Thank goodness for comedy.
Sometimes the world is a heavy and serious place, but comedians exist to remind us that it doesn’t always have to be. Navigating life with light-heartedness and humor to the world is a revered and respected trait. These five comedians have reminded us time and again that perspective is everything, and that most bad days can be laughed off.
Take a look at our list of the top 5 stand-up comedians to grace the earth with their humor.
George Carlin was born on May 12, 1937, and passed away on June 22, 2008. He was revered for his black comedy acts which shed light on taboo subjects such as politics, religion, and satire of the American culture. He was an author, social critic, and actor. His last performance on ‘It’s Bad for Ya’ was filmed for HBO less than four months before his death. He was awarded the Mark Twain Prize posthumously in 2008 for American Humor. He was ranked second, after Richard Pryor, as one of the 50 best stand-up comedians of all time by the Rolling Stone magazine in 2017.
Robin Williams was a beloved actor and comedian, who was born on July 21, 1951. He started his career in the mid-1970s in Los Angeles and became a comedian and a feature film artist. The actor, known for his improvisation skills, landed his first role in Popeye in 1980. He has one Academy Award, two Primetime Emmy Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, seven Golden Globe Awards, and four Grammy Awards to his credit. Tragically, Williams killed himself on August 11, 2014, in his home due to his struggle with Lewy body disease.
Richard Pryor was a stand-up comedian, social critic, and actor. He was known for his uncompromising examinations of racism and contemporary issues, employing profanity and racial epithets. Even in his earliest years, the comedian was recognized for his storytelling talents. He died on December 10, 2005.
Pryor won five Grammy Awards, one Emmy Award, Writers Guild of America Award, and two American Academy of Humor Awards. He was also the first one to win the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 1998. Comedy Central listed him in all-time greatest stand-up comedians list. He was also ranked first by Rolling Stone magazine in the 50 best stand-up comics of all time list.
Dave Chappelle was born on August 24, 1973. He is a comedian, writer, producer, and actor. His film career began in 1993 with Ahchoo’s character in Mel Brooks’ ‘Robin Hood: Men in Tights’ movie. His comedy focuses on relationship problems, racism, social problems, current events, politics, and pop culture. Esquire titled him ‘Comic genius of America’ and Rolling Stone ranked him ninth in its 50 Best Stand Up Comics of All Time list. He owns an Emmy Award and a Grammy Award for his performances.
Edward Murphy was born on April 3, 1961. He is an actor, singer, writer, and producer. He was ranked 10th by Comedy Central in the 100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time list. He owns a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor. The John F. Kennedy Center also awarded him the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.