comedy The Most Original Comedians  

Lisa Waugh
Originally by
24.3k votes 1.8k voters 23.8k 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
784 122
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
728 113
George Carlin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Original Comedians
George Carlin Died at 71 (1937-2008)

3
734 152
Robin Williams is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Robin Williams Died at 63 (1951-2014)

4
497 143
Steve Martin is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Steve Martin age 70

5
559 151
Eddie Murphy is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Eddie Murphy age 56

6
472 131
Mel Brooks is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Mel Brooks age 90

7
514 166
Dave Chappelle is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Original Comedians

8
518 143
Bill Murray is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Bill Murray age 66

9
431 153
Lucille Ball is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Lucille Ball Died at 78 (1911-1989)

10
413 153
Monty Python is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Monty Python

11
385 142
Carol Burnett is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Carol Burnett age 83

12
314 133
Charlie Chaplin is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Charlie Chaplin Died at 88 (1889-1977)

13
399 131
John Belushi is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Original Comedians
John Belushi Died at 33 (1949-1982)

14
365 224
Chris Rock is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Chris Rock age 52

15
253 118
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
278 170
Tina Fey is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Tina Fey age 46

17
181 78
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
281 119
Don Rickles is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Don Rickles age 90

19
268 177
Louis C.K. is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Louis C.K. age 49

20
222 141
Rowan Atkinson is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Original Comedians

21
240 137
Jonathan Winters is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Jonathan Winters Died at 88 (1925-2013)

22
260 122
Phil Hartman is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Phil Hartman Died at 50 (1948-1998)

23
255 121
Johnny Carson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Johnny Carson Died at 80 (1925-2005)

24
154 50
John Candy is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Original Comedians
John Candy Died at 44 (1950-1994)

25
171 91
Marty Feldman is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Marty Feldman Died at 48 (1934-1982)

26
225 144
Andy Kaufman is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Andy Kaufman Died at 35 (1949-1984)

27
255 144
Sam Kinison is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Sam Kinison Died at 39 (1953-1992)

28
225 124
Bob Newhart is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Bob Newhart age 87

29
244 181
Jerry Seinfeld is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Most Original Comedians

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30
355 234
Jim Carrey is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Jim Carrey age 55

31
248 189
Jon Stewart is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Jon Stewart age 54

32
70 34
Steven Wright is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Steven Wright age 61

33
195 118
The Marx Bros. is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Most Original Comedians
The Marx Bros.

34
182 143
Elaine May is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Elaine May age 84

35
218 138
Mitch Hedberg is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Mitch Hedberg Died at 37 (1968-2005)

36
165 127
Lewis Black is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Most Original Comedians
bryan-w-thompson added Lewis Black age 68

37
134 126
Lenny Bruce is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Lenny Bruce Died at 41 (1925-1966)

38
106 86
Lily Tomlin is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Most Original Comedians
tina-naylor-riston added Lily Tomlin age 77

39
56 39
Bill Burr is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Most Original Comedians
OldSchooler added Bill Burr age 48

40
90 54
Chevy Chase is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Most Original Comedians
djoka-dik added Chevy Chase age 72

41
155 121
Phyllis Diller is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Phyllis Diller Died at 95 (1917-2012)

42
80 49
Buster Keaton is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Buster Keaton Died at 71 (1895-1966)

43
153 120
Milton Berle is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Milton Berle Died at 94 (1908-2002)

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44
55 46
Melissa McCarthy is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Most Original Comedians
StephenAlgie added Melissa McCarthy age 45

45
153 160
Stephen Colbert is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Most Original Comedians

46
160 130
Bill Hicks is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Bill Hicks Died at 33 (1961-1994)

47
43 55
Kristen Wiig is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Most Original Comedians
StephenAlgie added Kristen Wiig age 43

48
132 168
Woody Allen is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Woody Allen age 81

49
181 160
Roseanne Barr is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Roseanne Barr age 64

50
71 49
Peter Sellers is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Most Original Comedians
djoka-dik added Peter Sellers Died at 55 (1925-1980)