George Carlin, Eddie Murphy, Russell Peters
Bill Hicks, George Carlin, Doug Stanhope, and Louis C.K.
There are a lot of good comedians, but these will likely stick with me for a long time. They stand out and in large ways, seem to define a lot of the material newer performers have that I've seen recently.
hot damn! these are the 4 that i had planned on posting milliseconds upon reading the topic. well done, my friend. you saved me the trouble. i also like Eddie Izzard and Ricky Gervais.
i read through this entire thread and in my opion mitch hedberg is not getting nearly enough love. Other than him I like jerry seinfeld, Lewis Black, Louis C.K., george carlin, bill hicks, eddy murphy, dave chappelle, harland williams, jeremy hotz...there are more but I cant remember them right now.
Note: it is actually impossible for mitch hedberg to get enough love.
the guy who wrote this comic
Talking strictly stand-up: George Carlin will always be my favorite.
But other than him, still strictly stand-up: Chris Rock, Pablo Francisco, Ricky Gervais, and Dave Chappelle.
EDIT: I forgot Jim Norton and Louis CK and basically anyone who was on Lucky Louie. Great fucking show.