Famous American Stand-up Comedians

You can spot them cracking up the crowd in the pub, sending the audience on a hysterical frenzy on your TV, or getting a packed arena guffawing wild. Meet entertainment's new stage moguls – stand-up comedians! They are the next wave of mic-wielding LOL merchants. There is little denying that standup comedians are the biggest fun in the entertainment circuit. And with the trade experiencing a boom period, there is little stopping them now from tickling world's ribs. They are the boundary breakers, keepers of real freedom of speech. They take some of the vilest and unsettling aspects of human nature and turn it into thought-provoking -- or at least spit-take-provoking -- laughter. While comedy is very, very subjective, there are certain things that makes stand-up act so entertaining. America has seen different types of comedians who have stepped behind a microphone over the years. We bring you a collection of biographies of some of the greatest American stand-up comedians in history. Explore the section for timelines, life stories and interesting trivia & facts related to their lives.

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
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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 Eddie Murphy

Eddie Murphy
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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.

 3 Dave Chappelle

Dave Chappelle
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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.

 4 Jerry Seinfeld

Jerry Seinfeld
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Famous As: Actor & Stand-up comedian
Birthdate: April 29, 1954
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Jerry Seinfeld was responsible for creating one of the most popular and acclaimed American sitcoms of all time, Seinfeld. Apart from being a comedian and actor, Jerry Seinfeld is also an automobile enthusiast and collector; he owns about 150 cars. Also a coffee and espresso machine lover, he owns several espresso machines. Jerry is also known for his charity work.

 5 Richard Pryor

Richard Pryor
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: December 1, 1940
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Peoria, Illinois, United States
Died: December 10, 2005

Considered one of the greatest stand-up comedians of all time, Richard Pryor entertained his audience and influenced generations of stand-up comedians with his pointed observations and skilful art of storytelling. He began by performing at clubs and gained immense fame with his third comedy album, That Nigger’s Crazy. He also became an acclaimed actor and an award winning writer.

 6 Tim Allen

Tim Allen
6
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 13, 1953
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Denver, Colorado, United States

Tim Allen is an actor who has had a major impact on the lives of many children because of his work on The Santa Clause and the Toy Story franchises, for which he was named a Disney Legend in 1999. He is also a respected comedian who deals with subjects, such as social awkwardness, politics, gender differences, and everyday life.

 7 Steve Martin

Steve Martin
5
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: August 14, 1945
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Waco, Texas, United States

A man of many talents, Steve Martin is a successful comedian, actor, and musician. In 2004, he was ranked sixth in Comedy Central's 100 greatest stand-up comics list. Despite achieving great fame and success as a comedian and actor, Steve decided to pursue a career in music and began appearing seldom in films to record and tour with bluegrass acts.

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 8 John Mulaney

John Mulaney
5
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: August 26, 1982
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Former SNL writer John Mulaney is best known for his Comedy Central special New in Town and his Fox series Mulaney. The Emmy Award-winning stand-up comedian plays George St. Geegland in a comedy duo. He has also voiced Peter Porker/Spider-Ham in the Oscar-winning movie Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

 9 Kevin Hart

Kevin Hart
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: July 6, 1979
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

American comedian and actor, Kevin Hart attained fame as a stand-up comic and then established himself as a leading comedic actor on the big screen with films like Get Hard, About Last Night, Ride Along and The Wedding Ringer. He has also been part of two Jumanji films. He was critically acclaimed for the 2019 comedy-drama film The Upside.

 10 Chris Rock

Chris Rock
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Famous As: Standup Comedian, Actor
Birthdate: February 7, 1965
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Andrews, South Carolina, United States

A high-school drop-out, Chris Rock worked at restaurants before stepping into stand-up comedy. He gained fame with SNL and earned his first role through Eddie Murphy. Known for voicing Marty in the Madagascar franchise, Chris also created the series Everybody Hates Chris and was voted Comedy Central’s fifth-greatest stand-up comedian.

 11 Sarah Silverman

Sarah Silverman
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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.

 12 David Spade

David Spade
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 22, 1964
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Birmingham, Michigan, United States

David Spade is an American comedian and actor. Also a well-known philanthropist, David Spade helped the Phoenix Police Department buy 300 firearms by making a donation of $100,000. In 2013, he donated $200,000 to rebuild Oklahoma after it was hit by a tornado. In 2018, he donated $100,000 to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

 13 Pete Davidson

Pete Davidson
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Famous As: Stand-up Comedian, Actor
Birthdate: November 16, 1993
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Staten Island, New York, United States
A popular American comedian and actor, Pete Davidson, is best known for his work in comedy show Saturday Night Live. His personal life experiences and observations have inspired his routine and earned him numerous fans. The young film and television actor is also known for his unusual tattoos, love life and openness about his physical and mental health issues.

 14 Bo Burnham

Bo Burnham
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: August 21, 1990
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Hamilton, Massachusetts, United States

Comedian, musician, actor, and filmmaker Bo Burnham started his career as a YouTuber. The funny content he posted soon gained him attention and opened up more opportunities in the entertainment industry. Since then, he has released a few albums and has appeared in many TV shows. His first film as a director was released in 2018.

 15 George Carlin

George Carlin
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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.

 16 Larry David

Larry David
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: July 2, 1947
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Comedian, writer, actor, director, and television producer Larry David is best known as the co-creator of the television series Seinfeld. He discovered his talent for comedy as a college student and began his career as a stand-up performer. After a few years of struggle, he achieved success and went on to become an accomplished actor, director, and producer.

 17 Donald Glover

Donald Glover
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Famous As: Actor, Rapper, Stand-up Comedian
Birthdate: September 25, 1983
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Edwards Air Force Base, California, United States

The actor, rapper, writer and director, Donald Glover Jr became famous after playing the role of a college student In the sitcom, Community, from 2009 to 2013. He also stars in the FX series Atlanta. He has also acted in a number of commercially successful films. His albums have done well and he won a Grammy award for the single Redbone.

 18 Bill Burr

Bill Burr
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Famous As: Stand-up comedian
Birthdate: June 10, 1968
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Canton, Massachusetts, United States

 19 Martin Lawrence

Martin Lawrence
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: April 16, 1965
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Frankfurt, Germany

Martin Lawrence is a German born-American actor and comedian. Despite being traumatized after witnessing his parents' divorce at the age of eight, Lawrence went on to succeed as a comedian and later as a leading Hollywood actor. After a problematic 1990s, which included episodes of arrests, lawsuits, and health problems, he bounced back with several hit films.

 20 Steve Harvey

Steve Harvey
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: January 17, 1957
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Welch, West Virginia, United States

Comedian, businessman and entertainer Steve Harvey has been active in the entertainment world since 1985. Born to parents who were avid movie lovers, he developed an early love for performing. He began his entertainment career as a stand-up comedian and soon started performing in TV shows and films. Also an entrepreneur, he founded Steve Harvey Global (SHG).

 21 Ken Jeong

Ken Jeong
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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.

 22 Chris Tucker

Chris Tucker
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Famous As: Actor, Comedian
Birthdate: August 31, 1971
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States

Chris Tucker is an American stand-up comedian and actor best known for playing Detective James Carter in the Rush Hour film series alongside Jackie Chan. Also a humanitarian, Tucker joined the likes of Bill Clinton, Jeffrey Epstein, Kevin Spacey, and Ghislaine Maxwell on a trip to Africa in an attempt to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS.

 23 Joe Rogan

Joe Rogan
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Famous As: Stand-up Comedians
Birthdate: August 11, 1967
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, United States

 24 Patton Oswalt

Patton Oswalt
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Famous As: Stand-up Comedian
Birthdate: January 27, 1969
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Portsmouth, Virginia, United States

Best known for his role in the sitcom The King of Queens, comedian and actor, Patton Oswalt, has been active in the entertainment industry for over 30 years. From appearing in his own TV show in the 1990s to making it big as a film actor, he has had a fulfilling career. He loves dogs and has worked with PETA.

 25 Rodney Dangerfield

Rodney Dangerfield
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Famous As: Actor, Stand-up 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.

 26 Bill Hader

Bill Hader
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Famous As: Comedian, Actor
Birthdate: June 7, 1978
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States

Bill Hader is an American actor and comedian. He is credited with creating the popular HBO series Barry. A product of Saturday Night Live, Bill Hader's journey from being a below-average student at school to becoming a popular personality in the American film and TV industry continues to serve as an inspiration to many.

 27 Tiffany Haddish

Tiffany Haddish
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Famous As: Actress, Stand-up Comedian
Birthdate: December 3, 1979
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

African-American comedian and actress, Tiffany Haddish, gained fame with the ensemble comedy film Girls Trip. Earlier, a difficult childhood turned her towards comedy. After appearing in a comedy competition, sketch comedies and numerous minor roles in films and television, she made the heads turn with her brilliant performance in television series, Real Husbands of Hollywood, If Loving You Is Wrong and The Carmichael Show.

 28 Don Rickles

Don Rickles
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Famous As: Stand-up Comedian
Birthdate: May 8, 1926
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Queens, New York, United States
Died: April 6, 2017

Don Rickles was an American actor, author, and stand-up comedian. Nicknamed The Merchant of Venom, Don Rickles specialized in insult comedy. Apart from appearing in several talk and variety shows as a guest, Rickles had his own sitcom titled The Don Rickles Show. After his death, many celebrities including Tom Hanks, Martin Scorsese, and Robert De Niro paid their tributes.

 29 Lenny Bruce

Lenny Bruce
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Famous As: Standup Comedian
Birthdate: October 13, 1925
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Mineola, New York, United States
Died: August 3, 1966

Regarded as one of the best American stand-up comedians of all time, Lenny Bruce was renowned for his critical form of comedy. His conviction for obscenity played a major role in redefining freedom of speech in the US. He is also credited with inspiring several comedians of the counterculture era. His life and career have inspired several works of art.

 30 Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: July 12, 1937
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

One of America’s most popular and beloved comedians, Bill Cosby’s reputation was totally shattered when he was accused of sexual assault, sexual battery and rape by multiple women in the 2010s. Subsequently, he was found guilty of sexual assault in two cases and was sentenced in September 2018 to a total of three to ten years in a state prison.

 31 Tracy Morgan

Tracy Morgan
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 10, 1968
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York, United States

 32 Rob Schneider

Rob Schneider
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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.

 33 Bernie Mac

Bernie Mac
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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.

 34 Louis C.K.

Louis C.K.
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Famous As: Stand-up Comedian
Birthdate: September 12, 1967
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States
Six-time Emmy-winning stand-up comedian Louis C.K. started with writing for shows such as Late Night with Conan O'Brien. His debut comedy album, Live in Houston, and his autobiographical series, Louie, were hits. He faced a temporary lull in his career in 2017 for his admittance to incidents of sexual misconduct.

 35 Hannibal Buress

Hannibal Buress
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: February 4, 1983
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Chicago Chicago, Illinois, U.S.

 36 Johnny Carson

Johnny Carson
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Famous As: Television Host
Birthdate: October 23, 1925
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Corning, Iowa, United States
Died: January 23, 2005

Six-time Emmy Award-winner Johnny Carson was known for hosting NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. After serving in World War II, Carson started hosting radio shows and then graduated to TV. He also won the Presidential Medal of Freedom and is said to have inspired David Letterman.

 37 Lily Tomlin

Lily Tomlin
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Famous As: Comedienne & Actress
Birthdate: September 1, 1939
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Lily Tomlin is an American comedian, actress, singer, and writer. Tomlin has earned several award nominations for her performance in films and TV series, such as Nashville and Grace and Frankie. An openly lesbian actress, Lily Tomlin serves as an inspiration to the LGBTQ community.

 38 Damon Wayans

Damon Wayans
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 4, 1960
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Harlem, New York, United States

An important member of the popular Wayans family, Damon Wayans is a stand-up comedian and actor. Over the years, Damon Wayans has been a prominent and influential member of popular sketch comedy series, such as In Living Color and Saturday Night Live.

 39 Nick Kroll

Nick Kroll
3
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 5, 1978
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Rye, New York, United States
Nick Kroll is best known for his performance in the sitcom The League and for his own Comedy Central show, Kroll Show. He has also voiced many characters, such as Stu in The Life and Times of Tim, and has starred in and co-created the Emmy-nominated show Big Mouth.

 40 Jim Gaffigan

Jim Gaffigan
3
Famous As: Stand-up comedian
Birthdate: July 7, 1966
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chesterton, Indiana, USA

 41 Josh Peck

Josh Peck
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Famous As: Actor & Stand-up Comedian
Birthdate: November 10, 1986
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: New York City, U.S.

Josh Peck is a comedian, actor, and YouTuber. After starting his career as a child artist, Peck went on to establish himself in the film and TV industry. His performance in the sitcom Drake & Josh earned him the Favorite Male TV Star award at the 2008 UK Kids' Choice Awards. As a social media influencer, he also inspires children and youngsters.

 42 Drew Carey

Drew Carey
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 23, 1958
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Comedian Drew Carey is best known for Whose Line is it Anyway? and The Drew Carey Show. He has also hosted The Price Is Right. The former U.S. Marine has also been a professional wrestler. He supports libraries, is an occasional sports photographer, and has written an autobiography.

 43 Katt Williams

Katt Williams
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Famous As: Stand-up Comedian, Actor
Birthdate: September 2, 1971
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Comedian and rapper Katt Williams is best known as Money Mike from the comedy film Friday After Next. He was also part of Nick Cannon's improv show Wild 'N Out and played Lord Have Mercy in the movie Norbit. He has won an Emmy for his guest role in Atlanta

 44 Samuel Burl Kinison

Samuel Burl  Kinison
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: December 8, 1953
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Yakima, Washington, United States
Died: April 10, 1992

 45 Bob Hope

Bob Hope
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Famous As: Stand-up 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.

 46 Redd Foxx

Redd Foxx
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: December 9, 1922
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Died: October 11, 1991

 47 Mitch Hedberg

Mitch Hedberg
3
Famous As: Stand-up Comedian
Birthdate: February 24, 1968
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States
Died: March 29, 2005
Iconic stand-up comedian Mitch Hedberg is remembered for his one-liners and deadpan delivery. He gained attention with Comikaze, appeared on major comedy shows, and created the film Los Enchiladas! He released several comedy albums, one of which, Do You Believe in Gosh?, was released after his death.

 48 Garry Shandling

Garry Shandling
3
Famous As: Stand-up Comedian
Birthdate: November 29, 1949
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Chicago
Died: March 24, 2016

Garry Shandling was initially a sitcom writer and then performed as a stand-up comedian on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. He later soared to fame with his own shows, It's Garry Shandling's Show and the Emmy-winning The Larry Sanders Show. He has also hosted the Grammy and Emmy Awards.

 49 Craig Ferguson

Craig Ferguson
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 17, 1962
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Springburn, Glasgow, Scotland

Craig Ferguson is a Scottish-American comedian, television host, and author. He helped popularize The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, which he hosted and received the prestigious Peabody Award for the same. A recovering alcoholic, Craig Ferguson has stayed sober since 1992 and is an inspiration to those trying to quit drinking.

 50 Woody Allen

Woody Allen
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Famous As: American bass guitarist
Birthdate: December 1, 1935
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Quirky, endearing, bewildered and witty describe not just Woody Allen, but also the characters he masterfully portrays onscreen. In a career spanning over six decades, Allen has given us 13 Oscar-nominated and 3 Oscar-winning movies as a director and scriptwriter. Whether it’s performing in light-hearted comedies, directing psychological thrillers, or writing slapstick humour, Woody Allen is a class of his own.