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139 voters

The Best Biopics About Real Comedians

Updated June 14, 2019 586 votes 139 voters 10.0k views16 items

List RulesVote 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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    Man on the Moon

    Courtney Love, Jim Carrey

    Released1999

    Directed byMiloš 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 Danny...  more

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    37
    9

    Chaplin

    Robert Downey Jr., Milla Jovovich

    Released1992

    Directed byRichard 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 Downey,...  more
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    45
    18

    The Late Shift

    Kathy Bates, Ed Begley

    Released1996

    Directed byBetty 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....  more
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    28
    17

    Gleason

    Terry Farrell, Brad Garrett

    Released2002

    Directed byHoward Deutch

    Jackie Gleason
    Gleason is a 2002 film directed by Howard Deutch....  more
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    23
    18

    Lenny

    Dustin Hoffman, Valerie Perrine

    Released1974

    Directed byBob 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 name....  more

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    #280 of 552 The Best '70s Movies#30 of 122 Great Movies That Place In The '60s

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    23
    18

    The Three Stooges

    Michael Chiklis, John Kassir

    Released2000

    Directed byJames 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 of...  more
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    22
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    Wired

    Michael Chiklis, J. T. Walsh

    Released1989

    Directed byLarry 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 Belushi...  more

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    15
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    The Life and Death of Peter Sellers

    Charlize Theron, Heidi Klum

    Released2004

    Directed byStephen 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 Geoffrey...  more
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    13
    13

    The Buster Keaton Story

    Peter Lorre, Rhonda Fleming

    Released1957

    Directed bySidney 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" regarding details of...  more
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    14

    Hattie

    Aidan Turner, Ruth Jones

    Released2011

    Directed byDan 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....  more
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    7
    14

    Gilda Radner: It's Always Something

    Jami Gertz

    Released2002

    Directed byDuane Clark

    Gilda Radner
    Gilda Radner: It's Always Something is a 2002 tv film directed by Duane Clark....
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    9
    17

    Bud and Lou

    Bud Abbot and Lou Costello
  • 13
    8
    16

    Frankie Howerd: Rather You Than Me

    David Walliams, Rafe Spall
    Frankie Howerd
  • 14
    9
    33

    Martin and Lewis

    Sean Hayes, Jeremy Northam

    Released2002

    Directed byJohn 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 and...  more
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    4
    14

    The Joker Is Wild

    Frank Sinatra, Jeanne Crain

    Released1957

    Directed byCharles 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 film...  more
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    4
    19

    Eric and Ernie

    Victoria Wood, Vic Reeves

    Released2011

    Directed byJonny 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 1...  more