Comedy The Most Original Comedians  

Lisa Waugh
Originally by
36.3k votes 2.7k voters 41.7k views 109 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
1,024 236
Robin Williams is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Dec. at 63 (1951-2014)

2
959 187
George Carlin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Dec. at 71 (1937-2008)

3
1,017 200
Richard Pryor is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Dec. at 65 (1940-2005)

4
671 207
Steve Martin is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Original Comedians
age 72

5
754 218
Eddie Murphy is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Original Comedians
age 57

6
624 193
Mel Brooks is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Original Comedians
age 91

7
588 211
Monty Python is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Monty Python

8
715 238
Dave Chappelle is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Original Comedians

9
573 216
Lucille Ball is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Dec. at 78 (1911-1989)

10
652 224
Bill Murray is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Original Comedians
age 67

11
440 184
Charlie Chaplin is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Dec. at 88 (1889-1977)

12
524 186
Carol Burnett is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Original Comedians
age 84

13
502 185
John Belushi is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Died at 33 (1949-1982)

14
281 94
John Candy is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Dec. at 44 (1950-1994)

15
487 295
Chris Rock is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Original Comedians
age 53

16
387 177
Don Rickles is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Original Comedians
age 91

17
336 174
Gilda Radner is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Dec. at 43 (1946-1989)

18
290 140
Chris Farley is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Original Comedians
little-faye added Dec. at 33 (1964-1997)

19
378 247
Tina Fey is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Original Comedians
age 47

20
325 181
Jonathan Winters is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Dec. at 88 (1925-2013)

21
343 199
Rowan Atkinson is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Original Comedians

22
344 177
Johnny Carson is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Dec. at 80 (1925-2005)

23
497 301
Jim Carrey is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Original Comedians
age 56

24
326 171
Phil Hartman is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Dec. at 50 (1948-1998)

25
333 213
Andy Kaufman is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Dec. at 35 (1949-1984)

26
305 166
Bob Newhart is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Most Original Comedians
age 88

27
234 141
Marty Feldman is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Dec. at 48 (1934-1982)

28
344 252
Jerry Seinfeld is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Original Comedians

29
273 162
The Marx Bros. is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Most Original Comedians
The Marx Bros.

30
345 273
Louis C.K. is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Most Original Comedians
age 50

31
317 210
Sam Kinison is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Dec. at 39 (1953-1992)

32
149 90
Peter Sellers is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Most Original Comedians
djoka-dik added Dec. at 55 (1925-1980)

33
150 81
Steven Wright is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Most Original Comedians
age 62

34
229 158
Phyllis Diller is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Dec. at 95 (1917-2012)

35
305 266
Jon Stewart is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Most Original Comedians
age 55

36
295 187
Mitch Hedberg is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Dec. at 37 (1968-2005)

37
166 132
Lily Tomlin is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Most Original Comedians
tina-naylor-riston added age 76

38
165 109
Chevy Chase is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Most Original Comedians
djoka-dik added age 74

39
80 29
Jackie Gleason is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Johnny B Goode added Dec. at 71 (1916-1987)

40
192 172
Lenny Bruce is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Dec. at 41 (1925-1966)

41
254 209
Joan Rivers is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Dec. at 81 (1933-2014)

42
132 90
Bill Burr is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Most Original Comedians
OldSchooler added age 49

43
93 53
Bernie Mac is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Johnny B Goode added Dec. at 51 (1957-2008)

44
212 180
Lewis Black is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Most Original Comedians
bryan-w-thompson added age 69

45
192 161
Milton Berle is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Died at 94 (1908-2002)

46
137 84
Buster Keaton is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Dec. at 71 (1895-1966)

47
198 196
Elaine May is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Most Original Comedians
age 85

48
112 106
Melissa McCarthy is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Most Original Comedians
StephenAlgie added age 45

49
214 240
Whoopi Goldberg is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Most Original Comedians

50
233 231
Roseanne Barr is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Most Original Comedians
age 65