comedians Dead Comedians Who Left Great Stand Up Behind

7.9k votes 1.9k voters 206k views 23 items Embed

List Rules Stand Up Comics Who Died Before They Were Done only. (No Actors.) Upvote the comedians who left the most great comedy behind.

This is a list of the best stand up comedians who died too early. These stand up comedians died before they had run out of steam and, for most, died in the prime of their career. Stand up comedy is a hard profession and drives the people in it into some pretty rough life styles. Because of this, there are many more premature deaths in the world of comedy than there are in other professions. Not all stand up comedians succumb to this, but some of the best stand ups have died too soon. This list contains stand up comedians who are dead now (R.I.P.) and who died before their time.

This doesn't necessarily mean that the stand up comics on this list died early or young. Most of them were middle aged or, in the case of George Carlin, down right old. This list is for the stand up comics that died with plenty of comedy left in them. So much so that it is tragic to lose them. The famous dead comedians on this list are white, black, asian, latino and everything in between. Some of these deaths occurred recently, whereas others happened decades ago. 

All items on this list contain videos of some of the best performances by the deceased comedians in question. Please note that some of these videos contain harsh language and may not be suitable for work. Vote up your favorite stand up comedian who died to soon and add any that you think have been overlooked. 
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Robin Williams


Ranker Video v
Video: YouTube
Died: 2014
Age: 63
# of Albums: 7

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Age: Died at 63 (1951-2014)

Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States of America

Profession: Screenwriter, Actor, Voice acting, Stand-up comedian

Credits: Good Will Hunting, Dead Poets Society, Jumanji, Aladdin

Also Ranked

#34 on The Greatest Actors & Actresses in Entertainment History

#31 on The Best Actors in Film History

#1 on The Funniest People of All Time

#6 on Famous Men You'd Want to Have a Beer With

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George Carlin


Ranker Video v
Video: YouTube
Died: 2008
Age: 71
# of Albums: 20 at time of death, 1 released posthumously.

*Note* I know that Carlin lived a good long life, but he would have been releasing more albums until he was 112 so that's still missing out on a bunch.

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Age: Died at 71 (1937-2008)

Birthplace: Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States of America

Profession: Comedian, Television producer, Film Producer, Screenwriter Actor, + more

Credits: Dogma, Cars, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, George Carlin: Playin' with Your Head

Also Ranked

#4 on The Funniest People of All Time

#39 on People We Wish Were Still Alive

#1 on The Funniest Stand Up Comedians of All Time

#91 on The Most Beloved US Veterans

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Mitch Hedberg


Ranker Video v
Video: YouTube
Died: 2005
Age: 37
# of Albums: 2 at time of death, 1 released posthumously

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Age: Died at 37 (1968-2005)

Birthplace: Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States of America

Profession: Comedian, Actor

Credits: Almost Famous, Lords of Dogtown, Los Enchiladas!, Saddle Rash

Also Ranked

#12 on The Funniest Stand Up Comedians of All Time

#34 on The Most Original Comedians

#12 on The Funniest Comedians on the Howard Stern Show

#3 on The Best Male Stand Up Comedians of the '90s

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John Candy


John Candy is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Dead Comedians Who Left Great Stand Up Behind
Photo:  Uncle Buck

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Age: Died at 44 (1950-1994)

Birthplace: Newmarket, Canada

Profession: Comedian, Television producer, Screenwriter, Actor Voice acting

Credits: SCTV, Spaceballs, Planes, Trains & Automobiles Uncle Buck

Also Ranked

#15 on The Funniest People of All Time

#25 on Which Actor Would You Bring Back for One Final Movie?

#34 on People We Wish Were Still Alive

#50 on The Funniest Stand Up Comedians of All Time

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Richard Pryor


Richard Pryor is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Dead Comedians Who Left Great Stand Up Behind
Photo: Freebase

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Age: Died at 65 (1940-2005)

Birthplace: Peoria, Illinois, United States of America

Profession: Master of Ceremonies, Comedian, Television producer, Film Producer Screenwriter, + more

Credits: Richard Pryor: Live in Concert, Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip, Blazing Saddles, Richard Pryor... Here and Now

Also Ranked

#8 on The Funniest People of All Time

#27 on Which Actor Would You Bring Back for One Final Movie?

#57 on People We Wish Were Still Alive

#3 on The Funniest Stand Up Comedians of All Time

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Chris Farley


Chris Farley is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Dead Comedians Who Left Great Stand Up Behind
Photo: Paramount Pictures

More About

Age: Died at 33 (1964-1997)

Birthplace: Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America

Profession: Stunt Performer, Comedian, Actor

Credits: Tommy Boy, Beverly Hills Ninja, Black Sheep, Wayne's World 2

Also Ranked

#11 on The Funniest People of All Time

#36 on Which Actor Would You Bring Back for One Final Movie?

#2 on The Best SNL Cast Members of All Time

#99 on People We Wish Were Still Alive

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John Belushi


John Belushi is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Dead Comedians Who Left Great Stand Up Behind
Photo:  Animal House

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Age: Died at 33 (1949-1982)

Birthplace: USA, Chicago, Humboldt Park, Illinois

Profession: Comedian, Musician, Screenwriter, Actor

Credits: The Blues Brothers, Saturday Night Live, Animal House, 1941

Also Ranked

#12 on The Funniest People of All Time

#23 on Which Actor Would You Bring Back for One Final Movie?

#3 on The Best SNL Cast Members of All Time

#25 on The Greatest Rock Stars Who Died Before 40

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Phil Hartman


Phil Hartman is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Dead Comedians Who Left Great Stand Up Behind
Photo:  NBC

More About

Age: Died at 50 (1948-1998)

Birthplace: Brantford, Canada

Profession: Comedian, Screenwriter, Actor, Graphic Artist Voice acting

Credits: Saturday Night Live, Jingle All the Way, The Simpsons, NewsRadio

Also Ranked

#26 on The Funniest People of All Time

#5 on The Best SNL Cast Members of All Time

#78 on The Best TV Actors of All Time

#7 on The Funniest Canadian Comics & Actors of All Time

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