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Need a Laugh? All the Comedy Albums in the National Recording Registry (Full List)

Lily Tomlin’s This Is a Recording joins the list this year. As her character Ernestine would say, ‘One ringy-dingy, two ringy-dingy.’

Lily Tomlin‘s This Is a Recording earlier today became the 13th comedy album – and the first by a woman – to be inducted into the National Recording Registry (NRR).

The roster of performers who have received this honor includes seven artists who have also received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Tomlin received that award in 2003. Others who have received both of these plaudits are Richard Pryor, Carl Reiner, Bob Newhart, Steve Martin, George Carlin and Bill Cosby.

Three of the performers on the NRR list – Mel Brooks, Martin and Cosby – have received Kennedy Center Honors. Three – Cosby, Newhart and Carl Reiner – have been inducted into the Television Hall of Fame. Note: All three of these prestigious awards were stripped from Cosby following his 2018 rape conviction. We’re showing them because he won them before he lost them.

Two of these albums – Newhart’s The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart and Vaughn Meader’s The First Family – had long runs at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. A third – Martin’s A Wild and Crazy Guy – just missed the top spot, logging six weeks at No. 2.

We’ve all heard that laughter keeps you young, and that seems to be the case. Five of these artists made it well past 90. Reiner lived to be 98. His frequent comedy partner Brooks is 97, while Tom Lehrer is 96 and Newhart is 94. Mort Sahl also lived to be 94.

Here’s a closer look at the 13 full-length albums in the National Recording Registry. They are listed in chronological order by release date.

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