Comedy The Most Original Comedians  

Lisa Waugh
Originally by
37.2k votes 2.8k voters 42.9k 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
1,043 238
Robin Williams is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Dec. at 63 (1951-2014)

2
974 189
George Carlin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Dec. at 71 (1937-2008)

3
1,033 201
Richard Pryor is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Dec. at 65 (1940-2005)

4
687 208
Steve Martin is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Original Comedians
age 72

5
766 223
Eddie Murphy is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Original Comedians
age 57

6
636 195
Mel Brooks is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Original Comedians
age 91

7
605 214
Monty Python is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Monty Python

8
730 242
Dave Chappelle is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Original Comedians

9
581 218
Lucille Ball is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Dec. at 78 (1911-1989)

10
660 226
Bill Murray is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Original Comedians
age 67

11
450 185
Charlie Chaplin is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Dec. at 88 (1889-1977)

12
534 187
Carol Burnett is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Original Comedians
age 84

13
509 190
John Belushi is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Dec. at 33 (1949-1982)

14
289 98
John Candy is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Dec. at 44 (1950-1994)

15
494 302
Chris Rock is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Original Comedians
age 53

16
341 175
Gilda Radner is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Died at 43 (1946-1989)

17
391 183
Don Rickles is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Original Comedians
age 89

18
295 147
Chris Farley is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Original Comedians
little-faye added Dec. at 33 (1964-1997)

19
334 184
Jonathan Winters is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Dec. at 88 (1925-2013)

20
382 255
Tina Fey is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Original Comedians
age 47

21
352 203
Rowan Atkinson is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Original Comedians

22
354 180
Johnny Carson is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Dec. at 80 (1925-2005)

23
510 308
Jim Carrey is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Original Comedians
age 56

24
330 175
Phil Hartman is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Died at 50 (1948-1998)

25
345 218
Andy Kaufman is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Dec. at 35 (1949-1984)

26
314 168
Bob Newhart is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Most Original Comedians
age 88

27
242 144
Marty Feldman is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Dec. at 48 (1934-1982)

28
357 257
Jerry Seinfeld is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Original Comedians

29
283 164
The Marx Bros. is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Most Original Comedians
The Marx Bros.

30
160 92
Peter Sellers is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Most Original Comedians
djoka-dik added Dec. at 55 (1925-1980)

31
320 216
Sam Kinison is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Dec. at 39 (1953-1992)

32
349 284
Louis C.K. is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Most Original Comedians
age 50

33
158 85
Steven Wright is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Most Original Comedians
age 62

34
233 161
Phyllis Diller is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Dec. at 95 (1917-2012)

35
312 271
Jon Stewart is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Most Original Comedians
age 55

36
305 191
Mitch Hedberg is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Dec. at 37 (1968-2005)

37
170 133
Lily Tomlin is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Most Original Comedians
tina-naylor-riston added age 78

38
173 114
Chevy Chase is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Most Original Comedians
djoka-dik added age 74

39
86 31
Jackie Gleason is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Johnny B Goode added Dec. at 71 (1916-1987)

40
195 175
Lenny Bruce is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Died at 41 (1925-1966)

41
260 213
Joan Rivers is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Died at 81 (1933-2014)

42
98 56
Bernie Mac is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Johnny B Goode added Dec. at 51 (1957-2008)

43
135 94
Bill Burr is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Most Original Comedians
OldSchooler added age 49

44
197 164
Milton Berle is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Dec. at 94 (1908-2002)

45
215 183
Lewis Black is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Most Original Comedians
bryan-w-thompson added age 67

46
144 85
Buster Keaton is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Dec. at 71 (1895-1966)

47
118 108
Melissa McCarthy is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Most Original Comedians
StephenAlgie added age 47

48
199 198
Elaine May is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Most Original Comedians
age 85

49
217 246
Whoopi Goldberg is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Most Original Comedians

50
237 236
Roseanne Barr is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Most Original Comedians
age 65