The Most Notable Stand-Up Comics from Def Comedy Jam People

The Most Notable Stand-Up Comics from Def Comedy Jam

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A thorough list of Def Comedy Jam performing comedians, with photos! Russell Simmons classic HBO stand-up comedy showcase ran from 1992 until 1997, and then returned in 2006. The show helped to launch the careers of dozens of top popular and famous black comedians, including Bernie Mac, Dave Chappelle, Bill Bellamy, Damon Wayans, Jamie Foxx, Mike Epps, and Chris Tucker. Most of the funny black comedians who were first featured on the show went on to achieve fame and influence. 

Who are the most famous Def Jam comedians? Though a variety of "Best Of" collections were released of the classic '90s episodes, featuring old black comedians, only the 2006 revival series has had all its episodes collected for DVD. This list includes the notable male and female African American comedians who stepped on the Def Comedy Jam stage on their way to the big time. (Be sure to check out more great comedy every week on Cannon's Countdown!)



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    Adele Givens is an American actress and comedian. Her television appearances include The Hughleys, Moesha, The Parkers, Comedy Central Presents, Def Comedy Jam, Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry, Martin, Tracey Takes On... and The Steve Harvey Show. She currently lives in Lexington, Kentucky.more

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    Aries Spears is an American stand-up comedian, actor, voice artist, and comedian. Spears was a regular on Fox's sketch comedy series MADtv, appearing in 198 episodes, making him the second longest-serving cast member on the show falling behind Michael McDonald. He recently released a new special called ...more

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    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 gained popularity as a stand-up comedian. He joined comedians Steve Harvey, Cedric the Entertainer, and D. L.more

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    William "Bill" Bellamy is an American actor and stand-up comedian. Bellamy first gained national notoriety on HBO's Russell Simmons' Def Comedy Jam, where he is credited for creating or coining the phrase "booty call", described as a late night call to a potential paramour with the intention of meeting ...more

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    Bruce Bruce is an American actor and stand-up comedian from Atlanta, Georgia. He grew up in The Bluff, one of the city's roughest ghettos. He was the host of BET's ComicView and has appeared in various stand-up comedy specials and television series. He was also a spokesman for Popeye's Chicken & ...more

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    Cedric Antonio Kyles, better known by the stage name Cedric the Entertainer, is an American actor, comedian, director, and game show host. He was originally the host on It's Showtime at the Apollo. He also hosted BET's ComicView during the 1993-1994 season and Def Comedy Jam in 1995. He is best known ...more

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    Charlie Barnett was an American actor and comedian.more

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    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 wider prominence as a cast member of Saturday Night Live in the early 1990s. He went on to more prominent film roles, ...more

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    Christopher "Chris" Tucker is an American actor and comedian. He is known for playing the role of Smokey in Friday and as Detective James Carter in the Rush Hour film series. Tucker became a frequent stand up performer on Def Comedy Jam in the 1990s. He has also appeared in Luc Besson's The Fifth ...more

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    Craig Phillip Robinson is an American actor, stand-up comedian, and singer. He is best known for his role as Darryl Philbin on The Office, and his roles in the films Pineapple Express, Miss March, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Shrek Forever After, Hot Tub Time Machine and This Is the End.more

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    D.L. Hughley is a film actor, writer and producer.more

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    Damon Kyle Wayans, Sr. is an American actor, comedian, writer and producer, and a member of the Wayans family of entertainers. Wayans performed as a comedian and actor throughout the 1980s, including a yearlong stint on the sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live, although his true breakthrough came as ...more

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    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 Hood: Men in Tights, he landed minor roles in box office hits including The Nutty Professor, Con Air, and Blue ...more

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    DeRay Davis is an American stand-up comedian and actor. DeRay began his career in comedy clubs. Shortly after moving to Los Angeles, He won the Comedy Central Laugh Riots Competition and was a standout on the Cedric the Entertainer Tour. Best known for his role as Ray-Ray the Hustle Guy in Barbershop ...more

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    Don "D.C." Curry is an African-American actor and stand-up comedian. He is best known for starring as Craig's sex-crazed Uncle Elroy Jones in Next Friday and Friday After Next and for his role on the sitcom Grace Under Fire. He also hosted 2013 BET's Comic View. Curry got his first start on BET's Comic ...more

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    Donnell Rawlings is an overnight success, a decade in the making. You've seen him on Chappelle's Show as Ashy Larry, the 1970's Jheri curled Beautiful, and numerous other characters he's played. Rawlings is the franchise player Dave Chappelle and Neal Brennan wanted as a writer and prime time player on ...more

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    Nathaniel Martin Stroman, best known as "Earthquake", is an American actor, voice artist, and comedian. He currently hosts his own radio show on WBLS. Earthquake performed a half-hour HBO special as part of the series One Night Stand, which first aired on August 26, 2005. He also had a small role in ...more

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    Eddie Griffin
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    Edward Rubin "Eddie" Griffin is an American actor and comedian. He is best known for portraying Eddie Sherman on the sitcom Malcolm & Eddie and the title character in the 2002 comedy film Undercover Brother.more

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    Ellen Cleghorne is an American actress and comedian, best known as a cast member of Saturday Night Live from 1991 to 1995. Cleghorne was the sketch comedy show's second African-American female repertory cast member, succeeding Danitra Vance in its eleventh season, and the first African-American female ...more

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