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!
Directed by: Miloš FormanAndy KaufmanMan 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 Danny... more
Directed by: Richard AttenboroughCharlie ChaplinChaplin 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 Downey,... more
Directed by: Betty ThomasDavid Letterman, Jay LenoThe 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.... more
Directed by: Howard DeutchJackie GleasonGleason is a 2002 film directed by Howard Deutch.... more
Directed by: Bob FosseLenny BruceLenny 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 name.... more
The Three StoogesMichael Chiklis, John Kassir
Directed by: James FrawleyMoe Howard, Curly Howard, Larry FineMovie 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 of... more
Directed by: Larry PeerceJohn BelushiWired 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 Belushi... more
Directed by: Stephen HopkinsPeter SellersThis 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 Geoffrey... more
Directed by: Sidney SheldonWatch for Free with Amazon Prime Free TrialThe 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" regarding details of... more
HattieAidan Turner, Ruth Jones
Directed by: Dan ZeffHattie JcquesDrama 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.... more
Gilda Radner: It's Always SomethingJami Gertz
Directed by: Duane ClarkGilda RadnerGilda Radner: It's Always Something is a 2002 tv film directed by Duane Clark....
Bud and LouBud Abbot and Lou Costello
- 816Frankie Howerd
Directed by: John GrayDean Martin and Jerry LewisMartin 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 and... more
Directed by: Charles VidorWatch for Free with Amazon Prime Free TrialThe 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 film... more
Eric and ErnieVictoria Wood, Vic Reeves
Directed by: Jonny CampbellEric Morecambe and Ernie WiseEric 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 1... more