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.

Vote for Your Favourite Comedians

 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 Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey
9
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: January 17, 1962
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Newmarket, Canada

Canadian American actor, Jim Carrey worked as a janitor and a stand-up comedian at club and on stage before entering films and television. His big Hollywood break came with Ace Ventura: Pet Detective which catapulted him to comedy star status. His later films like The Truman Show and Bruce Almighty proved his versatility and won him critical and commercial success.

 3 Rowan Atkinson

Rowan Atkinson
23
Famous As: Actor & Comedian
Birthdate: January 6, 1955
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Consett, County Durham, England

British comedian and actor Rowan Atkinson has entertained audience globally with his brilliant performance as the eponymous character in the Mr. Bean series and its film adaptations. Earlier, he established himself as a fine comedy actor with Blackadder and then went on to work in movies like Never Say Never Again, The Witches and Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Recommended Lists:

 4 Eddie Murphy

Eddie Murphy
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 3, 1961
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Actor and comedian, Eddie Murphy, is one of the highest-grossing actors in the United States. Beginning his career as a comedian on the TV show Saturday Night Live, he went on to become a bankable movie actor. Also a singer, he has released many studio albums. He has been awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

 5 Dick Van Dyke

Dick Van Dyke
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 13, 1925
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: West Plains, Missouri, United States

Richard Van Dyke is an actor, writer, singer and dancer. He became famous after working on radio and Broadway and later for his role in the television sitcom The Dick Van Dyke Show. He tasted more success after starring in musical films such Bye Bye Birdie and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.  He has received many awards including Emmy, Tony and Grammy.

 6 Dave Chappelle

Dave Chappelle
7
Famous As: Stand-up comedian
Birthdate: August 24, 1973
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States

American comedian, writer and actor, Dave Chappelle, is best known for the Chappelle’s Show, the acclaimed Comedy Central show which brought him much popularity before he decided to call it quits in its third season. He later released award winning comedy specials with Netflix. Dave has also featured in numerous films like Half Baked and A Star Is Born.

 7 Matt LeBlanc

Matt LeBlanc
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 25, 1967
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Newton, Massachusetts, United States

Best known for his performance as Joey in the TV sitcom Friends, Matt LeBlanc was initially told he was too short to be in the modeling industry. Despite the discouragement, he went on to become a model and then established himself as an actor. He is also known for his performance in the sitcom Episodes, for which he won a Golden Globe.

You May Like

 8 Melissa McCarthy

Melissa McCarthy
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 26, 1969
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Plainfield, Illinois, United States

American actress, Melissa McCarthy, became famous when she starred in the television series, Gilmore Girls, which ran from 2000 to 2007. The sitcom, Mike & Molly, which ran from 2010 to 2016, further brought her accolades. She has also been part of films like This is 40, Identity Thief, The Heat, The Boss, Bridesmaids, Tammy, Spy and Can You Ever Forgive Me.

 9 Andy Samberg

Andy Samberg
10
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 18, 1978
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Berkeley, California, United States

The actor, comedian, writer and musician, Andy Samberg, is a member of the comedy music group The Lonely Island and has also acted in several films like Hot Rod, That's My Boy and Palm Springs. Plus, he has starred in television sitcoms like the Brooklyn Nine-Nine and has been part of Saturday Night Live as a featured player.

 10 Lisa Kudrow

Lisa Kudrow
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 30, 1963
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Encino, Los Angeles, California, United States

An actress, writer, singer, and comedian, Lisa Kudrow gained international fame for portraying the iconic character Phoebe Buffay in one of the most popular American sitcoms of all time - Friends. She is also one of the highest-grossing film actresses as her movies have grossed more than $2 billion worldwide.

 11 Jon Favreau

Jon Favreau
4
Famous As: Actor, Comedian, Producer
Birthdate: October 19, 1966
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Flushing, New York, United States

Best known for directing movies like the Iron Man, Chef, The Jungle Book and The Lion King, Jon Favreau began by performing at improvisational theatre and later made his acting debut with film Rudy. As an actor, he has appeared in numerous films and television shows but it is his work as a filmmaker that has brought him much fame.

 12 David Schwimmer

David Schwimmer
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 2, 1966
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Flushing, New York, United States

David Schwimmer is best known for portraying the role of Ross Geller in the hugely popular and successful American television series, Friends, which ran for 10 seasons from 1994 to 2004. He has also worked in films like Kissing a Fool, Apt Pupil, Picking up the Pieces and The Iceman.

 13 Owen Wilson

Owen Wilson
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 18, 1968
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Dallas, Texas, United States

Comic actor, screenwriter and producer, Owen Wilson has earned praise for acting in movies like Wedding Crashers, Midnight in Paris, Inherent Vice and The Royal Tenenbaums, the last of which he also co-wrote with his long-time friend, Wes Anderson. The charming actor has also lent his voice to animation movies like Fantastic Mr. Fox, Free Birds and Cars film series.

 14 Seth Rogen

Seth Rogen
13
Famous As: Actor, Comedian
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.

 15 Ken Jeong

Ken Jeong
14
Famous As: Comedian, Actor
Birthdate: July 13, 1969
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States

From being a licensed physician, Korean-American actor Ken Jeong went on to do stand-up comedy and eventually ventured into acting. He got his breakthrough role with film Knocked Up but he garnered widespread fame with The Hangover film franchise and the acclaimed sitcom Community. His other notable films include Pineapple Express, Crazy Rich Asian and a recent Netflix stand-up special.

 16 Amy Poehler

Amy Poehler
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 16, 1971
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Newton, Massachusetts, United States

The co-founder of Upright Citizens Brigade, an improvisational-comedy troupe, Amy Poehler went on to utilize her comedic skills to establish herself as a prominent Hollywood personality. Over the years, she has played a crucial role in enhancing the popularity of American television, for which she was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

 17 Chris Farley

Chris Farley
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: February 15, 1964
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Madison, Wisconsin, United States
Died: December 18, 1997

A popular actor and comedian, Chris Farley's struggle with alcohol and drug addiction led to his suspension from the cast of Saturday Night Live (SNL) on many occasions. He eventually died of a drug overdose at the age of 33, much like his idol John Belushi, who too died of a drug overdose at the same age!

 18 Lucille Ball

Lucille Ball
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 6, 1911
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Jamestown, New York, United States
Died: April 26, 1989

One of the most popular actresses of the 1960s, Lucille Ball created the sitcom, I Love Lucy, in 1951. In 1962, she started managing the Desilu Productions, becoming the first woman to run a major TV studio. The recipient of two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Lucille became an inductee of the Television Hall of Fame in 1984.

 19 Dean Martin

Dean Martin
8
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: June 7, 1917
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Steubenville, Ohio, United States
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.

 20 Steve Carell

Steve Carell
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 16, 1962
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Concord, Massachusetts, United States

Recognized as "America's Funniest Man" by Life magazine, Steve Carell is an actor, comedian, and writer. He has starred in several hit comedy films and has received numerous awards, including a Golden Globe. Also popular as a comedic TV actor, he has ventured into production and direction as well. Besides comedy, he also plays dramatic roles.

 21 Adam Sandler

Adam Sandler
11
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 9, 1966
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Actor, comedian, and filmmaker, Adam Sandler, is best known for his comedic roles in Hollywood movies. Despite being a popular actor he also has the ignominious distinction of having appeared in numerous widely panned movies and is the holder of three Golden Raspberry Awards! He has released a few comedy albums as well.

 22 Bill Murray

Bill Murray
2
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 21, 1950
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Evanston, Illinois, United States

Famous American actor, Bill Murray, began as a comedic performer and gained fame with the variety show, Saturday Night Live, and movies, Caddyshack and Ghostbusters. Later, his seriocomic roles in movies like Rushmore, Lost in Translation and St. Vincent earned him rave reviews. The actor has also lent his voice to many animation movies like Garfield and The Jungle Book.

 23 Tina Fey

Tina Fey
9
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 18, 1970
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, United States
Emmy-winning comedian Tina Fey became the first female head writer of SNL. She wrote the series 30 Rock and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and the film Mean Girls. Her impersonation of Sarah Palin on SNL won her the AP Entertainer of the Year award. She has also written a bestselling memoir.

 24 John Belushi

John Belushi
12
Famous As: Comedian, Actor
Birthdate: January 24, 1949
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: 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.

 25 Carol Burnett

Carol Burnett
6
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 26, 1933
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: San Antonio, Texas, United States

Carol Burnett inspired a lot of women and set off a chain reaction by hosting her groundbreaking show The Carol Burnett Show. Regarded as one of USA's most cherished entertainers, Carol continues to enhance the lives of millions, for which she was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She has also won the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

 26 Christopher Walken

Christopher Walken
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: March 31, 1943
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Astoria, New York, United States

Christopher Walken is one of the highest-grossing American actors as his films have generated over $1 billion in the US alone. He has a unique distinction of appearing in over 100 films and TV programs. A man of many talents, Christopher Walken is also known for his comedic, singing, screenwriting, directing, and dancing skills.

 27 Eugene Levy

Eugene Levy
13
Famous As: Actor, Comedian
Birthdate: December 17, 1946
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hamilton, Canada

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.

 28 Chevy Chase

Chevy Chase
9
Famous As: Actor, Comedian
Birthdate: October 8, 1943
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lower Manhattan, New York, United States

Chevy Chase is often credited with the overall success of Saturday Night Live as he played a major role as the show's key cast member in the show's first season, thereby setting the pace for the show's eventual success. Apart from being an actor, he is also a popular comedian, producer, and screenwriter.

 29 Ricky Gervais

Ricky Gervais
20
Famous As: Actor, Comedian
Birthdate: June 25, 1961
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Whitley, Reading, England

Ricky Gervais is one of the best known comedians in the world. He attained fame after starring in the British television series The Office. Later, he ventured into a successful stand-up comedy career. He has performed at many shows and has also acted in several films. However, his dark comedy has often been called insensitive and offensive by several critics.

 30 Sarah Silverman

Sarah Silverman
5
Famous As: Comedian, Actress
Birthdate: December 1, 1970
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bedford, New Hampshire, United States

From hosting her comedy show The Sarah Silverman Program, to winning an Emmy and writing a best-selling autobiography, Sarah Silverman has done it all. The NYU drop-out started off as a writer for SNL. She has been an ardent Democratic supporter and often discusses controversial topics on her show.

 31 John Candy

John Candy
0
Famous As: Actor, Comedian
Birthdate: October 31, 1950
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Newmarket, Canada
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.

 32 Mike Myers

Mike Myers
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 25, 1963
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Scarborough, Toronto, Canada
Canadian actor Mike Myers is best known for his American Comedy Award-winning performance as Austin Powers, Dr. Evil, Fat Bastard, and Goldmember in the Austin Powers franchise. Mike, an Officer of the Order of Canada, is also known as the voice of Shrek and has directed an award-winning documentary.  

 33 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.

 34 Jerry Lewis

Jerry Lewis
7
Famous As: Comedian, Actor, Singer
Birthdate: March 16, 1926
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, United States
Died: August 20, 2017

One half of the popular American comedy duo Martin & Lewis, Jerry Lewis was nicknamed The King of Comedy for his comedic skills. Also a filmmaker, Jerry Lewis helped develop video assist and went on to popularize the system, which is widely used today. Also a humanitarian, Lewis worked closely with the Muscular Dystrophy Association, raising awareness about muscular dystrophy.

 35 George Carlin

George Carlin
7
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: May 12, 1937
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, United States
Died: June 22, 2008

Counted amongst the most influential stand-up comedians, George Carlin was known for his dark comedy. His comedy routine, Seven Dirty Words, was hugely controversial and played a critical role in Supreme Court’s ruling to censor offensive material on broadcast media. In his career, he released many comedy albums, starred in 14 HBO special, authored books and acted in numerous films.

 36 Nick Cannon

Nick Cannon
13
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 8, 1980
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: San Diego, California, United States

Nicholas Cannon is a comedian, rapper and television host. The Nick Cannon Show, America's Got Talent and The Masked Singer are some of his popular TV shows. He has also acted in films like Drumline, Love Don't Cost a Thing and Roll Bounce. Cannon has been accused of making racist and anti-Semitic remarks. He has called White people ‘savages’.

 37 Mary Steenburgen

Mary Steenburgen
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 8, 1953
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Newport, Arkansas, United States

Mary Steenburgen is an American actress and musician. Also an active humanitarian, Steenburgen has been involved with several groups that work towards the welfare of people and the environment. In 2005, she inspired students at the Clinton School of Public Service with her lecture on students' role in public service.

 38 Keegan-Michael Key

Keegan-Michael Key
9
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: March 22, 1971
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Southfield, Michigan, USA
Keegan-Michael Key is an American actor, producer, comedian, and writer. He is credited with co-creating Comedy Central's sketch comedy series Key & Peele for which he has received a couple of awards including a Primetime Emmy Award. He is also known for his philanthropic efforts; he has participated in the Young Storytellers Foundation's annual fundraiser.

 39 Vince Vaughn

Vince Vaughn
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: March 28, 1970
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Vince Vaughn began his career with a Chevron commercial and then impressed audiences with his portrayal of Trent Walker in Swingers. He has appeared in comedies such as The Break Up and Old School. He was also featured in the 1998 remake of Psycho. A libertarian, he opposes gun control. 

 40 Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg
1
Famous As: Actress
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.

 41 Phil Hartman

Phil Hartman
4
Famous As: Actor, Comedian
Birthdate: September 24, 1948
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Brantford, Canada
Died: May 28, 1998

Phil Hartman was a Canadian-American actor and comedian. He is credited with helping Paul Reubens develop his famous character, Pee-wee Herman, as part of his contribution to the popular comedy group The Groundlings. After he was murdered in 1998, Hartman was honored with several awards. In 2015, Rolling Stone named him one of the greatest Saturday Night Live cast members.

 42 Kathryn Hahn

Kathryn Hahn
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 23, 1973
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Westchester, Illinois, USA

 43 Bernie Mac

Bernie Mac
6
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.

 44 Conan O’Brien

Conan O’Brien
9
Famous As: Television Host
Birthdate: April 18, 1963
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brookline, Massachusetts, United States

Conan O’Brien is an American comedian, writer, television host, podcaster, and producer. Over the years, he has played an important role in NBC, hosting the network's successful shows like The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien and Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and writing for Saturday Night Live. His work has influenced comedians like Mindy Kaling, Seth Meyers, and Kumail Nanjiani.

 45 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.

 46 Will Ferrell

Will Ferrell
3
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 16, 1967
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Irvine, California, United States

Will Ferrell rose to fame in the mid-1990s when he acted in a comedy show Saturday Night Live. He then went on to act in a series of comedy films such as Talladega Nights, Step Brothers and The Other Guys.  He’s considered part of the ‘Frat Pack’, essentially meaning Hollywood comic actors who emerged in the late 1990s and 2000s.

 47 John Cleese

John Cleese
6
Famous As: Actor & Comedian
Birthdate: October 27, 1939
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, England,
Before stepping into sketch comedy with Monty Python's Flying Circus, John Cleese wrote scripts for Broadway and West End shows. A Cambridge law graduate, John has had a species of lemurs named after him, owing to his love for the animal. His dark humor is part of his signature style.

 48 Rob Schneider

Rob Schneider
4
Famous As: Actor, Comedian
Birthdate: October 31, 1963
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States

A multifaceted personality, Rob Schneider is an actor, comedian, screenwriter, and director. Beginning his career with the NBC sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live, he proceeded to act in films, first appearing in supporting roles and then graduating to starring roles. He is an outspoken critic of childhood vaccinations. His daughter, Elle King, is a popular musician.

 49 Rainn Wilson

Rainn Wilson
4
Famous As: Actor, Comedian
Birthdate: January 20, 1966
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Seattle, Washington, United States

Rainn Wilson is an actor and writer who used his popularity to make his YouTube channel, SoulPancake, a success. Also a climate change advocate, Wilson made a documentary titled The Idiot’s Guide to Climate Change, based on his trip to Greenland. He is known for his charitable works and has adopted a vegan diet since adopting Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs.

 50 Jamie Foxx

Jamie Foxx
3
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 13, 1967
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Terrell, Texas, United States

Actor, singer-songwriter, and comedian, Jamie Foxx became internationally famous for his portrayal of Ray Charles in the biographical film Ray, a role that earned him an Academy Award. He is also known for hosting his own television sitcom, The Jamie Foxx Show. Besides acting, he is also a Grammy Award-winning musician who has released four albums.