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The 10 Funniest People of 2012

The 10 Funniest People of 2012

Amanda Leddy / Splash News

Did your favorite comedian make my list? Well, is your favorite comedian Santa Clause star Tim Allen?  Because if so, then... no. But you're about to find out who did.

10. Mindy Kaling

2012 in Review: The Mindy Project (creator/writer/producer) The Office (writer/producer/actress), 5 Year Engagement, Wreck It Ralph, wrote Is Everybody Hanging Out Without Me? (paperback)

If you Google the term “total package,” you'll find a website for a youth basketball program and NOT a picture of Mindy Kaling. This "program" seems dubious at best, but I’m not here to rank poorly constructed basketball websites, I’m here to rank pizza toppings. Pepperoni, pineapple, sausage. I’m also here to rank humor. If/when Google hires me to rearrange the ranking of Google results, Mindy Kaling will appear under "total package," "triple threat," and "fun coffee date."


You might be thinking to yourself, “What? I didn’t sign on for this! Just pick somebody, Lame Judy Dench!” But I’m leaving this decision up to the real heroes: the Sparklers.

Poll Question

Which comedic dream team should nab the coveted #9 spot?

8. Paul Scheer

2012 in Review: The League, NTSF:SD:SUV, Guest star: Happy Endings, Modern Family, Comedy Bang Bang, and Bob's Burger. Co-host of the podcast How Did This Get Made

If you’re a fan of comedy, you most likely adore the effortlessly hilarious Paul Scheer. If you’re a fan of anger, you most likely adore JERKS WHO REFUSE TO WALK WHILE RIDING ESCALATORS. Hey dummies, escalators are just marginally moving sets of stairs!  MOVE IT. I have tickets to see The Hobbit!

7. Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein

2012 in Review: Portlandia, Saturday Night Live

Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein possess an unique gift for finding humor in mundane, everyday situations. For instance, they see 10 bags of garbage outside an apartment and create a humorous, insightful sketch about human wastefulness. My landlord notices those same 10 bags of garbage and is all like, "Josh, how the hell did you manage to eat 48 family-sized packs of pudding in less than 24 hours?! You're evicted." (In my defense, family-sized packs are just more economical. Why buy a single cup of pudding for a buck when you can buy 80 cups for $12? That's the kind of thinking that's going to dig America out of this debt, my friends.)

6. Scott Aukerman

2012 in Review: Comedy Bang Bang (podcast and series)

"Comedy shepherd” Scott Aukerman has revitalized many a mundane work day with his astutely original podcast, Comedy Bang Bang. Then, not satisfied with his audio domination of eardrums, Aukerman said, “Hey eyes, stop bragging about your vision and let’s dance” by creating a hilariously subversive live version of his popular podcast on IFC. His everyman charm combined with his innovative interviewing style translate to a refreshing alternative to conventional comedy programming.

5. Jon Hamm

2012 in Review: Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock, Children’s Hospital, Todd Margaret, Comedy Bang Bang, The Greatest Event in Television History

When Jon Hamm’s not too busy receiving Emmy nominations for his day job as Don Draper on the hit series Mad Men, he spends his free time starring in hilarious Adult Swim specials, guest starring on your favorite TV series, and inserting himself into the “Greatest Saturday Night Live Hosts of All Time" conversation. If the Huffington Post announced that Jon Hamm was replacing Thomas Jefferson on Mount Rushmore tomorrow, I think most people would be like, "Finally! What have you done for me lately, Thomas Jefferson?" Freedom: Good. Jon Hamm: Great.

4. Stephen Colbert

2012 in Review: The Colbert Report, The Office, wrote America Again: Re-Becoming the Greatest We Never Weren’t

This absurdly funny professor of comedy holds a mirror up to America on a daily basis and says, “Sweetie, maybe we stick to just one piece of apple pie today.” His satirical deadpan musings on topics ranging from politics to Axe Body Spray have transformed the often unpredictable yet always entertaining Colbert Report into must-see TV. My stuffed Giraffe “Poncho” and I will see you at 11:30, Colby.

3. Aziz Ansari

2012 in Review: Parks and Recreation, Dangerously Delicious (standup special)

Everything about Aziz Ansari’s comedic sensibility can be summed up in one word: fun. His standup, those quirky facial expressions, his sweet dance moves—all of it's just solid, unadulterated fun. Ansari's ability to transform an ostensibly unlikable character like Tom Haverford into a relatable, charming underdog is an amazing feat.

2. Amy Poehler

2012 in Review: Parks and Recreation (actress/writer) Louie, 30 Rock, Ask Amy/Smart Girls at the Party (web series), Saturday Night Live

I’m not nearly adept enough to succinctly describe just how important Amy Poehler is to comedy. She’s the best. Her name is spoken with reverence; her wit is unabashedly admired by everyone from eager comedy novices' to grumpy, jaded professionals. Amy Poehler represents everything that's good and decent about comedy. I’m pouring out my jokes in this section as a sign of respect to AP. Crud. Now I have apple juice all over my apartment floor. That’s going to leave a stain.

1. Louie CK

2012 in Review: Louie (Writer/Director/Producer/Editor), Grammy for Best Comedy Album, Two Emmys, standup, Saturday Night Live, Parks and Recreation

I was trying to define Louie's incredible sense of humor at a dinner party last week (and by "dinner party" I mean "sending unsolicited Twitter messages to celebrities as I choke down cold ravioli because I can't be bothered to warm it up"), when it hit me: Louie's so funny because he's a a dad, so he acts like... a dad. A fun, fantasy version of a dad that makes you laugh uncontrollably until pudding comes out your nose.

Who did we miss? Do you agree with our rankings? Who will be the "Funniest Person of 2013"? More importantly, who will be the "Funniest Person of 2513"? Robot Jon Hamm?

Topics: Life
Tags: comedy, funny things, comedians, funny people, aziz ansari, shows we love, amy poehler, parks and recreation, best of 2012, 2012 lists, people we love, louie ck

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About the Author
Josh Sorokach

Josh Sorokach is a comedy writer living in New York City. He's a former American Idol winner, three time Olympian, and habitual liar. Follow him on twitter @Joshsorokach.

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