A list of comedians, both standups and actors, who I find exceptionally funny. In no particular order with the exception of Louis.
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.
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)...
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...
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...
Melvin James Kaminsky was born on June 28th, 1926 in Brooklyn, New York. He served in WWII, and afterwards got a job playing the drums at nightclubs in the Catskills. Brooks eventually started a comedy act and also worked in radio and as Master Entertainer at Grossinger's Resort before going to television...
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...
A talented 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 Jewish descent...
Woody Allen was born Allan Stewart Konigsberg on December 1, 1935 in Brooklyn, New York, to Nettie (Cherrie), a bookkeeper, and Martin Konigsberg, a waiter and jewellery engraver. His father was of Russian Jewish descent, and his maternal grandparents were Austrian Jewish immigrants. As a young boy...
Daniel Jason Sudeikis was born on September 18, 1975 in Fairfax, Virginia, to Kathryn (Wendt), a former a travel agent at Brennco and president of the American Society of Travel Agents, and Daniel Joseph Sudeikis, a vice president of business development. He is of Lithuanian and Irish descent on his father's side...
Forte was age 32 before he came to the public's attention on Saturday Night Live
, but had been working in comedy since 1997. Forte is the son of artist Patricia (Stivers) and financial broker Orville Willis Forte III (divorced), and has one older sister, Michelle. A creative and artistic child, he was an athlete (football and swimming) in high school and voted Best Personality at Acalanes High School...
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...
John Belushi was born in Chicago, Illinois, USA, on January 24, 1949, to Agnes Demetri (Samaras) and Adam Anastos Belushi, a restaurant owner. His father was an Albanian immigrant, from Qytezë, and his mother was also of Albanian descent. He grew up in Wheaton, where the family moved when he was six...
“ All I ever hear from people is how lame and unfunny he is but I thoroughly disagree. Prime example: The Roast of William Shatner when he licked everone... priceless ” - WillemDafoe2
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...
Kevin Patrick Smith was born in Red Bank, New Jersey, to Grace (Schultz) and Donald E. Smith
, a postal worker. He is very proud of his native state; this fact can be seen in all of his movies. Kevin is of mostly German, with some Irish and English, ancestry. His first movie, Clerks
, was filmed in the convenience store in which Smith worked...
Multi-talented actor/comedian Katt Williams was born in Cincinnati and raised in Dayton, Ohio. He currently resides in Los Angeles, California, where he is simultaneously working on several projects on camera and behind the scenes for your viewing pleasure in the near future. Throughout his journey...
“ Another guy who people don't seem to like, but I think his dirty transition has gone quite well... ” - WillemDafoe2
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...
Seth Woodbury MacFarlane was born in the small New England town of Kent, Connecticut, where he lived with his mother, Ann Perry (Sager), an admissions office worker, his father, Ronald Milton MacFarlane, a prep school teacher, and his sister Rachael MacFarlane
, now a voice actress and singer. He is of English, Scottish, and Irish ancestry, and descends from Mayflower passengers...
“ I know he steals stuff from Louis C.K. but the rest of his stuff his really funny. ” - WillemDafoe2
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...
Patton Oswalt has been headlining at comedy clubs all over the United States since 1996, as well as appearing in his own standup specials on Comedy Central and HBO. He was chosen as Entertainment Weekly's "It" comedian in 2002. He is a regular on Late Night with Conan O'Brien
. His other television credits include appearances on Seinfeld
“ The recent stuff has been pretty lame, but his old stuff is great. ” - WillemDafoe2
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 his last college class by one point...
Bill Cosby is one of the world's most well-known entertainers and comedians. William Henry Cosby, Jr. was born on July 12, 1937, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Anna Pearl (Hite), a maid, and William Henry Cosby, Sr., a U.S. Navy sailor. After tenth grade, Cosby joined the Navy and completed high school through a correspondence course...
“ He and Carrington are the only so-called 'redneck' comedians I like. ” - WillemDafoe2
The bushy-browed, cigar-smoking wise-cracker with the painted-on moustache and stooped walk was the leader of The Marx Brothers
. With one-liners that were often double entendres, Groucho never cursed in any of his performances and said he never wanted to be known as a dirty comic. With a great love of music and singing (The Marx Brothers
started as a singing group)...
Joseph Frank Keaton, was born in Piqua, Kansas, October 4, 1895 to Joe Keaton
and Myra Keaton
. Joe and Myra were Vaudevillian comedians with a popular, ever-changing variety act, giving Keaton an eclectic and interesting upbringing. In the earliest days on stage they traveled with a medicine show that included family friend...
Charlie Chaplin, considered to be one of the most pivotal stars of the early days of Hollywood, lived an interesting life both in his films and behind the camera. He is most recognized as an icon of the silent film era, often associated with his popular "Little Tramp" character; the man with the toothbrush mustache, bowler hat, bamboo cane, and a funny walk...
Sacha Baron Cohen
British actor and comedian Sacha Baron Cohen was born in Hammersmith, London. He is the son of Daniella (Weiser), a movement instructor, and Gerald Baron Cohen, a clothing store owner. His father, born in England and raised in Wales, was of Eastern European Jewish descent, while his mother was born in Israel...
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...
Seth was born Seth Benjamin Gesshel-Green in Overbrook Park, Philadelphia, to teachers Barbara (Gesshel) and Herbert Green. He has worked non-stop as an actor in film and television since he was seven. Seth and Matthew Senreich
created/executive produced/wrote and directed the Emmy-winning, Robot Chicken
Jeff Ross is an actor, writer, director, producer, and comedian originally from Newark, New Jersey. Recent acting roles include Fox's one hour drama pilot "Boomerang", produced by John Wells. Jeff is the creator and star of "The Burn With Jeff Ross" on Comedy Central as well as a producer and star of that network's wildly popular celebrity roast franchise...
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...
Two-time Emmy Award winner Sarah Silverman is one of the most versatile talents in entertainment, with credits including that of actress, creator, writer, executive producer, comedian, and author. Silverman will next be seen in both The Book of Henry and The Lonely Island's Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping...
“ Some of his stuff is great, a lot of it gets pretty repetitive though. ” - WillemDafoe2
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 Monica and went on to The New School in New York to study drama...
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 T. (Koch), a psychiatric nurse, and Edwin A. Carell, an electrical engineer. His mother is of Polish descent and his father is of Italian and German ancestry (Steve's grandfather had changed the surname from "Caroselli" to "Carrell")...
“ He was so amazingly funny in The 40 Year-Old Virgin, but I never really liked The Office... I'm not sure why ” - WillemDafoe2
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...
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, Julie, 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 eventually settled in Overland Park...
“ To me, he steals every movie he's in... such a funny guy ” - WillemDafoe2
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...
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...
“ I'm referring to his SNL days; I don't like his movies with the exception of Punch Drunk Love and Big Daddy. Those two are great ” - WillemDafoe2
Shia Saide LaBeouf was born in Los Angeles, California, to Shayna (Saide) and Jeffrey Craig LaBeouf, and is an only child. His mother is from an Ashkenazi Jewish family, while his father has Cajun (French) ancestry. His parents are divorced. He started his career by doing stand-up comedy around places in his neighborhood...
“ I know a lot of people hate him but I have fond memories of The Even Stevens so suck it! ” - WillemDafoe2
After the Golden Era of Hollywood ended, Don Rickles is one man still living to tell his tales. One of the most respected talents in entertainment, Rickles got his start in the night clubs, toiling for over 20 years, until 1958, when Don made his film debut in Run Silent Run Deep
. The movie was a big hit...
“ His style doesn't seem to work anymore but I still think he's funny ” - WillemDafoe2
“ It's kind of a mixed bag with George. His show (the sitcom) was good but only for a couple of seasons. His talk show was terrible and not funny at all. Aside from that, I haven't seen much of his standup, but from what I've seen he's normally quite funny. ” - WillemDafoe2
John C. Reilly
Character actor, dramatic leading man, or hilarious comic foil? With an astonishing range of roles already under his belt, John C. Reilly has played a 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 children...
“ I don't know why I think he's funny... I just do. ” - WillemDafoe2
Bill Maher was born William Maher in New York City, New York, and grew up in River Vale, New Jersey. His father, William Aloysius Maher, Jr., who was of Irish descent, was a radio announcer and news editor. His mother, Julie (Berman), was a nurse, who was from a Jewish family. Maher was raised in his father's Catholic faith...
Ray Romano grew up in Forest Hills, Queens. He performed in the NYC comedy club circuit before landing a guest spot on The Letterman Show. It was here that he propelled his TV show Everybody Loves Raymond. He was also the voice of the Mammoth in the extremely successful Ice Age Series Movies. He is also the inspiration for the character'Paul'...
Trey was born in Conifer, Colorado, on October 19, 1969 to Randy Parker
,a geologist, and Sharon Parker, an insurance broker. He has an older sister, Shelley Parker. He met Matt Stone
(co-creator of South Park
) while attending the University of Colorado in Boulder, where he had a double major of music and Japanese...
Arthur Steven Lange grew up a child of a middle class family in Union, New Jersey. At Union High School, Lange excelled in baseball, becoming an All County third baseman. Working long afternoons with his loving contractor father, Artie developed a comical view of social classes, and his place in life as a barrel-chested Italian boy...
Stephen Tyrone Colbert (pronounced "col-BEAR") was born on May 13, 1964 in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Charleston, South Carolina. He is the son of Lorna Elizabeth (Tuck) and James William Colbert, Jr., a doctor and medical school dean at Yale, Saint Louis University, and MUSC. He is the youngest of eleven children, and is of Irish Catholic background...
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. Matthew's Parish School in Pacific Palisades...
John Stephen Goodman is a U.S. film, television, and stage actor. He was born in St. Louis, Missouri, to Virginia Roos (Loosmore), a waitress and saleswoman, and Leslie Francis Goodman, a postal worker who died when John was a small child. He is of English, Welsh, and German ancestry. John is best known for his role as Dan Conner on the television series Roseanne (1988-1997)...
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...
Steve Buscemi was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Dorothy (Wilson), a restaurant hostess, and John Buscemi, a sanitation worker. He is of Italian (father) and English, Dutch, and Irish (mother) descent. He became interested in acting during his last year of high school. After graduating, he moved to Manhattan to study acting with John Strasberg...
“ Only from Fargo though ” - WillemDafoe2
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 bewildering that this sharp and witty writer...
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
, Joel Murray
Ted Danson is well known for his role as Sam Malone in the television series Cheers
. During the show's 11-year run, he was nominated nine times for an Emmy Award as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series and won twice, in 1990 and 1993. The role also earned him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Comedy Series in 1989 and 1990...
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
. The off beat & philosophical drug dealing characters of "Jay and Silent Bob" (Mewes and Smith) cropped up again in four more films directed by the talented Smith...
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 joined Saturday Night Live
Nick Di Paolo
Nick was born in Danvers, Massachusetts and attended Danvers High. He went on to be a marketing major at the University of Maine. Nick began his career in Boston and two-years later, made the jump to New York, where he found his seething, sarcastic style was welcomed with open arms by New York audiences at such clubs as Catch a Rising Star...
Comedian John Caparulo is perhaps best known as the under-dressed everyman on the E! hit show, Chelsea Lately. Cap, as he's known by his friends and fans, has also made multiple appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Next Generation of Blue Collar...
The indefatigable nonagenarian finally put out an autobiography in 2005 and entitled it "Like a Lampshade in a Whorehouse", which pretty much says it all when recalling the misfit life and career of the fabulous, one-of-a-kind Phyllis Diller. It may inspire all those bored, discouraged and/or directionless...
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 playing...
Actor, writer and producer David Michael Koechner was born in Tipton, Missouri, to Margaret Ann (Downey) and Cecil Stephen Koechner, who ran a turkey coop manufacturing business. He is of German, Irish, and English ancestry. An alumnus of Chicago's Second City Theater, Koechner got his first break as...
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)...
Billy Crystal was born on March 14, 1948 in Long Beach, Long Island, New York. He is the youngest of three sons born to Helen (Gabler) and Jack Crystal. His father was a well-known concert promoter who co-founded Commodore Records and his mother was a homemaker. His family were Jewish immigrants from Russia...