10 Best Comedians Of All Time, According To Reddit – Screen Rant

From Robin Williams to Richard Pryor, some major comedians don’t get their due respect on Reddit threads. But these equally-talented comics soar.
The MCU has further embraced comedy with Disney+'s excellent She-Hulk, which in and of itself could be viewed as every bit an insightful criticism of women's treatment in America as a routine from the late, great Joan Rivers. The art of stand-up comedy looms large, especially in dark times, and with the boom of Netflix's streaming service, comedians like Bill Burr have found a way to have their voices heard on an impressive scale. They also gain the ability to have the expansion of their craft funded, e.g. Burr's animated sitcom F is for Family.
Redditors have an impressive amount of unification when it comes to favored stand-ups. However, while there are obvious talents like Richard Pryor and Wanda Sykes who don't get mentioned as often as one might expect, there are some safe bets who prove to be just that.
Redditor warpus narrowed down what it means to be the "best comedian." Namely, the entertainer needs to be at the "top of" their "game for a long period of time," has perfect timing, and have an in-depth understanding of comedy as well as a surplus of wit and memorable jokes. The Redditor's reply to all of these was the late Norm MacDonald.
Later in the thread, SixPieceTaye brought up a funny and fully believable story about the dearly departed comedian. In their words, "…when he was coming up if he…bombed he'd wait in the back of the club after the show to shake everyone's hand on their way out. If he killed he wouldn't. What a legend." Fortunately, fans will always have Norm MacDonald's best movies and stand-up on YouTube.
As one of the most famous comedians of all time, Dave Chappelle's reputation consistently precedes him. With wicked wit and an eye for societal inconsistencies, Chappelle is able to hold an audience's attention with ease for hours.
Chappelle has even put in memorable performances in films like Half Baked and A Star Is Born. However, Chappelle's true masterstroke is his eponymous Comedy Central sketch comedy show. While it only ran for two seasons, Chappelle's Show's lasting impact is indicative of just how honed the comedian's vision was for the show. Redditor XehaTrenchWalker mentioned Chappelle by name, and AgentSauce replied with something many comedy fans would find themselves nodding their heads to: "I love so many comedians, but Dave is the GOAT for me too."
Ali Wong, one of Time's 100 Most Influential People of 2020, can hold the audience's attention with her raw viewpoint whether it's a bit on Late Night with Seth Meyers or a full-on Netflix special. Wong also broke into film (as lead actor/writer/producer) with Netflix's Always Be My Maybe (2019), which is perhaps one of the best romantic comedies of its respective decade.
On a thread defending female stand-ups, Apollo_Screed wrote "Ali Wong is hilarious." The comedian is that and a triple threat as well, as Ali Wong excels in movies and TV just as she excels on stage. Furthermore, with an impressive vocal range almost tailor-made for projects such as Tuca & Bertie and Big Mouth, Wong could have a long and successful career even if just doing voiceover for adult animated comedies.
Before Keanu Reeves was in the hypothetical running for the MCU's version of Wolverine, he was co-starring alongside the great George Carlin in that comedian's most famous film role. Mostly, Carlin was a stand-up, and his dark sense of humor mixed with his risk-taking has led to his relevance and reverence even years after his death.
Redditor gobigred3562 brought up the comedian by name, to which drCrankoPhone shared a story in reply: "When I turned 21, my mom took me to Vegas. We saw Carlin perform and we laughed solidly for 90 minutes." High praise, as is Swell_Inkwell's "George Carlin was one of the first stand-up comedians I listened to, he's got a special place in my heart." The latter Redditor is far from alone in that.
Cheetodude625 gave late comedian Patrice O'Neal some respect with "RIP." Then, a now-deleted user shed light on just how multi-talented the man was, writing that "his stand-up is probably the least funny of what came out of his mouth…."
The latter Redditor then clarified why O'Neal was a cut above his peers: "His comebacks, as well as straight-up roasting anyone around him with love, and charismatically making everyone in the room laugh is his forte." The "with love" aspect of O'Neal's roasting was the key to his appeal. He never had a bad word to say about anyone unless it was punctuated with both wit and respect.
Maria Bamford has always embraced going to the darker side of life for the sake of comedy. Having worked on stage (and in voiceover) for decades, she's honed her craft to uniquely sad perfection. Even when she had a recurring guest role on Netflix's fourth and fifth seasons of Arrested Development she was playing a methadone addict very much down on her luck.
Redditor wheredjaigo brought up some valuable points about Bamford's longevity in the industry. In their words, Bamford is "Completely unique and has [strong] work ethic." Another user, lysergic_serpent, was more effusive with their appreciation: "Maria Bamford is, like, a living legend of comedy imo."
Redditor onepotatowopotato3 wrote "Mitch Hedberg. RIP." After a few other replies, jfincher42 brought up one of Hedberg's best one-liners: "When someone hands you a pamphlet, it's like they're saying, 'Here – you throw this away.'"
Hedberg had a way of rephrasing thoughts almost everyone has had about situations the human race has universally gone through. Everyone's been handed a pamphlet at some point in time and the chances are high it got tossed away into the closest receptacle.
Hardworking deadpan comedian Tig Notaro has been nominated for a Grammy and an Emmy, with her album, Live, scoring accolades left and right. It's almost certainly Notaro's magnum opus thus far and was recorded mere days after she was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer.
Like much of Notaro's other work, Live is insightful and brilliantly funny, but it's also devastating. Or, as aplgirl phrased it: "I laughed (and cried a bit) more than I ever have."
Well before he was playing Rudy Ray Moore in Dolemite Is My Name (a great comedy based on a true story) and even before the time he saved SNL from extinction, Eddie Murphy was just a stand-up working the circuit. The career he's built for himself out of that is arguably the most impressive in the history of mainstream comedic entertainment.
Raw is arguably Murphy's magnum opus as a stand-up (in terms of financial success), but that's not to say it's as palatable today. However, should someone appreciate a product of its time, Raw and Delirious are top-notch. Or, as one Redditor put it, "Delirious was the best stand-up I've seen still to this day."
Redditor Envy_The_King posited that for the best comedian of all time, one's "Gotta go with Bill Burr. Whether in stand-up, sitcoms, movies, animation (F is for Family was my sh*t), or even the WEEKLY podcast he absolutely crushes it." As amazing as Burr's stand-up is, the Redditor brings up some wonderful additions with Netflix's deep and deeply funny F is for Family and Burr's The Monday Morning Podcast.
NachosMahdude clarifies what it means for Burr to hold the title of "greatest comedian of all time": "Burr just seems to have a great way of communicating as well as having life figured out more than the vast majority." This is key to Burr's appeal, as he's a flawed individual, he's aware of this, and like many others, he's working on self-improvement. Burr is relatable, saying things that all have thought about yet refrained from vocalizing.
NEXT: 10 Must-See Movies Featuring The Cast Of F Is For Family
Ben Hathaway is a novelist, copywriter, and film buff located in Richmond, VA. While he loves cinema as a whole, his favored genre is horror.


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