Saturday, May 3

The 20 Best Cartoons...Ever...

20 - Ren and Stimpy - Nickelodeon (1991 - 1996)

19 - Doug - Nickelodeon (1991 - 1994)

18 - The Jetsons - ABC (1962 - 1987)

17 - Life & Times of Tim - HBO (2008 - )

16 - Family Guy - Fox (1999 - )

15 - Powerpuff Girls - Cartoon Network (1998 - 2005)

14 - The Boondocks - Cartoon Network (2005 - )

13 - Dr. Katz - Comedy Central (1995 - 1999)

12 - Scooby Doo - Cartoon Network (1969 - )

11 - Aqua Teen Hunger Force - Cartoon Network (2000 - )

10 - Dragon Ball Z - Cartoon Network (1989 - 2003)

9 - DuckTales - Disney (1987 - 1990)

8 - Batman: The Animated Series - Fox (1992 - 1998)

7 - SpongeBob SquarePants - Nickelodeon (1999 - )

6 - Animaniacs - The WB (1993 - 1998)

5 - Futurama - Comedy Central (1999 - )

4 - King of the Hill - Fox (1997 - 2010)

3 - Archer - FX (2009 - )

2 - Spider-Man - Fox (1994-1998)

1 - South Park - Comedy Central (1997 - )

Saturday, August 10

The 20 Best Comedians…Ever…

Comedy is a necessity in life. If you love to laugh, here's 20 comedians you must know...

20 – DeRay Davis

Quotable Joke - "Women talk about nothing. I wish women could run out of words like cell phone minutes."

19 – Lenny Bruce

Quotable Joke - "The liberals can understand everything but people who don't understand them."

18 – Stephen Wright

Quotable Joke - "I'm writing a book. I've got the page numbers done."

17 – Myq Kaplan

Quotable Joke - "People always assume I'm into other kinds of activism. They're like, 'Oh, you're a vegetarian. Do you care about the environment?' No, I eat the environment. That's what we do. It's made of vegetables."

16 – Daniel Tosh

Quotable Joke - "She says to me during the act of lovemaking, 'Hey Daniel, what's it like having sex with a condom on?' And I'm like, 'How should I know?'"

15 – Eddie Murphy

Quotable Joke - "The advice I would give to someone is to not take anyone's advice."

14 – Maria Bamford

Quotable Joke - "Have you ever seen somebody order in this country? That's when you realize -- hey, maybe we have too much freedom in the United States: 'Can I ask you a quick question about the coffee? Is it organic? OK, I don't want it, I don't want it. I'd like to have a bowl of boiling hot water -- boiling, boiling -- with ice, and I don't want the ice to get all tiny.'"

13 – Kevin Hart

Quotable Joke - "I don't have exes! I have Ys. Like 'Y the hell did I date you?!'

12 – George Carlin

Quotable Joke - "The worst thing about e-mail is that you can’t interrupt the other person. You have to read the whole thing and then e-mail them back, pointing out all their mistakes and faulty assumptions. It’s frustrating and it’s time-consuming. God bless phone calls."

11 – Dave Chappelle

Quotable Joke - "All white people talk about when they get high is other times that they got high."

10 – Sarah Silverman

Quotable Joke - "I can't wait till Sunday, I'm gonna see my favorite niece and my other niece..."

9 – Chris Rock

Quotable Joke - "White man makes guns? No problem. Black rapper says 'guns'? Congressional hearing: 'Oh, my God, that nigger said gun, and he rhymed it with fun!'"

8 – Mitch Hedberg

Quotable JokeMy lucky number is four billion...That doesn't come in real handy when you're gambling...Come on, four billion! Fuck...Seven...Not even close...I need more dice! Four billion divided by six...At least."

7 – Larry the Cable Guy

Quotable Joke - "I had a girl put on crotch-less britches for my birthday one time. I come home, she was like, 'Want some of this right here.' I go, 'No, look what it did to your under-britches over there.'"

6 – Lewis Black

Quotable Joke - "How our government works... it doesn't."

5 – Russell Peters

Quotable Joke - "Basically all they are showing you of the Arab World are the red necks of the Arab World."

4 – Doug Stanhope

Quotable Joke - "If you ever find the perfect person, run so fast that they see flames shoot out of your ass 'cause all the perfect person does is amplify your flaws a thousand-fold. It makes you feel like that much more of a dick: I used to be a partier; now, I'm an alcoholic. It's all in who's judging."

3 – Richard Pryor

Quotable Joke - "The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is that vampires are allergic to bullshit."

2 – Bill Hicks

Quotable Joke - "Not all drugs are good, all right? Some of them... are great. Just gotta know your way around them, is all."

1 – Louis CK

Quotable Joke - "I used to like people more, but now I have children and that changes your life in a lot of ways. Like you spend time with people you never would have chosen to spend time with, not in a million years. I spend whole days with people, I'm like, 'I never would have hung out with you. I didn't choose you. Our children chose each other based on no criteria by the way. They're the same size. They don't care who they make me hang out with.'"

Want more lists? Check out: The 20 Best Video Games...Ever...

Brian Penny is a former business analyst at Bank of America turned whistleblower and freelance writer. He's a frequent contributor to Huffington PostMainstreetLifehack, and HardcoreDroid and an affiliate of Manduka and Tazo. He documents his experiences working with Anonymous, practicing yoga, and fighting the banks on his blog.

Sunday, July 14

The 20 Best Video Games…Ever…

Video games used to be a fringe activity people were embarrassed to admit they took part in. Now they're a multimedia and artistic industry struggling to find a legitimate voice to back up the money they're making. The last 30 years has seen a lot of games and consoles come and go. Here's the best of the best from video games past...

20 – NBA Street Vol 2 (Xbox, PS2)

NBA Jams started a phenomenon in the gaming world. Two-on-two arcade-style video gaming was fun. It didn’t have to be real. Over-the-top is exactly what we needed in arcades. EA’s NBA Street took over the reigns in the 2000s because of their sports licensing prowess. With a great soundtrack, announcing by DJ Bobbito Garcia, and rim shattering dunks, NBA Street II is the most entertaining basketball game ever made. The pro simulators may have it trumped in a lot of categories, but street ball is where the heart is at.

19 – Starcraft II (PC, Mac)

Blizzard is known for making amazing games. Warcraft and Starcraft are their flagship titles. Starcraft II quelled nearly a decade of anticipation from PC gaming nerds worldwide. Upon its release, we were satiated. Single player mechanics were amazing. Multiplayer is still epic to this day. Starcraft is one of those builder-RTS games that can take up a night with no problems. If you want bang for your buck, there are few options that can provide as much entertainment hours than Starcraft II.

18 – Worms Armageddon (Xbox Live, PS Store)

Worms is based on some very simplistic mechanics. It’s a turn based Smash Bros. When I was first introduced to the game, I was a bit hesitant. After a couple of games with friends, I finally started getting the hang of it. My friends aren’t the type of people to let you win at anything. By the end of the weekend, I was utilizing my 15 seconds of movement to swing my customized Phoenix Suns worms into just the right spot to hit a homing missile, sheep, or banana bomb. Worms Armageddon is addictive fun for groups and parties of all age and skill levels.

17 – Guitar Hero (various PlayStations and Xbox platforms, mobile, etc)

Raise your hand if you have a pile of useless plastic guitars and other assorted instruments in your house. The musical genre was definitely over saturated, but you have to admit, it was fun while it lasted. Guitar Hero gave everyone a chance to rock out to their favorite rock tracks. It spawned a slew of imitators that leaked into karaoke, DJ-ing, and more. If we spent as much time playing the guitar as you did playing Guitar Hero, we’d all be rock stars by now.

16 – Wii Sports (Wii)

Wii Bowling is the most fun I’ve ever had on the Wii. Nintendo’s groundbreaking system featured a lot of innovative gaming ideas, but the Sports title they bundled with the system was fantastic. Many hours could be spent playing golf, boxing, baseball, or bowling. Each was only a mini game, but they were fantastic mini games, and they taught people how to use the Wii within a fun game rather than a dry instruction manual. Wii Sports launched the world on a gaming trend. Families everywhere bought video game consoles for the very first time. Nintendo scored with this game.

15 – Unreal Tournament (PC, Mac)

There have been so many games based on the Unreal gaming engine that it’s nearly impossible to count. There’s a reason for that. Unreal spawned an amazing array of games because of the smooth graphics, amazing physics, and fast paced action. Tournament allowed customized levels and a large variety of multiplayer content. Weapon and vehicle selection is key, as everything has it’s good and bad points. Some levels are so expansive that sniping took a level of skill that translates well to other First Person Shooters. Unreal Tournament vets can be found in FPS games across the board. This game is epic.

14 – Final Fantasy X (PlayStation 2)

Square is well known in the video game industry for their big budget Japanese anime-based Role Playing Games. While they didn’t invent the genre, they’ve definitely maintained a stranglehold in RPG-land with their Final Fantasy series. While FF VII is my personal favorite, Final Fantasy X is the best game as a standalone. The upgrade system, mini games, and side quests (including Chocobo racing) made this an instant classic. Graphically, X pushed the limits of the PS3 beyond what anyone had at the time, and many developers still can’t do. Final Fantasy X is so good, it spawned a movie and a sequel, being the first FF title to do either.

13 – Mario Kart (Every Nintendo system since SNES)

If you want to have some fun, play Mario Kart. Even non-gamers will love it. Current iterations have programming put into place so you can come back from last place at any moment. It randomizes some of the action and makes it easier to play with beginners. Hardcore gamers will appreciate the items and strategies involved. Mobile versions of the game are just as much fun as console versions, which is a rarity. If you’ve ever played Mario Kart, you know Rainbow Road on Mirror Mode is hellish, but once you finally overcome that devil’s path, you’re rewarded with a sense of accomplishment. Mario Kart is one of those games that never goes out of style.

12 – Resident Evil (Various)

I remember my first time playing Resident Evil. I was terrified by the time a crow was attacking me while I crossed a hallway and mixed herbs. Inspiring both a successful game and movie franchise is no easy feat. Maintaining relevancy throughout each generation of gaming consoles is a feat in itself, but Resident Evil does it expertly. Shooting hoards of infected has gone through many iterations, although my personal favorite is Resident Evil 5. There’s something about voodoo that adds a little something.

11 – Metroid (Super Nintendo)

Ahh, Samus…the armored hero of the Metroid series that turns out to be a woman. These games were so expansive that they inspired Action, Adventure, Puzzle, Arcade, and Shooter games everywhere. Metroid is remembered for a reason. Weapon upgrades, rolling into a ball, dropping bombs, this was the pinnacle of programming in the video game industry for a long time. Metroid is one of many reasons Nintendo created the console wars and survived when tech giants Microsoft and Sony entered the space.

10 – Super Smash Bros (N64)

I failed out of ASU for Smash Bros. This game, and every Bros since, has been amazing. The fighting mechanics in this free-for-all brawler are deceptively simple, but they allow for some very complicated strategies. Lightning quick reflexes are needed for any kind of progress. If you don’t know how to time throws, down kicks, and counters, all the items, special moves, and button mashing in the world won’t help you against a Smash Bros blackbelt. I could spend hours playing homerun contests, earning trophies, and refining my Smash Bros skills. This game is truly smashing.

9 – Team Fortress (PC, Mac, Consoles)

What Smash Bros is to fighting games, Team Fortress is to first person shooters. Turning the FPS into a cartoony free-for-all (literally free cost-wise in a lot of cases) sounds like it won’t end well, but Fortress pulls it off on a level unseen since Banjo & Kazooey. Playing this game recreates the fun moments in FPS history prior to everything having to be online. The gaming mechanics have hints of Goldeneye and some of the Tom Clancy shooters. If you’ve somehow not played this game yet, you should be able to find a cheap copy on Steam.

8 – World of Warcraft (PC, Mac)

If you’ve ever been broke and played World of Warcraft to save money, you’re not alone. WoW inspired an entire real-life economy based on the in game economies across their servers. My main was a Night Elf Rogue (although eventually, I much preferred playing as my heal-specced Shaman, since it was easier to get invited to instances as a healer), and I withered away many a tick on my clock leveling up every job and skill I could (including Fishing and Pickpocketing). MMOs are a bit wonky for the average gamer, but if you’ve ever wanted a way to kill a large amount of time, you’ll find few better places than Azeroth.

7 – Tekken Tag Tournament (PlayStation 2)

The pinnacle of fighting games is Tekken Tag Tournament. There has been a sequel that can hold its weight, but neither Tekken 4 nor 5 can compare, nor can Dead or Alive, Mortal Kombat, or any Capcom fighter you can think of. Tekken Tag is a brilliant fighter with unsurpassed depth. My personal favorite fighters were Jun and Wang because I loved countering. Grappling and strikes are mixed in more complicated ways on this fighter than real life MMA (nor the UFC Undisputed series). No fireballs or projectiles are used (ok, there’s a few, but they’re easily countered), and button mashing is not possible in this game. Tekken Tag Tournament is for Hardcore players only.

6 – Dead Trigger (Android, iPhone)

Working for an Android review site, I’m inundated with mobile games. For the most part, these games tend to be a disappointment. Electronic Arts has proven they know how to make a great mobile game with Dead Trigger. The controls are intuitive and very easy to customize. You can actually move the buttons anywhere on the screen. The variety of weapons is comparable with console FPS games. The variety of zombies is great. It felt like playing an ever-evolving variation of Zombie Mode on Call of Duty. If you’re a serious gamer with a smartphone (or an OG who can’t fit gaming into a busy schedule), Dead Trigger is a game you want to own.

5 – Tetris (Everything)

If you’ve never played Tetris, you’re probably lying. This game is everywhere. Not only is it one of the oldest video games, it’s also one of the most addicting. Nothing much changes in each installment of Tetris, and nothing much has to. Even Jay-Z sampled a Tetris beat for Superugly, his diss track against Nas. Matching different shaped tiles to clear lines is a simple idea that made a splash on nearly every electronic device with a screen. Tetris is king.

4 – Madden (Consoles)

Football games have come and gone, but Madden has consistently turned out great games year after year. There are a lot of variations that I could call my favorite. Features such as the end zone dances and various jabs in both the commentary and halftime reports make each iteration interesting. Roster updates are the reason we come back for more. It’s not necessary to own every Madden, but you want to update it at least every 3-4 years to stay current. Otherwise you may trash talk someone and get smoked trying to prove your pigskin prowess without the proper practice.

3 – Grand Theft Auto IV (Xbox 360, PS3)

Few games have redefined video gaming like Grand Theft Auto. The GTA series was fun for the first few games, with an overhead view on an open sandbox mode still unmatched on mobile devices. GTA III, however was a game changer. Vice City and San Andreas improved on the formula, but much like the many Street Fighter IIs, it wasn’t until Rockstar moved on to create Grand Theft Auto IV that they finally nailed everything. This game is flawless and shows why Rockstar is nothing less than a legend in the video game industry.

2 – Modern Warfare (Consoles)

Although Call of Duty started the ball, it wasn’t until Modern Warfare that Activision struck gold. The weaponry and levels were made more modern. The storylines easily stand against any action movies Hollywood has ever put out. The multiplayer mode shines, forcing players to earn their weapons and upgrades through arduous practice before offering them the chance to throw it all away and try again for more prestige. Modern Warfare has drone strikes, dog attacks, Nazi zombies, and everything else you can think of to love a video game for.

1 – Super Mario World (Super Nintendo)

If video games are art, Super Mario World is the Mona Lisa. Over twenty years have passed since this defining game was released on the SNES system, and it’s still fun to play. Offering short bursts of fun with enough depth for a long haul, Super Mario World showed us what gaming should be like. Unfortunately developers aren’t always listening to us, as we see Facebook casual-style games (and their many clones) filling our consoles and devices. If Super Mario World were made today, you’d be prompted to share every time you found Yoshi, got a cape, or completed a stage, and you couldn’t move on to the next world or enter a pipe until you convince enough of your friends to send you the necessary keys. If ever you wonder whether or not you should be playing a video game, give it the Mario test. If it doesn’t make you smile as much as a Mario game, its garbage…

Like this list? Check out The 20 Best Superheroes...ever...


Brian Penny is a former business analyst at Bank of America turned whistleblower and freelance writer. He's a frequent contributor to Mainstreet, Lifehack, and HardcoreDroid and an affiliate of Manduka and Tazo. He documents his experiences working with Anonymous, practicing yoga, and fighting the banks on his blog.