Comedy Central top 100 comedians of all time

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1.
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...
 
2.
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)...
 
3.
Lenny Bruce
Lenny Bruce was born Leonard Alfred Schneider on October 13, 1925, in Mineola, Long Island, New York. His British-born father, Myron, was a shoe clerk, his mother, Sadie, was a dancer. Lenny's parents were divorced when he was a child. To support herself and her son, Sadie Schneider persued a career in show business and sent Lenny to live with various aunts...
 
4.
Woody Allen
Writer, Annie Hall
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...
 
5.
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...
 
6.
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...
 
7.
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...
 
8.
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...
 
9.
Roseanne Barr
Producer, Roseanne
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...
 
10.
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...
 
11.
Johnny Carson
Johnny Carson, the legendary "King of Late Night TV" who dominated the medium's nether hours for three decades, was born in Corning, Iowa, but moved with his family to nearby Norfolk, Nebraska when he was eight years old. It was in Norfolk, where he lived until he was inducted into the US Navy in 1943...
 
12.
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...
 
13.
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...
 
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15.
David Letterman
Television would never be the same after David Letterman made his second attempt at a television show in 1982. But his career before becoming host of the show was quite an interesting and long one. Letterman was born in Broad Ripple, a neighborhood in Indianapolis. His childhood was relatively unremarkable...
 
16.
Ellen DeGeneres
Emmy-winning talk show host Ellen Lee DeGeneres was born in Metairie, Louisiana, a New Orleans suburb. She is the daughter of Betty DeGeneres (née Elizabeth Jane Pfeffer), a speech therapist, and Elliott Everett DeGeneres, an insurance agent. Her brother is musician and producer Vance DeGeneres. Her parents divorced when she was sixteen years old...
 
17.
Don Rickles
Actor, Toy Story
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...
 
18.
Jonathan Winters
Jonathan Harshman Winters III was born on November 11, 1925 in Dayton, Ohio. His father, also Jonathan, was a banker who became an alcoholic after being crushed in the Great Depression. His parents divorced in 1932. Jonathan and his mother then moved to Springfield to live with his grandmother. There his mother remarried and became a radio personality...
 
19.
Bill Hicks
Bill Hicks was regarded as one of the greatest comedians who ever lived by those who saw him. Unfortunately, in his home country of America he was very controversial - as many great comedians often are. His status in the US was that of a cult icon. He also had a strong following in the UK and was scheduled to have his own television show on British TV when he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer...
 
24.
Redd Foxx
Redd Foxx began doing stand-up comedy on the infamous "Chitlin' Circuit" in the 1940s and 1950s. Foxx was one of the premier "blue humor" comedians. Blue humor was very dirty, too dirty for white audiences. For years his party albums were not available in white record stores. In the 1960s his records became available...
 
25.
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...
 
26.
Ray Romano
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'...
 
27.
Jay Leno
Jay Leno began his career in night clubs, where he worked 300 nights a year before hitting it big in 1992 with his own late-night talk show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. By that time he had appeared on television, acted in a few films (American Hot Wax) but hit paydirt with his late-night television appearances (he made a record number of visits to Late Night with David Letterman); for several years...
 
28.
Jack Benny
The son of a saloonkeeper, Jack Benny (born Benny Kubelsky) began to study the violin at the age six, and his "ineptness" at it later become his trademark (in reality, he was a very accomplished player). When given the opportunity to play in live theatre professionally, Benny quit school and joined vaudeville...
 
29.
Milton Berle
Milton Berle was born Milton Berlinger on July 12, 1908, in New York City. He was educated at New York Professional Children's School and began performing at age 5. His first stage appearance was in "Florodora" in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He appeared at the Palace Theater in New York in 1931, then in nightclubs and theaters...
 
33.
Andy Kaufman
Actor, Taxi
Referred to by some as a dadaistic comedian, Andy Kaufman took comedy and performance art to the edges of irrationality and blurred the dividing line between reality and imagination. Born in New York City on January 17, 1949, the first son of Stanley and Janice Kaufman, Andy grew up on New York in the town of Great Neck...
 
34.
Buddy Hackett
Brooklyn-born Buddy Hackett was known mainly as a nightclub comic, especially in Las Vegas, where he first performed in 1952 and wound up being one of the biggest headliners in that city's history. Hackett always referred to himself as a "saloon comic" and preferred the intimacy of his stage act--where he would often bring members of the audience up on stage with him--to films and television...
 
35.
Phyllis Diller
Actress, A Bug's Life
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...
 
36.
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...
 
38.
Bill Maher
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...
 
39.
Billy Crystal
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...
 
40.
Mort Sahl
Crowned as leading the new breed of modern comedians by Time magazine in 1960, Mort Sahl is the first entertainer ever to appear on its cover. Before comedy clubs existed, Sahl began performing at the hungry i music club in San Francisco in the early 1950s. He differed from other comedians, appearing in casual clothing rather than a suit...
 
41.
Jon Stewart
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...
 
42.
Flip Wilson
Writer, Flip
 
43.
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...
 
45.
Richard Lewis
Richard Philip Lewis was born on June 29, 1947 in Brooklyn, New York City and raised in Englewood, New Jersey. He went to Dwight Morrow High School (where John Travolta went a few years later). He graduated from Ohio State University in 1969 with a degree in marketing and communications. He wrote an ad copy in New Jersey while also writing jokes for comedians such as Morty Gunty...
 
46.
Adam Sandler
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...
 
48.
Tim Allen
Timothy Allen Dick was born on June 13, 1953, in Denver, Colorado, USA, 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...
 
49.
Freddie Prinze
Comedian Freddie Prinze seemed to have everything going for him by 1977. He was the star of a hit network series. Beautiful women were drawn to his good looks and natural charm. He was the father of a baby boy named after him. But there were a lot of things Freddie Prinze had against him: a failed marriage...
 
50.
Denis Leary
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...
 
52.
Damon Wayans
An outrageous cueball-domed comedian of film and TV satire, fortified by a dazzling, sly smile, New York-born Damon Wayans is the third of ten children of Elvira Alethia (Green), a social worker and singer, and Howell Wayans, a supermarket manager. He grew up humbly in the Fulton Housing Projects. He began zeroing in on his comedic skills while still a child...
 
54.
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...
 
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59.
Gilbert Gottfried
Actor, Aladdin
At the young age of 15, Gilbert Gottfried began doing stand-up at open mike nights in New York City and, after a few short years, became known around town as "the comedian's comedian". After spending several years mastering the art of stand-up comedy, producers of the legendary NBC late-night comedy show...
 
60.
Jeff Foxworthy
Foxworthy was born Jeffrey Marshall Foxworthy in Atlanta, Georgia on September 6, 1958. He followed in his father's footsteps working for IBM in Georgia, but on a dare from friends, he did a few minutes of comedy at an Atlanta comedy club. A few months later, Foxworthy quit his job and started on the stand-up comedy road...
 
61.
Bobcat Goldthwait
Robert Francis 'Bobcat' Goldthwait, born May 26, 1962, is an American comedian. He is most widely known for his high pitch voice during his comedy acts. He was born in Syracuse, New York in 1962. He decided on a career as a comedian at an early age and was performing professionally while still in high school at the age of 15...
 
64.
Richard Belzer
A social misfit, was kicked out of every school he ever attended, due to his uncontrollable wit. His mother (Frances) died of breast cancer when Richard was 18. His father (Charles) committed suicide when he was 22. A dedication is written to him in Richard Belzer's "UFO's, JFK, and Elvis: Conspiracies You Don't Have To Be Crazy To Believe" (Ballantine Books, 1999).
 
66.
Shelley Berman
Shelley Berman began studying acting shortly after he was honorably discharged from the US navy. He enrolled as a drama student at Chicago's Goodman Theater, where he met Sarah Herman, another aspiring thespian. They fell in love and were married in 1947. After graduating from the Goodman Theater, Shelley joined the Woodstock Players...
 
67.
Kevin Pollak
Kevin Pollak was born in San Francisco in 1957, to Elaine (Klein) and Robert Pollak. A stand-up comedy performer at age 10, he turned professional comedian a decade later and was puttering around from city to city when film roles beckoned. Pollak refocused thereafter on acting in what would be a wise and profitable career move...
 
69.
Pat Cooper
Pat Cooper has been married twice. He has 2 biological children with his first wife named, Michael and Louise Caputo. He has an adopted daughter with his second wife named Patti Jo Cooper. His son Michael Caputo wrote a book entitled, "Dear Pat Cooper," What Happened To My Father Pasquale Caputo? (in 2009).
 
70.
Wanda Sykes
Wanda Sykes has been called one of the funniest stand-up comics by her peers and ranks among Entertainment Weekly's 25 Funniest People in America. Her smart-witted stand-up has sent her career in many different areas. She was recently seen in Comedy Central's Wanda Does It, where she tried various non-showbiz jobs...
 
71.
Red Buttons
Composer, actor, comedian and author, he joined ASCAP in 1963 and wrote several popular songs (which he often personally performed), including "Strange Things Are Happening" and "The Ho-Ho Song".
 
72.
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...
 
74.
Paul Rodriguez
Actor, Ali
Friendly as all get-out, Latino stand-up comic Paul Rodriguez was born in Mexico but raised in East Los Angeles. After finishing his military service, he went to college on the GI bill with the idea of becoming an attorney, but developed an interest in comedy while taking elective courses. He honed his stand-up act at L.A.'s famous The Comedy Store while working as a doorman there...
 
75.
Eddie Izzard
Actor, Valkyrie
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...
 
77.
Paul Reiser
Actor, Whiplash
As a seasoned actor, writer, and stand-up comedian, Paul Reiser continues to add to his list of accomplishments. In addition to co-creating and starring in the critically-acclaimed NBC series, Mad About You, which garnered him Emmy, Golden Globe, American Comedy Award and Screen Actors Guild nominations for Best Actor in a Comedy Series...
 
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82.
Howie Mandel
Producer, Deal or No Deal
The story goes that huggable stand-up comedian Howie Mandel, who ran a carpet business once upon a time, began his show biz career by chance while catching amateur night at the Comedy Store on the L.A. Sunset Strip during a vacation. Goaded on by friends to try out, a producer spotted him, hired him for an appearance on the comedy game show "Make Me Laugh," and the rest is history...
 
83.
Norm MacDonald
Actor, Dirty Work
MacDonald was born Norman Gene MacDonald in Québec City, Québec on October 17, 1963. He began his career in stand-up comedy. MacDonald's first job was writing for The Dennis Miller Show and then Roseanne. While writing for Roseanne, he was noticed by Lorne Michaels, who liked Norm's stand up, and gave him his job on Saturday Night Live...
 
86.
Jay Mohr
Jay Mohr, born in Verona, New Jersey, USA, wanted to be a comedian all of his life. He performed stand-up comedy at colleges, comedy clubs, and such television forums as An Evening at the Improv and Two Drink Minimum. He first gained national attention while a cast member on Saturday Night Live, where he became known for his impersonations of such people as Sean Penn and Christopher Walken.
 
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Kevin James
Kevin James was born Kevin George Knipfing on April 26, 1965, in Mineola, New York, to Janet, an office worker, and Joseph Valentine Knipfing, Jr., an insurance agency owner. He has German ancestry. James attended Cortland University where he played fullback on the football team while majoring in sports management...
 
90.
Dana Carvey
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...
 
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92.
Louie Anderson
Iconic comedian Louie Anderson, the two-time Emmy award winner, is one of the country's most recognized and adored comics; named by Comedy Central as "One of 100 Greatest Stand-Up Comedians of All Time." His career has spanned more than 30 years. He is a best selling author, star of his own stand up specials and sitcoms...
 
94.
David Alan Grier
David Alan Grier was born in Detroit, Michigan, to Aretas Ruth (Dudley), a schoolteacher, and William Henry Grier, a psychiatrist and writer. He trained in Shakespeare at Yale University, where he received an MFA from the Yale School of Drama. Grier began his professional career on Broadway as Jackie Robinson in "The First"...
 
96.
Joey Bishop
Perpetually glum standup comedian Joey Bishop was born Joseph Abraham Gottlieb on February 3, 1918, in the Bronx, New York. He was the youngest of five children of Chana "Anna" (Siegel) and Jacob Gottlieb, a bicycle repairman. His father was an Austrian Jewish immigrant and his mother was a Romanian Jew...
 
97.
Sandra Bernhard
Love her or hate her, this comic diva is a one-of-a-kind, in-your-face, take-no-prisoners artiste. Racy, confrontational, offensive, cynical, off-putting and angst-ridden to a T, this flinty stand-up from Flint, Michigan was born on June 6, 1955, the daughter of Jerome Bernhard, a proctologist, and his wife Jeanette...
 
99.
Janeane Garofalo
Actress, Ratatouille
Janeane, the petite woman with the acerbic wit, was born in Newton, New Jersey, in 1964, to Joan, a secretary, and Carmine Garofalo, an Exxon executive. She is of Italian and Irish descent. Janeane had many jobs before breaking into show biz. She worked as a bike messenger, a shoe salesperson, waitress and temp secretary...