comedy gifts, Iliza Shleshinger perfectly pantomimes in the most skulking way how you feel about society's gendered pressure to make you eat salad on a date. Basically, like a koala. Or a cat contemplating the taste of birds.
Ron Funches On The Possibility Of Things Ending In A Terrible Tattoo
In his set at the Laugh Factory, Ron Funches touches on the absurdity of people getting their significant other's names tattooed on their bodies. If you never date, the possibility of doing that never comes up! Particularly unfortunate is when said person tattoos an expletive before your name. As Funches says about poor Linda, who is living this reality, you can do better.
This post was sponsored by NBC's Undateable. Catch the special one-hour Season 3 premiere of Undateable on Friday, Oct. 9 at 8 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. CT on NBC.