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Top 10 Comedians

Acidman solicited a listing of bloggers choices for their top 10 comedians. I have been a participant in the polls at Right Wing News, but I'd much rather write out my list and reasoning here.

For my listing I'm sticking to acts that I've seen, which eliminates Lenny Bruce, Mort Sahl, Red Foxx, and a few others who I imaging that I might put on my list if I had exposure to their material. Comic actors and actresses like Lucile Ball, Carol Burnett, John Cleese, etc. are also excluded so I can focus on standup comics. My top ten standup comedians:


  1. Richard Pryor - His early records were raw genius. He sustained a high level of quality material longer that anyone on this list, with the possible exception of George Carlin.

  2. Sam Kinison - The master of in your face shock comedy. The laughs he generated were of the painful gut splitting variety. Giving cunnilingus by sketching out the alphabet is a bit I remember vividly. Words to live by...

  3. Bill Cosby - He's somewhat of a blowhard these days, but I direct you to his concert movie, "Himself". There is no funnier standup comedy special or movie in my humble opinion.

  4. Edie Murphy - His fist two tours and concert movies were really the zenith of the stand-up comedian as superstar era.

  5. George Carlin - Seven dirty words was quite an educational experience for me as a youngster. He's veered in to grouchy old comedian territory, but still has occasional flashes of the brilliance of his past.

  6. Ellen DeGeneres - I always like her standup act. Her recent HBO special proves she's as good as ever, and since it was an hour long tribute to procrastination I was sure to be riveted to the tube.

  7. Steven Wright - In my view he was as innovative a stand-up act as I ever saw. He still is.

  8. Dennis Miller - Thinking man's humor; esoteric and riddled with references to historical events. Occasionally brilliant, usually thought provoking, and always entertaining.

  9. Bob Newhart - Before he was a sitcom star he was a standup comedian. His phone bits were priceless.

  10. Dennis Leary - Funny and edgy… His "Wakeup and smell the hazelnut crunch" line still make me laugh just thinking about it.

Bonus Choices


  • Newcomer: Dave Mordahl (Featured on NBC's Last Comic Standing). I would pay good money to see him live. He is one seriously funny guy.

  • Obscure: Franklin Ajaye - Obscure comedian from the late 70's. Starred in the movie Car Wash. I had one of his comedy records as a kid. He had a bit about sex during a woman's period, burning the sheets, shopping for feminine protections products... Funny stuff.


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Comments (19)

No Robin Williams? Man, his... (Below threshold)

No Robin Williams? Man, his stand-up was freakin' brilliant. Yep, he would have to be on my list.

No Chris Rock???... (Below threshold)
john:

No Chris Rock???

Ellen is very good at stand... (Below threshold)
jen:

Ellen is very good at stand-up. Thanks for listing her.

And I agree about Dennis Leary. Did you know he's going to be roasted? I saw an ad for it on Comedy Central, but I didn't catch the date it's going to be on TV.

I actually forget Chris Roc... (Below threshold)

I actually forget Chris Rock. He is pretty good, although I'm not sure who I'd take off the list to add him.

Robin Williams should be on... (Below threshold)

Robin Williams should be on the list... Chris Rock while hilarious equates in my mind to Eddie Murphy in his prime.

Your top two are from Peori... (Below threshold)

Your top two are from Peoria, IL. I thought I'd point that out being a Peorian.

george carlin and pablo fra... (Below threshold)

george carlin and pablo francisco should be on the list

You're absolutely right abo... (Below threshold)
tessa:

You're absolutely right about Dave Mordahl. When he was taken off of the show by the morons in the audience I couldn't believe it. He is so very funny. Whenever they panned to his face on camera you could just see the wheels turning. And usually something very funny came out. He has a great sense of humor and better yet is very witty. He made me pee my pants laughing when he offered the rat to Dat Phan for a birthday gift. What an idiot! I think someone should pick up on him soon if they want a very funny "Stand-up Comic" not a "poser" as Cory K. said Dat Phan was and he is. This was supposed to be about stand-up comics not comedic actors; big difference. Also yes, Bill Cosby in his early days was very funny. I just let my kids listen to his old stuff and they laughed hysterically;he's still relevant. If you want to see some really funny stuff take a look at the Montreal Laugh Fest showing weekly on television right now. There are some very funny comics being showcased. Take care, bye, Tess.

dave mordal, ralphie may, a... (Below threshold)
JJ:

dave mordal, ralphie may, and rich vos out of all the last comic standing contestants were the funniest to me.

does anyone know when comed... (Below threshold)
michael:

does anyone know when comedy central is gonna repeat any of the last comic standing episodes?

i saw the chris rock stnad ... (Below threshold)
nick:

i saw the chris rock stnad up called bigger and blacker, it was so funny i recomend it.

What about dave chapelle???... (Below threshold)
Pabs:

What about dave chapelle??? That guy is amazing... he is sooo funny. He makes the funniest voices when imatating white people...

degeneres is a hack who doe... (Below threshold)
yo:

degeneres is a hack who doesnt belong at all...her shit is weak.

edie murphy is an actor who had 1 good comedy special.

that whole list is f*cked up.

BUT...he did get the top three...ALMOST right.

#1 is pryor no question
#2 is carlin
#3 is kinison

if you havent seen or heard... (Below threshold)
anthony:

if you havent seen or heard mitch hedburg you need to check him out,, funny as hell

WHERES CAHPELLE HE'S THE FU... (Below threshold)
Josh:

WHERES CAHPELLE HE'S THE FUNNIEST GUY IN THE WORLD. IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN "KILLIN THEM SOFTLY" I WOULD WATCH IF I WAS YOU. HE'S GOT HIS OWN SHOW AND EVERYTHING. IM RICH BIATCH

Franklyn Ajaye! A very tast... (Below threshold)

Franklyn Ajaye! A very tasteful and sophisticated choice. Why isn't he the biggest comic in the world? Probably too cool to bother.

Picking the best comedians ... (Below threshold)
BF:

Picking the best comedians is not a popularity
contest.

Here is the real top 3:

1. Richard Pryor
2. Lenny Bruce
3. Bill Hicks

Dave Mordal is by far the f... (Below threshold)
lipstick girl:

Dave Mordal is by far the funniest guy I have ever seen, ever!!! We have never laughed as hard as when we watched him perform, and tonight on NBC's new season, the cow bit was hysterical! But it seems some don't get his humor-they must have NO sense of humor! GO DAVE! We are official Mordal groupies now!

<a href="http://beauty.gela... (Below threshold)



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