Mary Tyler Moore, Maria Bamford make Vulture's 100 jokes that shaped comedy list


Creating a list of 100 influential (American) jokes sounds like an epic clusterfuck. After all, comedy can happen just about anywhere, including the stage, in movies and television shows, and on albums.

For its most recent issue, Vulture took on the daunting task of creating a timeline of humor. They had rules, however. While a Sumerian proverb from 1900 B.C. about farting is acknowledged, this list officially starts in 1906, as the story strictly deals with recorded humor. The list is American only, and doesn't include bits that veer off into hate speech (that list would probably be fascinating and informative, but definitely not funny).

Minnesota shows up not once, but twice in the history, and both moments come from funny ladies. The Mary Tyler Moore Show pops up in 1970 with the memorable job interview from the pilot episode of the critically lauded show. Vultre rightly points out that Moore's character would serve as a template through the years, with similar smart, career-minded, ladies "with spunk" popping up on sitcoms in years since (hey there, Liz Lemon and Leslie Knope).

Minnesota shows up again later, with Maria Bamford's 2013 standup set on mental illness making the cut. Here she playfully calls out the way we think about mental health, railing against the stigma of talking about it at all. Vulture traces Bamford's influential set as a precursor to shows that revel in the complexities of depression and other maladies of the mind with honesty, such as BoJack Horseman and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

The list also covers major moments in comedy from standups like Hannibal Buress and Louis CK, movie stars like Bill Murray and Steve Carell, and there are even some shout-outs to less-expected (but still awesome) sources, like Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Friday. Read the complete list of 100 moments here.