These legends will go down in history as some of the best and will continue to inspire and set standards for new comedians.
1. Woody Allen
It has been said that Woody Allen had the best material till date and even though his career as a stand-up comedian was short-lived, it goes without saying that he added panache to the profession and sent out the message that even those comedians that were not too polished could face the audience without getting nervous. He will be remembered for The Tale of The Moose.
2. Shelley Berman
Shelley Berman acted out phone call scenes which made him unique and different from the rest. He always had a great rapport with the audience and brought up such issues that would irritate them but make them laugh at the same time. Morning After The Night is one act which will always be associated with Berman.
3. Lenny Bruce
Even though his acts were considered to be quite explicit, they were quite clean in actuality. Lenny Bruce was creative and courageous and was unafraid to target such issues that were untouched at the time. Even though Bruce has passed away, he will be remembered by those who laughed during his acts.
4. George Carlin
Because Lenny Bruce was not as appreciated as one would think; George Carlin was described to be like him, but funny. The way Carlin went through his act made the entire process seem easy. Even though he said he was going through a mid-life crisis at one point, he was still hilarious.
5. Bill Cosby
If George Carlin made the profession seem easy; Bill Cosby made it look like cake walk. What he did was chat with the audience in the beginning and then start on the material he had prepared. The transition was so swift and quick that the audience never picked up on it. Needless to say, they never will.
6. Robert Klein
This comedian was spontaneous and is said to be the only comedian who truly connected with his audience. After Woody Allen, this man was and is the best in the profession.
7. Jackie Mason
Jackie Mason is one comedian who is naturally funny and does not look like he is putting in any effort at all. His one-man acts are always extremely hilarious and his barbs at Ed Sullivan are always appreciated tongue-in-cheek. His jokes today have become angry and political as well as inane.
8. Bob Newhart
Bob Newhart was known for his comedy that was definitely fun but low-key as well. His acts that included ‘nervous’ speeches and phone calls will always be remembered. Even though his comedy was not as raw as the others, it was undoubtedly funny and would leave you in splits. He still cracks the same jokes but the audience loves him and always will.
9. Richard Pryor
His album titled “That Nigger’s Crazy” will not be forgotten in a hurry. The characteristics of his act are pretty clear when one goes through this particular album. Even though his observations were considered to be laced with paranoia it times, they were still funny. It has been said that Pryor brought racial humor out in the open even though he did not focus on race as much as Dick Gregory does.
10. Charlie Chaplin
Everybody is familiar with this comic genius who passed away in 1977. His sense of humor was unique and while many have tried, his skills can never be imitated. His comedy skills were inimitable and his slapstick comedy could make even the saddest man laugh.