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The Funniest Stand Up Comedians of All Time

List Criteria: Stand up comedians only. Must have done actual stand-up, not just film or TV.

A ranked list of the best stand up comedians in the history of the art form. First and foremost, all of the people on this list are funny comedians. But beyond that, this is a diverse list of people with different styles who approach different types of subject matter. These are the cream of the crop: they are the top comedians in the game, and many thousands of people agree. Many of the popular comedians listed below worked their way up through the stand up circuit and eventually landed a show on Comedy Central, while others started their own web series and put their best stand up out into the world that way. The funniest comedians can come from any type of background, obviously there are insanely talented black, Asian, Latino and white comedians (and everything in between.)

Being a good stand-up comic is tough, and whether they're an observationist, an orator, an absurdist, blue collar, or alternative, all of the funny comedians on this list are unique, hardworking, and hilarious. Many of the best comedians of all time got their start as stand-up comedians and then progressed to star in their own films of TV series. It takes a certain skill set and ability to connect with people to excel at stand-up comedy, and we feel that these are the ones that shine.

This list is made of the 100 greatest stand-up comedians and then some. The top ten comedians are always changing. Feel free to add your votes to this Crowd-Ranked list of the greatest stand ups of all time, or make your own contributing list and give your voice more weight in the calculations. 

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  1. 1
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    the people's #1
    Cars, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, Dogma George Denis Patrick Carlin was an American comedian, social critic, actor, and author. Carlin was noted for his black comedy and his thoughts on politics, the English language, psychology, religion,

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  2. 2
    + 5487
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    most listed
    Aladdin, Good Will Hunting, Dead Poets Society Robin McLaurin Williams was an American actor and comedian. Starting as a stand-up comedian in San Francisco and Los Angeles in the mid-1970s, he is credited with leading San Francisco's comedy

    ; buy at  
  3. 3
    + 7715
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    ranked low on reranks
    Saturday Night Live, Louie, American Hustle Louis Székely, known professionally as Louis C.K., is an American comedian, actor, and filmmaker. He is the creator, star, writer, director, and editor of the acclaimed FX comedy series Louie.

    ; buy at  
  4. 4
    + 5372
    - 1916


    Blazing Saddles, The Muppet Movie, Superman III Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor was an American comedian, actor, film director, social critic, satirist, writer, and MC. Pryor was known for uncompromising examinations of racism and topical

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  5. 5
    + 6205
    - 2067


    Con Air, The Nutty Professor, Robin Hood: Men in Tights David Khari Webber "Dave" Chappelle is an American comedian, screenwriter, television and film producer, and actor. After beginning his film career in 1993 as Ahchoo in Mel Brooks' Robin

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  6. 6
    + 4962
    - 1990


    Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Madagascar Christopher Julius "Chris" Rock III is an American comedian, actor, screenwriter, producer, and director. After working as a standup comic and appearing in small film roles, Rock came to

    ; buy at  
  7. 7
    + 4755
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    Shrek, Mulan, Beverly Hills Cop Edward Regan "Eddie" Murphy is an American comedian, actor, writer, singer, and director. Box-office takes from Murphy's films make him the 4th-highest grossing actor in the United States.

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  8. 8
    + 3313
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    Seinfeld, Bee Movie, Live! with Kelly and Michael Jerome Allen "Jerry" Seinfeld is an American comedian, actor, writer, and producer. He is best known for playing a semi-fictional version of himself in the sitcom Seinfeld, which he

    ; buy at  
  9. 9
    + 2984
    - 1749


    Little Shop of Horrors, Planes, Trains and Automobiles Stephen Glenn "Steve" Martin is an American comedian, actor, musician, writer, and producer. Martin came to public notice as a writer for the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, and later became

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  10. 10
    + 3341
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    added by PhillyHilfiger
    The 40-Year-Old Virgin, This Is the End, Scary Movie 3 Kevin Darnell Hart is an American actor, comedian, writer, and producer. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Hart began his career by winning several amateur comedy competitions at clubs

    ;
  11. 11
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    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    The Cosby Show, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, A Different World William Henry "Bill" Cosby Jr. is an American stand-up comedian, actor, author, and activist. Cosby's start in stand-up began at the hungry i in San Francisco which was followed by landing a

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  12. 12
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    ranked low on reranks
    Almost Famous, Lords of Dogtown, Mitch Hedberg: Mitch All Together Mitchell Lee "Mitch" Hedberg was an American stand-up comedian known for his surreal humor and unconventional comedic delivery. His comedy typically featured short, sometimes one-line jokes

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  13. 13
    + 2615
    - 1443


    Caddyshack, Natural Born Killers, Back to School Rodney Dangerfield was an American comedian and actor, known for the catchphrase "I don't get no respect!" and his monologues on that theme. He is also remembered for his 1980s film roles,

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  14. 14
    + 3549
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    ranked low on reranks & added by Aaron719
    The Heat, Date Night, Walk of Shame William "Bill" Burr is an American comedian, writer, and actor. He is best known for his stand up comedy specials. He also has a weekly Monday podcast that can be found at BillBurr.com, and

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  15. 15
    + 2213
    - 1719

    often listed
    The Daily Show, Hannah and Her Sisters, Jacob's Ladder Lewis Niles Black is an American comedian, author, playwright, social critic and actor. He is known for his angry face, comedy and style, which often includes simulating a mental breakdown, or an

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  16. 16
    + 2844
    - 1491


    Three Kings, Super Troopers, 13 Going on 30 James Christopher "Jim" Gaffigan is an American stand-up comedian, actor, and author. His memoir, Dad Is Fat and his most recent book, Food: A Love Story, are both published by Crown

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  17. 17
    + 2554
    - 1486


    No Cure for Cancer, Totally Bill Hicks, Comedy's Dirtiest Dozen William Melvin "Bill" Hicks was an American comedian, social critic, satirist and musician. His material, encompassing a wide range of social issues including religion, politics, and

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  18. 18
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    The Office, Night at the Museum, Stardust Ricky Dene Gervais is an English comedian, actor, voice actor, film director, producer, musician, screenwriter, and radio presenter. Gervais worked initially in the music industry, attempting a career

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  19. 19
    + 1908
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    Reservoir Dogs, Natural Born Killers, Babe: Pig in the City Steven Alexander Wright is an American comedian, actor and writer. He is known for his distinctly lethargic voice and slow, deadpan delivery of ironic, philosophical and sometimes nonsensical jokes,

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  20. 20
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    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Batman Forever, Dumb and Dumber James Eugene "Jim" Carrey is a Canadian American actor, comedian, impressionist, screenwriter, and film producer. Carrey has received two Golden Globe Awards. Known for his highly energetic

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  21. 21
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    Toy Story, Toy Story 3, Toy Story 2 Donald Jay "Don" Rickles is an American stand-up comedian and actor. A frequent guest on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, he has acted in comedic and dramatic roles, but is widely

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  22. 22
    + 1996
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    The Hangover, Saturday Night Live, The Hangover Part II Zachary Knight "Zach" Galifianakis is an American stand-up comedian and actor, known for his television appearance in his own Comedy Central Presents special. He also starred in films, such

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  23. 23
    + 1580
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    Sanford and Son, Harlem Nights, Cotton Comes to Harlem John Elroy Sanford, known professionally as Redd Foxx, was an American comedian and actor, best remembered for his explicit comedy records and his starring role on the 1970s sitcom Sanford and

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  24. 24
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    ranked low on reranks
    Transformers, Friday, Ocean's Eleven Bernard Jeffrey "Bernie" McCullough, better known by his stage name Bernie Mac, was an American stand-up comedian, actor and voice artist. Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, Mac

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  25. 25
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    Ratatouille, Magnolia, Zoolander Patton Oswalt is an American stand-up comedian, writer, actor and voice actor known for roles such as Spencer Olchin in the sitcom The King of Queens and for voicing Remy in the film Ratatouille.

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  26. 26
    + 1997
    - 1443


    Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Elf, Saturday Night Live John William "Will" Ferrell is an American actor, comedian, producer, and writer. Ferrell first established himself in the mid-1990s as a cast member on the NBC sketch comedy show Saturday

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  27. 27
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    Parks and Recreation, This Is the End, Ice Age: Continental Drift Aziz Ishmael Ansari is an American actor and comedian. He starred as Tom Haverford on the NBC show Parks and Recreation. Ansari began his career performing standup comedy in New York City during the

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    ranked low on reranks
    Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, The Daily Show, Big Daddy Jonathan Stewart is a voice actor.

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  29. 29
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    The Big Bang Theory, Elf, The Rescuers George Robert "Bob" Newhart is an American stand-up comedian and actor. Noted for his deadpan and slightly stammering delivery, Newhart came to prominence in the 1960s when his album of

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  30. 30
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    Back to School, Savage Dawn, Charlie Hoover Samuel Burl "Sam" Kinison was an American stand-up comedian and actor. He was known for his intense, harsh and politically incorrect humor. A former Pentecostal preacher, he performed

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  31. 31
    + 1939
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    Tosh.0, The Love Guru, Brickleberry Daniel Dwight Tosh is an American comedian, television host, actor, writer, and executive producer who hosts the Comedy Central television show Tosh.0.

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  32. 32
    + 1372
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    Billy Madison, Grown Ups, Jack and Jill Norman Gene "Norm" Macdonald is a Canadian stand-up comedian, writer, producer and actor. He is best known for his five seasons as a cast member on Saturday Night Live, which included

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  33. 33
    + 1663
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    Horrible Bosses, Sex and the City 2, Ron White: They Call Me Tater Salad ... Ronald Dee "Ron" White is an American stand up comedian and actor, best known as a charter member of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour. Nicknamed "Tater Salad," he is the author of the

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  34. 34
    + 1753
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    often listed
    Finding Nemo, American Idol, Coneheads Ellen Lee DeGeneres is an American comedian, television host, actress, writer, and producer. She was the star in the popular sitcom Ellen from 1994 to 1998, and has hosted her syndicated talk show The

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  35. 35
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    There's Something About Mary, Wreck-It Ralph, School of Rock Sarah Kate Silverman is an American stand-up comedian, writer, producer and actress. Her satirical comedy addresses social taboos and controversial topics, such as racism, sexism and religion, having

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  36. 36
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    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    The Cape Canaveral Monsters, Dance Hall Racket, Thank You Mask Man Leonard Alfred Schneider, better known by his stage name Lenny Bruce, was an American stand-up comedian, social critic and satirist. He was renowned for his open, free-style and critical form of

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  37. 37
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    ranked low on reranks
    The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, Space Ghost, The Tonight Show John William "Johnny" Carson was an American television host, comedian, writer, producer, actor, and musician known for thirty years as host of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.

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  38. 38
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    Wayne's World, Billy Madison, Tommy Boy Christopher Crosby "Chris" Farley was an American comedian and actor. Farley was known for his loud, energetic comedic style, and was a member of Chicago's Second City Theatre and cast

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  39. 39
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    often listed
    The Princess Bride, Monsters, Inc. William Edward "Billy" Crystal is an American actor, singer, writer, producer, director, comedian, and television host. He gained prominence in the 1970s for playing Jodie Dallas on the ABC

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  40. 40
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    - 450

    ranked low on reranks & added by miriam
    Legit, Down and Dirty with Jim Norton, Jim Jefferies: I Swear to God Geoff James Nugent, known professionally as Jim Jefferies, is an Australian stand-up comedian, actor and writer.

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  41. 41
    + 446
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    often listed & added by Countermoon
    Brave, How to Train Your Dragon, Kick-Ass Craig Ferguson is a Scottish-born American television host, stand-up comedian, writer, actor, director, author, producer and voice artist. He was the host of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, an

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  42. 42
    + 1575
    - 1022

    added by INTPLibrarian
    The Daily Show, Monsters vs. Aliens, The Colbert Report Stephen Tyrone Colbert is an American political satirist, writer, producer, singer, television host, actor, media critic, and comedian. From 2005 to 2014, he was the host of Comedy Central's The

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  43. 43
    + 1246
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    Source Code, New Year's Eve, Last Comic Standing Russell Dominic Peters is a Canadian comedian and actor. He began performing in Toronto in 1989 and won a Gemini Award in 2008. He has set records for sales and attendance at a comedian's performance:

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  44. 44
    + 895
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    Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, Spaceballs Melvin James "Mel" Brooks is an American film director, screenwriter, comedian, actor, producer, composer, and songwriter. He is best known as a creator of broad film farces and comic

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  45. 45
    + 1087
    - 830


    It's a Mad, Mad, Mad Jonathan Harshman Winters III was an American comedian, actor, author, and artist. Beginning in 1960, Winters recorded many classic comedy albums for the Verve Records label. He also had records

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  46. 46
    + 1562
    - 1098


    Magic Mike, All That, Planes Gabriel J. Iglecias, known professionally as Gabriel Iglesias and comically as Fluffy, is an American comedian, actor, writer, producer and voice actor. He is known for his shows I'm Not Fat… I'm

    ; buy at  
  47. 47
    + 1402
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    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Happy Gilmore, Saturday Night Live, Billy Madison Adam Richard Sandler is an American actor, comedian, screenwriter, entrepreneur, film producer, and musician. After becoming a Saturday Night Live cast member, Sandler went on to star in many

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  48. 48
    + 1099
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    Common Law, Z Rock, The Colin Quinn Show Gregory C. "Greg" Giraldo was an American stand-up comedian, television personality, and lawyer. Giraldo was best known for his appearances on Comedy Central's televised roast specials, and

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  49. 49
    + 1014
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    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    John Q, Primary Colors, Real Time with Bill Maher William "Bill" Maher, Jr. is an American political satirist, writer, producer, political commentator, television host, actor, media critic, and stand-up comedian. Before his role as the host

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  50. 50
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    Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Inside Amy Schumer, Sleepwalk ... Amy Beth Schumer is an American stand-up comedian, writer, producer, and actress. She placed fourth on the fifth season of NBC's Last Comic Standing, and she placed second on Comedy Central's Reality

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