Not in order of greatness with the exception of Billy Connolly, who is without doubt the daddy of stand-up.
Let me know who I have missed and I will tell you why you are wrong.
Billy Connolly was born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland. He left school to work in the shipyards becoming a welder and joined the Territorial Army (in the parachute regiment) at around the same time. He developed an interest in folk music, eventually becoming an accomplished banjo player and a member of the band Humblebums with Gerry Rafferty
(later of Baker Street fame)...
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
Ricky Dene Gervais was born in a suburb of Reading, Berkshire, to Eva Sophia (House) and Lawrence Raymond Gervais, who was a hod carrier and labourer. His father was born in Ontario, Canada, of French-Canadian descent, and his mother was English. He was educated at Ashmead Comprehensive School and went on to study at University College, London, where he gained a degree in Philosophy...
The tale of Freddie Starr is a long twisting turning plot of "rags to riches" fame, ending in near destitution and self destruction. In the end his immense success led to absolute failure. If things had developed a little more slowly for him this unique talent could have been one of the true heroes of British comedy...
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...
In 2014 Whilst being interviewed by Jonathon Ross on his show, he announced his immediate retirement from Stand Up and Touring after the premature death of his manager from a heart attack. He is now determined to spend more time with his wife Heather and daughter Molly, or Little Mo as he calls her.
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...
Roseanne Barr, one of America's funniest comedians, has another side that not many people have seen. She was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. During her teenage years, she worked as a dishwasher at a local restaurant. She married Bill Pentland
and they had three children together. They remained married for 16 years...
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...
Denis Leary was born and raised in Worcester, Massachusetts, the son of Nora (Sullivan) and John Leary, Irish immigrants who had grown up together. His mother was a maid and his father was an auto mechanic. After a childhood in the 1960s, Leary went to Emerson College in Boston, where he tried his hand at acting and writing...
Highly influential, and always controversial, African-American actor/comedian who was equally well known for his colorful language during his live comedy shows, as for his fast paced life, multiple marriages and battles with drug addiction. He has been acknowledged by many modern comic artist's as a key influence on their careers...
Best-known for his surreal and digressive stand-up, British comedian and actor Eddie Izzard was born on February 7, 1962, in Aden, Yemen, where his English parents -- Dorothy Ella, a nurse and midwife, and Harold John Izzard, an accountant -- worked for British Petroleum. Izzard worked as a street...
Peter Kay has achieved national popularity since he first won the North West Comedian of the Year in 1996. He's since won four British Comedy Awards (including writer of the year), four Royal Television Society Awards, the coveted Rose D'Or at the International Television Festival at Montreux, a prestigious BAFTA/LA Award for his 2009 television special Britain's Got The Pop Factor...
Bill Bailey is known for his sharp wit and classic sense of humor. he is most famous for being in Never Mind The Buzzcocks, celebrity game-show in which he is a team captain. Bill is a stand up comedian, and has also starred in cult comedies such as Spaced and of course Black Books. He was given the award for the "best stand-up" at the British comedy awards.
Born in Georgia but raised in Houston since the age of 7, this self-described "Prince of Darkness" was compelled to use the comedy stage as his philosophic soapbox. At 13, he would sneak out of his suburban house to hustle his way onto open-mike night rosters. In two brief decades, Hicks worked his way up the sweat-stained comedy ladder to national exposure on The Tonight Show...
Robin McLaurin Williams was born on Saturday, July 21st, 1951, in Chicago, Illinois, a great-great-grandson of Mississippi Governor and Senator, Anselm J. McLaurin. His mother, Laurie McLaurin (née Janin), was a former model from Mississippi, and his father, Robert Fitzgerald Williams, was a Ford Motor Company executive from Indiana...
His father was an affluent construction manager. Barry was a very intelligent boy who attended Melbourne University. There, he began in revues and doing some impersonations. He moved to London around 1960 and began his TV career. He has created numerous characters, including Dame Edna Everidge and Sir Les Patterson.
Born of a prominent Irish journalist in Dublin, Ireland, Dave Allen started out working and touring through English theatres and night clubs. Only occasionally working on radio, he made his first TV appearance on the BBC's "New Faces." He managed to tour with The Beatles
while they were still starting out and soon managed to get an eight-month TV engagement called Tonight with Dave Allen