Stand-Up Comedians



WOODY ALLEN
"I feel sex is a beautiful thing between two people. Between five, it's fantastic." Academy Award-winning director Woody Allen (Bananas) started out as a comedy writer, earning just $75 a week. In 1961, Allen embarked on his stand-up comedy career by making his debut at a club called the Duplex in Greenwich Village. His brilliant early stand-up comedy routines can be heard on the albums Standup Comic and Nightclub Years 1964-1968.

DAVE ATTELL
"Some people are against porno movies, and I say, 'Hey, Ohio, Kentucky and Iran!' I say, 'Hey, whatever a man and a woman and another woman with a penis and a midget do to a donkey is their gosh darn business.'" Best known as the host of Insomniac with Dave Attell, which ran on Comedy Central from 2001-04, Dave Attell achieved his first big break in 1993 when he made his debut on The Late Show with David Letterman. Attell also had a brief run as host of The Gong Show with Dave Attell and most recently Dave's Old Porn on Showtime.

RICHARD BELZER
"I've known Chevy Chase for so long, I actually knew him when he was funny!" A native of Connecticut, Richard Belzer started his stand-up career in New York City, performing at The Improv, Catch a Rising Star and other comedy clubs. He was later the audience warm-up comedian for Saturday Night Live during its premiere season. Belzer is perhaps best known for his role as “Sgt. John Munch” in Homicide: Life on the Street and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. In addition, Belzer has penned several books, including UFOs, JFK and Elvis: Conspiracies You Don’t Have to be Crazy to Believe.

LENNY BRUCE
"If Jesus had been killed 20 years ago, Catholic schoolchildren would be wearing little electric chairs around their necks instead of crosses." Uncompromising and extremely influential, Lenny Bruce stretched the boundaries of free speech and was frequently arrested on stage in the early 1960s. Bruce’s legal troubles mounted during this period, culminating with a six-month that found him guilty of obscenity on November 4, 1964. During the appeals process, Bruce died of a drug overdose in 1966 at the age of 40. Dustin Hoffman starred in a 1974 biographical film about Bruce, Lenny, which was nominated for six Academy Awards. In 2003, Bruce received a posthumous pardon for his obscenity conviction by New York Governor George Pataki. In 2004, Bruce was named No. 3 in Comedy Central’s list of the “100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time” behind Richard Pryor and George Carlin.

GEORGE CARLIN
"Religion easily has the best bullshit story of all time. Think about it. Religion has convinced people that there's an invisible man . . . living in the sky. Who watches everything you do every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a list of 10 specific things he doesn't want you to do. And if you do any of these things, he will send you to a special place, of burning and fire and smoke and torture and anguish for you to live forever, and suffer, and burn, and scream, until the end of time. But he loves you. He loves you. He loves you and he needs money." A brilliant comedian and social critic, George Carlin placed No. 2 on Comedy Central's list of the "100 Greatest Stand-Up Comedians" behind Richard Pryor. Carlin's best-known routine was "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television." For the record, the "Seven Dirty Words" are shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker and tits.

JIM CARREY
“Maybe there is no actual place called hell. Maybe hell is just having to listen to our grandparents breathe through their noses when they're eating sandwiches.” A native of Ontario, Canada, Jim Carrey started his stand-up career performing at Yuk Yuk’s in Toronto in the early 1980s before moving to Los Angeles and performing at The Comedy Store. Carrey was soon discovered by Rodney Dangerfield, who hired Carrey as an opening act for his shows. Carrey soon turned to movie acting and became a superstar after appearing in the 1994 comedy, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.

JOHNNY CARSON
"If life was fair, Elvis would be alive and all the impersonators would be dead." The host of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson for 30 years (1962-92), Johnny Carson received six Emmy Awards and was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 1987. In addition, Carson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1992.Through The Tonight Show, Carson helped launch the stand-up careers of many comedians, including David Letterman, Jay Leno, Roseanne Barr, David Brenner and Jerry Seinfeld, among others.

DAVE CHAPPELLE
"Chivalry died when women started readin' the shit in all them magazines. They got too much advice about men from other women. And they don't know what the fuck they're talkin' about. I see them in the grocery store, says on the cover '100 Ways to Please Your Man' by some lady. Come on, man. Ain't no 100 ways. That list is four things long. Just suck his dick, play with his balls and then fix him a sandwich, and don't talk so fuckin' much and he'll be happy!" Formerly the host of the extremely popular Chappelle's Show on Comedy Central, Dave Chappelle was once booed off the stage during "Amateur Night" at Harlem's Apollo Theater during one of his first attempts to become a stand-up comedian. He rapidly made a name for himself on the New York comedy circuit. Chappelle is featured in the 2006 documentary, Block Party

ANDREW DICE CLAY
"When you jerk off, you're saying, 'Hey, I care about me.'" A true comic icon, Andrew Dice Clay burst onto the comedy scene with an outrageous and highly controversial brand of hardcore comedy that led to platinum albums such as The Day the Laughter Died and sold-out arenas, which included Madison Square Garden. In 2007, Dice starred briefly in a reality show called Dice Undisputed on VH1 and was the first celebrity fired by The Donald in The Celebrity Apprentice 2 in 2009. Dice frequently brings his infamous stand-up act to the Shimmer Showroom at the Las Vegas Hilton.

BILLY CONNOLLY
"Life is a waste of time. Time is a waste of life. Get wasted all the time and you'll have the time of your life." A highly talented Scottish comedian, musician and actor, Billy Connolly started out as a welder in the Glasgow shipyards and then pursued a career as a folk singer before moving on to stand-up comedy and acting. Connolly turned in a memorable performance as "Il Duce" in The Boondock Saints, a 1999 cult movie directed by Troy Duffy (star of the offbeat documentary Overnight).

RODNEY DANGERFIELD
"My wife and I were happy for 20 years. Then we met." Rodney Dangerfield built a legendary comedy career based on the catchphrase: “I don’t get no respect.” Early in his stand-up career, Dangerfield worked as an aluminum-siding salesman to help make ends meet. Adopting the Rodney Dangerfield persona with a vengeance, Dangerfield landed a memorable appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show and never looked back. In 1969, Dangerfield opened his Manhattan nightclub, Dangerfields, which was later the venue for an HBO show that helped the careers of many young stand-up comedians such as Jerry Seinfeld, Sam Kinison, Roseanne Barr, Tim Allen, Andrew Dice Clay, Bob Sagat and Rita Rudner, among many others. Dangerfield’s comedy album, No Respect, received a Grammy Award for “Best Comedy Album of the Year.” During the 1980s, Dangerfield made several memorable appearances in films, most notably as “Al Czervik” in Caddyshack, “Monty” in Easy Money and “Thornton Melon” in Back to School.

JEFF DUNHAM
"Welcome to Wal-Mart. Get your shit and get out. Have a nice day." One of the top-grossing stand-up acts in North America, ventriloquist and stand-up comedian Jeff Dunham is familiar to Comedy Central audiences for his three specials: Jeff Dunham: Arguing with MyselfJeff Dunham: Spark of Insanity and Jeff Dunham’s Very Special Christmas Special. Dunham’s characters include Achmed the Dead Terrorist, Melvin the Superhero Guy, Sweet Daddy Dee, Bubba J, Jose Jalapeno on a Stick, Peanut and Walter, among others.

JEFF FOXWORTHY
"If you ever start feeling like you have the goofiest family in the world, all you have to do is go to a state fair. Five minutes at the fair, you'll be going, 'You know what? We're all right. We're dang near royalty!'" Known for his “you might be a redneck” one-liners, Jeff Foxworthy is the bestselling comedy recording artist of all time and a member of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour that also includes Larry the Cable Guy, Bill Envall and Ron White. Foxworthy also hosted the TV game show, Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?

REDD FOXX
"Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing." Best known for his starring role as “Fred G. Sanford” in the TV sitcom Sanford and Son (1972-77), Redd Foxx gained popularity for his raunchy nightclub act and party albums during the 1940s and 1950s. Foxx died of a heart attack on the set of the TV sitcom, The Royal Family, in 1991.


KATHY GRIFFIN
"The beauty about the D-list is that people who are on it probably don`t know they are." Star of the Bravo reality show, Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, Kathy Griffin embarked on her stand-up career in the early 1980s as a member of a Los Angeles improve comedy troupe called The Groundlings. She later gained much recognition during memorable appearances on two episodes of Seinfeld. Two of Griffin’s comedy albums, For Your Consideration and Suckin’ It for the Holidays, have been nominated for Grammy Awards for “Best Comedy Album.”

MITCH HEDBERG
"I bought a doughnut and they gave me a receipt for the doughnut. I don't need a receipt for the doughnut, man, I'll just give you the money, and you give me the doughnut . . . end of transaction. We don't need to bring ink and paper into this. I just can't imagine a scenario where I would have to prove that I bought a doughnut. Some skeptical friend: 'Don't even act like I didn't get that doughnut! I got the doc-u-men-tation right here . . . oh, wait it's at home . . . in the file . . . under 'D'... for doughnut.'" A Minnesota native, Mitch Hedberg first gained national exposure in 1996 after performing at the prestigious Just for Laughs Montreal International Comedy Festival, which aired on Comedy Central. That same year, Hedberg appeared on Late Night with David Letterman for the first time. Hedberg rapidly gained a cult following with his surreal humor and offbeat comic delivery. Hedberg died of a drug overdose in 2005. 

BILL HICKS
"Christianity's such an odd religion, you know . . . You know, the whole image is that, you know, eternal suffering awaits anyone who questions God's infinite love. That's the message, isn't it, that we're brought up with. Believe or die! 'Thank you, forgiving Lord, for all those options.'" Whether discussing Doritos commercials, American Gladiators, Barry Manilow albums, The Love Connection or the Waffle House, Bill Hicks brilliantly dissected the banality of American culture. "Think of me as Chomsky with dick jokes," Hicks was fond of saying. Hicks died of pancreatic cancer in 1994 at the age of 32. The late, great Richard Pryor once claimed that Hicks was "an inspired and inspiring truth teller, dangerous and brave and scary all at once." Tom Waits on Hicks: "Bill Hicks—blowtorch, excavator, truthsayer, and brain specialist, like a reverend waving a gun around. He will correct your vision. Others will drive on the road he built." Hicks' amazing life and stand-up career was highlighted in the 2009 documentary, American: The Bill Hicks Story.

EDDIE IZZARD
"You have the American dream! The American dream is to be born in the gutter and have nothing. Then to raise up and have all the money in the world, and stick it in your ears and go PLBTLBTLBLTLBTLBLT! That's a pretty good dream." A brilliant British stand-up comedian, Eddie Izzard has cited Monty Python as his main comic influence and John Cleese has referred to him as the "lost Python." Izzard is known for his stream-of-consciousness delivery, transvestism and activism.

D. L. HUGHLEY
"I’m glad them fuckin’ holidays is over. 'Don’t drink and drive.' Motherfucker, how am I going to get home?" Best known for starring in The Hughleys, a sitcom that ran from 1998-2000, D. L. Hughley also appeared in Spike Lee's 2000 stand-up comedy film, The Original Kings of Comedy, along with Steve Harvey, Cedric the Entertainer and Bernie Mac.

ANDY KAUFMAN
"The life of a part-time wrestler is no laughing matter. It's not just fun and games like most people think. You work out, train constantly, push your body to the limit of endurance and nobody seems to care. I have wrestled and defeated over 400 women and what do I get? The men call me a wimp, the women say I'm a sexist pig." More of a performance artist than a stand-up comedian, Andy Kaufman is known for his legendary exploits such as curling up in a sleeping bag and going to sleep in front of a bewildered audience at the Improv Comedy Club, lip-synching to the theme from Mighty Mouse on the debut episode of Saturday Night Live, appearing as Bachelor No. 3 (calling himself "Baji Kimran") on The Dating Game, working as a part-time busboy at Posh Bagel after he landed the role of Latka on Taxi, declaring himself "World Intergender Wrestling Champion," feuding with Jerry "The King" Lawler on The David Letterman Show and appearing in My Breakfast with Blassie with wrestling legend "Classy" Freddie Blassie. In 1984, Kaufman died of lung cancer at the age of 35. Or did he? On the one-year anniversary of Kaufman's death, his alter ego Tony Clifton appeared live at The Comedy Store singing "I Will Survive." Among the audience included Rodney Dangerfield, Eddie Murphy, Steve Martin, Richard Pryor, Robin Williams, Dan Ackroyd and a then-unknown comic named Jim Carrey, who went on to star as Kaufman in the 1999 biopic, Man on the Moon.

SAM KINISON
"I was married for two fucking years! Hell would be like Club Med!" A former revival-style preacher, Sam Kinison embarked on a stand-up comedy career shortly after divorcing his first wife and got his first big break on Rodney Dangerfield’s Ninth Annual Young Comedians Special, which aired on HBO in 1984. Known for his intense style and trademark scream, Kinison unleashed an outrageous and uncensored form of comedy that included angry rants and attacks against conventional norms. In 1986, Kinison had a memorable role as “Professor Terguson” in Back to School, which starred Rodney Dangerfield. Kinison, who was a frequent guest on The Howard Stern Show, also appeared as Al Bundy’s guardian angel in an 1989 episode of Married with Children. Just six days after marrying his girlfriend Malika Souiri in 1992, Kinison was killed in a car accident on U.S. 95 in California. His epitaph reads: “In another time and place he would have been called prophet.” 

LISA LAMPANELLI
"I am not a typical woman, anyway. I have a hugely male, masculine side. I always curse. I always like to be one of the guys. I'm that chick you'll invite to a bachelor party, but not to strip." Known as comedy’s “Lovable Queen of Mean,” Lisa Lampanelli is a Grammy Award-nominated stand-up comedian known for her raunchy form of insult comedy. Lampanelli has participated in celebrity roasts of Chevy Chase, Jeff Foxworthy, Pamela Anderson, William Shatner, Flava Flav, Artie Lange and others. Her memoir, Chocolate, Please: My Adventures in Food, Fat and Freaks, was published in 2009.

ARTIE LANGE
"A weekend in Vegas without gambling and drinking is just like being a born-again Christian." A native of New Jersey, Artie Lange was an original cast member on MADtv, an actor in low-budget comedies such as Dirty Work and Beer League, Jackie "The Joke Man" Martling's replacement on The Howard Stern Show and (believe it or not!) the bestselling author of an autobiography titled Too Fat to Fish. Over the years, Lange has been candid about his highly publicized battle with depression and drug addiction. He is in recovery from a suicide attempt that took place in January 2010.

JAY LENO
"For the first time ever, overweight people outnumber average people in America. Doesn't that make overweight the average then? Last month you were fat, now you're average—hey, let's get a pizza!" Long before he became the scourge of late-night TV, Jay Leno spent years trolling the stand-up comedy circuit before replacing Johnny Carson as host of The Tonight Show in 1992. People either tend to love Leno or hate him. For instance, Howard Stern said, "Just the mere mention of Jay Leno's name makes me want to vomit."

DAVID LETTERMAN
"New York . . . when civilization falls apart, remember, we were way ahead of you." Currently the host of the Late Show with David Letterman, David Letterman started his career as a TV weatherman before moving to Los Angeles in 1975 and performing stand-up comedy at the legendary Comedy Store. Late Night with David Letterman made its debut in 1982 and soon featured a variety of offbeat bits such as Stupid Pet Tricks, The Top 10 List, Viewer Mail, Supermarket Finds, Velcro Suit and Stupid Human Tricks. Letterman departed NBC in 1993 to host the Late Show with David Letterman on CBS. During his October 1, 2009, show, Letterman revealed that he had been the victim of a blackmail attempt that centered around his sexual relationships with several female employees of the show.

RICHARD LEWIS
"I'm a major hypochondriac. I won't even masturbate anymore. I'm afraid I might give myself something." A native of Brooklyn, New York, Richard Lewis embarked on his stand-up comedy career in the 1970s and appeared on The Tonight Show in 1974. Known for his neurotic comic persona, Lewis has been called the “Franz Kafka of modern day comedy” by Mel Brooks.

BILL MAHR
"Sex is too easy for women to get, and too hard for men. I mean, honestly, for a man to walk into someplace and have every woman ready to take him home, he'd have to rule the world. A woman would have to do her hair." Known for his sharp political satire and sociopolitical commentary, Bill Mahr is the host of Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO. Mahr rose to fame as the host of Politically Incorrect, which made its debut on Comedy Central and was later picked up by ABC. His contract with ABC was not renewed after he made a controversial on-air remark shortly after 9/11 that the terrorists were not cowards. Maher's comedic documentary, Religulous, a satire of organized religion, was released in 2009. 

STEVE MARTIN
"I used to smoke marijuana. But I'll tell you something: I would only smoke it in the late evening. Oh, occasionally the early evening, but usually the late evening—or the mid-evening. Just the early evening, midevening and late evening. Occasionally, early afternoon, early mid-afternoon, or perhaps the late-midafternoon. Oh, sometimes the early-mid-late-early morning . . . But never at dusk! Never at dusk, I would never do that." Before branching away from stand-up comedy and becoming a successful movie actor in the 1980s, Steve Martin packed auditoriums on national tours with his absurd brand of comedy. Martin embarked on his comedy career with a writing stint on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. His stand-up career took off during the mid-70s with appearances on The Tonight Show and Saturday Night Live, as well as the release of his hugely popular comedy albums Let’s Get Small and A Wild and Crazy Guy, both of which won Grammy Awards for “Best Comedy Recording.”

JACKIE "THE JOKE MAN" MARTLING
"Why does a dog lick his ass? Because he knows in five minutes he'll be licking your face." A native of Long Island, New York, Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling served as a writer on The Howard Stern Show from 1983-2001. Martling left the show over a salary disagreement with the show’s employer, WXRK (his chair was eventually filled by Artie Lange). Martling currently hosts a show, “Jackie’s Joke Hunt,” on Sirius XM’s Howard 101 channel.

JACKIE MASON
"Eighty percent of married men cheat in America. The rest cheat in Europe." A former rabbi, Jackie Mason quit after three years and embarked on a very productive career in stand-up comedy that has included a critically acclaimed one-man show called "The World According to Me."

DENNIS MILLER
"The current tax code is harder to understand than Bob Dylan reading Finnegans Wake in a wind tunnel." A five-time Emmy Award-winning stand-up comedian, actor and political commentator known for his obscure pop culture references, Dennis Miller rose to fame in 1985 as a Saturday Night Live cast member. Miller left SNL in 1991 and hosted the late-night TV talk show, The Dennis Miller Show, followed by the HBO talk show, Dennis Miller Live. He also had a brief, rather unsuccessful stint as color commentator on Monday Night Football. A regular political commentator on Fox News, Miller also hosts a talk radio program called The Dennis Miller Show.

GEORGE MILLER
"The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later you're hungry again." A longtime fixture on the West Coast comedy scene, George Miller made his network television debut on The Tonight Show in 1976. A good friend of David Letterman, Miller appeared on Late Night with David Letterman and Late Show with David Letterman 56 times over two decades. After a long bout with leukemia, Miller died in 2003 from a blood clot in his brain.

RUDY RAY MOORE
"Now Dolemite was from San Anton'/A ramblin', scamblin, gamblin little young muthafucka from the day he was born/Why the day he was dropped from his Mammy's ass/He slapped his Pappy's face/And said, 'From now on, cocksucka, I'm running this place.'" Best known as the principal character in the legendary 1975 blaxploitation flick, Dolemite, Rudy Ray Moore appeared in a number of other films such as Petey Wheatstraw (1977), Disco Godfather (1979) and The Return of Dolemite (2002). The so-called “King of the Party Records,” Moore released many raunchy comedy albums during the 1960s and 1970s. In 2008, Moore died of complications from diabetes.

TRACY MORGAN
"Affirmative action was designed to keep women and minorities in competition with each other to distract us while white dudes inject AIDS into our chicken nuggets. That's a metaphor." A cast member on Saturday Night Live for seven seasons (1996-2003), Tracy Morgan currently costars as “Tracy Jordan” on the NBC comedy series, 30 Rock. In 2009, Morgan published an autobiography titled I Am the New Black.

EDDIE MURPHY
"And this is the business to be in if you want some pussy. That's why I got in show bussiness, for pussy. I figured, if Jimmy Walker can fuck, I'm fucking everybody. And it's like that too. When you do TV shows, women would be throwing pussy at me on the street like frisbee." Hilarious, raunchy and often controversial (even Richard Pryor claimed that he found his comedy at times excessively insensitive), Eddie Murphy has been ranked No. 10 on Comedy Central's list of the "100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time."

EMO PHILIPS
"I go from stool to stool in singles bars hoping to get lucky, but there's never any gum under any of them." A Chicago native, Emo Philips is known for his eccentric appearance, falsetto voice and surreal sense of humor. Philips’ first album, E=mo² , won the 1985 New Music Award for “Best Comedy Album.” In 1988, Philips married comedian Judy Tenuta but they later divorced.

FREDDIE PRINZE
"Es not my job, man!" Freddie Prinze honed his craft in the early 1970s at New York City comedy clubs such as The Improv and Catch a Rising Star before his first big break appearing on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in 1973. From 1974-77, Prinze starred as Francisco “Chico” Rodriguez in the hit TV series, Chico and the Man. Prinze shot himself in the head and died in 1977, at the age of 22. The death, initially ruled a suicide, was years later re-ruled an “accidental shooting due to the influence of Quaaludes.”

RICHARD PRYOR
"I had to stop drinking, cause I got tired of waking in my car driving 90." One of the most influential comedians of all time, Richard Pryor had a storied career that includes an extensive body of work such as concert movies and recordings Richard Pryor: Live and Smokin’ (1971) . . . Pryor received an Emmy Award in 1973 and five Grammy Awards in 1974, 1975, 1976, 1981and 1982. In addition, Pryor appeared in many memorable films, including Silver StreakWhich Way is Up?Blue Collar and Stir Crazy. In 1980, Pryor was severely burned after setting himself on fire while freebasing cocaine and drinking 151-proof rum. In 1998, Pryor won the first Mark Twain Prize for American Humor from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. In 2004, Pryor was voted No. 1 on Comedy Central’s list of the “100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time.” Pryor, who suffered from multiple sclerosis, suffered a cardiac arrest and died on December 10, 2005. He was posthumously awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. 

JOAN RIVERS
"I blame my mother for my poor sex life. All she told me was 'the man goes on top and the woman underneath.' For three years my husband and I slept in bunk beds." Joan Rivers made the first of her many appearances on The Tonight show Starring Johnny Carson in 1965. Carson established Rivers as his regular guest host in the early 1980s. In 1986, Rivers briefly hosted her own late-night talk show, That Late Show Starring Joan Rivers on the FOX Network.

CHRIS ROCK
"Do you know what the good side of crack is? If you're up at the right hour, you can get a VCR for $1.50. You can furnish your whole house for $10.95." Voted as the fifth greatest standup comedian of all time by Comedy Central, Chris Rock embarked on his stand-up comedy career in 1985 at New York City’s Catch a Rising Star. Rock was a Saturday Night Live cast member from 1990-93 and appeared in a memorable role as a crack addict in New Jack City (1991). Rock has starred in numerous HBO comedy specials, including Big Ass Jokes (1994), Bring the Pain (1996), Bigger & Blacker (1999) and Never Scared (2004). Rock has also acted in numerous films such as DogmaBeverly Hills NinjaLethal Weapon 4Nurse BettyThe Longest Yard, Bad Company and Down to Earth.

ROBERT SCHIMMEL
"One of my friends goes: 'So, you know what really turns me on; when girls talk dirty in bed.' Yeah, I tried that with my wife. I said, 'Hey, talk dirty to me.' She said, 'Go fuck yourself.' Not that dirty." Known for his raunchy and often controversial comedy, Robert Schimmel was has cited Lenny Bruce as his biggest influence. Schimmel achieved his first big break in 1986 when Rodney Dangerfield invited him to perform on HBO’s Young Comedians Special. In 2000, Schimmel was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and in January 2010 he announced on The Howard Stern Show that he has cirrhosis of the liver. 

JERRY SEINFELD
“According to most studies, people's number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you're better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.”  A regular at Dangerfield's comedy club in the 1970s, Jerry Seinfeld had a small role as "Frankie" in Benson before getting his big break on The Tonight Show in 1981. Seinfeld is best known for Seinfeld, which ran from 1989 to 1998.

SARAH SILVERMAN
"I want to get an abortion. But my boyfriend and I are having trouble conceiving." The star of The Sarah Silverman Program on Comedy Central, Sarah Silverman is known for her irreverent, satirical comedy, which often addresses controversial topics. Silverman started her comedy career as a writer and featured player during the 1993-94 season of Saturday Night Live.

DOUG STANHOPE
"If you are reading this and your age begins with a 4—chances are you are in a position of medium authority. So do me a favor . . . Fuck something up a little. Tell your kids the truth about at least one thing you've lied about. Steal something. Fuck someone ugly. Skip work and get drunk at noon at a tittie bar. Prank call your higher-ups in the middle of the night and tape it. Remember what a shithead the young you would think you are and change it a little." A native of Worcester, Massachusetts, Doug Stanhope embarked on his stand-up comedy career in 1990. According to the bio on his official website, Stanhope "started his career in Las Vegas doing jack-off jokes for free drinks. Not much has changed, save for the mullet." Stanhope has appeared on numerous television and radio shows, including The Man ShowThe Howard Stern ShowComedy Central PresentsLate FridayPremium BlendSpy TVFloor Show Live and Invasion of the Hidden Cameras, among others.

TOMMY TIERNAN
"I'm gonna try my best to be happy. I don't care if it drives me fucking insane." Often controversial Irish comedian Tommy Tiernan set the Guinness World Record for the longest stand-up show by an individual (36 hours, 15 minutes) in 2009. Tiernan started his stand-up career at the G.P.O. Club in Galway City, Ireland, and won the British Comedy Award for “Best Stand-Up” in 1998.

ROSIE TRAN
"But you go out now, it's crazy, you go out to the nightclub right it's hard to meet men. Because it's crazy. I mean I'm a skank but there are super skanks out there! . . . They've got the tattoos on the ass crack. 'I'm sexy, I have a tattoo on my ass crack.' Ladies, don't do this, don't put the women's movement back 20 years . . ." The daughter of Vietnamese immigrants, Rosie Tran was born and raised in Algiers, New Orleans. Her father is famous Vietnamese writer and philosopher Tran Bich San and her mother is a former Miss Saigon. In 2006, Tran received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Television and Film from California State University.

ROBIN WILLIAMS
"Beer commercials usually show big men, manly men, doing manly things: 'You've just killed a small animal. It's time for a light beer.' Why not have a realistic beer commercial, with a realistic thing about beer, where someone goes, 'It's five o'clock in the morning. You've just pissed on a dumpster. It's Miller time." Known for his anarchic, improvisational style of comedy, Robin Williams embarked on his stand-up career during his stint in the TV sitcom Mork and Mindy (1978-82), which was a spin-off of Happy Days. During the 1980s, Williams hosted three popular HBO comedy specials: Off the Wall (1978), An Evening with Robin Williams (1982) and Robin Williams: Live at the Met (1986). Williams has also starred in many critically acclaimed films such as Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), Dead Poets Society (1989), Awakenings (1990), Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) and Good Will Hunting (1997).

STEVEN WRIGHT
"I've been doing a lot of abstract painting lately, extremely abstract. No brush, no paint, no canvas. I just think about it." Known for his surreal humor delivered in a deadpan style ("If God dropped acid, would he see people?"), Steven Wright skyrocketed to stardom in 1985 after the release of his critically acclaimed comedy album, I Have  Pony, which was nominated for a Grammy Award for “Best Comedy Album.” In 2008, Wright released his long-awaited follow-up album, I Still Have a Pony, which was also nominated for a Grammy Award.

HENNY YOUNGMAN
"The secret of a happy marriage remains a secret." Legendary British-born comedian and violinist, Henny Youngman was famous for his simple one-line jokes such as “Take my wife – please.” Known as the “King of the One-Liners,” Youngman had a remarkable career that spanned seven decades. Youngman published an autobiography in 1991 titled Take My Life, Please!

User Comments - Add a Comment
Ernie - 2013-09-22 00:33:21

Re Joan Rivers: George Carlin said in his book "Napalm and Silly Putty" that "Joan Rivers has become the kind of celebrity she used to make fun of". Re Dave Chappelle: That line you printed by Chappelle is very similar to a bit Chris Rock used to do where he said "men only want three things from a woman: feed me, fuck me, shut the fuck up!" Re Robert Schimmel: Schimmel died of cancer in 2011.