Names

Comedians Who Use Stage Names  

Celebrity Lists
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List Rules Vote on the most surprising given name of these comedians

These comedians knew that it's tough to make a name in comedy and that literally making themselves a stage name was the best way to get a leg up in a sea of all the other folks trying to break into show business.

A number of the stand-up comedians and comedic actors on this list simplified their last names to make what they were called catchier or easier to remember. Judy Holliday was born Judith Tuvim and as tovim means "good" in Hebrew and yomtoyvim means holidays, or literally "good days" in Yiddish, her stage name is simply a loose translation of what she was born with. Others changed their names for stranger reasons. Stan Laurel was born Arthur Stanly Jefferson but felt that the 13 letter length of "Stan Jefferson," his original stage name, was unlucky which is why we don't know his comedic team as "Jefferson and Hardy."

This list of famous stage names includes comedians who go by nicknames and famous people who have changed their names. It does not, however, include comedians who use their married surnames professionally, had their names legally changed as children, or celebrities with obviously theatrical stage names. It's pretty clear that "the Cable Guy" isn't Larry's last name.

Some of the names you know for these comedians aren't even the names they were born with or their legal names. Rodney Dangerfield was born Jacob Rodney Cohen and legally changed his name to Jack Roy when he was 19, not taking on his well-known stage name until some years later. Which of these comedians have the most surprising birth names?

1
Gene Wilder is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Comedians Who Use Stage Names
Young Frankenstein, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Blazing Saddles
Jerome Silberman (June 11, 1933 – August 29, 2016), known professionally as Gene Wilder, was an American actor, screenwriter, director, producer, singer-songwriter and author. Wilder began his ...more
2
Mel Brooks is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Comedians Who Use Stage Names
The Producers, Spaceballs, Blazing Saddles
Mel Brooks (born Melvin Kaminsky, Yiddish: מעלווין קאמינסקי‎; June 28, 1926) is an American filmmaker, actor, comedian, and composer. He is known as a creator of broad film farces and comedic ...more
3
Bob Hope is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Comedians Who Use Stage Names
The Bob Hope Show, The 50th Annual Academy Awards, Bob Hope: The First 90 Years
Leslie Townes Hope, KBE, KC*SG, KSS (May 29, 1903 – July 27, 2003), known professionally as Bob Hope, was an American stand-up comedian, vaudevillian, actor, singer, dancer, athlete, and author. ...more
4
Chevy Chase is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Comedians Who Use Stage Names
Christmas Vacation, Caddyshack, Vacation
Cornelius Crane "Chevy" Chase (; born October 8, 1943) is an American comedian, actor and writer. Born into a prominent New York family, Chase had a variety of jobs before moving into ...more
5
Tim Allen is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Comedians Who Use Stage Names
Home Improvement, Toy Story, Toy Story 3
Timothy Alan Dick (born June 13, 1953), known professionally as Tim Allen, is an American actor and comedian. He is known for playing Tim "The Toolman" Taylor on the ABC sitcom Home ...more
6
Rodney Dangerfield is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Comedians Who Use Stage Names
Back to School, Rover Dangerfield, Rodney Dangerfield: It's Not Easy Bein' Me
Jack Roy (born Jacob Rodney Cohen, November 22, 1921 – October 5, 2004), popularly known by the stage name Rodney Dangerfield, was an American stand-up comedian, actor, voice artist, producer, ...more
7
Dean Martin is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Comedians Who Use Stage Names
The Dean Martin Show, The Colgate Comedy Hour, Goodfellas
Dino Paul Crocetti (June 7, 1917 – December 25, 1995), known famously as Dean Martin, was an American singer, actor and comedian. One of the most popular and enduring American entertainers of ...more
8
Stan Laurel is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Comedians Who Use Stage Names
The Flying Deuces, Sons of the Desert, Way Out West
Stan Laurel (born Arthur Stanley Jefferson; 16 June 1890 – 23 February 1965) was an English comic actor, writer, and film director who was part of the comedy duo Laurel and Hardy. He appeared ...more
9
Oliver Hardy is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Comedians Who Use Stage Names
The Flying Deuces, Sons of the Desert, Way Out West
Oliver Norvell Hardy (born Norvell Hardy, January 18, 1892 – August 7, 1957) was an American comic actor and one half of Laurel and Hardy, the double act that began in the era of silent films ...more
10
George Burns is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Comedians Who Use Stage Names
The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, Oh, God!
George Burns (born Nathan Birnbaum; Yiddish: נתן בירנבוים‎; January 20, 1896 – March 9, 1996) was an American comedian, actor, singer, and writer. He was one of the few entertainers whose career ...more
11
Judy Holliday is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Comedians Who Use Stage Names
On the Town, Adam's Rib, Winged Victory
Judy Holliday (born Judith Tuvim, June 21, 1921 – June 7, 1965) was an American actress, comedian, and singer.She began her career as part of a nightclub act before working in Broadway plays and ...more
12
Jamie Foxx is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Comedians Who Use Stage Names
Django Unchained, Collateral, Ray
Eric Marlon Bishop (born December 13, 1967), known professionally as Jamie Foxx, is an American actor, singer, songwriter, record producer and comedian. For his portrayal of Ray Charles in the ...more
13
W. C. Fields is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Comedians Who Use Stage Names
The Bank Dick, David Copperfield, You Can't Cheat an Honest Man
William Claude Dukenfield (January 29, 1880 – December 25, 1946), better known as W. C. Fields, was an American comedian, actor, juggler, and writer. Fields' comic persona was a misanthropic and ...more
14
Peter Sellers is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Comedians Who Use Stage Names
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, Being There, The Pink Panther
Peter Sellers, CBE (born Richard Henry Sellers; 8 September 1925 – 24 July 1980) was an English film actor, comedian and singer. He performed in the BBC Radio comedy series The Goon Show, ...more
15
Freddie Prinze is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Comedians Who Use Stage Names
Chico and the Man, The Million Dollar Rip-Off, Dean Martin Celebrity Roast: Sammy Davis Jr.
Freddie James Prinze (born Frederick Karl Pruetzel; June 22, 1954 – January 29, 1977) was an American stand-up comedian and actor. Prinze was the star of NBC-TV sitcom Chico and the Man from ...more
16
Joan Rivers is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Comedians Who Use Stage Names
Fashion Police, The Joan Rivers Show, The Joan Rivers Show
Joan Alexandra Molinsky (June 8, 1933 – September 4, 2014), known professionally as Joan Rivers, was an American comedian, actress, writer, producer, and television host. She was noted for her ...more
17
Mel Blanc is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Comedians Who Use Stage Names
The Flintstones, The Bugs Bunny/Looney Tunes Comedy Hour, Heathcliff & the Catillac Cats
Melvin Jerome Blanc (; May 30, 1908 – July 10, 1989) was an American voice actor and radio personality. After beginning his over-60-year career performing in radio, he became known for his work ...more
18
Milton Berle is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Comedians Who Use Stage Names
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Laughs: America's Funniest Movies, The Hollywood Palace, Hey
Milton Berle (born Mendel Berlinger; Yiddish: ‏מענדעל בערלינגער‎; July 12, 1908 – March 27, 2002) was an American comedian and actor. Berle's career as an entertainer spanned over 80 years, ...more
19
Benny Hill is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Comedians Who Use Stage Names
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Italian Job, The Benny Hill Show
Alfred Hawthorne "Benny" Hill (21 January 1924 – 20 April 1992) was an English comedian and actor, best remembered for his television programme The Benny Hill Show, an amalgam of ...more
20
James Garner is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Comedians Who Use Stage Names
The Rockford Files, The Notebook, The Great Escape
James Garner (born James Scott Bumgarner; April 7, 1928 – July 19, 2014) was an American actor, producer, and voice artist. He starred in several television series over more than five decades, ...more
21
Danny Thomas is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Comedians Who Use Stage Names
The Andy Griffith Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, That Girl
Danny Thomas (born Amos Muzyad Yaqoob Kairouz; January 6, 1912 – February 6, 1991) was an American nightclub comedian, singer, actor, producer, and philanthropist whose career spanned five ...more
22
Jason Alexander is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Comedians Who Use Stage Names
Seinfeld, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Pretty Woman
Jay Scott Greenspan (born September 23, 1959), known by his stage name Jason Alexander, is an American actor, voice actor, singer, comedian, and director. Alexander is best known for his role as ...more
23
Brad Garrett is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Comedians Who Use Stage Names
Everybody Loves Raymond, Finding Nemo, Ratatouille
Brad H. Gerstenfeld (born April 14, 1960), known professionally as Brad Garrett, is an American stand-up comedian, actor, voice actor and professional poker player. He has appeared in numerous ...more
24
Jack Benny is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Comedians Who Use Stage Names
The Jack Benny Program, To be or not To Be, Broadway Melody of 1936
Jack Benny (born Benjamin Kubelsky, February 14, 1894 – December 26, 1974) (often called "Jackson" on his own show), was an American comedian, vaudevillian, radio, television and film ...more
25
Lenny Bruce is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Comedians Who Use Stage Names
Lenny Bruce in 'Lenny Bruce', Dance Hall Racket, Thank You Mask Man
Leonard Alfred Schneider, better known by his stage name Lenny Bruce, was an American stand-up comedian, social critic and satirist. He was renowned for his open, free-style and critical form of ...more