Comedy is very subjective. Putting together a top-five comedians list is very tough. My taste in comedy is very different from our readers. For me, my favorite comedian right now is Julio Torres. He wrote this famous sketch for SNL and has an HBO special. However, I can recognize that he doesn’t deserve to be on this list cause of wide appeal and how new he is to the industry.
You could even break this list down into subcategories that are types of comedy: raunchy, witty, and physical comedy. But I’ll keep this as a universal list and you decide if they belong on a top list.
Then there’s recency bias. Does Bo Burnham deserve to be on here over the ones who have been in the business for many years? Bo could arguably be on this list for those who have seen his stand-up.
Also, some iconic comedians don’t age well. You won’t find Jerry Seinfeld on this list because I mostly found him funny around the Seinfeld era and if you look at the trailer for his new Netflix special, most of his jokes are from the show Seinfeld. Comedians like Dave Chappelle stayed relevant for generations.
John is more known for his stand-up and his time as a writer for SNL. He had a show called Mulaney but it is not his fault that it failed. Network shows are very limiting creative-wise and show named after comedians have never succeeded. He’s arguably the wittiest comic on this list.
Chris Rock doesn’t need as much of an explanation on this list. He’s done it all: movies, stand-up, and even a successful show based on youth (Everybody Hates Chris). His long reputation proceeds him mostly these days but he has done as every comedian has; a Netflix special.
Ali got her first big start on Chelsea Handlers “Are You There Chelsea?” and I always found her to be a funnier version of Chelsea. Her humor isn’t as lewd as Chelsea and more relateable I would say. Her Netflix standup is good but I recommend her movie, Always Be My Maybe.
Larry David is the mastermind behind Seinfeld and some people would say that Jerry wouldn’t be where he is now if it weren’t for Larry. He has gone on to do HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm. I believe he is on this list because Curb is a staple for comedy that is timeless. It has had 10 seasons over a twenty-year span and never missed a beat.
She has never done a stand-up comedy special so most people don’t associate her with other people on the list. She came from an improv background in Chicago. Her dreams were to do comedic writing and acting. She’s on this comedians list because she is on Mount Rushmore as far as Saturday Night Live alum and she was the head writer for one of the best comedy shows ever in 30 Rock.
Dave’s comedy is timeless and he never lets down. His jokes on the Chappelle show were never racially charged and his best jokes to me were his fictitious meetings with celebrities. At the time his Netflix special was released, it was the most-watched.
I know your list of comedians is different, so leave a comment regarding who I left out.
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