comedy The Most Original Comedians  

Lisa Waugh
Originally by
23k votes 1.7k voters 22k views 93 items Follow Embed

List Rules Comedians who were actually groundbreaking and original - not derivative.

Picking the top original comedians may start a bar fight but it's time to weigh in. What is the criteria for choosing some of the top groundbreaking comedians? This list looks at comedians who were the first of their kind, who set trends, established new genres, and broke the comedy mold to pieces. Those who killed while they made some razor sharp points about the state of things. Who had their own style that could not be replicated, try as many might.

Ranked here are original comics who broke down boundaries and changed American pop culture. Which top original comedians shocked the senses, created new comedic wrinkles, and challenged America to challenge itself?

Original comics with an original voice soon get folded into the next generation’s comedy. Milton Berle and Jack Benny were groundbreaking comedians of their time. Bill Hicks called the world out on its very existence. Johnny Carson created late night talk.

Groundbreaking comedians have changed public opinion and influenced politics. Jon Stewart has taken down many an arrogant journalist and political figure by using comedy, logic, and masterful mock news. Tina Fey has done the same. Lenny Bruce and George Carlin questioned every aspect of government and society and pushed limits. Monty Python surrealistically picked apart the British Empire. Amy Schumer brought a brash realism, a fresh voice for women, and taught us all where fudge is made. Dave Chappelle and Richard Pryor will always be considered two of the greats, nearly impossible to conquer.

Then there are those original comedy legends who have fallen from grace. Are they still groundbreaking comedians in light of their misdeeds and scandal? Many think so. Others see original comics like Bill Cosby as icons who did a lot for America’s perception of black families. But in the face of over 35 accusers of drugging and rape, where does he fall in comedy history? How about Woody Allen, who has faced his own public scandals?

Who are your favorite original comics? Do you swing old school or new? Do you mix your original comedy tastes and make choices based on your mood? Upvote your favorite groundbreaking comedians and tell us who should rule the original comics list. Don’t see your favorite original comedy king or queen here? Add it and get the last laugh. We’ll forgive you if you add Dane Cook.
list ordered by

1
+ - 758 120
Richard Pryor is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Richard Pryor Died at 65 (1940-2005)

The Best Male Stand Up Comedians of the 2010s The Best Travel Websites for Saving Money

2
+ - 705 111
George Carlin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Original Comedians
George Carlin Died at 71 (1937-2008)

3
+ - 709 150
Robin Williams is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Robin Williams Died at 63 (1951-2014)

4
+ - 480 141
Steve Martin is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Steve Martin age 71

5
+ - 545 149
Eddie Murphy is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Eddie Murphy age 56

6
+ - 457 130
Mel Brooks is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Mel Brooks age 90

7
+ - 499 163
Dave Chappelle is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Original Comedians

8
+ - 500 142
Bill Murray is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Bill Murray age 65

9
+ - 419 152
Lucille Ball is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Lucille Ball Died at 78 (1911-1989)

10
+ - 392 150
Monty Python is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Monty Python

11
+ - 377 140
Carol Burnett is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Carol Burnett age 83

12
+ - 301 131
Charlie Chaplin is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Charlie Chaplin Died at 88 (1889-1977)

13
+ - 389 131
John Belushi is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Original Comedians
John Belushi Died at 33 (1949-1982)

14
+ - 356 219
Chris Rock is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Chris Rock age 52

15
+ - 244 116
Gilda Radner is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Gilda Radner Died at 43 (1946-1989)

The Best Male Stand Up Comedians of the '80s The Most Embarrassing Celebrity Yearbook Photos

16
+ - 272 163
Tina Fey is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Tina Fey age 46

17
+ - 271 119
Don Rickles is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Don Rickles age 90

18
+ - 261 172
Louis C.K. is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Louis C.K. age 49

19
+ - 166 77
Chris Farley is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Chris Farley Died at 33 (1964-1997)

20
+ - 232 134
Jonathan Winters is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Jonathan Winters Died at 88 (1925-2013)

21
+ - 207 136
Rowan Atkinson is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Original Comedians

22
+ - 251 119
Phil Hartman is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Phil Hartman Died at 50 (1948-1998)

23
+ - 247 119
Johnny Carson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Johnny Carson Died at 80 (1925-2005)

24
+ - 163 90
Marty Feldman is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Marty Feldman Died at 48 (1934-1982)

25
+ - 143 49
John Candy is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Original Comedians
John Candy Died at 44 (1950-1994)

26
+ - 211 142
Andy Kaufman is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Andy Kaufman Died at 35 (1949-1984)

27
+ - 245 142
Sam Kinison is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Sam Kinison Died at 39 (1953-1992)

28
+ - 235 175
Jerry Seinfeld is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Original Comedians

29
+ - 215 124
Bob Newhart is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Bob Newhart age 87

The Best Female Stand Up Comedians of the '90s The Best Reasons Not to Have Kids

30
+ - 345 230
Jim Carrey is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Jim Carrey age 53

31
+ - 240 186
Jon Stewart is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Jon Stewart age 54

32
+ - 179 139
Elaine May is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Elaine May age 84

33
+ - 211 134
Mitch Hedberg is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Mitch Hedberg Died at 37 (1968-2005)

34
+ - 162 122
Lewis Black is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Lewis Black age 68

35
+ - 184 118
The Marx Bros. is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Most Original Comedians
The Marx Bros.

36
+ - 60 33
Steven Wright is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Steven Wright age 61

37
+ - 128 123
Lenny Bruce is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Lenny Bruce Died at 41 (1925-1966)

38
+ - 100 83
Lily Tomlin is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Lily Tomlin age 77

39
+ - 50 36
Bill Burr is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Bill Burr age 47

40
+ - 151 118
Phyllis Diller is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Phyllis Diller Died at 95 (1917-2012)

41
+ - 81 53
Chevy Chase is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Chevy Chase age 73

42
+ - 146 119
Milton Berle is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Milton Berle Died at 94 (1908-2002)

43
+ - 152 126
Bill Hicks is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Bill Hicks Died at 33 (1961-1994)

Comedians Who Have Won Grammy Awards The Best Scotch Brands

44
+ - 72 47
Buster Keaton is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Buster Keaton Died at 71 (1895-1966)

45
+ - 40 49
Kristen Wiig is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Kristen Wiig age 43

46
+ - 146 158
Stephen Colbert is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Most Original Comedians

47
+ - 176 155
Roseanne Barr is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Roseanne Barr age 64

48
+ - 47 43
Melissa McCarthy is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Most Original Comedians

49
+ - 127 163
Woody Allen is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Woody Allen age 81

50
+ - 40 38
Patton Oswalt is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Patton Oswalt age 48