comedy The Most Original Comedians  

Lisa Waugh
Originally by
29k votes 2.2k voters 32.7k views 98 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
890 160
Richard Pryor is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Richard Pryor Died at 65 (1940-2005)

2
822 146
George Carlin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Original Comedians
George Carlin Died at 71 (1937-2008)

3
853 184
Robin Williams is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Robin Williams Died at 63 (1951-2014)

4
566 165
Steve Martin is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Steve Martin age 72

5
640 177
Eddie Murphy is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Eddie Murphy age 57

6
541 154
Mel Brooks is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Mel Brooks age 91

7
601 201
Dave Chappelle is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Original Comedians

8
479 174
Monty Python is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Monty Python

9
577 178
Bill Murray is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Bill Murray age 67

10
498 175
Lucille Ball is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Lucille Ball Died at 78 (1911-1989)

11
364 150
Charlie Chaplin is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Charlie Chaplin Died at 88 (1889-1977)

12
449 157
Carol Burnett is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Carol Burnett age 84

13
443 153
John Belushi is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Original Comedians
John Belushi Died at 33 (1949-1982)

14
428 253
Chris Rock is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Chris Rock age 53

19 Comedians You Might Not Know Wrote for SNL

15
286 137
Gilda Radner is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Gilda Radner Died at 43 (1946-1989)

16
322 143
Don Rickles is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Don Rickles age 91

17
210 72
John Candy is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Original Comedians
John Candy Died at 44 (1950-1994)

18
227 105
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
318 198
Tina Fey is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Tina Fey age 47

20
296 137
Johnny Carson is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Johnny Carson Died at 80 (1925-2005)

21
279 154
Jonathan Winters is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Jonathan Winters Died at 88 (1925-2013)

The Funniest Shows on TV Right Now

22
285 143
Phil Hartman is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Phil Hartman Died at 50 (1948-1998)

23
272 159
Rowan Atkinson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Original Comedians

24
276 168
Andy Kaufman is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Andy Kaufman Died at 35 (1949-1984)

25
199 108
Marty Feldman is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Marty Feldman Died at 48 (1934-1982)

26
416 258
Jim Carrey is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Jim Carrey age 56

27
260 140
Bob Newhart is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Bob Newhart age 88

28
291 165
Sam Kinison is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Sam Kinison Died at 39 (1953-1992)

Comedians Who Have Won Grammy Awards

29
235 129
The Marx Bros. is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Most Original Comedians
The Marx Bros.

30
303 217
Louis C.K. is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Louis C.K. age 50

31
290 204
Jerry Seinfeld is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Most Original Comedians

32
110 59
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
273 218
Jon Stewart is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Jon Stewart age 55

34
135 101
Lily Tomlin is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Most Original Comedians
tina-naylor-riston added Lily Tomlin age 78

35
187 133
Phyllis Diller is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Phyllis Diller Died at 95 (1917-2012)

The Most Embarrassing Celebrity Yearbook Photos

36
98 53
Steven Wright is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Steven Wright age 62

37
247 159
Mitch Hedberg is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Mitch Hedberg Died at 37 (1968-2005)

38
121 80
Chevy Chase is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Most Original Comedians
djoka-dik added Chevy Chase age 74

39
161 145
Lenny Bruce is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Lenny Bruce Died at 41 (1925-1966)

40
174 134
Milton Berle is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Milton Berle Died at 94 (1908-2002)

41
52 17
Bernie Mac is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Johnny B Goode added Bernie Mac Died at 51 (1957-2008)

42
212 179
Joan Rivers is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Joan Rivers Died at 81 (1933-2014)

The Best Male Stand Up Comedians of the '80s

43
180 149
Lewis Black is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Most Original Comedians
bryan-w-thompson added Lewis Black age 69

44
186 163
Elaine May is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Elaine May age 85

45
42 11
Jackie Gleason is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Johnny B Goode added Jackie Gleason Died at 71 (1916-1987)

46
204 183
Roseanne Barr is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Roseanne Barr age 65

47
107 58
Buster Keaton is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Most Original Comedians
Buster Keaton Died at 71 (1895-1966)

48
79 69
Melissa McCarthy is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Most Original Comedians
StephenAlgie added Melissa McCarthy age 47

49
83 62
Bill Burr is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Most Original Comedians
OldSchooler added Bill Burr age 49

50
179 197
Whoopi Goldberg is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Most Original Comedians