Comedy The Most Original Comedians  

Lisa Waugh
Originally by
38.6k votes 2.8k voters 44.1k views 106 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.
list ordered by

1
1,061 248
Robin Williams is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Dec. at 63 (1951-2014)

2
1,056 206
Richard Pryor is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Dec. at 65 (1940-2005)

3
992 197
George Carlin is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Dec. at 71 (1937-2008)

4
700 219
Steve Martin is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Original Comedians
age 73

5
784 228
Eddie Murphy is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Original Comedians
age 57

6
624 216
Monty Python is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Monty Python

7
651 202
Mel Brooks is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Original Comedians
age 92

8
750 249
Dave Chappelle is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Original Comedians

9
593 225
Lucille Ball is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Dec. at 78 (1911-1989)

10
674 231
Bill Murray is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Original Comedians
age 68

11
462 192
Charlie Chaplin is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Dec. at 88 (1889-1977)

12
549 194
Carol Burnett is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Original Comedians
age 85

13
521 195
John Belushi is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Dec. at 33 (1949-1982)

14
302 105
John Candy is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Dec. at 44 (1950-1994)

15
503 311
Chris Rock is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Original Comedians
age 54

16
351 178
Gilda Radner is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Died at 43 (1946-1989)

17
400 189
Don Rickles is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Original Comedians
age 92

18
308 153
Chris Farley is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Original Comedians
little-faye added Dec. at 33 (1964-1997)

19
345 190
Jonathan Winters is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Dec. at 88 (1925-2013)

20
369 209
Rowan Atkinson is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Original Comedians

21
364 184
Johnny Carson is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Dec. at 80 (1925-2005)

22
387 266
Tina Fey is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Original Comedians
age 48

23
523 315
Jim Carrey is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Original Comedians
age 57

24
326 172
Bob Newhart is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Original Comedians
age 89

25
355 226
Andy Kaufman is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Dec. at 35 (1949-1984)