The 40 Greatest Stand-Up Comedians Ever

in MY opinion, and no particular order (except the top)
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1.
Dave Chappelle
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...
 
3.
George Carlin
Actor, Dogma
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)...
 
4.
Richard Pryor
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...
 
5.
Eddie Murphy
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...
 
6.
Chris Rock
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...
 
7.
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 went on to study at University College, London, where he gained a degree in Philosophy...
 
8.
Patrice O'Neal
Actor, 25th Hour
O'Neal was born in New York in 1969, but moved to Boston when he was just 1 year old. He was educated at West Roxbury High School and went on to attend Northeastern University, both in Boston. After this, various jobs followed including a sausage cart vendor at a train station, flower seller and popcorn seller at the Boston Garden Arena...
 
10.
Bill Cosby
Music Department, Bill Cosby: Himself
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...
 
11.
Jamie Foxx
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...
 
12.
Robin Williams
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...
 
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 suburban Massepequa...
 
14.
Bernie Mac
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...
 
15.
Katt Williams
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...
 
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17.
Bill Hicks
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...
 
18.
Rodney 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 his mother was a Hungarian Jewish immigrant...
 
19.
Bob Hope
Comedian Bob Hope was born Leslie Townes Hope in Eltham, London, England, the fifth of seven sons of Avis (Townes), light opera singer, and William Henry Hope, a stonemason from Weston-super-Mare, Somerset. His maternal grandmother was Welsh. Hope moved to Bristol before emigrating with his parents to the US in 1908...
 
23.
Aries Spears
Actor, MADtv
Chicago native Aries Spears discovered his comedic abilities at the young age of 14, when he started doing his own comedy routine around his hometown. By the age of 17, he landed a part in the movie Home of Angels, starring Abe Vigoda, Sherman Hemsley and Joe Frazier. Spears' additional film credits include The Pest opposite John Leguizamo...
 
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26.
D.L. Hughley
Hughley is the second of four children. His father was an airline maintenance worker and his mother was a homemaker. He grew up in L.A.'s South Central where he was a member of the Bloods gang after getting kicked out of high school. However, he turned his life around after a cousin was shot. He quit the gang and got a job as a telemarketer for the Los Angeles Times...
 
27.
Jon Stewart
Producer, The Daily Show
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...
 
28.
Aziz Ansari
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 studied at the South Carolina governors school of science and mathematics. He previously attended the Bennetsville Academy which was in his home town...
 
29.
Steve Martin
Writer, The Jerk
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...
 
30.
Jimmy Carr
Miscellaneous Crew, 8 Out of 10 Cats
 
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Gabriel Iglesias
Born in Chula Vista, California, Gabriel Iglesias is the youngest of six children, raised by a single mother. Growing up, the family lived in Section 8 housing in Long Beach, CA. It was during his childhood that he developed a strong sense of humor to deal with the obstacles he faced. In 1997, he set out to hone his comedic skills...
 
37.
Jim Carrey
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...
 
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