Ive skimmed through this thread....but its a pretty long one so no doubt i will have missed a lot of posts
from what ive seen it's been Americans commenting and on the whole giving British comedians a bit of a hard time in favour of the Americans so I thought i would bring some sanity back to it :P
Being English I am gonna do the same as you guys and stick up for the true comedians....those from my neck of the woods (British and Irish) my favourites have to be
to name a few
I just can't get into American stand ups, i think the only one i watched all the way through was Robin Williams live on broadway which filled a bit of time, I do however think some of your sitcoms are funny (providing they aren't remakes of British ones like the office or Fawlty Towers (Payne) etc)
I guess the difference is partly the culture, and also because I have seen numerous interviews with American comedians bitching about heckling, a British comedian deals with a heckle, its been around since the beginning and is as much a part of stand up as the planned routine. Obviously this doesn't happen in a sitcom.
Dude, some of those guys are fucking TERRIBLE. Lee Mack, Noel Fielding, Al Murray, Jethro, Lee Evans - awful shit. And with the exception of Izzard (who is, for my money, one of the greats), the rest range from "okay" to "pretty good". And if you "can't get into American stand ups", you're watching the wrong stand ups. Or you have bad taste.
I'm British (specifically Scottish) and fuck heckling. As some other guys have said here, if I pay money I want to see the comedian who took my money be funny. If some moron heckles, then yeah, it can be cathartic to see the comedian take them down, but the attitude that it's part of the act suggests to me that you're the kind of guy that would go see a comedy show and heckle.