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.
6
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.
6
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.
4
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 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.

 5 Jerry Seinfeld

Jerry Seinfeld.
4
Birthdate: April 29, 1954
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Brooklyn

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.

 6 Richard Pryor

Richard Pryor.
4
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.

 7 Steve Martin

Steve Martin.
4
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: August 14, 1945
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Waco

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 Adam Sandler

Adam Sandler.
2
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.

 9 John Mulaney

John Mulaney.
4
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.

 10 Kevin Hart

Kevin Hart.
0
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: July 6, 1979
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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.

 11 Conan O’Brien

Conan O’Brien.
6
Famous As: Television Host
Birthdate: April 18, 1963
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brookline, Massachusetts

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.

 12 Sarah Silverman

Sarah Silverman.
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Famous As: Stand-up Comedian
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.

 13 Chris Rock

Chris Rock.
4
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.

 14 David Spade

David Spade.
4
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.

 15 Larry David

Larry David.
4
Birthdate: July 2, 1947
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Brooklyn

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.

 16 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.

 17 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.

 18 Pete Davidson

Pete Davidson.
4
Famous As: Stand-up Comedian
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.

 19 Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneres.
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: January 26, 1958
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Metairie, Louisiana, United States

Comedian, television host and actress Ellen DeGeneres is the first actress to win a Saturn Award for a voice performance, winning the accolade for her role in the film Finding Nemo. She has hosted the Academy Awards and has published four books. She is openly lesbian and supports LGBTQA+ rights. She has been accused of workplace harassment.

 20 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

 21 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).

 22 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.

 23 Martin Lawrence

Martin Lawrence.
3
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.

 24 David Letterman

David Letterman.
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Famous As: TV Presenter
Birthdate: April 12, 1947
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Indianapolis, Indiana, United States

Starting off as a radio weatherman, David Letterman has come a long way. He has been the longest-serving American late-night talk-show host and ranked 45th on TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time list. He later dabbled in production, with hit sitcoms such as Everybody Loves Raymond.

 25 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

 26 Bill Hader

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

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 Chris Tucker

Chris Tucker.
3
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.

 28 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.

 29 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.

 30 Mel Brooks

Mel Brooks.
4
Famous As: Director
Birthdate: June 28, 1926
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Mel Brooks is the director of iconic comedy films and spoofs like The Producers, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, Silent Movie, High Anxiety and Spaceballs. He is also an actor and a writer and has written for many films. He has received many awards and accolades and won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for the film. The Producers, in 1969.

 31 Louis C.K.

Louis C.K..
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Famous As: Stand-up Comedian, Actor, Writer, Producer
Birthdate: September 12, 1967
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Washington, D.C.
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.

 32 Don Rickles

Don Rickles.
3
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.

 33 Jerry Lewis

Jerry Lewis.
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Famous As: Comedian, Actor, Singer, Film Director
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.

 34 Rodney Dangerfield

Rodney Dangerfield.
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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.

 35 Aziz Ansari

Aziz Ansari.
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: February 23, 1983
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Columbia, South Carolina, United States

Aziz Ansari is an American comedian, actor, and writer. He is credited with creating the popular comedy-drama television series Master of None. His acting skills in the series earned him a Golden Globe, making Ansari the first Asian-American actor to receive the honor. In 2016, he was named in Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world list.

 36 Lenny Bruce

Lenny Bruce.
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Famous As: Standup Comedian
Birthdate: October 13, 1925
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Mineola, New York
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.

 37 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.

 38 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

 39 Bob Newhart

Bob Newhart.
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Famous As: American stand-up comedian
Birthdate: September 5, 1929
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Oak Park, Illinois, United States

American stand-up comedian Bob Newhart is renowned for his slightly stammering delivery style and dry humor for which he was honored with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 2002. Over the years, his comedic style has influenced many comedians. Also an actor, he was ranked 17th on TV Guide's list of 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time.

 40 Lily Tomlin

Lily Tomlin.
3
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.

 41 Woody Allen

Woody Allen.
4
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.

 42 Rob Schneider

Rob Schneider.
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Famous As: Actor
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.

 43 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.

 44 Amy Schumer

Amy Schumer.
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Famous As: Stand-up Comedian, Actress
Birthdate: June 1, 1981
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Upper East Side, New York City, New York

American actor and stand-up comedian Amy Schumer is best known for the comedy series Inside Amy Schumer, which ran from 2013 to 2016. She was the creator and co-writer of the television show and also starred in it. She has also acted in films and has worked on the Broadway. She is known to address various social issues through comedy.

 45 Hannibal Buress

Hannibal Buress
3
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: February 4, 1983
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Chicago Chicago, Illinois, U.S.

 46 Damon Wayans

Damon Wayans.
3
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.

 47 Jim Gaffigan

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

 48 Johnny Carson

Johnny Carson.
3
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.

 49 Josh Peck

Josh Peck.
3
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.

 50 Jon Stewart

Jon Stewart.
3
Famous As: American comedian
Birthdate: November 28, 1962
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States

Jon Stewart is an American actor, writer, political commentator, television host, and filmmaker. He is credited with popularizing Comedy Central's satirical news program The Daily Show. Also a prominent comedian, Jon Stewart has influenced and inspired several other comedians like Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah, John Oliver, Larry Wilmore, Hasan Minhaj, Jordan Klepper, Samantha Bee, and Bassem Youssef.