To avoid being biased, my Black ass isn’t gonna even really pick, but since the funniest non-Black, non-Jew I can think of is George Carlin, it’s probably fair to admit that these two have traditionally been the funniest groups in America.
10. Adam Sandler – Stand-up stuff more “cute” than funny, only “good” on SNL but movie work too voluminous and diverse to front on.
10. Chris Tucker – Really good stand-up, no TV, and after a great start in the movies went missing until turning up in the Oscar-winning Silver Linings Playbook.
9. Sid Caesar – The “Miles Davis” of Jewish comedy; his “Your Show of Shows” had as writers Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner and Woody Allen among others.
9. Jamie Foxx – Being the first Black stand-up to win an Oscar, fair work on his own show and solid Living Color stuff basically overrides his so-so stand-up.
8. Jerry Seinfeld – Decent stand-up who, I’m guessing, voluntarily goes absent from movies but killed TV with “Seinfeld”.
8. Dick Gregory – It’s almost a shame he’s become a “serious” social commentator because he was a really good stand-up and writer whose Nigger and No More Lies were both classics.
7. Billy Crystal – Good TV stuff with “Soap” and his days on SNL, best stand-up stuff was his Muhammad Ali imitation, had a nice run as a film star, probably peaking with When Harry Met Sally.
7. Martin Lawrence – Just “ok” as a stand-up being better impromptu like as the first host of “Def Comedy Jam”, a relatively important player in film, but if the show “Martin” isn’t in your Top 5 all-time shows, reality TV has made you dumb.
6. Andrew “Dice” Clay – Better actor than given credit for but dominated the 80s & 90’s from the stand-up stage.
6. Redd Foxx – Really good stand-up stuff, probably simply wasn’t offered the movie roles, and, of course, TV’s “Sanford and Son” is my favorite all-time show.
5. Mel Brooks – Great comedic writer, solid actor and if you haven’t ever seen Blazing Saddles, clear your schedule for the rest of the day.
5. Bill Cosby – The pervy grandfather of modern Black comedy with legendarily droll stand-up (and records), stellar TV stuff and starred in my favorite movie, “Let’s Do it Again”.
4. Robin Williams – Another stand-up that (deservedly) won an Oscar. Great across the board, actor, TV, stand-up stage.
4. Chris Rock – Good TV work as SNL cast member and writing for “Everybody Hates Chris”, so-so movie stuff, phrase-coining stand-up with stuff like “toss your salad” and “friend zone”.
3. Rodney Dangerfield – Best shtick stand-up of all-time (“I get no respect!”), way good in movies and even a halfway decent rapper!
3. Dave Chappelle – Daring from both the stand-up stage and the TV screen. Far underrated as an actor too.
2. Lenny Bruce – The first Top Tier “blue” comedian who America persecuted till we killed him.
2. Richard Pryor – Undisputed master of the stand-up stage who’s TV stuff was too brief and only ever got one movie vehicle, Which Way is Up?, that came close to showcasing all that he could do as a comic actor.
1. Woody Allen – Oscar-winning film work has been so dominant that people forget that he was once the No.1 stand-up in America. Nothing on TV of note, but writes his own books and them shits are funny.
1. Eddie Murphy – If he wrote books, his dominance would be so conclusive that there would have been no reason for me to write this but, as you know, Oscar-nominated actor, bananas on SNL (probably number 1 there too) and if Pryor is the Jesus of Black stand-up, Eddie’s no less than the Apostle Paul.
Honorable Mention Blacks: Robin Harris
Honorable Mention Jews: Milton Berle