Celebrated comedians include Bill Hicks, George Carlin and Robin Williams. Robin Williams has been especially praised for his voice talent, physical comedy and improvisational skills on stage, which typically led to unpredictable, ever adapting material, according to James Dulworth, the manager of New York's Dangerfield Comedy Club. Williams was also known for his off-the-cuff responses to audience members, particularly in his direct interactions with them at the end of his early Comedy Store performances in Hollywood.Continue Reading
Bill Hicks often performed upwards of 250 shows in a year. His earliest experiences in stand-up comedy were alongside his childhood friend, Dwight Slade, when they were both 12. At 16, the pair began performing at the Comedy Workshop in Houston, where Hicks honed his art. He moved to Los Angeles in 1980 and performed shows at the Hollywood Comedy Store alongside comedians such as Andrew Dice Clay, Jerry Seinfeld and Gary Shandling. His first comedy album, Dangerous (1990) was well-received by critics, who continued to praise him throughout his career, according to Paul Outhwaite.
George Carlin, who received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1987, is often featured on lists of the greatest comedians of all time. He died in 2008, less than a week before he was due to be awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.Learn more about Art & Literature