comedy The Most Original Comedians  

Lisa Waugh
Originally by
25.0k votes 1.9k voters 25.8k views 93 items Embed

List Rules Comedians who were actually groundbreaking and original - not derivative.

Picking the top original comedians may start a bar fight but it's time to weigh in. What is the criteria for choosing some of the top groundbreaking comedians? This list looks at comedians who were the first of their kind, who set trends, established new genres, and broke the comedy mold to pieces. Those who killed while they made some razor sharp points about the state of things. Who had their own style that could not be replicated, try as many might.

Ranked here are original comics who broke down boundaries and changed American pop culture. Which top original comedians shocked the senses, created new comedic wrinkles, and challenged America to challenge itself?

Original comics with an original voice soon get folded into the next generation’s comedy. Milton Berle and Jack Benny were groundbreaking comedians of their time. Bill Hicks called the world out on its very existence. Johnny Carson created late night talk.

Groundbreaking comedians have changed public opinion and influenced politics. Jon Stewart has taken down many an arrogant journalist and political figure by using comedy, logic, and masterful mock news. Tina Fey has done the same. Lenny Bruce and George Carlin questioned every aspect of government and society and pushed limits. Monty Python surrealistically picked apart the British Empire. Amy Schumer brought a brash realism, a fresh voice for women, and taught us all where fudge is made. Dave Chappelle and Richard Pryor will always be considered two of the greats, nearly impossible to conquer.

Then there are those original comedy legends who have fallen from grace. Are they still groundbreaking comedians in light of their misdeeds and scandal? Many think so. Others see original comics like Bill Cosby as icons who did a lot for America’s perception of black families. But in the face of over 35 accusers of drugging and rape, where does he fall in comedy history? How about Woody Allen, who has faced his own public scandals?

Who are your favorite original comics? Do you swing old school or new? Do you mix your original comedy tastes and make choices based on your mood? Upvote your favorite groundbreaking comedians and tell us who should rule the original comics list. Don’t see your favorite original comedy king or queen here? Add it and get the last laugh. We’ll forgive you if you add Dane Cook.
list ordered by

1
805 132
Richard Pryor is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Richard Pryor Died at 65 (1940-2005)

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2
744 122
George Carlin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Original Comedians
George Carlin Died at 71 (1937-2008)

3
751 156
Robin Williams is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Robin Williams Died at 63 (1951-2014)

4
509 147
Steve Martin is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Steve Martin age 71

5
578 156
Eddie Murphy is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Eddie Murphy age 56

6
484 134
Mel Brooks is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Mel Brooks age 90

7
533 171
Dave Chappelle is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Original Comedians

8
526 152
Bill Murray is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Bill Murray age 66

9
439 159
Lucille Ball is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Lucille Ball Died at 78 (1911-1989)

10
422 156
Monty Python is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Monty Python

11
392 147
Carol Burnett is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Carol Burnett age 83

12
324 137
Charlie Chaplin is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Charlie Chaplin Died at 88 (1889-1977)

13
407 137
John Belushi is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Original Comedians
John Belushi Died at 33 (1949-1982)

14
375 230
Chris Rock is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Chris Rock age 52

15
255 124
Gilda Radner is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Gilda Radner Died at 43 (1946-1989)

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16
286 173
Tina Fey is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Tina Fey age 46

17
190 83
Chris Farley is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Original Comedians
little-faye added Chris Farley Died at 33 (1964-1997)

18
234 144
Rowan Atkinson is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Original Comedians

19
279 185
Louis C.K. is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Louis C.K. age 49

20
285 126
Don Rickles is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Don Rickles age 90

21
246 140
Jonathan Winters is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Jonathan Winters Died at 88 (1925-2013)

22
262 123
Johnny Carson is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Johnny Carson Died at 80 (1925-2005)

23
264 126
Phil Hartman is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Phil Hartman Died at 50 (1948-1998)

24
175 94
Marty Feldman is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Marty Feldman Died at 48 (1934-1982)

25
163 57
John Candy is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Original Comedians
John Candy Died at 44 (1950-1994)

26
239 148
Andy Kaufman is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Andy Kaufman Died at 35 (1949-1984)

27
262 149
Sam Kinison is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Sam Kinison Died at 39 (1953-1992)

28
369 238
Jim Carrey is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Jim Carrey age 55

29
227 128
Bob Newhart is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Bob Newhart age 87

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30
249 185
Jerry Seinfeld is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Most Original Comedians

31
253 194
Jon Stewart is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Jon Stewart age 54

32
74 37
Steven Wright is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Steven Wright age 61

33
223 141
Mitch Hedberg is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Mitch Hedberg Died at 37 (1968-2005)

34
198 121
The Marx Bros. is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Most Original Comedians
The Marx Bros.

35
182 146
Elaine May is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Elaine May age 84

36
167 132
Lewis Black is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Most Original Comedians
bryan-w-thompson added Lewis Black age 68

37
136 131
Lenny Bruce is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Lenny Bruce Died at 41 (1925-1966)

38
108 89
Lily Tomlin is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Most Original Comedians
tina-naylor-riston added Lily Tomlin age 77

39
60 42
Bill Burr is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Most Original Comedians
OldSchooler added Bill Burr age 48

40
94 57
Chevy Chase is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Most Original Comedians
djoka-dik added Chevy Chase age 73

41
159 123
Phyllis Diller is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Phyllis Diller Died at 95 (1917-2012)

42
155 123
Milton Berle is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Milton Berle Died at 94 (1908-2002)

43
157 163
Stephen Colbert is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Most Original Comedians

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44
80 51
Buster Keaton is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Buster Keaton Died at 71 (1895-1966)

45
58 49
Melissa McCarthy is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Most Original Comedians
StephenAlgie added Melissa McCarthy age 45

46
162 132
Bill Hicks is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Bill Hicks Died at 33 (1961-1994)

47
48 56
Kristen Wiig is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Most Original Comedians
StephenAlgie added Kristen Wiig age 43

48
139 169
Woody Allen is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Woody Allen age 81

49
78 51
Peter Sellers is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Most Original Comedians
djoka-dik added Peter Sellers Died at 55 (1925-1980)

50
56 31
Kevin Hart is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Most Original Comedians
LaQuanda added Kevin Hart age 37