Laughter truly is the best medicine, and in recent years, black comedians have been bringing the heat with their fresh and hilarious takes on life. Today, we’re here to celebrate the best of the best; the top 10 black comedians alive. From kings and queens of comedy to rising stars, these comedians have not only made us laugh, but they’ve also broken barriers and paved the way for future generations of black comedians. So, buckle up and get ready to laugh as we stroll down memory lane and highlight some of the most talented comedians of our time.
Top 10 American Black Comedians Alive
Picking the top 10 black comedians alive in America is no easy task. The primary criteria used include their impact on the entertainment industry, unique comedic style, consistency in delivering quality content, and the awards and recognition they’ve received.
Dave Chappelle was born on August 24, 1973, in Washington, D.C. Chappelle got his start in stand-up comedy at 14. By the time he was 19, he had already landed his first TV appearance on the Apollo Theater’s “Showtime at the Apollo.”
Fast forward to 2003, and Chappelle was well on his way to becoming a household name with his show, aptly named “Chappelle’s Show.” Premiering on January 22 of that year on Comedy Central, the show quickly became a hit, with Chappelle’s irreverent humor and biting social commentary resonating with audiences.
After “Chappelle’s Show” ended, Chappelle continued to tour and perform stand-up, cementing his place as one of the most influential comedians of our time. His work earned him multiple awards, including a Grammy for Best Comedy Album in 2018 and the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 2019.
Kevin Hart was born on July 6, 1979, in Philadelphia; Hart’s early career was defined by his stand-up comedy performances, which he began doing in his early 20s. Hart’s big break came in 2001 when he landed a recurring role on the TV series “Undeclared.” This led to more acting opportunities, including roles in the films “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” (2005) and “Little Fockers” (2010).
However, Hart’s stand-up specials indeed launched him into the stratosphere of comedy superstars. In 2011, he released “Laugh at My Pain,” which became a huge success and led to a national tour. This was followed by “Let Me Explain” in 2013 and “What Now?” in 2016, which were also massive hits. Hart’s success in stand-up comedy led to even more opportunities in film. He’s starred in several hit comedies, including “Get Hard” (2015), “Central Intelligence” (2016), and “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” (2017).
All in all, Kevin Hart’s rise to fame has been nothing short of meteoric. His infectious energy and relatable humor have endeared him to audiences worldwide, making him one of our time’s most popular and successful black comedians.
Chris Rock was born on February 7, 1965, in South Carolina; Rock got his start in stand-up comedy in the 1980s, performing at small clubs and honing his craft. Chris Rock’s impact on the comedy world is immeasurable. His razor-sharp wit and fearless approach to comedy have made him a true icon.
In 1996, Rock released his first HBO stand-up special, “Bring the Pain,” which catapulted him to superstar status in the comedy world. The special earned him two Emmy Awards and a Grammy nomination. He followed it up with more successful stand-up specials, including “Bigger & Blacker” (1999) and “Never Scared” (2004).
Rock’s success in stand-up comedy also led to numerous acting roles. He’s starred in a variety of films, including “New Jack City” (1991), “Lethal Weapon 4” (1998), and “Grown Ups” (2010). In recent years, he’s also made a name for himself as a director and producer, working on projects such as the TV series “Everybody Hates Chris” (2005-2009).
Tiffany Haddish was born on December 3, 1979, in California. Haddish’s journey to comedy stardom was a long and winding one. Haddish got her start in stand-up comedy in the early 2000s, performing at small clubs and open mics.
However, it wasn’t until 2017 that she gained widespread recognition for her hilarious performance in the hit film “Girls Trip.” Since then, Haddish has released several successful stand-up specials, including “She Ready! From the Hood to Hollywood” (2017) and “Black Mitzvah” (2019), both of which were critically acclaimed.
Haddish has also made a name for herself in the world of acting, appearing in various films and TV shows. In addition to “Girls Trip,” she’s starred in “Night School” (2018) and “Like a Boss” (2020).
Chris Tucker was born on August 31, 1971, in Atlanta, Georgia, and began his career performing stand-up comedy in the early 1990s. Tucker rose to fame with his roles in hit films like “Friday” (1995) and “Money Talks” (1997).
However, it was his role as Detective James Carter in the “Rush Hour” film series that solidified his place in Hollywood. In addition to his film work, Tucker has released several successful stand-up comedy specials, including “Chris Tucker Live” in 2015, his first full-length stand-up special in over two decades.
In recent years, Tucker has continued to work in film and television, appearing in “Silver Linings Playbook” in 2012. Regarding energetic and animated performances, Chris Tucker is one comedian who always delivers.
Eddie Murphy was born on April 3, 1961, in New York. Murphy’s comedy career began in the early 1980s when he joined the “Saturday Night Live cast.” Murphy’s success on “SNL” led to a variety of film roles, including his breakout performance in “48 Hrs.” (1982).
He went on to star in several hit comedies throughout the 1980s and 1990s, including “Beverly Hills Cop” (1984), “Coming to America” (1988), and “The Nutty Professor” (1996). He’s also an accomplished stand-up comedian, having released several successful specials. His first special, “Eddie Murphy: Delirious,” premiered in 1983 and was hugely successful.
He’s also returned to the big screen, starring in the critically acclaimed film “Dolemite Is My Name” (2019) and reprising his role as Prince Akeem in the long-awaited sequel “Coming 2 America” (2021). Eddie Murphy brought a unique blend of irreverent humor and genuine heart to the industry.
Leslie Jones was born on September 7, 1967, and began her comedy career in the mid-1990s in stand-up comedy clubs. Jones rose to prominence in comedy with her no-holds-barred humor and unique style. She has released several successful stand-up specials, including “Problem Child” in 2010 and “Time Machine” in 2020.
In addition to her stand-up work, Leslie Jones has had a successful acting career, appearing in various television shows and films. She joined the “Saturday Night Live” cast in 2014 and quickly became a fan favorite with her hilarious characters and spot-on impressions.
She also starred in the all-female “Ghostbusters” reboot in 2016. Jones has continued to make audiences laugh with her work in television and film, including appearances in “The Angry Birds Movie 2” in 2019 and “Coming 2 America” in 2021.
Martin Lawrence was born on April 16, 1965, in Frankfurt, Germany; Lawrence’s career in comedy began in the mid-1980s when he won a stand-up comedy contest in New York City.
Lawrence went on to land various television and film roles throughout the 1990s, including his hit sitcom, “Martin,” which aired from 1992 to 1997. The show was a huge success and helped cement Lawrence’s status as one of the biggest names in comedy.
With his infectious energy and quick wit, Martin Lawrence has been a beloved figure in the comedy world for decades. In addition to his television and film work, Martin Lawrence is also an accomplished stand-up comedian, having released several successful specials over the years. He starred as Detective Marcus Burnett in the hit film “Bad Boys for Life” in 2020.
Whoopi Goldberg was born on November 13, 1955, and named Caryn Elaine Johnson. Goldberg got her start in entertainment as a stand-up comedian in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Goldberg’s unique brand of humor and infectious personality quickly caught the attention of audiences and industry professionals alike.
She released several successful stand-up comedy specials, including “Whoopi Goldberg: Direct from Broadway” in 1985 and “Whoopi Goldberg: Fontaine…Why Am I Straight?” in 1988.
In addition to her stand-up comedy work, Goldberg has also had a successful acting career, starring in various films and television shows. She won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the 1990 film “Ghost” and has been nominated for multiple Emmy Awards for her work on the television shows “The View” and “Whoopi.
top 10 black comedians alive in America:
Any list of top 10 black comedians will not be complete without Steve Harvey on it. Steve Harvey was born on January 17, 1957, and began his stand-up comedy career in the mid-1980s. Harvey quickly gained popularity with his relatable and often hilarious observations about everyday life and went on to release several successful stand-up comedy specials.
In addition to his stand-up work, Harvey has had a successful acting career, starring in various television shows and films. He hosted his sitcom “The Steve Harvey Show” from 1996-2002 and has served as a host for a variety of game shows and talk shows, including “Family Feud” and “The Steve Harvey Morning Show.”
Steve Harvey has also written several successful books, including “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man” which was later adapted into a successful film. He currently hosts “Celebrity Family Feud” and “Steve on Watch,” a talk show on Facebook Watch.
The black comedians mentioned in this list have all significantly impacted the entertainment industry, each with their unique comedic style and consistent delivery of quality content. Comedians like Richard Pryor, Wanda Sykes, Mo’Nique, and DL Hughley, to name a few, have also left their mark on the industry and paved the way for future generations of black comedians. It’s worth noting that there are many other great black comedians out there who are equally deserving of recognition.