My favorite stand-up comedians.
Born and raised by his mother in Manhattan, New York City. His parents divorced when he was two months. His mother (as well as his father) worked in marketing, where they met. The long hours the mother worked left the young George by himself for long hours every day, providing him (in his own words)...
Christopher Julius Rock was born in Andrews, South Carolina and raised in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York. He is the son of Rosalie (Tingman), a teacher and social worker for the mentally handicapped, and Julius Rock, a truck driver and newspaper deliveryman, whose own father was a preacher. Rock has been in stand-up comedy for several decades...
Kathy Griffin was raised in the near-west Chicago suburbs, in an Irish-American family. She has three older brothers and an older sister. When her parents retired to California, Kathy moved west with them after graduating from Oak Park River Forest High School and began trying to break into show business...
Jim Carrey, Canadian-born and a U.S. citizen since 2004, is an actor and producer famous for his rubbery body movements and flexible facial expressions. The two-time Golden Globe-winner rose to fame as a cast member of the Fox sketch comedy In Living Color
but leading roles in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
, Dumb & Dumber
and The Mask
established him as a bankable comedy actor...
Jerry Seinfeld was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Betty (Hesney) and Kalman Seinfeld. His father was of Hungarian Jewish descent, while Jerry's maternal grandparents, Salha and Selim Hosni, were Syrian Jewish immigrants (from Aleppo). He moved with his family, including sister Carolyn, to suburban Massepequa...
Emmy-winning talk show host Ellen Lee DeGeneres was born in Metairie, Louisiana, a New Orleans suburb. She is the daughter of Betty DeGeneres
(née Elizabeth Jane Pfeffer), a speech therapist, and Elliott Everett DeGeneres, an insurance agent. Her brother is musician and producer Vance DeGeneres
. Her parents divorced when she was sixteen years old...
Joel Edward McHale was born in Rome, Italy, to a Canadian-born mother, Laurie (Jackson), and an American-born father, Jack McHale. His father, from Chicago, is of Irish descent, and his mother, from Vancouver, has Norwegian, Finnish, and English ancestry. Joel was raised in Seattle, Washington, and graduated from Mercer Island High School...
A social misfit, was kicked out of every school he ever attended, due to his uncontrollable wit. His mother (Frances) died of breast cancer when Richard was 18. His father (Charles) committed suicide when he was 22. A dedication is written to him in Richard Belzer's "UFO's, JFK, and Elvis: Conspiracies You Don't Have To Be Crazy To Believe" (Ballantine Books, 1999).
Dave Chappelle's career started while he was in high school at Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, DC where he studied theatre arts. At the age of 14, he began performing stand-up comedy in nightclubs. Shortly after graduation, he moved to New York City where he quickly established himself as a major young talent...
Jamie Foxx is an American actor, singer, and comedian. He won an Academy Award for Best Actor, BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, and Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy, for his work in the 2004 biographical film Ray
. The same year, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the action film Collateral
John William Ferrell was born in Irvine, California, to Betty Kay (Overman), a teacher, and Roy Lee Ferrell
, Jr., a musician. His parents were both originally from Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina. A graduate of the University of Southern California, Ferrell became interested in performing while a student at University High School in Irvine...
Bernard Jeffrey McCollough was born in Chicago in 1957. He grew up in Chicago, in a rougher neighborhood than most others, with a large family living under one roof. This situation provided him with a great insight into his comedy, as his family, and the situations surrounding them would be what dominated his comedy...
Andy Samberg was born in Berkeley, California, to Marjorie (Marrow), a teacher, and Joe Samberg, a photographer. With Jorma Taccone
and Akiva Schaffer
, Samberg is one of three Los Angeles, California-based writer-performer-filmmakers--all childhood friends--dubbed the Lonely Island, whose short films were showcased on the popular untelevised television network show and Web site Channel 101.com...
Chevy Chase was born Cornelius Crane Chase in Lower Manhattan, New York, to Cathalene Parker (Browning), a concert pianist and librettist, and Edward Tinsley "Ned" Chase, an editor and writer. His parents both came from prominent families, and his grandfathers were artist and illustrator Edward Leigh Chase and admiral Miles Browning...
John Henson started acting when he was eight years old and tried everything he could--even singing and dancing. It was at Boston University that he began performing improvisational comedy. He loved the adrenaline rush it gave him so he quit school at the age of 20 to do stand-up full time.
Colin Andrew Mochrie was on born Nov. 30, 1957, in Kilmarnock, Scotland. His father, an airline maintenance executive, moved the family to Montreal, Canada, in 1964, and finally to Vancouver in 1969. When asked about his childhood, he said he tended to be a bit of a loner because of moving around so much...
Tony Slattery is an actor, comedian, and singer best known for his seven years as a regular on the UK improvisational comedy Whose Line Is It Anyway?
. Anthony Declan James Slattery was born on November 9, 1959, in Northern London to working class Irish immigrants. He is the youngest of five, including one sister and triplet brothers...
Roseanne Barr's story is one of the most controversial of any actresses. She dropped out of high school when she was 17 years old. After a car accident, she was admitted to a mental institution, claiming she was having nightmares and memory loss. She left the institute less than a year later. Soon after...
Conan O'Brien grew up in a large, Irish Catholic family in Massachusetts. At an early age, he began a love of comedy and goofing off, this carried on when he entered the prestigious Harvard University, acting out many pranks in his time, as well as become the president of the Harvard humor magazine...
“ Sinbad spelled backwards is Dabnis. ” - Ocean_Breeze
Friendly as all get-out, Latino stand-up comic Paul Rodriguez was born in Mexico but raised in East Los Angeles. After finishing his military service, he went to college on the GI bill with the idea of becoming an attorney, but developed an interest in comedy while taking elective courses. He honed his stand-up act at L.A.'s famous The Comedy Store while working as a doorman there...
Edward Regan Murphy was born April 3, 1961 in Brooklyn, New York, to Lillian, a telephone operator, and Charles Edward Murphy, a transit police officer who was also an amateur comedian and actor. After his father died, his mother married Vernon Lynch, a foreman at a Breyer's Ice Cream plant. His siblings are Charlie Murphy
and Vernon Lynch
Adam Richard Sandler was born September 9, 1966 in Brooklyn, New York, to Judith (Levine), a teacher at a nursery school, and Stanley Alan Sandler, an electrical engineer. He is of Russian Jewish descent. At 17, he took his first step towards becoming a stand-up comedian when he spontaneously took the stage at a Boston comedy club...
Jon Stewart was born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz in New York City, New York, to Marian (Laskin), a teacher, and Donald Leibowitz, a physics professor. His family is Ashkenazi Jewish (from Austria, Ukraine, Poland, and Belarus). Stewart moved to Lawrenceville, New Jersey during his childhood. He graduated from the College Of William And Mary in Williamsburg...
Donald McKinley Glover was born at the Edwards Air Force Base, California, and was raised in Stone Mountain, Georgia. His mother, Beverly (Smith), ran a daycare center, and his father, Donald Glover, was a postal worker. He is, despite rumors, not related to actor Danny Glover. Donald graduated from New York University with a degree in Dramatic Writing in 2006...
Rodney Dangerfield was born Jacob Cohen on November 22, 1921 in Deer Park, Suffolk County, Long Island, New York. He was the son of Dorothy "Dotty" (Teitelbaum) and Phillip Cohen, who performed in vaudeville under the name Phil Roy. His father was born in New York, to Russian Jewish parents, and his mother was a Hungarian Jewish immigrant...
The woman who will always be remembered as the crazy, accident-prone, lovable Lucy Ricardo was born Lucille Desiree Ball on August 6, 1911 in Jamestown, New York. Her father died before she was four, and her mother worked several jobs, so she and her younger brother were raised by their grandparents...
Wayne Brady was born in Columbus, Georgia and lived in Orlando, Florida. At 16, Brady had already decided on a career in the military. Little did he know that a chance performance in a high school play would garner him not only rave reviews but also permanently alter his long-range plans. Soon, he was heavily involved in the central Florida theater community...
Jerome "Curly" Howard, the rotund, bald Stooge with the high voice was the most popular member of The Three Stooges
. His first stage experience was as a comedic conductor for the Orville Knapp Band in 1928. Curly joined The Three Stooges
in 1932, replacing his brother Shemp Howard
. He made more than...
Larry began performing as a violinist at a young age. During his teenage years, he earned his living as a singer and boxer. At 18, Larry began working vaudeville with "The Haney Sisters and Fine" and in 1925, he joined Ted Healy
and Moe Howard
in the act that would eventually become The Three Stooges
. Fine made more than 200 films before a stroke forced him to retire in 1970.
Moe Howard, the "Boss Stooge" and brother of Stooges Curly Howard
and Shemp Howard
, began his acting career in 1909 by playing bit roles in silent Vitagraph films. At 17 he joined a troupe working on a showboat and also appeared in several two-reel comedy shorts. In 1922 he, brother Shemp and Larry Fine
joined roughhouse vaudeville comic Ted Healy
Steve Martin was born on August 14, 1945 in Waco, Texas, USA as Stephen Glenn Martin to Mary Lee (née Stewart; 1913-2002) and Glenn Vernon Martin (1914-1997), a real estate salesman and aspiring actor. He was raised in Inglewood and Garden Grove in California. In 1960, he got a job at the Magic shop of Disney's Fantasyland...
Christopher Crosby Farley was born on February 15, 1964, in Madison, Wisconsin, to Mary Anne (Crosby) and Thomas Farley, who owned an oil company. Among his siblings are actors Kevin P. Farley
and John Farley
. He was of Irish heritage. Farley studied theatre and communications on Marquette University...
Rowan Sebastian Atkinson was born on 6 January, 1955, in Consett, Co. Durham, UK, to Ella May (Bainbridge) and Eric Atkinson. His father owned a farm, where Rowan grew up with his two older brothers, Rupert and Rodney. He attended Newcastle University and Oxford University where he earned degrees in electrical engineering...
Betty White was born in Oak Park, Illinois, to Christine Tess (Cachikis), a homemaker, and Horace Logan White, a lighting company executive. She is of Danish, Greek, English, and Welsh descent. Although best known as the devious Sue Ann Nivens on the classic sitcom Mary Tyler Moore
and the ditzy Rose Nylund on The Golden Girls
Actress-comedienne Bea Arthur was born on May 13, 1922 in New York City to a Jewish family. She grew up in Maryland, where her parents ran a dress shop. At 12 years old, she was the tallest girl in her school at 5'9". She earned the title "wittiest" girl in her school, and Bea's dream was to be in show business...
Margaret Cho was born Dec. 5, 1968 and raised in San Francisco. Her grandfather was a Methodist minister who ran an orphanage in Seoul during the Korean War. Ignoring the traditions of her patriarchal culture, her mother bravely resisted an arranged marriage in Korea and married Margaret's father who writes joke books - in Korean...
By August of 1994, Craig Ferguson was established as one of Great Britain's leading comedians - he had just had huge success at the Edinburgh Festival. In January 1995 he moved to Los Angeles where he now works as an actor-writer-director-producer-creator.
Indiana native Jim Gaffigan arrived in New York City in 1990 at the age of 24. Officially, he had relocated to work in advertising, but his real fascination with New York had a lot more to do with pursuing his dream of making people laugh as an actor and stand-up comic, a dream he would eventually realize through hard work and ample talent...