Who Are Some Famous Comedians of the Past?


Quick Answer

Some famous comedians from the past include Robin Williams, Bob Hope and Richard Pryor. All three comedians performed stand-up comedy routines and had starring roles in major motion pictures.

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Full Answer

Robin WIlliams, who died in 2014, won Academy Award for his role in "Good Will Hunting" and received nominations for his roles in the "Awakenings," "The Fisher King," "Dead Poets Society" and "Good Morning, Vietnam." However, he started his career as a stand-up comedian and starred in the television comedy "Mork & Mindy." He also hosted and appeared on HBO telethons for Comic Relief throughout the 1980s.

Bob Hope's career spanned seven decades and included stints on Broadway, appearances in films such as "The Road to Singapore" and numerous USO tours doing stand-up routines. In 1937, he starred on his own radio show where he told one-line jokes and wisecracks, making him popular across the country. He died on July 27, 2003.

Richard Pryor, born on Dec. 1, 1940, made his mark in comedy during the 1960s and 1980s. From Peoria, Illinois, Pryor toured throughout much of the late 1960s, and in the 1970s three of his comedy albums won Grammy awards. During the 1970s, he also wrote for "The Lily Tomlin Show" and helped write Mel Brooks' "Blazing Saddles." He inspired a generation of African-American comedians such as Chris Rock and Eddie Murphy. He died of a heart attack in 2005.

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