Comedy The Most Original Comedians  

Lisa Waugh
Originally by
32.7k votes 2.5k voters 38k views 103 items

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.

1
958 179
Richard Pryor is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Richard Pryor Died at 65 (1940-2005)

2
896 167
George Carlin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Original Comedians
George Carlin Died at 71 (1937-2008)

3
937 210
Robin Williams is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Robin Williams Died at 63 (1951-2014)

4
624 188
Steve Martin is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Steve Martin age 72

5
692 203
Eddie Murphy is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Eddie Murphy age 54

6
590 175
Mel Brooks is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Mel Brooks age 91

7
660 218
Dave Chappelle is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Original Comedians

8
537 197
Monty Python is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Monty Python

9
542 193
Lucille Ball is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Lucille Ball Died at 78 (1911-1989)

10
615 204
Bill Murray is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Bill Murray age 65

11
409 165
Charlie Chaplin is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Charlie Chaplin Died at 88 (1889-1977)

12
497 167
Carol Burnett is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Carol Burnett age 84

13
475 169
John Belushi is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Original Comedians
John Belushi Died at 33 (1949-1982)

14
460 271
Chris Rock is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Chris Rock age 53

The Best Biopics About Real Comedians

15
368 156
Don Rickles is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Don Rickles age 91

16
322 151
Gilda Radner is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Gilda Radner Died at 43 (1946-1989)

17
251 83
John Candy is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Original Comedians
John Candy Died at 44 (1950-1994)

18
314 160
Jonathan Winters is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Jonathan Winters Died at 88 (1925-2013)

19
260 121
Chris Farley is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Original Comedians
little-faye added Chris Farley Died at 33 (1964-1997)

20
347 224
Tina Fey is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Tina Fey age 47

21
324 156
Johnny Carson is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Johnny Carson Died at 80 (1925-2005)

The Best Bread Brands

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303 179
Rowan Atkinson is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Original Comedians

23
226 118
Marty Feldman is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Marty Feldman Died at 48 (1934-1982)

24
307 157
Phil Hartman is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Phil Hartman Died at 50 (1948-1998)

25
308 187
Andy Kaufman is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Andy Kaufman Died at 35 (1949-1984)

26
287 148
Bob Newhart is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Bob Newhart age 88

27
458 279
Jim Carrey is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Jim Carrey age 56

28
261 141
The Marx Bros. is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Original Comedians
The Marx Bros.

The Best Male Stand Up Comedians of the 2010s

29
307 184
Sam Kinison is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Sam Kinison Died at 39 (1953-1992)

30
318 231
Jerry Seinfeld is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Most Original Comedians

31
325 250
Louis C.K. is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Louis C.K. age 50

32
133 75
Peter Sellers is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Most Original Comedians
djoka-dik added Peter Sellers Died at 55 (1925-1980)

33
131 64
Steven Wright is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Steven Wright age 62

34
214 140
Phyllis Diller is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Phyllis Diller Died at 95 (1917-2012)

35
157 112
Lily Tomlin is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Most Original Comedians
tina-naylor-riston added Lily Tomlin age 78

The Smartest Celebrities

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290 245
Jon Stewart is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Jon Stewart age 55

37
67 16
Jackie Gleason is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Johnny B Goode added Jackie Gleason Died at 71 (1916-1987)

38
270 172
Mitch Hedberg is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Mitch Hedberg Died at 37 (1968-2005)

39
146 98
Chevy Chase is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Most Original Comedians
djoka-dik added Chevy Chase age 74

40
180 157
Lenny Bruce is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Lenny Bruce Died at 41 (1925-1966)

41
237 192
Joan Rivers is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Joan Rivers Died at 81 (1933-2014)

42
186 146
Milton Berle is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Milton Berle Died at 94 (1908-2002)

The Best Female Stand Up Comedians of the 2010s

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74 35
Bernie Mac is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Johnny B Goode added Bernie Mac Died at 51 (1957-2008)

44
199 162
Lewis Black is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Most Original Comedians
bryan-w-thompson added Lewis Black age 69

45
63 28
Madeline Kahn is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Jim_In_Texas added Madeline Kahn Died at 57 (1942-1999)

46
110 76
Bill Burr is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Most Original Comedians
OldSchooler added Bill Burr age 49

47
128 69
Buster Keaton is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Buster Keaton Died at 71 (1895-1966)

48
195 177
Elaine May is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Elaine May age 85

49
220 210
Roseanne Barr is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Roseanne Barr age 65

50
98 92
Melissa McCarthy is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Most Original Comedians
StephenAlgie added Melissa McCarthy age 47