Elite Comedic Actors

by crimson66 | created - 17 Nov 2011 | updated - 30 Jul 2015 | Public

Just a side note, like all my lists, there is no specific order whatsoever to this list. With lists featuring dozens and dozens of people, it's far too difficult to rank each one in order. But I'm always open to suggestions to amend my lists with people whom you feel are deserving to include.

Should also note, most of my lists are a work in progress. So any names whom you feel were omitted likely were not done intentionally.

1. Bob Odenkirk

Actor | Better Call Saul

Robert John Odenkirk was born in Berwyn, Illinois, to Barbara (Baier) and Walter Odenkirk, who worked in printing. His ancestry includes German and Irish. He grew up in Naperville, IL, the second of seven children. He worked as a DJ for WIDB, his college radio station at Southern Illinois ...

2. Garry Shandling

Writer | The Larry Sanders Show

Garry Shandling was born on November 29, 1949 in Chicago, Illinois, USA as Garry Emmanuel Shandling. He was a writer and actor, known for The Larry Sanders Show (1992), It's Garry Shandling's Show. (1986) and Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014). He died on March 24, 2016 in Los Angeles, ...

3. Patton Oswalt

Actor | Young Adult

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 (1993). His other ...

4. Sarah Silverman

Actress | Wreck-It Ralph

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 ...

5. Aziz Ansari

Actor | Parks and Recreation

Aziz Ansari was born in Columbia, South Carolina, to Fatima, a medical office worker, and Shoukath, a gastroenterologist. His family is from Tamil Nadu, India. He graduated from NYU as a business major in 2004. He graduated from the South Carolina Governor's School for Math and Science in ...

6. 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 ...

7. Maria Bamford

Actress | The Legend of Korra

Maria was born in Port Hueneme, California at the Naval Base. Her parents are Joel (dermatologist) and Marilyn (therapist) of Duluth, MN. She attended Chester Park Elementary and Marshall High School in Duluth MN and went on to attend Bates College (Lewiston, ME), University of Edinburgh (Scotland)...

8. Tim Heidecker

Writer | Tim and Eric's Bedtime Stories

Tim Heidecker was born on February 3, 1976 in Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA. He is a writer and producer, known for Tim and Eric's Bedtime Stories (2013), Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! (2007) and The Comedy (2012). He has been married to Marilyn Porayko since June 2, 2007. They have one ...

9. Eric Wareheim

Writer | Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!

Eric Wareheim was born on April 7, 1976 in Audubon, Pennsylvania, USA. He is a writer and producer, known for Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! (2007), Tim and Eric's Bedtime Stories (2013) and Master of None (2015).

10. John C. Reilly

Actor | Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

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 ...

11. 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 ...

12. Larry David

Writer | Curb Your Enthusiasm

Larry David was born on July 2, 1947 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA as Lawrence Gene David. He is a writer and producer, known for Curb Your Enthusiasm (2000), Whatever Works (2009) and Seinfeld (1989). He was previously married to Laurie Lennard.

13. 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 ...

14. Louis C.K.

Writer | Louie

Louis C.K. was born on September 12, 1967 in Washington, District of Columbia, USA as Louis Szekely. He is a writer and producer, known for Louie (2010), American Hustle (2013) and Horace and Pete (2016). He was previously married to Alix Bailey.

15. Ricky Gervais

Writer | The Office

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 ...

16. Stephen Merchant

Writer | Extras

Stephen Merchant was born on November 24, 1974 in Bristol, England. He is a writer and producer, known for Extras (2005), The Office (2005) and Logan (2017).

17. Rob Huebel

Actor | The Descendants

Rob Huebel was born on June 4, 1969 in Columbia, South Carolina, USA. He is an actor and writer, known for The Descendants (2011), Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012) and I Love You, Man (2009).

18. Rob Corddry

Actor | Warm Bodies

Rob Corddry was born on February 4, 1971 in Weymouth, Massachusetts, USA as Robert William Corddry. He is an actor and writer, known for Warm Bodies (2013), Childrens Hospital (2008) and Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (2015). He has been married to Sandra Beth Leftowits since 2002. They have two children.

19. Erinn Hayes

Actress | Childrens Hospital

Erinn Hayes was born on May 25, 1976 in San Francisco, California, USA as Alexandra Erinn Carter. She is an actress and writer, known for Childrens Hospital (2008), The Watch (2012) and Rumor Has It... (2005). She has been married to Jack Hayes since July 24, 2004. They have two children.

20. Ken Marino

Actor | Wanderlust

Ken Marino was born on December 19, 1968 in Long Island, New York, USA. He is an actor and writer, known for Wanderlust (2012), The Ten (2007) and Childrens Hospital (2008). He has been married to Erica Oyama since October 8, 2005. They have one child.

21. Michael Cera

Actor | Superbad

Canadian actor Michael Cera was born in Brampton, Ontario, to parents who worked for Xerox. His mother, Linda, who is from Quebec, has English, Irish, Scottish, and Dutch ancestry, and his father, Luigi Cera, is Sicilian. Michael is the middle child between two sisters. He was educated at Conestoga...

22. Nick Offerman

Actor | Parks and Recreation

Nick Offerman was born on June 26, 1970 in Joliet, Illinois, USA. He is an actor and producer, known for Parks and Recreation (2009), The Founder (2016) and Fargo (2014). He has been married to Megan Mullally since September 20, 2003.

23. Nick Kroll

Actor | Sausage Party

Nick Kroll was born on June 5, 1978 in New York City, New York, USA as Nicholas J. Kroll. He is an actor and writer, known for Sausage Party (2016), Adult Beginners (2014) and Sing (2016).

24. Brian Huskey

Actor | People of Earth

Brian Huskey was born on September 8, 1968 in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA. He is an actor and writer, known for People of Earth (2016), Veep (2012) and Bob's Burgers (2011).

25. Jeff Garlin

Actor | Curb Your Enthusiasm

As a multi-talented comedian who encompasses writing, producing, directing, acting and performing stand-up comedy, Jeff Garlin has honed a successful career that started at Second City in his hometown of Chicago. Influenced by the comedians of his childhood (such as Richard Pryor, Woody Allen, and ...

26. Kenny Hotz

Writer | Kenny vs. Spenny

Kenneth Joel "Kenny" Hotz is an international award winning Canadian producer and comedian. He is a former South Park staff writer, award-winning writer for Vice. Creator/star of the Comedy Central television series Kenny vs. Spenny creator and writer of the FX series Testees and Kenny Hotz's ...

27. Matt Walsh

Actor | Veep

Matt Walsh was born on October 13, 1964 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He is an actor and writer, known for Veep (2012), Into the Storm (2014) and Ted (2012). He has been married to Morgan Walsh since March 21, 2009. They have three children.

28. Ian Roberts

Actor | Bring It On

Ian Roberts was raised in Secaucus, New Jersey, and attended Grinnell College in Iowa. From 1987-1990, he lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, performing plays with various local companies including the Acacia Theater, Hansberry Sands and Milwaukee Players. In 1990, he moved to Chicago and studied ...

29. 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...

30. Paul Scheer

Actor | The League

Scheer is an American actor, comedian, writer, director, podcaster, and producer. Scheer was born in Huntington, New York and graduated from New York University. He starred on the FXX series The League (2009), The HBO comedy Veep (2012), The Netflix series Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp...

31. Steve Dildarian

Writer | The Life & Times of Tim

Steve Dildarian is a writer and actor, known for The Life & Times of Tim (2008), The New V.I.P.'s (2017) and I'm Going to Bite Someone (2012).

32. Jemaine Clement

Actor | Flight of the Conchords

Jemaine Clement was born and raised in New Zealand, the oldest of three brothers. His mother is a Maori. Clement was educated at Makoura College in Masterton, NZ. He went on to study drama and film at Victoria University of Wellington. Whilst there he met Taika Waititi, and they formed comedy ...

33. Bret McKenzie

Soundtrack | Flight of the Conchords

Bret McKenzie was born on June 29, 1976 in New Zealand as Bret Peter Tarrant McKenzie. He has been married to Hannah Clarke since March 18, 2009.

34. Rhys Darby

Actor | Flight of the Conchords

Rhys Darby was born on March 21, 1974 in New Zealand as Rhys Montague Darby. He is an actor and writer, known for Flight of the Conchords (2007), Yes Man (2008) and What We Do in the Shadows (2014). He is married to Rosie Carnahan-Darby. They have two children.

35. Arj Barker

Actor | Flight of the Conchords

Arj Barker was born on August 12, 1974 in San Francisco, California, USA as Arjun Singh. He is an actor and writer, known for Flight of the Conchords (2007), Car Babes (2006) and Lucifer's Crewcut (2011).

36. Rob Riggle

Actor | The Daily Show

Comedian, actor and United States Marine Corps Reserve Lieutenant Colonel Robert Allen Riggle, Jr. was born April 21, 1970 in Louisville, Kentucky, to Sandra (Shrout) and Robert Allen Riggle, who worked in insurance. Riggle has amassed many notable television credits and has also earned roles in ...

37. Andrew Daly

Actor | Semi-Pro

Andy Daly was born in New York, raised in New Jersey and graduated from Ithaca College. He studied long form improvisation at New York's Upright Citizens Brigade Theater and performed in numerous shows there, including The Real Real World and "The Swarm". Daly also appeared at the 1999 Aspen Comedy...

38. Michael McDonald

Actor | MADtv

Michael McDonald was born and raised in Fullerton, Orange County, California. He graduated from USC with a degree in Business and became a loan officer at a bank in Los Angeles. A friend took him to see a sketch comedy/improv show at L.A.'s famous Groundling Theater, and everything changed for him....

39. Ted Danson

Actor | Cheers

Ted Danson is well known for his role as Sam Malone in the television series Cheers (1982). 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 ...

40. Jason Schwartzman

Actor | Rushmore

Jason Schwartzman was born on June 26, 1980 in Los Angeles, California, USA as Jason Francesco Schwartzman. He is known for his work on Rushmore (1998), The Darjeeling Limited (2007) and Moonrise Kingdom (2012). He has been married to Brady Cunningham since July 11, 2009. They have two children.

41. 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, ...

42. Chevy Chase

Actor | Caddyshack

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 ...

43. 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 ...

44. Mel Brooks

Actor | Spaceballs

Mel Brooks was born Melvin Kaminsky on June 28, 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 ...

45. Albert Brooks

Actor | Drive

Albert Brooks was born on July 22, 1947 in Beverly Hills, California, USA as Albert Lawrence Einstein. He is an actor and writer, known for Drive (2011), Defending Your Life (1991) and Lost in America (1985). He has been married to Kimberly Shlain since March 15, 1997. They have two children.

46. Jamie Denbo

Actress | The Heat

Jamie Denbo was born on July 24, 1973 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. She is an actress and writer, known for The Heat (2013), Spy (2015) and Yes Man (2008). She has been married to John Ross Bowie since June 5, 2004.

47. Joe Lo Truglio

Actor | Paul

Joe Lo Truglio was born in Ozone Park, Queens and was raised in Margate, Florida. He is the son of Helen (Lynch) and Joseph Lo Truglio, and is of Italian and Irish descent. His childhood revolved around collecting Mad magazines, shooting horror movies on a Super 8, fishing in his backyard canal, ...

48. Lizzy Caplan

Actress | Cloverfield

Actress Elizabeth Anne "Lizzy" Caplan was born in Los Angeles, California, to Barbara (Bragman), a political aide, and Richard Caplan, a lawyer. She has two older siblings, Julie and Benjamin, and was raised in a Jewish household. Her mother was a cousin of publicist Howard Bragman. Caplan was ...

49. Chelsea Handler

Actress | This Means War

Chelsea Handler was born in Livingston, New Jersey, to a Mormon mother, Rita (Stoecker), who was born in Germany, and an American-born Jewish father, Seymour Handler. She was the youngest of six children. In 2002, Chelsea was one of the stars of Oxygen's Girls Behaving Badly (2002). Chelsea got her...

50. 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. ...

51. Glenn Howerton

Actor | It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Glenn Howerton was born on April 13, 1976 in Japan as Glenn Franklin Howerton III. He is an actor and writer, known for It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (2005), The Strangers (2008) and Serenity (2005). He has been married to Jill Latiano since September 8, 2009. They have one child.

52. Thomas Lennon

Actor | Reno 911!

Thomas Lennon was born on August 9, 1970 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He is an actor and producer, known for Reno 911! (2003), Night at the Museum (2006) and 17 Again (2009). He has been married to Jenny Robertson since April 27, 2002. They have one child.

53. David Cross

Actor | Arrested Development

David Cross was born on April 4, 1964 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. He is an actor and writer, known for Arrested Development (2003), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) and Megamind (2010). He has been married to Amber Tamblyn since October 6, 2012. They have one child.

54. 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...

55. Henry Winkler

Actor | The Waterboy

Henry Franklin Winkler was born on October 30, 1945, in Manhattan, New York. His parents, Ilse Anna Maria (Hadra) and Harry Irving Winkler, were Jewish immigrants who avoided the German Holocaust, moving to the US in 1939. His father was the president of an international lumber company while his ...

56. Craig Robinson

Actor | This Is the End

Craig Robinson was born on October 25, 1971 in Chicago, Illinois, USA as Craig Phillip Robinson. He is an actor, known for This Is the End (2013), Hot Tub Time Machine (2010) and Pineapple Express (2008).

57. Rainn Wilson

Actor | The Office

Rainn Wilson lives in Los Angeles with his wife, fiction writer Holiday Reinhorn (Big Cats), and his son, Walter McKenzie Wilson who was born in 2004. He grew up in Seattle, Washington but graduated from New Trier H.S. in Winnetka, Illinois. After attending both Tufts University and the University ...

58. David Koechner

Actor | Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

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 ...

59. Norm MacDonald

Actor | Billy Madison

MacDonald was born Norman Gene MacDonald in Québec City, Québec on October 17, 1959. He began his career in stand-up comedy. MacDonald's first job was writing for The Dennis Miller Show (1992) and then Roseanne (1988). While writing for Roseanne (1988), he was noticed by Lorne Michaels, who liked ...

60. 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 ...

61. Phil Hartman

Actor | NewsRadio

Phil Hartman was born Philip Edward Hartmann on September 24, 1948, in Brantford, Ontario, Canada. His surname was originally "Hartmann", but he later dropped the second "n". He was one of eight children of Doris Marguerite (Wardell) and Rupert Loebig Hartmann, a salesman. He was of German, Irish, ...