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The Best Biopics About Real Comedians 

Ranker Film
Updated June 14, 2019 513 votes 128 voters 9.1k views 16 items

List Rules Vote up the best biographical movies about stand-up comedians and comic actors

There is a surprising dearth of quality biopics about comedians. There are, however, a handful of movies that masterfully capture the magnetic personalities and dynamic lives both onstage and off of some great comic performers. With rumors swirling about a Richard Pryor biopic directed by Lee Daniels, here are the best comedian biopics.


Trailblazer, rebel, and criminal Lenny Bruce is portrayed brilliantly by Dustin Hoffman in the film
Lenny. Directed by Bob Fosse, the film received six Oscar nominations and stands as the most accurate and acclaimed comedian biopic to date. Jim Carrey’s turn as the eccentric and reclusive Andy Kaufman in Man on the Moon gives Hoffman's Lenny a run for its money. Carrey perfectly channels the manic energy of Kaufman, while also capturing his striking vulnerability.


Other legendary comedians with quality biographical films include Charlie Chaplin, Peter Sellers, and Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. Hopefully more quality comedian biopics will come out, but for now check out these titles and vote up your favorites!
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list ordered by
1
Man on the Moon is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Biopics About Real Comedians
Courtney Love, Jim Carrey, Danny DeVito

Released: 1999

Directed by: Miloš Forman

Andy Kaufman Man on the Moon is a 1999 American biographical comedy–drama film about the late American entertainer Andy Kaufman, starring Jim Carrey. The film was directed by Miloš Forman and also features ...more

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2
Chaplin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Biopics About Real Comedians
Robert Downey Jr., Milla Jovovich, Diane Lane

Released: 1992

Directed by: Richard Attenborough

Charlie Chaplin Chaplin is a 1992 British-American biographical comedy-drama film about the life of British comedian Charlie Chaplin. It was produced and directed by Richard Attenborough and stars Robert ...more
3
Lenny is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Biopics About Real Comedians
Dustin Hoffman, Valerie Perrine, Gary Morton

Released: 1974

Directed by: Bob Fosse

Lenny Bruce Lenny is a 1974 American biographical film about the comedian Lenny Bruce, starring Dustin Hoffman and directed by Bob Fosse. The screenplay by Julian Barry is based on his play of the same
4
The Three Stooges is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Biopics About Real Comedians
The Three Stooges Michael Chiklis, John Kassir, Paul Ben-Victor

Released: 2000

Directed by: James Frawley

Moe Howard, Curly Howard, Larry Fine Movie Description: In 1959, a TV executive tries to persuade Moe Howard (Paul Ben-Victor, TV’s “In Plain Sight”) to reunite with his former onscreen partners to publicize the television premiere ...more
5
The Late Shift is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Biopics About Real Comedians
Kathy Bates, Ed Begley, Jr.

Released: 1996

Directed by: Betty Thomas

David Letterman, Jay Leno The Late Shift is a 1996 American TV movie produced by HBO. It was directed by Betty Thomas and based on the book of the same name by The New York Times media reporter Bill Carter.
6
The Life and Death of Pe... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Biopics About Real Comedians
Charlize Theron, Heidi Klum, John Lithgow

Released: 2004

Directed by: Stephen Hopkins

Peter Sellers This film is a 2004 British/American film about the life of English comedy actor Peter Sellers, based on Roger Lewis's book of the same name. It was directed by Stephen Hopkins and starred ...more
7
Gleason is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Biopics About Real Comedians
Terry Farrell, Brad Garrett, Saul Rubinek

Released: 2002

Directed by: Howard Deutch

Jackie Gleason Gleason is a 2002 film directed by Howard Deutch.
8
The Buster Keaton Story ... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Biopics About Real Comedians
Peter Lorre, Rhonda Fleming, Donald O'Connor

Released: 1957

Directed by: Sidney Sheldon

Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial The Buster Keaton Story is a 1957 American black and white film starring Donald O'Connor as Buster Keaton. The film was described by the New York Times as "sublimely inaccurate" ...more
9
Bud and Lou is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Biopics About Real Comedians
Bud and Lou
Bud Abbot and Lou Costello
10
Martin and Lewis is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Biopics About Real Comedians
Sean Hayes, Jeremy Northam, Kate Levering

Released: 2002

Directed by: John Gray

Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis Martin and Lewis is a 2002 biographical CBS TV film, written and directed by John Gray, portraying the lives of the comedy team of Martin and Lewis. The film stars Jeremy Northam as Dean Martin ...more
11
Wired is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Biopics About Real Comedians
Michael Chiklis, J. T. Walsh, Alex Rocco

Released: 1989

Directed by: Larry Peerce

John Belushi Wired is a 1989 biographical film of comedian and actor John Belushi, directed by Larry Peerce, and adapted from the investigative journalism book Wired: The Short Life and Fast Times of John ...more

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12
The Joker Is Wild is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Biopics About Real Comedians
RobLein added Frank Sinatra, Jeanne Crain, Eddie Albert

Released: 1957

Directed by: Charles Vidor

Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial The Joker Is Wild is a 1957 American musical drama film directed by Charles Vidor, starring Frank Sinatra, Mitzi Gaynor, Jeanne Crain, and Eddie Albert, and released by Paramount Pictures. The ...more
13
Gilda Radner: It's Alway... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Biopics About Real Comedians
Gilda Radner: It's Always Something Jami Gertz

Released: 2002

Directed by: Duane Clark

Gilda Radner Gilda Radner: It's Always Something is a 2002 tv film directed by Duane Clark.
14
Hattie is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Biopics About Real Comedians
Hattie Aidan Turner, Ruth Jones, Robert Bathurst

Released: 2011

Directed by: Dan Zeff

Hattie Jcques Drama about the way Carry On actress Hattie Jacques's home life was blown apart by a secret sexual liaison with her young driver while she was married to John Le Mesurier.
15
Frankie Howerd: Rather Y... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Biopics About Real Comedians
David Walliams, Rafe Spall
Frankie Howerd
16
Eric and Ernie is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Biopics About Real Comedians
Eric and Ernie Victoria Wood, Vic Reeves, Reece Shearsmith

Released: 2011

Directed by: Jonny Campbell

Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise Eric and Ernie is a 2011 television film produced by BBC Wales on the early career of the British comic double-act Morecambe and Wise. It completed production in 2010 and premiered on BBC Two on ...more