188 voters

Comedians Who Use Stage Names

Updated June 14, 2019 1.9k votes 188 voters 17.7k views41 items

List RulesVote 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

    Bob Hope - born Leslie Townes Hope

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    Gene Wilder - born Jerome Silberman

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  • 3

    Mel Brooks - born Melvin Kaminsky

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  • 4

    Stan Laurel - born Arthur Stanley Jefferson

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  • 5

    Oliver Hardy - born Norvell Hardy

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  • 6

    Rodney Dangerfield - born Jacob Cohen

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  • 7

    Tim Allen - born Timothy Alan Dick

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  • 8

    Chevy Chase - born Cornelius Crane Chase

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  • 9

    George Burns - born Nathan Birnbaum

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  • 10

    W. C. Fields - born William Claude Dukenfield

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  • 11

    Dean Martin - born Dino Paul Crocetti

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  • 12

    Jamie Foxx - born Eric Marlon Bishop

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  • 13

    Richard Jeni - born Richard John Colangelo

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  • 14

    Jack Benny - Benjamin Kubelsky

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  • 15

    Mel Blanc - born Melvin Jerome Blank

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  • 16

    Peter Sellers - born Richard Henry Sellers

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  • 17

    Benny Hill - born Alfred Hawthorn Hill

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  • 18

    Milton Berle - born Milton Berlinger

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  • 19

    Danny Thomas - born Amos Muzyad Yakhoob Kairouz

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  • 20

    James Garner - born James Scott Bumgarner

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  • 21

    Lily Tomlin - born Mary Jean Tomlin

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  • 22

    Judy Holliday - born Judith Tuvim

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    Kevin James - born Kevin George Knipfing

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    Freddie Prinze - born Frederick Karl Pruetzel

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    Al Jolson - born Asa Yoelson

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