Stand-up comedy is one of the most beloved forms of art. Many different stand-up comedians have come to the forefront of comedy in the past years and each of them have their own style and charisma. They make people laugh which is a basic need of every person, much like food and water.
One problem with stand-up comedy is that there are so many different stand-up comedians. Not all of them are equally hilarious. Most of the comedians think that they are quite funny, but it isn’t so. Just because you can make a couple of people laugh, you don’t deserve to be called a pure stand-up comedian. So here is the list of the top ten stand-up comedians.
10. Amy Schumer
Amy Schumer is a young stand-up comedian, but she is no doubt one stand-up comedian to make the headlines. Her comedy Central Show ‘Inside Amy Schumer’ had sexism in it and hilarious sketches like “12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer”, “Football Town Nights”, and “Court of Public Opinion: The Trial of Bill Cosby”. Her sketches and stand-up comedies have brought a revolution in stand-up comedy in the sense that her stand-up comedy has addressed some cultural issues which we don’t normally talk about.
As brilliant as a stand-up comedian she is, Amy Schumer hasn’t restricted herself to television. She has written and co-starred in the hit comedy movie “Trainwreck”. She has also hinted another movie script which she is writing with Jennifer Lawrence. She has also starred in her debut hour-long standup comedy special on HBO. She has achieved so much in so little time, but by the looks of it, she is just getting started.
9. Keegan Michael Key and Jordan Peele
Key and Peele are two modern stand-up comedians whom everyone is aware of. They used to do hilarious stand-up sketches on Comedy Central. But they ended their show in 2015. They have gone on to do a number of separate projects many of which are very notable.
While at Comedy Central, both Key and Peele did a number of hilarious sketches. Not every one of their sketch was a hit, but at their best, they tackled some cultural issues of society which few other comedians would dare to. They used comedy in the sense that it became a part of national conversation and what they will do next will have the same power.
8. Bob Hope
After some modern stand-up comedians, it’s time for some classic ones. Bob Hope is one of the all-time great stand-up comedians. The thing that makes him quite unique as a stand-up comedian is that he was at the top of his game even at the age of 75 years. He continued attending stand-up specials and television specials all over the world. He was so popular that it won’t be wrong to say that he ran NBC. When he wanted to do a show, he would just call the head of NBC and tell him that he wanted to do a show. The head of NBC would just acknowledge his request and reschedule his entire Sunday lineup.
Bob Hope was loved around the world and he gave millions of dollars to charities. He never ever did a re-run of a show; he always wanted his material to be fresh. The only thing that’s kind of a put off for him is that he didn’t write much of his material. He had a staff to do it for him.
7. Paula Poundstone
Paula Poundstone is one of the all-time great female stand-up comedians. There are a lot of female comedians who draw their inspiration from her. Well, if you want to know how incredible she is, just hear this. She mentioned her own suicide attempt and made it sound hilarious. You would just love seeing Paula Poundstone in action.
She is a workaholic and the amazing thing about her is that she writes all her material. She is also a true giver. She shares her pains and struggles in life and she does it in a way that makes others laugh.
6. John Oliver
John Oliver is also a popular stand-up comedian. But his main fame of popularity comes from The Tonight’s Show with John Oliver. The Tonight show’s return was funnier and better than the previous one with more lengthy explorations of the stories that were ignored. John Oliver’s show enjoys a unique status among all the comedy shows because it is quite funny and informative at the same time.
Some of the best sketches of John Oliver are when he went to Russia to interview Edward Snowden and had a hand in taking down the regime of Sepp Blatter at FIFA. The show is a perfect mix of humor and news and many experts have stated that his expression in the show is invaluable.
5. Chris Rock
Chris Rock had a great career at SNL and has had a great filming career so far as well. But, you should take nothing away from this dude’s stand-up skills. Through his stand-up specials, he has proven himself to be quite insightful and the voice of reason in American stand-up comedy.
In his multiple stand-up performances, Chris Rock wasn’t limited to only certain topics like sex or drug addiction. He covered a wide range of topics like romance, relationships, music, politics and racism. This proves that he is quite a versatile stand-up comedian.
4. Robin Williams
Robin Williams was educated at the Juilliard School. He started his stand-ups in the 1970s when it was quite hard for stand-up comedians to get by. However, soon he became a national star after starring in “Mork and Mindy”.
The thing which made Robin Williams so funny and popular as a stand-up comedian was the fact that he always had a stream of consciousness in his stand-up and did perfect impersonations. No one can beat him in his quite wit and versatility and his wide themes of topics.
3. Jerry Seinfeld
Jerry Seinfeld took observational comedy to a whole different level. He has stellar observational skills and created his own unique brand of comedy – a brand that America may not have been ready for yet. His TV show was about to be cancelled before its first airing.
However, the show wasn’t cancelled and had a successful run of nine seasons. Jerry decided to end his show of nine seasons and went to do stand-up comedy again. Jerry Seinfeld is also quite busy these days as he is hosting a new show called Comedians in Cars getting Coffee. It is a show worth watching.
2. Bill Cosby
Bill Cosby is facing serious allegations these days from former colleagues. But that aside, the one thing that no one can take away from him is the fact that he is one of the all-time great stand-up comedians and a true inspiration to comedians around the world.
Bill wasn’t just a stand-up, he was also a sit down. He used to tell such hilarious stories of his family and friends and people used to laugh at them because they had experienced the same thing at some time in their lives. He used to joke about all kinds of things from people, to love, to the ups and downs in his life.
1. George Carlin
George Carlin truly deserves to be at the top of the list of stand-up comedians. If Bill Cosby was the fatherly voice of America, he was certainly the Uncle. Carlin was a workhorse. He used to work hours upon hours to produce his best and original material. It’s quite an accomplishment considering the fact that his career lasted over 50 years.
He was one of those few comedians who pushed things to their limit and dissected language, the status quo and the everyday professional life. His television special “Seven Words You Can’t Say On Television” is a treat to watch and you should definitely watch it.
It is said that comedy is timeless and this list certainly proves that is so. This list includes a mix of modern and classic stand-up comedians. All these comedians have two common things among them. The first is that they all of them are quite driven and they all wanted to make people laugh.
Making people laugh isn’t an easy task. But these comedians made it look it so easy. However, you shouldn’t go on imitating these comedians. You should get inspiration from them and make your own career.