The other day, I picked up a copy of Steve Martin's A Wild and Crazy Guy at a record store. Its awesome. To a modern ear, most stand-up comedy from the 1970's and late 1960's is astonishingly straight-forward; today's stand-up comedy, by comparison, slips its jokes in under several layers of ironic distance. Steve Martin broke ground in this regard; his comedy wasn't so much a series of jokes but rather an extended performance-art riff on what makes people laugh and the corny comedic cliches that people have shoved down our throats since the 1950's. Nobody transitioned so smoothly from snarky funny to sincerely funny to comedy intentionally-so-bad-its-funny and back again. He was the best.
Note: This video isn't from A Wild and Crazy Guy, but it is a) on YouTube, b)embeddable and c)of the same vintage as A Wild and Crazy Guy. Sometimes you have to take what you can get.