nyone who's attended an open mic night at their local comedy club can testify to the fact that just because you think you're funny and you can make your friends laugh does not automatically mean that you're a comedian. You've got to have good material, you've got to have a sense of timing, you've got to have a stage presence, and…well, actually, that's pretty much the holy trinity. It might seem easy when you're sitting in the cheap seats, but it's a rare individual who can bring all three of those qualities up to the mic and use them to bring the house down. After all, as Peter O'Toole said in "My Favorite Year" (though lord knows he didn't say it first), "Dying is easy; comedy is hard."

We decided to create a Stand-Up Comics Hall of Fame to pay our respects to those comics who, in their careers, have made us laugh ‘til our sides hurt and then some. While there are some individuals whose inclusion is a given, with each induction into the Hall, we're going to try and mix things up by throwing in a bit of a wild card. In some cases, it might be a more recent comedian; in other cases, it might be someone who wasn't all that famous but who was nonetheless tremendously influential to those who followed in their footsteps. Rest assured, however, that anyone who makes it through these hallowed doors has unquestionably earned their place here, and if you doubt us, don't worry: We'll also provide recommendations of their best material for your listening and viewing pleasure.

As we prepare to examine the entrants into Bullz-Eye's Stand-Up Hall of Fame, in closing, let us just offer a final reminder: There is a two-drink minimum, and, as ever, don't forget to tip your bartenders and waitresses, because they're working hard for you.

Class of 2009 Eddie Murphy Eddie Murphy
"I had a mother that would throw a shoe at you at the drop of a dime. And fuck you up wherever she was aiming."
Sam Kinison Sam Kinison
"There's no happy ending to cocaine. You either die, you go to jail, or else you run out."
Steve Martin Steve Martin
"I like a woman with a head on her shoulders. I hate necks."
Bob Newhart Bob Newhart
"I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down'."
Don Rickles Don Rickles
"If I were to insult people and mean it, that wouldn't be funny."
Inaugural Class of 2006 Richard Pryor Richard Pryor
"I woke up in an ambulance. And it wasn't nothing but white people staring at me. I said, 'Ain't this a bitch. I done died and wound up in the wrong muthafucking heaven.'
Rodney Dangerfield Rodney Dangerfield
"Oh, this your wife, huh? A lovely lady. Hey baby, you must've been something before electricity."
Bill Cosby Bill Cosby
"Women don't want to hear what you think. Women want to hear what they think -- in a deeper voice."
Lenny Bruce Lenny Bruce
"Take away the right to say fuck and you take away the right to say fuck the government."
Bill Hicks Bill Hicks
"The worst kind of non-smokers are the ones that come up to you and cough. That's pretty fucking cruel isn't it? Do you go up to cripples and dance too?"