Top 5 All-Time Greatest Comedians


Whether they are making you laugh or making you think, stand-up comics always provide interesting and entertaining takes on important issues and cultural events, but just who are the very best of their craft?

1) George Carlin

George Carlin
  • Comedian, social critic, actor, and author
  • Commented on contemporary political issues in the US and satirized the excesses of American culture
  • Frequent performer and guest host on The Tonight Show
  • Posthumously awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor
  • “The dean of counterculture comedians”

2) Richard Pryor

Richard Pryor
  • Comedian, actor, film director, social critic, satirist, writer, and MC
  • Listed #1 Greatest Comedian of All-Time by Comedy Central
  • "The seminal comedian of the last 50 years" - Bob Newhart
  • One of the most important & influential stand-up comedians of all time
  • Known for uncompromising examinations of racism and topical contemporary issues

3) Lenny Bruce

Lenny Bruce
  • Paved the way to allow free speech in entertainment
  • Integrated satire, politics, religion, sex, and vulgarity
  • Has developed a substantial cult following
  • Groundbreaking and incredibly insightful
  • His 1964 conviction in an obscenity trial was followed by a posthumous pardon in 2003

4) Bill Hicks

Bill Hicks
  • Material encompassed a wide range of social issues including religion, politics, and philosophy
  • Comedian, social critic, satirist and musician
  • Has developed a substantial cult following
  • Died of pancreatic cancer at age 32
  • Criticized consumerism, superficiality, mediocrity within the media and popular culture

5) Steve Martin

Steve Martin
  • Comedy Central ranked Martin #6 on their 100 Greatest Comedians list
  • Has won Emmy, Grammy and American Comedy awards
  • Comedian, actor, musician, writer, and producer
  • Now focuses more on acting and banjo-playing
  • Performed offbeat, absurdist comedy routines

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