You are here: Home » People » Top 10 American Comedians of All Time

Top 10 American Comedians of All Time

The greatest American Comedians of all time.

  1. Mitch Hedberg

    “My friend asked me if I wanted a frozen banana.  I said no, but I want a regular banana later, so yes.”  Mitch Hedberg did mostly stand-up comedy, although he has guest appeared on some sitcoms, such as “That 70’s Show.”  His dry humor and slow witted delivery will have you giggling long after the show’s over.  If you have never heard Hedberg before try his stand-up show, “Mitch All Together.”

  2. Bill Cosby-

    “A word to the wise ain’t necessary – it’s the stupid ones that need the advice.”  Bill Cosby is an actor, producer, and author, but he is most famous for being a great comedian.  Cosby has been around for a while, and has a very intelligent way with his humor.  If you have never heard Bill Cosby stand-up, try his album, “To Russel, My Brother, Whom I Slept With.”

  3. Roseanne Barr

    “Women complain about PMS, but I think of it as the only time of the month when I can be myself.”  Most people know her from the ABC series, Roseanne.  Before this popular show catapulted her forever into fame, she was already fairly popular from her stand-up comedy routine.  Try her stand-up show from “Comedy Central Presents.”

  4. Jon Stewart

    “Ahh, Earth Day, the only day of the year where being able to hacky-sack will get you laid.”  Stewart started off as a stand-up comedian, but branched out early on to hosting TV shows.  This turned out to be the right path for him, as he is now one of the most famous hosts on television.  His real, fake news show, “The Daily Show,” is a must watch.

  5. Eddie Murphy

    “If I don’t die in a plane crash or something, this country has a rare opportunity to watch a great talent grow.”  Eddie Murphy is an award winning actor, producer, film director, comedian, and singer.  Though his career has been long and prestigous, nothing is quite as funny as watching him let loose a string of high pitched curses in his early stand-up shows.  Try his “Greatest Comedy Hits” compilation album.

  6. Jerry Seinfeld

    “It’s amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every day always just exactly fits the newspaper.”  Jerry Seinfeld has made “observational comedy” famous with his popular sitcom, “Seinfeld.”  If you’ve never seen “Seinfeld,” start with the early seasons and watch them progress from year to year.

  7. Ellen DeGeneres

    “My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She’s ninety-seven now, and we don’t know where the hell she is.”  Ellen is an eleven time Emmy award winner, but she got her start early on by being one of the funniest female comedians around.  Try her album, “Taste This.”

  8. George Carlin

    “What if there were no hypothetical questions?”  George Carlin is famous for his dark humor.  For years he has been making people laugh about many taboo subjects, ranging from politics to religion.  Try his early HBO Special, “Carlin at Carnegie.”

  9. Richard Pryor

    “Friends take up time, and I didn’t have time.”  Pryor was best known for his “in your face” approach to comedy.  Regarded by many as the best comedian of his time, he brought to light such subjects as racism and class.  Try Pryor’s compilation, “Richard Pryor Live!”

  10. Robin Williams

    “God gave men both a penis and a brain, but unfortunately not enough blood supply to run both at the same time.”  Robin Williams’ brain works at about 10 times the speed of a normal person.  His improvisation skills are second to none in the world of comedy.  His stand-up show, “Live on Broadway,” is a must see for everyone.

Liked it
User Comments
  1. Keemo

    On October 13, 2008 at 11:16 am

    Ok, the publishers keeps doing this to me for some reason. The numbers are backwards. Number 1 should be Robin Williams, 2 Richard Pryor, and so on.

  2. Liane Schmidt

    On October 13, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    Cute article, nice work!



    -Liane Schmidt.

  3. Rohit

    On October 13, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    Great list, agree with MOST choices. But I would certainly change up the order.

  4. thesharkguys

    On October 13, 2008 at 9:36 pm

    No Bill Hicks? Gilbert Gottfried?

  5. joe re

    On October 14, 2008 at 2:28 am

    thank you for placing Mitch Hedberg first, he definitely deserved it!

  6. multi

    On October 14, 2008 at 9:40 am

    Groucho Marx, Bob Hope, Danny Kaye ,Dean Martin or John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd ..etc etc..the list of truly greats goes on and on.. :D

  7. Brian Daniel Stankich

    On October 17, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    Bill Cosby is my favorite! I grew up on his first sitcom produced in 1969-70. I used to like Carlin, Pryor, and Murphy, but can’t stand their foul mouths.

  8. Susan Nunes

    On February 3, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    You are totally kidding. None of these people could hold a candle to the great vaudeville-based comedians such as Groucho Marx, Jack Benny, Burns and Allen, Eddie Cantor, Fred Allen, etc., etc., etc. This list is a total farce.

  9. Dan

    On February 4, 2009 at 4:58 am

    I agree with Susan. I would also like to add Don Rickles, Foster Brooks, Ruth Buzzi, and Phyllis Diller

  10. saman

    On March 4, 2009 at 2:32 am

    okay. what’s going on here. DON KNOTS people! DON KNOTS!

  11. Morgan

    On May 4, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    i totally agree with this list, but i can think of some people that also deserve mentioning.
    -Russell Peters
    -Jim Gaffigan
    -Dan Cummins
    -Brian Regan
    -Jeff Dunham
    -Demetri Martin
    -Jimmy Carr

  12. Dylan

    On May 14, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    Yeah, this lsit has some great people

    But you forgot Bill Hicks, and Chris Rock

  13. standup writer

    On June 11, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    The Top three comedians to date are Richard Pryor, George Carlin, and Lenny Bruce…there is no arguement…every comedian along with anyone who actually knows the history of standup will say these three make the mount Rushmore of comedy

    Keemo, you have no idea what you are talking about.

    1. Richard Pryor
    2. George Carlin
    3. Lenny Bruce
    Of course those who have a love of comedy understand the debate in the order of the three

  14. CB

    On June 23, 2009 at 8:01 am

    i agree with standup writer….how is lenny bruce missing?? and roseanne barr outranks mitch hedburg? bill hicks was a huge influence, definitely one of the greatest if not one of the top 3. worst. list. ever. bill murray is also way funnier than ellen degeneres and roseanne barr.

  15. standup writer

    On July 7, 2009 at 12:13 am

    keemo and rohit,
    how do you compare Mitch Hedberg to the carriers of George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Bill Hicks, or Chris Rock……..this is so opinionated your looking through a perspective of present time and how this comedians affected you….
    …the whole point of GREATEST COMEDIANS OF ALL TIME is that you list comedians in order of HOW INFLUENTIAL they were to COMEDY AS A WHOLE

  16. Andre Strydom

    On July 29, 2009 at 6:02 am

    White people cant do comedy on the whole

  17. standup writer

    On August 4, 2009 at 11:10 am

    Comedy Central as the actual list

  18. notyou

    On October 14, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    One name in the world stands miles above all other comedians.. Don Rickles. Nobody will ever come as close to being as legendary as he is!

  19. JakeofClubs

    On October 21, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    The must have been the funniest people besides Georger Carlin.

  20. Riaan

    On November 18, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    Where is Bill Hicks?
    And Mitch Hedberg No. 1 ? Give me a break!

  21. tiffany

    On December 22, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    what happen to will smith ppl
    jim carey
    chris tucker
    chris rock

  22. Drew

    On April 22, 2010 at 6:10 am

    Bill Hicks should have been at least mentioned, he was the best comedian there ever was. Bill Hicks, George Carlin, Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, Sam Kinison, Chris Rock, and Lewis Black are rightfully the best american comedians of all time and the best in the world.

  23. Willie Williams

    On September 3, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    The greats (in no particular order)

    Lenny Bruce
    George Carlin
    Richard Pryor
    Bill Hicks

    I like that Mitch Hedberg is first on your list. He’s a personal favorite of mine.

  24. Nate

    On September 15, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    Bill Hicks should be number 1, yet is excluded from the list entirely

  25. Cliff

    On February 4, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    This is the dumbest list I have ever seen. Roseanne Barr??? Ellen, Mitch, and Jon confuse me almost as much. You have no business publishing anything more on the internet.

  26. rcwfl

    On June 15, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    I think they definatley over looked some people one i beleive is the greatest comedian EVER!!!!!!!

    the one and only Lucille Ball

Post Comment
Powered by Powered by Triond