For a few weeks now, I've been compiling a list of people who are consistently funny on Twitter. I consulted friends and followers, fellow journalists, existing "Funny People on Twitter" lists (there are many) and even a few of my comedian friends. What I found were a lot of "funny" Tweeters who are consistently self-deprecating, angry (sorry @LouisCK), self-promoting (sorry @joelmchale), needy, or rude (sorry @sarahsilverman), but not consistently funny.
I also found some Tweeters who have obviously found their voice in this new medium, and are having a ball writing for it every day.
Fair warning: If you are offended by coarse language please don't click through to the Twitter feeds I've marked R-rated.
1. S*** My Dad Says (@s***mydadsays), 485,722 followers
Rating: R, for chronic F-bomb usage
Twitter bio: Name: Justin I'm 29. I live with my 73-year-old dad. He is awesome. I just write down s*** that he says.
This one may be a little overexposed, but it's simply the funniest Twitter feed I've seen to date. The bio information on the account sets it up perfectly, so I'll say no more.
"You know, sometimes it's nice having you around. But now ain't one of those times. Now gimmie the remote we're not watching this bullsh*t."
"I turn the kitchen faucet on and the shower burns you, yes, I get it...No, I'm not gonna stop, I'm just saying yes, I get that concept."
"No, you can not borrow my t-shirt...How about instead of standing there looking shocked, you do your f*****g laundry?"
2. Bad Banana (@badbanana), 52,020 followers
Twitter bio: Sometimes I just want to give it all up and become a handsome billionaire. Location: Nebraska, USA
Tim Siedell (aka badbanana) is a regular guy/family man from Nebraska (of all places) who found his funny on Twitter. He tweets a lot, and almost every tweet is funny. Check out his feed. The dude is a one-liner machine.
"One of these days, our kids will realize we're saddling them with massive debt. So let's act now and raise the voting age."
"My wife and daughters are sick. It occurs to me that flu immunity might be tied to sports trivia knowledge."
"I think @peeweeherman is using a ghostwriter. Read his tweets and you'll pick up the unmistakable writing style of Chairy."
3. Stephen Colbert (@stephenathome), 1,082,754 followers
Rating: PG; doesn't tweet anything (much) he wouldn't say on TV.
Twitter bio: [none]
Now here's a surprise: Stephen Colbert's Twitter feed is funny! Colbert has surely succeeded Howard Stern as America's new King of All Media.
"Happy 60th birthday communist china. fyi - in america that's traditionally the debt-forgiving anniversary."
"if a clown offers you a hamburger, and it's not ronald mcdonald, do not eat the hamburger. learned that the hard way."
"if the undead get born again, do they cancel each other out?"
4. Meeting Boy (@meetingboy), 1,571 followers
Rating: PG; worst word I could find was "whore."
Twitter bio: Say or do something stupid in a meeting and I'll tweet it. Location: across the conference table.
If you liked Mike Judge's movie "Office Space," chances are you'll get a kick out of Meeting Boy. He simply tweets about meetings and the funny/stupid things people do in them — and in the workplace in general. It's essentially a funny-cuz-it's-true chronicle of the everyday bullcrap and doublespeak we have to endure at the great tragic sitcom we star in every day at work.
"Two weeks left on a tight deadline. 'Starting Monday the team will meet every day for status.' Problem solved!"
"I hope the unexplained emergency that forced you to be out of the office Thursday through Tuesday went OK. Also, nice tan."
"Senior management announces that Account Management is now called 'Idea Management', but somehow I'm the bad guy for yelling 'April Fools!'"
5. Baron Vaughn (@barvonblaq), 1,137 followers
Rating: PG; some adult language.
Twitter bio: The Man. The Myth. Definitely a Myth. Location: New York, NY, USA
Vaughn is an actor and comedian. He tweets funny, and seems tuned into the tech stuff, too.
"I wanna punch the Palm Pre redheaded girl in the translucent face."
"Just added 'Blaxploitation' to Word's and Firefox's dictionary. They both just got cooler. iPhone knew it already."
6. Not Gary Busey (@GaryJBusey), 6,259 followers
Rating: R; scattered foul language, sexual references.
Twitter bio: I'm the patron saint of headbutts. Location: Malibu
Here's a fake Twitter account set up for Gary Busey. It's a rapid-fire pun-fest, and not all of the puns are funny. Still, Gary is far funnier on this Twitter feed than he is in real life, and every bit as angry and eccentric, too.
"I'm starting an online community for cats called 'Tenth Life'"
"I plugged in the Duck Hunt gun and played the Beatles' Rockband game as Mark David Chapman."
7. John Hodgman (@hodgman), 92,002 followers
Twitter bio: hodgman=expert. Location: ny
Yep, the guy in the Apple ads. He's pretty funny on Twitter, too. He spends a lot of tweets replying to his followers, but often has funny and clued-in things to say about technology.
"@randomtweeter I can never be disappointed. You know I find your insane zune loyalty to be strangely touching."
"Table tent in this studio cafeteria reveals that the annual health fair is sponsored by cold stone and fatburger."
8. Tremendous News! (@tremendousnews), 8,950 followers
Twitter bio: Don't follow me if you're really-really smart. You know when your math teacher asked you to carry the 1? I still don't know what that means. Location: Tremendousvillelandstan
Tremendous News is first and foremost a humor site about culture and technology, and its Twitter feed consists of highly concentrated bits of the humorous stuff posted on the Web site.
"Please unfollow me if you're lactose intolerant. What? Dairy's too gross for you? Divas."
"5 Ways Cougars Can Use Twitter To Find Prey. http://bt.io/Egu"
"Microsoft Word is reporting that I write at a fifth grade level. Pfft. I'm way smartyer than that."
9. Arj Barker (@arjbarker), 24,789 followers
Rating: PG; occasional foul language.
Twitter bio: Wasssuuuuuuuuuuupppp!!! Location: US - Australia - Other
Barker, perhaps most famous for his appearances in "Flight of the Conchords" and "The Marijuana-Logues," is an always-working, always-traveling comic who likes to tweet his travels and gigs. Sprinkled in are Arj's unique thoughts on, well, just about everything.
"My email ain't workin today at all. No email. Anyone else? I hate to think of all the awesome deals on Viagra i'm missing!!! :"0"
"In Amsterdam. Up at 6 am cus the joggers outside woke me up. Bloody wooden running shoes! ;0"
"Here is a small business which was almost certainly founded by Satan. http://twitpic.com/bu8xe"
10. Fake Michael Bay (@fakemichaelbay), 928 followers
Twitter bio: Better than you. (Not affiliated with the real michael bay) Location: One of My Mansions
I have no idea who dreamed up this account, but its portrayal of a massive ego that loves to tweet never fails to satisfy. The real Michael Bay is the macho Hollywood director/producer who brought us such landmark films as "Transformers" and "Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning." And Fake Michael Bay has no end of fun making light of the many clichés on which (real) Bay's movie plots — and public persona — rest. (Fake Michael Bay would have ranked much higher on this list, but the most recent tweet in the feed dates back to May!)
"FYI: Bullets cannot hit you if you are either laying down or in a convertible."
"Some people say that my hyper-masculinity is overcompensation for my betrayed homoerotic leanings fueled by 180mph car crashes. My Answer: ?"
"No homeless guy, I do not have any spare money. Particularly after spending $175 on this Whole Foods Salad."
Honorable Mention: Shaquille O'Neal (@THE_REAL_SHAQ), 2,366,677 followers
Twitter bio: VERY QUOTATIOUS, I PERFORM RANDOM ACTS OF SHAQNESS Location: CLEVELAND/EVERYWHERE
Shaq's feed seems just as authentic as S*** My Dad Says, and he uses cool words like "quotatious." Shaq being Shaq is just inherently funny.
"To all twitterers, if us c me n public come say hi, we r not the same we r from twitteronia, we connect"
"what shud i be for halloween?" [Imagine Shaq in front of you asking you that question.]