Comedy The Most Original Comedians  

Lisa Waugh
Originally by
34.4k votes 2.6k voters 39.3k views 100 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
979 220
Robin Williams is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Robin Williams Died at 63 (1951-2014)

2
991 187
Richard Pryor is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Richard Pryor Died at 65 (1940-2005)

3
924 176
George Carlin is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Original Comedians
George Carlin Died at 71 (1937-2008)

4
645 197
Steve Martin is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Original Comedians

5
724 209
Eddie Murphy is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Eddie Murphy age 57

6
609 184
Mel Brooks is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Mel Brooks age 91

7
683 229
Dave Chappelle is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Original Comedians

8
561 204
Monty Python is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Monty Python

9
557 202
Lucille Ball is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Lucille Ball Died at 78 (1911-1989)

10
634 211
Bill Murray is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Bill Murray age 67

11
423 174
Charlie Chaplin is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Charlie Chaplin Died at 88 (1889-1977)

12
510 174
Carol Burnett is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Carol Burnett age 84

13
490 177
John Belushi is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Original Comedians
John Belushi Died at 33 (1949-1982)

14
473 283
Chris Rock is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Chris Rock age 53

15
264 88
John Candy is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Original Comedians
John Candy Died at 44 (1950-1994)

16
329 160
Gilda Radner is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Gilda Radner Died at 43 (1946-1989)

17
376 168
Don Rickles is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Don Rickles age 91

18
270 129
Chris Farley is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Original Comedians
little-faye added Chris Farley Died at 33 (1964-1997)

19
319 173
Jonathan Winters is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Jonathan Winters Died at 88 (1925-2013)

20
362 233
Tina Fey is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Tina Fey age 47

21
336 169
Johnny Carson is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Johnny Carson Died at 80 (1925-2005)

22
316 188
Rowan Atkinson is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Original Comedians

23
316 163
Phil Hartman is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Phil Hartman Died at 50 (1948-1998)

24
318 198
Andy Kaufman is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Andy Kaufman Died at 35 (1949-1984)

25
298 157
Bob Newhart is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Bob Newhart age 88

26
473 287
Jim Carrey is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Jim Carrey age 56

27
230 129
Marty Feldman is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Marty Feldman Died at 48 (1934-1982)

28
267 152
The Marx Bros. is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Original Comedians
The Marx Bros.

29
331 239
Jerry Seinfeld is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Most Original Comedians

30
311 197
Sam Kinison is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Sam Kinison Died at 39 (1953-1992)

31
334 259
Louis C.K. is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Louis C.K. age 50

32
143 83
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
224 149
Phyllis Diller is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Phyllis Diller Died at 95 (1917-2012)

34
138 74
Steven Wright is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Steven Wright age 62

35
164 120
Lily Tomlin is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Most Original Comedians
tina-naylor-riston added Lily Tomlin age 78

36
298 254
Jon Stewart is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Jon Stewart age 55

37
75 22
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
280 180
Mitch Hedberg is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Mitch Hedberg Died at 37 (1968-2005)

39
155 103
Chevy Chase is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Most Original Comedians
djoka-dik added Chevy Chase age 74

40
187 164
Lenny Bruce is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Lenny Bruce Died at 41 (1925-1966)

41
248 198
Joan Rivers is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Joan Rivers Died at 81 (1933-2014)

42
83 42
Bernie Mac is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Johnny B Goode added Bernie Mac Died at 51 (1957-2008)

43
207 171
Lewis Black is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Most Original Comedians
bryan-w-thompson added Lewis Black age 69

44
187 156
Milton Berle is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Milton Berle Died at 94 (1908-2002)

45
115 83
Bill Burr is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Most Original Comedians
OldSchooler added Bill Burr age 49

46
131 78
Buster Keaton is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Buster Keaton Died at 71 (1895-1966)

47
196 186
Elaine May is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Elaine May age 85

48
65 38
Madeline Kahn is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Jim_In_Texas added Madeline Kahn Died at 57 (1942-1999)

49
106 98
Melissa McCarthy is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Most Original Comedians
StephenAlgie added Melissa McCarthy age 47

50
226 222
Roseanne Barr is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Roseanne Barr age 65