20 World’s Best Stand Up Comics Of All-time
Some of the world's best stand up comedian
Comedy has grown through the years, but it has remained one of the most substantial sections of the entertainment industry. Most of the world’s most prominent comedians gained significance on stage. Of course, if you can pull off a stand-up without breaking a sweat, you’re legendary. Check out our list of 20 of the best comics of all time.
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20. Woody Allen
Woody Allen may be known for making some of the most critically acclaimed movies in the world, but he’s also left prints on stage. If you had seen him on stage, then that Brooklyn accent and sharp one-liners must have had you screaming out in laughter. The funny man first made a name in the downtown NYC nightclub scene in the 60s and made comedy albums. Allen got behind the camera and showed the world more of what he could do.
19. Kevin Hart
If Kevin Hart were a radio, some would listen to him daily. We know we would. Hart remains one of the most successful stand-up comics of all time, selling out arenas and giving his audiences the time of their lives. How he describes events moves around the stage, and everything is funny. Everything about Kevin Hart on stage is hilarious. Kevin is not just a movie star; he’s a comedy star.
18. Don Rickles
According to Rolling Stone, Don Rickles “is a rare comic who found his voice by actually ignoring his material.” Of course, this is true. It can’t be said for a lot of comics. He was known as “Mr. Warmth” and the “Merchant Of Vernon” in the late forties. He bloomed so well that his name reverberated. He was the man to see. Piercing more than his written jokes, Rickles’ audiences loved his adlibs, which birthed his strongest suit.
17. Albert Brooks
Albert Brooks analyzed everything, from how comedy works and if it worked. You’d agree that he discovered that because he’s currently one of the world’s most celebrated stand-up comedians of all time. And boy, he had material. He also included his listeners, which was the best thing about him. Brooks could make anything funny, including not having anything prepared.
16. Eddie Murphy
Some would say Eddie Murphy isn’t only royalty in movies; he also rules the stage. The heir to the throne of Zamunda lights up the stage every time he hits it. He exudes the confidence of a pop star and can go on and on if his audience has nowhere else to go. Eddie is a character that everyone loves to see. Yes, we are all addicted to him.
15. Andy Kaufman
Don’t you love how that name rolls off your tongue? Andy Kaufman a legend who deserves all his flowers. Oh, Kaufman stole hearts with his jokes and actions. Remember when he took his entire audience at Carnegie Hall out for milk and cookies? Haha!!! Who does that? Well, Andy Kaufman. That’s the name. Rolling Stone described his career as “the country’s first major introduction with what’s sometimes called anti-comedy.”
14. Steven Wright
Steven Wright is called the king of deadpan one-liners. He makes you imagine things while having a good life. Imagine recalling something he said and having an even bigger laugh. Oh, and you couldn’t put him in a box. He gets you from all sides. Rolling Stone described his jokes as offering “contemplative qualities of a good zen koan” and labeled him “one of his generation’s great minimalist joke writers.”
13. Bill Hicks
Bill Hicks was a lot of things, including a comic, social critic, satirist, and musician. He wore each cap well, and they all suited him. And the man was relentless. He just couldn’t stop. When he starts, he keeps going. It was the perfect title for his special, recorded in 1991 at the Just For Laughs festival. He gave everything, and his eloquence endeared him to many hearts.
12. Robin Williams
Shoutout to everyone who witnessed Robin Williams in his prime. We doubt we are the only ones who thought his smile was everything. The way he’d smile when he knew he had gotten us. He knew how to dish lines in ways that would get his audiences and have them gagging. Oh, and he knew the stage so well. His specials were to live for, and his jokes were well-crafted.
11. Steve Martin
There was a time when Steve Martin was the most sort after comedian in America. His ironic jokes set him apart from everyone else. You just had to hear them. You just had to see him. He could also entertain an arena. He did everything, from playing props to making jokes. He had so much planned, and he executed them all like a pro. Steve Martin’s showmanship is up there.
10. Mort Sahl
Mort Sahl is a comic like no one before or after him. He was a man with an agenda, and he made sure it played out exactly how he wanted it on stage. He dissected politics in ways that only he could. From headline to headline, Sahl made jokes about the most serious issues and made the truth bare. There was no one like him. There still isn’t. According to Rolling Stone, Sahl “made himself the most valuable political voice since Will Rogers.”
9. Jerry Seinfeld
To call Jerry Seinfeld “funny” is an understatement. The man is hilarious. He’s one of those people who know how funny they are and secretly relish the results. Seinfeld shines in observational comedy, and he executes it in the best ways. Just hear him ponder something, no matter how insignificant, and you’d never see it the same again. He knows how to appeal to everyone, and that’s what makes him who he is.
8. Bill Cosby
Embattled comedy star Bill Cosby had some very iconic years. For years, he made a name that will live on in the sands of comedy. Cosby’s jokes were everything. The man was comedy, and comedy was him. On stage, he blazed. He could keep you there until you melted from laughter. He is credited for taking stand-up to a whole other level. Cosby inspired some of the world’s most prominent comedians, including Chappelle and Louis C.K.
7. Louis C.K.
Louis C.K. is just as tall as his talent. He’s had years of practice honing a skill for the ages. He has performed at various comedy clubs and gained praise for how well he works the stage. One thing that makes him so endearing is how real his jokes are. Sorry to the people closest to him who also appear in them. He’s one comic who always strives to outdo himself.
6. Joan Rivers
Joan Rivers was everything. We really did lose an incredible talent, and the world knows. You needed to hear her. Joan was a force. Whether on stage or on television, she dished jokes like it was Christmas, and she had a bag full of them. She did wrestle with the boys. Because of Joan, comedy is no longer a man’s world. Joan Rivers did that.
5. Dave Chappelle
Dave Chappelle is a brilliant man, and he knows it. He has carefully channeled his strength on stage and made his name precisely what he wants it to be. With historic Live shows, Chappelle reigns as one of the greats. He discusses everything, including race, money, politics, and celebrity. Oh, and he’ll always tell the truth in a way you may not want to hear it. But he’s Dave Chappelle; you can’t get him.
4. Lenny Bruce
Lenny Bruce is an Icon. He embraced comedy so much that he became it. You could not stop him from speaking. He literally fought for the right to be heard. That’s one of many reasons why he’s so iconic. The fast-talking transformed stand-up and made it an occupation. He brought the revolution to comedy, led it, and claimed victory.
3. Chris Rock
If Chris Rock sets his sights on you, the world will never look at you the same again. Rock’s talent is a gift that keeps giving. You never know what you’ll get until you reach in. Rolling Stone describes him in the best way, “Chris Rock comes across like a boxer, a preacher, and a poet all in one.” Haha. Rock is effortlessly funny and never struggles to dish a joke; he just talks.
2. George Carlin
Anyone who has studied George Carlin’s incredible career knows he basically morphed into an icon. There was a time when he gave the people what they wanted, all for mainstream appeal. Then, he discovered himself, found his voice, and became a force to reckon with. We hear drugs were a big part of the change. He also delivered legendary specials that called his audiences to action and stood for everything he believed in.
1. Richard Pryor
Richard Pryor is one comic shaped by everything that happened in his life. He had a disturbing childhood which he survived. While that influenced his act, more unfortunate decisions in his life also changed him and made him one of the greatest comics of all time. If anyone could provoke the world, it was Pryor. He had a messy life, but it never affected his delivery. Richard Pryor sewed comedy to his soul and did with it what he pleased.