A comedy album is an audio recording of comedic material from a comedian or group of comedians, usually performed either live or in a studio. Comedy albums may feature skits, humorous songs, and/or live recording of stand-up comedy performances, but the most common type of comedy albums are stand up, and are often made in conjunction with a DVD with recorded video of a particular comedy show.
Some of the earliest albums recorded for popular commercial distribution were comedy albums. For example, various collections of humorous short stories recited by Cal Stewart were released by Edison Records as early as 1898.
Comedy albums have won the Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album on several occasions, including America Again: Re-becoming The Greatness We Never Weren't, by Stephen Colbert (2014) and If You Ask Me (and of Course You Won't) by Betty White (2012). The very first album to win this honor was The Best of the Stan Freberg Shows by Stan Freberg (1959), a variety album including comedy bits.
- Ronald L. Smith, Comedy on Record: The Complete Critical Discography (1988), p. 624.