Best Comedic Actors, in order of greatness

by ejok20 | created - 18 May 2011 | updated - 03 Jun 2013 | Public

Definitive

1. Tim Allen

Actor | Toy Story

Timothy Allen Dick was born on June 13, 1953, in Denver, Colorado, to Martha Katherine (Fox) and Gerald M. Dick. His father, a real estate salesman, was killed in a collision with a drunk driver while driving his family home from a University of Colorado football game, when Tim was eleven years old...

2. Chris Farley

Actor | Tommy Boy

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 ...

3. Jim Carrey

Actor | Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

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 (1990) but leading roles in Ace Ventura: ...

4. Eric Lynch

Actor | Fringe

Eric Lynch was born on March 11, 1975 in Rodeo, California, USA as Eric Shaun Lynch. He was an actor, known for Fringe (2008), American Dreams (2002) and In Plain Sight (2008). He died on September 20, 2014 in Sacramento, California.

Eric the Actor. Keys woman

5. Mike Myers

Actor | Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me

Michael John Myers was born in 1963 in Scarborough, Ontario, to Alice E. (Hind), an officer supervisor, and Eric Myers, an insurance agent. His parents were both English, and had served in the Royal Air Force and British Army, respectively.

Myers' television career really started in 1988, when he ...

6. Adam Sandler

Actor | The Waterboy

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 ...

7. Bill Murray

Actor | Lost in Translation

Bill Murray is an American actor, comedian, and writer. The fifth of nine children, he was born William James Murray in Wilmette, Illinois, to Lucille (Collins), a mailroom clerk, and Edward Joseph Murray II, who sold lumber. He is of Irish descent. Among his siblings are actors Brian Doyle-Murray, ...

8. John C. Reilly

Actor | Wreck-It Ralph

Character actor, dramatic leading man, or hilarious comic foil? With an astonishing range of roles already under his belt, John C. Reilly has played an eclectic host of rich characters to great effect over the years, from seedy ne'er-do-wells, to lovable, good-natured schlepps.

The fifth of six ...

9. Steve Martin

Writer | Roxanne

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 ...

10. Will Ferrell

Actor | Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

John William Ferrell was born in Irvine, California, to Betty Kay (Overman), a teacher, and Roy Lee Ferrell, Jr., a musician. His parents were originally from Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina.

A graduate of the University of Southern California, Ferrell became interested in performing while a student ...

11. Dana Carvey

Actor | Wayne's World

One of SNL's most talented alumni, comedian Dana Carvey reigned supreme during his six-season run creating some of the show's most memorable characters, including "Church Lady", "Garth" of Wayne & Garth fame, Grumpy Old Man and bodybuilding "Hans" of Hans & Franz notoriety. So it is quite ...

12. Jeff Daniels

Actor | The Squid and the Whale

Actor Jeff Daniels was born in Athens, Georgia, but was raised in Chelsea, Michigan. He is the son of Marjorie J. (Ferguson) and Robert Lee Daniels, who owned The Chelsea Lumber Company and was also mayor of Chelsea. Jeff attended Central Michigan University, but became involved in acting and ...

13. David Spade

Actor | Joe Dirt

Comic brat extraordinaire David Spade was born on July 22, 1964, in Birmingham, Michigan, the youngest of three brothers. He is the son of Judith J. (Meek), a writer and editor, and Wayne M. Spade, a sales rep, and is of German, English, Irish, and Scottish descent. Raised in both Scottsdale (from ...

14. John Candy

Actor | Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Candy was one of Canada's greatest and funniest character actors. His well-known role as the big hearted buffoon earned him classics in Uncle Buck (1989) and Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987). His career has handed him some dry spells but Candy always rebounded.

Born in Newmarket, Ontario, in ...

15. Vince Vaughn

Producer | The Break-Up

Vincent Anthony Vaughn was born on March 28, 1970, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, and was raised in Lake Forest, Illinois. His parents are Vernon Vaughn, a salesman and character actor, and Sharon Vaughn (née Sharon Eileen DePalmo), a real-estate agent and stockbroker. They divorced in 1991. He ...

16. Blake Anderson

Actor | Workaholics

Blake Anderson is a comedian and one of the stars and creators of the Comedy Central show Workaholics. Originally from Concord, California, Anderson studied with The Groundlings and with Upright Citizens Brigade. He formed the sketch-comedy group Mail Order Comedy along with Workaholics costars and...

17. Chevy Chase

Actor | National Lampoon's Vacation

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 ...

18. Dave Chappelle

Writer | Chappelle's Show

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 ...

19. Jonah Hill

Actor | 21 Jump Street

Jonah Hill was born and raised in Los Angeles, the son of Sharon (Chalkin), a fashion designer and costume stylist, and Richard Feldstein, a tour accountant for Guns N' Roses. His siblings are music manager Jordan Feldstein and actress Beanie Feldstein. He graduated from Crossroads School in Santa ...

20. Peter Dante

Actor | Grandma's Boy

Peter Dante was born on December 16, 1968 in West Hartford, Connecticut, USA as Peter Francis Dante. He is known for his work on Grandma's Boy (2006), That's My Boy (2012) and 50 First Dates (2004).

21. Steve Carell

Actor | The Office

Steve Carell, one of America's most versatile comics, was born Steven John Carell on August 16, 1962, in Concord, Massachusetts. He is the son of Harriet Theresa (Koch), a psychiatric nurse, and Edwin A. Carell, an electrical engineer. His mother was of Polish descent and his father, of Italian and...

22. Nicolas Cage

Actor | Face/Off

Nicolas Cage was born Nicolas Kim Coppola in Long Beach, California, the son of comparative literature professor August Coppola (whose brother is director Francis Ford Coppola) and dancer/choreographer Joy Vogelsang. He is of Italian (father) and Polish, German, and English (mother) descent. Cage ...

23. Danny McBride

Actor | Pineapple Express

Danny McBride was born on December 29, 1976 in Statesboro, Georgia, USA as Daniel Richard McBride. He is an actor and writer, known for Pineapple Express (2008), Vice Principals (2016) and This Is the End (2013). He has been married to Gia Ruiz since October 9, 2010. They have one child.

24. Charlie Day

Actor | It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Charles Peckham Day was born in New York City, NY, and raised in Middletown, Rhode Island. His parents are both music teachers - his mother, Mary (Peckham), is a piano teacher, and his father, Dr. Thomas Charles Day, was a professor of music at Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island. ...

25. Adam Devine

Actor | Pitch Perfect

Adam Devine was born on November 7, 1983 in Waterloo, Iowa, USA as Adam Patrick DeVine. He is an actor and writer, known for Pitch Perfect (2012), Workaholics (2011) and Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (2016).

26. Seth Rogen

Actor | This Is the End

An actor, comedian and writer, Seth Rogen has come a long way from doing stand-up comedy as a teen.

Rogen was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, to Sandy (Belogus), a social worker, and Mark Rogen, who worked for non-profits. His father is American-born and his mother is Canadian. He is of Russian...

27. Danny DeVito

Actor | Matilda

Danny DeVito has amassed a formidable and versatile body of work as an actor, producer and director that spans the stage, television and film.

Daniel Michael DeVito Jr. was born on November 17, 1944, in Neptune, New Jersey, to Italian-American parents. His mother, Julia (Moccello), was a homemaker. ...

28. Jason Segel

Actor | Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Multi-talented Jason Jordan Segel was born in Los Angeles, California, where he was raised by his parents, Jillian (Jordan), a homemaker, and Alvin Segel, a lawyer. His mother is of English, Scottish, and Irish ancestry, and his father is of Ashkenazi Jewish descent. He was educated at St. ...

29. Rodney Dangerfield

Actor | Rover Dangerfield

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 ...

30. Paul Rudd

Actor | Ant-Man

Paul Stephen Rudd was born in Passaic, New Jersey. His parents, Michael and Gloria, both from Jewish families, were born in the U.K. He has one sister, who is three years younger than he is. Paul traveled with his family during his early years, because of his father's airline job at TWA. His family...

31. Dan Aykroyd

Writer | The Blues Brothers

Daniel Edward Aykroyd was born on July 1, 1952 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, to Lorraine Hélène (Gougeon), a secretary from a French-Canadian family, and Samuel Cuthbert Peter Hugh Aykroyd, a civil engineer who advised prime minister Pierre Trudeau. Aykroyd attended Carleton University in 1969, where...

32. Ben Stiller

Producer | Zoolander

Benjamin Edward Meara Stiller was born on November 30, 1965, in New York City, New York, to legendary comedians Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara. His father is of Austrian Jewish and Polish Jewish descent, and his mother was of Irish ancestry (she converted to Judaism).

It's not surprising that Ben has ...

33. Zach Galifianakis

Actor | The Hangover

Zach Galifianakis was born in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, to Mary Frances (Cashion), who owned a community arts center, and Harry Galifianakis, a heating oil vendor. His father is of Greek descent and his mother is of mostly English and Scottish ancestry. Zach moved to New York City after failing ...

34. Seann William Scott

Actor | American Pie

Seann William Scott was born in Cottage Grove, Minnesota, to Patricia Anne (Simons) and William Frank Scott, a factory worker. He was discovered at a talent competition in Los Angeles, and almost immediately was flown to New York by ABC to test for All My Children (1970). His face has also been ...

35. Richard Pryor

Actor | Superman III

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 ...

36. James Franco

Actor | 127 Hours

Known for his breakthrough starring role on Freaks and Geeks (1999), James Franco was born in Palo Alto, California on April 19, 1978. His mother is Betsy Franco and his father is Douglas Eugene "Doug" Franco who ran a Silicon Valley business. James's mother, a writer, has occasionally acted.

...

37. Jack Black

Actor | The School of Rock

Jack Black was born Thomas Jacob Black in Santa Monica, California, to Judith Love (Cohen) and Thomas William Black, both satellite engineers. He is of British-German (father) and Russian Jewish (mother) ancestry. Black attended the University of California at Los Angeles. While at UCLA, he was a ...

38. Eddie Murphy

Actor | The Nutty Professor

Edward Regan Murphy was born April 3, 1961 in Brooklyn, New York, to Lillian (Laney), 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...

39. Seth Green

Actor | Austin Powers in Goldmember

Seth Green has starred in numerous films and television series including the Austin Powers trilogy, The Italian Job, Party Monster, Without a Paddle, Can't Hardly Wait, Old Dogs and dozens more, including starring roles in 2013's Sexy Evil Genius, The Story of Luke and 2014's Yellowbird. He's ...

40. Bernie Mac

Actor | The Bernie Mac Show

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 ...

41. Kal Penn

Actor | Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle

Kal Penn was born and raised in Montclair, New Jersey, to Asmita, a fragrance evaluator, and Suresh Modi, an engineer. His parents are Gujarati immigrants to America from India. He attended the Freehold Regional High School District's Performing Arts High School where he participated in the ...

42. Jason Bateman

Actor | Arrested Development

Jason Bateman is an American film and television actor best known for his role as Michael Bluth on the television sitcom Arrested Development (2003), as well as his role on Valerie (1986).

He was born in Rye, New York, USA. His father, Kent Bateman, from a Utah-based family, is a film and television...

43. Russell Brand

Actor | Arthur

Russell Brand was born on June 4, 1975, in Grays, Essex, England, the son of Barbara Elizabeth (Nichols) and Ronald Henry Brand, a photographer. An only child, his parents divorced when he was only six months old, and he was subsequently raised by his mother. Enduring a difficult childhood that saw...

44. Jason Mewes

Actor | Clerks

New Jersey born and bred actor, who burst onto cinema screens in 1994, playing the grass smoking, fast talking, foul mouthed and over sexed,...but very likable "Jay" in Kevin Smith's hilarious low budget hit Clerks (1994). The off beat & philosophical drug dealing characters of "Jay and Silent Bob"...

45. Gene Wilder

Actor | Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

Gene Wilder was born Jerome Silberman in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Jeanne (Baer) and William J. Silberman, who manufactured miniature whiskey and beer bottles. His father was a Russian Jewish immigrant, while his Illinois-born mother was of Russian Jewish descent.

Wilder caught his first big break ...

46. Tim Meadows

Actor | Mean Girls

Tim Meadows was born on February 5, 1961 in Highland Park, Michigan, USA as Timothy Meadows. He is an actor and writer, known for Mean Girls (2004), The Ladies Man (2000) and Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007). He was previously married to Michelle Taylor.

47. Chris Tucker

Actor | Rush Hour 2

At one point in time, Chris Tucker was the highest paid actor in Hollywood.

Tucker was born in Atlanta, Georgia, to Mary Louise (Bryant) and Norris Tucker, who owned a janitorial service. After graduating from high school, Tucker made a change to move to Hollywood from Georgia to pursue a career in ...

48. Woody Harrelson

Actor | True Detective

Academy Award-nominated and Emmy Award-winning actor Woodrow Tracy Harrelson was born on July 23, 1961 in Midland, Texas, to Diane Lou (Oswald) and Charles Harrelson. He grew up in Lebanon, Ohio, where his mother was from. After receiving degrees in theater arts and English from Hanover College, he...

49. Chris D'Elia

Actor | Celeste & Jesse Forever

Chris D'Elia is an actor and writer, known for Celeste & Jesse Forever (2012), Little Evil (2017) and Glory Daze (2010). He was previously married to Emily Montague.

50. Michael Richards

Actor | Seinfeld

Immortalized as Cosmo Kramer on the classic American sitcom Seinfeld (1989), L.A. comedy star Michael Richards was born and raised in South Los Angeles, California, to Phyllis (Nardozza) Richards, a medical records librarian. He is of Italian descent. Michael displayed an early talent for ...

51. Robin Williams

Actor | Mrs. Doubtfire

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 ...

52. Jackie Chan

Actor | Ngo si seoi

Hong Kong's cheeky, lovable and best known film star, Jackie Chan endured many years of long, hard work and multiple injuries to establish international success via his early beginnings in Hong Kong's manic martial arts cinema industry.

Jackie was born Kong-sang Chan on Hong Kong's famous Victoria ...

53. Jerry Seinfeld

Writer | Seinfeld

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 ...

54. Sinbad

Actor | Jingle All the Way

Sinbad was born in Benton Harbor, Michigan to two parents, Louise and the Baptist Rev. Dr. Donald Beckley Adkins and was then known as David Adkins. He is primarily known as an actor and somewhat a writer and proved his comedic acting style in House Guest (1994), Jingle All the Way (1996), First ...

55. Nick Swardson

Actor | Grandma's Boy

Nick Swardson was born on October 9, 1976 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA as Nicholas Swardson. He is an actor and writer, known for Grandma's Boy (2006), The Benchwarmers (2006) and Just Go with It (2011).

56. Rob Schneider

Actor | The Hot Chick

Robert Michael "Rob" Schneider (born October 31, 1963) is an American actor, comedian, screenwriter, and director. A stand-up comic and veteran of the NBC sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live (1975), Schneider has gone on to a successful career in feature films, including starring roles in the ...

57. Sasha Mitchell

Actor | Class of 1999 II: The Substitute

Sasha Mitchell is a model, actor, and kick-boxer, who will forever be known for two roles. From 1990 to 1993, he took over for Jean-Claude Van Damme in the Kickboxer series, ending it with the fourth installment, Kickboxer 4: The Aggressor (1994). A black belt in tae kwon do, Sasha was once an ...

58. Jim Breuer

Actor | Half Baked

Jim Breuer was born on June 21, 1967 in Valley Stream, Long Island, New York, USA as James E. Breuer. He is an actor and producer, known for Half Baked (1998), Zookeeper (2011) and Titan A.E. (2000). He has been married to Dee Breuer since August 28, 1993. They have three children.