Who is the greatest of all time (GOAT) comedian? Over the decades, several people have picked up the mic, centered on stage, and delivered laugh after laugh. After polling the internet, people voted for these ten comedians as the GOATs.
1. William “Billy” Connolly
“I can’t believe how far I had to scroll down for this answer. Billy Connolly is one of the few comedians who have made me cry laughing,” one person admitted. “Billy is the master of comedy storytelling. I could listen to him gab for ages. There’s something quaint and endlessly pleasant about his anecdotes, delivered through that iconic Scottish dialect,” a second person agreed.
2. Bill Burr
“At this point, I like Bill Burr mainly because this man is genuinely unpredictable. I always wonder who he will go after,” someone confessed. “The thing I love about Bill is he doesn’t think (or maybe doesn’t care) about the outcome of what he says. He says what he thinks. He says it how it is. He is one of the most authentic and most honest to himself comedians out there,” another noted.
3. Rodney Dangerfield
“My husband always said that when he was in a socially awkward moment, he’d ask himself, what would Rodney Dangerfield (Caddyshack) do,” shared one. A second quoted Dangerfield, “My wife asked me to take out the Garbage. So I told her, hey, you cooked it; YOU TAKE IT OUT! I JOKINGLY tell that to my ole lady once in a while when she sets it up.”
4. Sean Lock
“One of my favorite bits of his was the one where he insulted the children of Mitchell Brook primary. Even those who were initially against him could not help laughing. But, then, he turned it around,” another admitted.
5. Bob Newhart
“I’m surprised Bob Newhart gets no love. Go back and listen to his old comedy albums from the 60s. The man was a genius. His 1960 album won 2 Grammy’s for Album of the Year and Best New Artist. Was he a push-the-envelope kind of comedian in the vein of Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, or George Carlin? Probably not. He just made people laugh,” suggested one.
6. Robin Williams
“This is a good option. Many folks know Williams from his movies, but not as many remember his standups anymore. He was like a force of nature on stage. I remember an HBO special I watched sometime in the early to mid-80s. I was a kid, but I remember thinking that I had never seen anyone that “physical” on stage. I’m not sure that I have since.” another remarked.
7. Dave Chappelle
Another user shared, “His stories are what takes it. He hits all aspects of comedy, skits, and shorter stand-up jokes. Still, his stories are the ones that shine, and they’re deep, and they have multiple layers to their comedy and typically make a point. That’s why this man is the GOAT.”
8. Richard Pryor
“Richard Pryor changed comedy; even Carlin became more liberated in his stand-up style due to Pryor’s impact on stand-up. There is not a comedian on the list that is more vulnerable and tragic. Yet, that man turned all his trauma into humor. There has never been a comedian more capable of gathering empathy from his audience regardless of what color, gender, or ethnicity they were,” admitted one.
9. George Carlin
“He did it when there were still real risks to comedy. He got arrested for jokes. George Carlin is the forever GOAT. Don’t forget about Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure!” One person exclaimed. “Agreed, not only that, but a lot of his stand-up holds up today. For a comedian to be among the GOATs, their work should be able to, for the most part, be relevant today across generations,” another suggested.
10. Red Foxx
Finally, someone said, “Most of you only knew him from Sanford & Son, but that was at the end of his life. He came up in the comedy clubs pre and post-civil rights movement. He was also known as the King of the party records; you couldn’t buy one of his records without it being in a plain brown paper bag.”
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