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The Most Notable Stand-Up Comics from Def Comedy Jam

Updated July 13, 2020 457.3k views63 items

A thorough list of Def Comedy Jam performing comedians, with photos! Russell Simmons classic HBO stand-up comedy showcase ran from 1992 until 1997, and then returned in 2006. The show helped to launch the careers of dozens of top popular and famous Black comedians, including Bernie Mac, Dave Chappelle, Bill Bellamy, Damon Wayans, Jamie Foxx, Mike Epps, and Chris Tucker. Most of the funny Black comedians who were first featured on the show went on to achieve fame and influence. 

Who are the most famous Def Jam comedians? Though a variety of "Best Of" collections were released of the classic '90s episodes, featuring old Black comedians, only the 2006 revival series has had all its episodes collected for DVD. This list includes the notable male and female African American comedians who stepped on the Def Comedy Jam stage on their way to the big time. (Be sure to check out more great comedy every week on Cannon's Countdown!)

  • Photo: Metaweb / CC-BY
    Bruce Bruce (born February 9, 1965) is an American actor and stand-up comedian from Atlanta, Georgia. He grew up in The Bluff, one of the city's roughest neighborhoods.He was the host of BET's ComicView and has appeared in various stand-up comedy specials and television series. He was also a spokesman for Popeye's Chicken & Biscuits....  more
  • Photo: flickr / CC0
    Cedric Antonio Kyles (born April 24, 1964), better known by his stage name Cedric the Entertainer, is an American actor, comedian, and game show host. He hosted BET's ComicView during the 1993–94 season and Def Comedy Jam in 1995. He is best known for co-starring with Steve Harvey on The WB sitcom The Steve Harvey Show, as one of The Original Kings of Comedy, and for starring as Eddie Walker in Barbershop. He hosted the 12th season of the daytime version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire in 2013–14 and starred in the TV Land original series The Soul Man, which aired from 2012 until 2016. He has also done voice work for Ice Age, the Madagascar film series, Charlotte's Web and the Planes...  more

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  • Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY
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    Charlie Barnett

    Charlie Barnett (born February 4, 1988) is an American actor from Sarasota, Florida. He starred as Peter Mills, a firefighter/paramedic on the NBC drama Chicago Fire from 2012 to 2015. Currently, he stars as Alan Zaveri on the Netflix comedy series Russian Doll. Recently, he starred as Ben Marshall on the Netflix series Tales of the City. He has an upcoming role as Gabe in the Netflix thriller series You....  more
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    Christopher Julius Rock (born February 7, 1965) is an American comedian, actor, writer, producer, and director. After working as a stand-up comedian and appearing in supporting film roles, Rock came to wider prominence as a cast member of Saturday Night Live in the early 1990s. He went on to more prominent film appearances, with starring roles in Down to Earth (2001), Head of State (2003), The Longest Yard (2005), the Madagascar film series (2005–2012), Grown Ups (2010), its sequel Grown Ups 2 (2013), Top Five (2014), and a series of acclaimed stand-up specials for HBO. He developed, wrote, and narrated the sitcom Everybody Hates Chris (2005–2009), which was based on his early life. Rock...  more

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