Standup comedy is not an easy job. It takes guts to stand in front of hundreds of strangers and humor them with witty one liners and jokes, ensuring that they keep laughing for a whole 30 minutes or more. However, there are some individuals who have mastered the art of standup comedy and have gone on to become some of the best standup comedians the world has ever seen.
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Truly one of the best standup comedians on earth, George Carlin’s humor is educative, enlightening, and logical. In a crowd of comedians who have no idea what they are talking about, Carlin ensures to deliver jokes that are not only analytical and reflect his sense of observation, but also make perfect sense.
Louis C. K.
Aka Louis Szekely, Louis C.K. dons many roles apart from a standup comedian. The multifaceted person that he is, Louis is also a writer, producer, editor, director and actor. Louis’s jokes center on everyday life, focusing on true statements that he puts across to the audience in the most hilarious ways possible. Compared to the likes of George Carlin and Robin Williams, Louis is definitely one of the best comedians in the world.
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No one could imagine that the super talented individual who is considered as the leader of San Francisco’s comedy renaissance, could have been suffering from depression. Starting his stint as a standup comedian in 1970, Williams quickly rose to fame owing to his frenetic energy, hysterical impressions and forever improvising comedy tracks. He was hugely popular as a talk show and actor too, earning accolades for his comic portrayals in many movies.
Considered as the king of standup comedy in the 70s’, Richard Pryor established the standard for standup comedy and became a measuring stick for all aspiring comedians of the period. Although many considered his jokes to be a bit too crude, he was literally worshipped by his fans who remain his staunch supporters to this day.
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The string of sexual assault allegations put aside, Bill Cosby was considered as a legend and pioneer in the field of standup comedy. The master storyteller that he was, Cosby entertained thousands of individuals with humorous stories of his family and childhood which focused on age and racial boundaries in the form of moral values one needs to live with. The Cosby Show is still considered as one of the best television shows till date.
His dedication to the craft earned him a unique recognition of being the person who elevated standup comedy to new heights. Inspired by great comedians like Robin Williams and Bill Cosby, Seinfeld started his stint as a standup comedian in New York over 40 years ago. His quick rise to stardom placed him in the spotlight, and many televisions shows and movies followed suit. He is over 60 years now, but still continues to enthrall the crowd with his one of a kind humor.
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Some comedians like to go full blast. And then, there are comedians like Bob Newhart who like to pause and stare at their audience until the latter bursts out laughing. Known for his trademark style of delivering lines, stammering and stuttering all the way, Newhart also stars in two of television’s longest – running and funniest sitcoms.
Getting his inspiration from Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock can sure catch your attention when he takes hold of mike. His energetic on stage presence combined with his crackling voice and stinging commentary, Rock also starred in the HBO special ‘Bring the Pain’ in 1996. While his movies may border between being hits and flops, his standup comedy act never manages to tickle your funny bone.
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One of the finest comedians of the 70s’, Steve Martin sure had a way with people, ensuring they laughed their heads off at his comic timing. Martin’s on stage persona featured a hysterical persona moving between an ironic satirist and a goofball. His catch phrases are still considered to be some of the best in the world of comedy today.
In a male dominated world, Joan Rivers was like a breath of fresh air, capturing the limelight with her unique brand of standup comedy in the early 60s and 70s. Her self-deprecating jabs combined with her raspy voice made Rivers quite the standup comedian to reckon with during this period.
Standup comedy is a hard job. However, over the years, there have been (and still are) many individuals who have enthralled audiences with their comedy stints. These individuals are no doubt, considered as the kings and queens of standup comedy.