20th Century Comedians

They make you cringe, they make you smile, they make you laugh/ they hurt your belly but you are not complaining at all/ With a rock face and goofy tale, they take on the world/ Their antics make you grin, their comedy make you swirl. Comedy is perhaps the most difficult thing to do. We all have been classically conditioned to live for our self but there are some in this world, who live to make others smile. These people have turned their passion into profession and thank God for them! Life is indeed cheerful, happy and grin-some! After all, who wants serious stuff when you can pass it off in a fit of laughter? It is to these brave souls that we have this section here. From the era of silent films to the now techno-savvy times, comedians have got the crowd roaring in laughter with their funny one-liners, hilarious view and comic timing. Though we have seen centuries of amazing talent in the world of comedy, the past century definitely had the cream of the lot. Find below a list of famous comedians of the 20th century who floored the audience with their comic antics, poker face and trademark styles.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Robin Williams

Robin Williams.
14
Famous As: American stand-up comedian
Birthdate: July 21, 1951
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chicago
Died: August 11, 2014

One of the finest comedians of all time, Robin Williams began his career as a stand-up comedian and soon moved to act in television and films. Though widely recognised for his comedic skills, the immensely talented Williams proved his versatility by taking up and successfully performing more serious roles in films like Good Will Hunting and The Fisher King.

 2 Seth Rogen

Seth Rogen.
10
Famous As: Stand-up Comedian, Actor, Producer, Director
Birthdate: April 15, 1982
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Vancouver, Canada

Canadian actor Seth Rogen established himself as a bankable and popular comic actor when he starred in Hollywood films Knocked Up in 2007 and Funny People in 2009. His other notable films are Steve Jobs, The Interview, Like Father, Long Shot and An American Pickle. He is active in raising awareness about Alzheimer's disease and is an open marijuana user.

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 3 Dean Martin

Dean Martin.
8
Famous As: Actor, Comedian, Singer
Birthdate: June 7, 1917
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Steubenville, Ohio
Died: December 25, 1995

An actor, singer, and comedian, Dean Martin earned the nickname The King of Cool for his effortless self-assurance and charisma. One of the most popular entertainers of the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, Dean performed in nightclubs and concert stages and appeared in film and TV productions. Such is his popularity that his songs continue to be featured across popular culture.

 4 John Belushi

John Belushi.
11
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: January 24, 1949
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Humboldt Park, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: March 5, 1982

One of the original cast members of the popular TV show Saturday Night Live, John Belushi was known for his great comic skills. Unfortunately, he struggled in his personal life with drug addiction and eventually died of combined drug intoxication at the age of 33. He posthumously received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

 5 Eugene Levy

Eugene Levy.
12
Famous As: Actor, Comedian, Producer, Director
Birthdate: December 17, 1946
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hamilton

Mainly known for his comic roles, Canadian actor Eugene Levy has had a career spanning over six decades, with Splash, Father of the Bride, Waiting for Guffman, American Pie and American Pie 2 being some of his memorable films. He has also acted in television and found success with the hit series, Schitt's Creek. He is also a writer and director.

 6 Nick Offerman

Nick Offerman.
5
Famous As: Actor, Comedian
Birthdate: June 26, 1970
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Joliet, Illinois

Nick Offerman, best known for his award-winning performance as Ron Swanson in Parks and Recreation, is also a professional wood craftsman. He has voiced characters in films such as Hotel Transylvania 2 and Ice Age: Collision Course, hosted a Netflix documentary and a reality series, and written three semi-autobiographical books.

 7 Bernie Mac

Bernie Mac.
5
Famous As: Actor, Comedian
Birthdate: October 5, 1957
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: August 9, 2008
A well-known comedian and actor, Bernie Mac was named in Rolling Stone magazine's 50 Best Stand-Up Comics of All Time list in 2017. In recognition of his contribution to arts, Chicago's Mayor Rahm Emanuel declared November 14 as Bernie Mac Day in 2016. Bernie's alma mater Chicago Vocational High School renamed its CVS Auditorium as Bernie Mac Auditorium.
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 8 Pat Morita

Pat Morita.
6
Famous As: Actor, Comedian
Birthdate: June 28, 1932
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Isleton, California, United States
Died: November 24, 2005

American actor, voice actor, and comedian, Pat Morita first gained recognition with drama series Happy Days, though it was his inspiring performance as Mr. Miyagi in The Karate Kid film series that really skyrocketed his fame. The Asian-American actor was also known for his TV movie Amos and animated movie Mulan and Mulan II where he voiced the Chinese Emperor.

 9 Kevin James

Kevin James.
6
Birthdate: April 26, 1965
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Mineola

Kevin James’s performance as Doug in The King of Queens earned him an Emmy Award nomination. He was active in wrestling and football in school and is also known for delivering the 2007 Pepsi 400 NASCAR command. He has also voiced characters in films such as the Hotel Transylvania series.

 10 Ed O’Neill

Ed O’Neill.
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 12, 1946
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Youngstown, Ohio, United States
Footballer-turned-actor Ed O'Neill is best known for his Golden Globe-nominated role of Al Bundy in Married... with Children and his Emmy-nominated portrayal of Jay Pritchett in Modern Family. He was seen in the Wayne's World films and did voice-work in Finding Dory. He has a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

 11 Verne Troyer

Verne Troyer.
6
Famous As: Comedian, Actor
Birthdate: 1969 AD
Birthplace: Sturgis
Verne Troyer gained fame as Mini-Me in the Austin Powers films and Griphook in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Born with cartilage-hair hypoplasia-induced dwarfism, Verne had also performed as a stunt double in films such as Baby's Day Out. He died of suicide by alcohol poisoning at age 49.

 12 Rick Moranis

Rick Moranis.
4
Famous As: Actor, Comedian, Screenwriter & Musician
Birthdate: April 18, 1953
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Rick Moranis is one of the most popular Canadian artists to make it big in the American film industry. Best known for playing father characters in children's films like Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Rick proved to be a great father off-screen as he took a long break from his career to take care of his children, after the death of his wife.

 13 Kathie Lee Gifford

Kathie Lee Gifford.
6
Famous As: TV Host, Actress
Birthdate: August 16, 1953
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Paris

Kathie Lee Gifford achieved celebrity status by working as a television presenter. She then became a singer-songwriter and author, cementing her place in the entertainment industry. Also known for her charity work, Kathie serves as an ambassador for Childhelp, a non-profit organization working towards preventing child abuse.

 14 Jerry Stiller

Jerry Stiller.
6
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: June 8, 1927
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York City, New York, United States

Veteran actor Jerry Stiller had an extensive six-decade-long career in the entertainment industry. He began performing comedy with his wife, Anne Meara, in the 1960s and soon started acting in films and TV shows as well. His son, Ben Stiller, is also an actor, and the two had appeared in many films together.

 15 Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg.
0
Birthdate: November 13, 1955
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Manhattan

Accomplished American comedian, actress, singer and Broadway star, Whoopi Goldberg is amongst the select few who have won all the four awards—Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. Moreover, she is also a political activist, author and talk show host. Her notable work include films Ghost, Sister Act and The Color Purple; Broadway show Thoroughly Modern Millie and talk show The View.

 16 John Candy

John Candy.
0
Famous As: Actor, Comedian, Screenwriter
Birthdate: October 31, 1950
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Newmarket, Ontario
Died: March 4, 1994

John Candy was an important Canadian comedian and actor. In 2006, he was honored by Canada Post as he was featured on a postage stamp. Also a sports enthusiast, Candy was the co-owner of Toronto Argonauts, a football team that participates in the Canadian Football League. Under his ownership, the team won the 1991 Grey Cup.

 17 Seth Green

Seth Green.
4
Birthdate: February 8, 1974
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Philadelphia

Seth Green is a popular American actor and voice artist who is credited with co-creating the famous adult animated comedy TV series Robot Chicken for Adult Swim. As a voice actor, Seth Green has contributed immensely to the success of series, Family Guy.

 18 Bob Odenkirk

Bob Odenkirk.
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 22, 1962
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Berwyn, Illinois, United States

Bob Odenkirk began his career as an SNL writer but shot to fame only after starring as Saul Goodman in Breaking Bad and its spin-off, Better Call Saul. He has also been part of critically acclaimed movies such as Nebraska and The Post, and has directed and produced several shows.

 19 John Leguizamo

John Leguizamo.
6
Famous As: Actor, Stand-up Comedian
Birthdate: July 22, 1964
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bogotá, Colombia

John Leguizamo is a popular stand-up comedian and actor who is credited with voicing Sid the Sloth in the Ice Age film series. Over the years, John Leguizamo has also played a major role in helping the Hispanic community and has been honored by organizations, such as the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors.

 20 Beetlejuice

Beetlejuice.
6
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 2, 1968
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Jersey City, New Jersey

Despite being born with conditions like microcephaly and dwarfism, Beetlejuice went on to become a popular film, radio, and TV personality. A prominent member of Wack Pack, which is part of The Howard Stern Show, Beetlejuice was named the greatest Wack Packer ever by Howard Stern in 2015.

 21 Bob Hope

Bob Hope.
4
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: May 29, 1903
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Eltham, London, England
Died: July 27, 2003
Bob Hope began his career with vaudeville and Broadway, before plunging into radio and films. He is remembered for his comedy timing and trademark self-deprecating humor. He hosted the Academy Awards 19 times and authored 14 books, apart from performing for the U.S. military in 57 USO tours.

 22 Rodney Dangerfield

Rodney Dangerfield.
4
Famous As: Actor, Comedian
Birthdate: November 22, 1921
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Deer Park, New York, United States
Died: October 5, 2004
Rodney Dangerfield began as a stand-up comedian in and around New York City and eventually became a regular on late-night talk shows. He was known for his catchphrase “I don't get no respect!” and his self-deprecating humor. He also appeared in movies such as Caddyshack and Natural Born Killers.

 23 Cloris Leachman

Cloris Leachman.
6
Famous As: Comedian, Actress
Birthdate: April 30, 1926
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Des Moines, Iowa

Cloris Leachman is an actress and comedian. One of the most decorated American actresses of all time, Cloris Leachman has won several prestigious awards in an illustrious career spanning more than seven decades; she is the most awarded actress in the history of Emmy Awards, along with Julia Louis-Dreyfus. She has also received an Oscar and a Golden Globe Award.

 24 Gary Coleman

Gary Coleman.
6
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: February 8, 1968
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Zion, Illinois
Died: May 20, 2010
Gary Coleman, who topped VHI’s list of the 100 Greatest Kid Stars, was best known to fans as Arnold Jackson from the sitcom Diff'rent Strokes and for The Gary Coleman Show. A congenital kidney disease and hormonal issues led to his short 4’8” frame. He struggled with financial issues later.

 25 Jay Leno

Jay Leno.
7
Famous As: Television Host
Birthdate: April 28, 1950
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New Rochelle
Emmy-winning stand-up comedian Jay Leno is best known for his shows The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Jay Leno Show, both on NBC. The Television Hall of Fame inductee is also an avid car collector and is associated with several charitable initiatives, such as the Love Ride.

 26 Leslie Nielsen

Leslie Nielsen.
4
Birthdate: February 11, 1926
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Regina
Died: November 28, 2010

Leslie Nielsen was a Canadian actor who played more than 220 characters, appearing in over 150 television programs and 100 films in a career that spanned 60 years. In the latter part of his career, he gained recognition as a comedian and went on to become one of the most popular Canadian comedians of his generation.

 27 Stephen Merchant

Stephen Merchant
6
Famous As: Actor, Comedian, Screenwriter, Radio personality, Film actor
Birthdate: November 24, 1974
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bristol

Known for co-writing The Office, British comedian Stephen Merchant was born to a nurse mother and a plumber father. He began his career with the radio and then stepped into stand-up comedy. Over the years, he has used his 6’7” frame to the best in his performances.

 28 Terry Crews

Terry Crews.
0
Famous As: Actor, American Football Player
Birthdate: July 30, 1968
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Flint

Terrence Crews is an actor, comedian, activist and a body-builder. He’s also a former professional football player. He has starred in sitcoms like Everybody Hates Chris and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Plus, he has acted in many movies including the Expendables series. In 2017, Crews talked about a sexual assault on him by a Hollywood executive. He fiercely advocates for women's rights.

 29 Johnny Knoxville

Johnny Knoxville.
8
Birthdate: March 11, 1971
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Knoxville

Johnny Knoxville is an actor, filmmaker, and stunt performer. He is credited with owning and operating Dickhouse Productions, which produces films and documentaries. Johnny Knoxville is also credited with co-creating the popular MTV reality show Jackass

 30 Bob Saget

Bob Saget.
6
Famous As: Stand-up Comedian
Birthdate: May 17, 1956
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Philadelphia

Bob Saget is an American actor, director, television host, and stand-up comedian. Renowned for his adult-oriented stand-up comedy routine, Saget has hosted popular TV shows, such as America's Funniest Home Videos. Also known for his charity work, Bob Saget is currently serving as one of the members of the board of the non-profit organization, Scleroderma Research Foundation.

 31 Richard Ayoade

Richard Ayoade.
9
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 12, 1977
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Whipps Cross

English comedian, film director, screenwriter, and actor Richard Ayoade gained international fame for his role in Channel 4 sitcom The IT Crowd. Even though he studied law in college, he was more interested in working in the entertainment industry. He started working as a comedian and actor in the early 2000s and has since come a long way.

 32 Jim Belushi

Jim Belushi.
6
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: June 15, 1954
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

The younger brother of iconic comedian and actor John Belushi, Jim Belushi followed in his brother's footsteps to become a comedian and actor. He is also a passionate cannabis cultivator and plans to open a cannabis dispensary in Downtown Portland.

 33 Fred Willard

Fred Willard
4
Famous As: Actor, Film actor, Television actor
Birthdate: September 18, 1939
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Shaker Heights

 34 David Cross

David Cross.
6
Birthdate: April 4, 1964
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, U.S

David Cross is an American actor, writer, and stand-up comedian. Cross is credited with creating and developing popular TV series, such as The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret and Freak Show. In 2013, the co-founder of Kickstarter, Yancey Strickler, revealed that David Cross was one of the first investors of Kickstarter, a public benefit corporation.

 35 Jemaine Clement

Jemaine Clement.
6
Famous As: New Zealand Comedian
Birthdate: January 10, 1974
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Masterton

Jemaine Clement is a New Zealand actor, director, musician, and comedian. One half of the Grammy Award-winning and popular comedy duo Flight of the Conchords, Clement has created many comedy series for HBO and BBC. Also known for his good looks, Jemaine Clement was named in Who magazine's 100 Sexiest People list in 2008.

 36 Stan Laurel

Stan Laurel.
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 16, 1890
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ulverston, Lancashire
Died: February 23, 1965

Comedian Stan Laurel entertained audiences as part of the iconic duo Laurel and Hardy, along with Oliver Hardy, in over 100 films. He began his career with music-hall sketch comedy and worked as an understudy of Charlie Chaplin in Fred Karno's Army. He was known for his trademark bowler hat.

 37 Joel McHale

Joel McHale.
8
Famous As: Comedian, Actor
Birthdate: November 20, 1971
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Rome

Actor, comedian, and producer Joel McHale is best known for hosting the television series The Soup. He was interested in sports as a young boy but shifted his focus to acting while in college and earned his master's degree in acting. Even though he is more popular as a television actor, he has appeared in many films too.

 38 Gilda Radner

Gilda Radner
4
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: June 28, 1946
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States
Died: May 20, 1989

 39 Freddie Prinze

Freddie Prinze.
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 22, 1954
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hell's Kitchen, New York City, New York
Died: January 29, 1977

Freddie Prinze, father of Freddie Prinze Jr., was best known as Chico Rodriguez from Chico and the Man. A trained ballet dancer, Freddie had dropped out of high school to become a stand-up comedian. He shot himself to death, though a jury later ruled it an accidental and medicine-induced death.

 40 Andy Kaufman

Andy Kaufman.
6
Famous As: Entertainer
Birthdate: January 17, 1949
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: May 16, 1984

Andy Kaufman was an American entertainer and wrestler. Considered an anti-comedian for his ability and willingness to provoke confused and negative reactions from audiences, Kaufman is revered for his counterintuitive approach to comedy. Apart from influencing comedians like Jim Carrey, Kaufman also inspired movies like Toni Erdmann. There are rumours that his death is believed to be a hoax and part of his prank.

 41 Groucho Marx

Groucho Marx.
5
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: October 2, 1890
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: August 19, 1977
Groucho Marx is best remembered for his roles in the 13 Marx Brothers films he made with his siblings, Harpo, Zeppo, Chico, and Gummo. Considered one of America’s best comedians, he is also the man behind the Groucho Glasses, inspired by his signature glasses, big nose, bushy eyebrows, and mustache.

 42 Steve Coogan

Steve Coogan
9
Famous As: Actor, Comedian, Screenwriter, Film producer
Birthdate: October 14, 1965
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Middleton

 43 Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers.
6
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 8, 1933
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brooklyn
Died: September 4, 2014

Famous for her controversial comedic persona, Joan Rivers was a television host and comedian. She broke stereotypes by hosting a late-night television talk show titled The Late Show with Joan Rivers, becoming the first woman to do so. Also an author, Rivers wrote 12 best-selling books. In 2017, she was posthumously inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame

 44 Jackie Gleason

Jackie Gleason.
3
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: February 26, 1916
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York, U.S
Died: June 24, 1987

Jackie Gleason was an American actor, writer, comedian, composer, and conductor. Nicknamed The Great One, Jackie Gleason is credited with developing the popular TV series The Jackie Gleason Show, which enjoyed high ratings for nearly two decades. His life and work inspired the 2002 television biopic Gleason in which he was played by comedian and actor Brad Garrett.

 45 Danny Kaye

Danny Kaye.
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: January 18, 1911
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Brooklyn
Died: March 3, 1987
Danny Kaye is best remembered for his pantomimes, physical comedy, and patter songs, one of the most popular being Inchworm. Some of his most notable movies were the 1947 movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The Court Jester, and Hans Christian Andersen. He was UNICEF’s first ambassador-at-large.

 46 Chelsea Handler

Chelsea Handler
6
Famous As: Actor, Comedian, Biographer
Birthdate: February 25, 1975
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Livingston, New Jersey, United States

 47 Craig Robinson

Craig Robinson
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 25, 1971
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

 48 Mel Blanc

Mel Blanc.
3
Famous As: Voice Actor, Radio Personality
Birthdate: May 30, 1908
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: San Francisco
Died: July 10, 1989

Mel Blanc was an American radio personality and voice actor. Dubbed The Man of a Thousand Voices, Blanc contributed immensely to the success of several theatrical cartoons by voicing famous characters, such as Porky Pig, Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny, Barney Rubble, and Mr. Spacely. He was considered one of the most influential and important personalities in the voice acting industry.

 49 Nasim Pedrad

Nasim Pedrad
6
Famous As: Actor, Voice actor, Screenwriter, Television actor
Birthdate: November 18, 1981
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Tehran

 50 Bonnie Hunt

Bonnie Hunt
5
Famous As: American comedian
Birthdate: September 22, 1961
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chicago