These 20 best male stand up comedians of the 70s are some of the most influential comics in stand-up history and will be forever treasured. In stand-up comedy, the performer addresses the audience directly from the stage while entertaining a live audience. The performer is a stand-up comedian, comic, or comedian.
The 1970s were a boom time for stand-up comedy, with venues throughout the country establishing decades-long careers left and right. In the 1970s, a brand-new generation of comedians rose to fame and achieved icon status.
1. Richard Pryor
Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor Sr., the best male stand up comedians of the 70s and actor, was born in the United States on December 1, 1940, and died on December 10, 2005.
Because of his intelligent insights and narrative approach, he gained a tremendous following and is considered one of the finest and most influential stand-up comedians.
Pryor has garnered five Grammy Awards and a Primetime Emmy Award. In 1974, he was awarded the Writers Guild of America Award.
He came in first place on Comedy Central’s list of the best stand-up comedians of all time.
Rolling Stone voted him #1 among the 50 greatest stand-up comedians in 2017.
2. Richard Lewis
Richard Philip Lewis is an American stand-up comedian of the 70s and actor born on June 29, 1947.
In 1971, Lewis gave stand-up comedy a go at a Greenwich Village open-mic night. He started regularly writing and performing stand-up comedy in 1972 while working as a copywriter for an advertising agency.
By the middle of the 1970s, Lewis had appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, and publications like the New York Daily News and New York Magazine referred to him as one of the “new breed” or “class” of comics.
3. Woody Allen
Heywood “Woody” Allen, an American film director, writer, actor, and one of the best stand up comedians of the 70s with a career spanning six decades and many Academy Award nominations, was born Allan Stewart Konigsberg on November 30, 1935.
He has had four nominations for Academy Awards, including three for best original screenplay and one for best director. Additionally, he was the winner of nine British Academy Film Awards.
In 1997, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts awarded Allen the BAFTA Fellowship. He received a Tony Award nomination for Best Book of a Musical for Bullets over Broadway in 2014 and the Cecil B. DeMille Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Golden Globes.
Allen was ranked third in 2005 and fourth in 2004 on Comedy Central’s 70s comedians list.
4. Andy Kaufman
American performer and comedian Andrew Geoffrey Kaufman lived from January 17, 1949, until May 16, 1984.
After performing in local comedy clubs in the early 1970s, Kaufman gained further recognition in 1975 after being asked to perform a section of his act on the premiere of Saturday Night Live.
He still commands admiration for the wide range of characters he creates, his singularly counterintuitive style of humor, and his willingness to elicit uncomfortable and perplexing emotions from viewers.
5. Robin Williams
American-born Robin McLaurin Williams was a comedian and actor. He came into this world on July 21, 1951, and left it on August 11, 2014.
During a live appearance on Inside the Actors Studio in 2001, Williams acknowledged his mother as a significant early influence on his comedic style. He tried to get her to laugh for attention.
He described himself as a quiet, reserved young man who struggled with it until joining his high school’s drama club. His friends recall him as a funny person.
6. George Carlin
George Denis Patrick Carlin was an American stand-up comedian, actor, author, and social critic who lived from May 12, 1937, until June 22, 2008.
He is recognized as one of the most well-known and significant stand-up comedians and was given the moniker “the dean of counterculture comedians.”
On Comedy Central’s 2004 list of the top ten American comedians, he came in at number two.
In 2008, the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor was given him posthumously. In 2017, Rolling Stone magazine ranked him second among the top 50 stand-up comedians.
7. Robert Klein
American stand-up comedian, singer, and actor Robert Klein was born on February 8, 1942. His performances in theater and on television have made him well-known.
The first two albums were up for Best Comedy Album Grammy Awards. He received a 1979 Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical.
His show, Child in his 50s, received two Primetime Emmy Award nominations (2001).
8. George Burns
George Burns, an American comedian, actor, writer, and singer (born Nathan Birnbaum; January 20, 1896 – March 9, 1996), was one of the few artists whose career successfully crossed vaudeville, radio, cinema, and television.
For his role in the 1975 movie The Sunshine Boys, for which he received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, Burns was a well-liked and exceptionally active humor elder statesman.
Burns won an Emmy, a Grammy, and an Oscar, coming within one Tony Award of joining the select few American entertainers to receive the EGOT.
9. Steve Martin
American actor, comedian, writer, producer, and musician Stephen Glenn Martin was born on August 14, 1945.
In 2013, he was honored with an Honorary Academy Award, one Primetime Emmy, and five Grammy Awards.
He received two Tony Awards nominations in 2016 for his musical Bright Star. He has won several honors, including the Kennedy Center Honors, the AFI Life Achievement Award, and the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.
In 2004, Comedy Central ranked Martin sixth among the top 100 best stand-up comedians of the 70s. The Guardian ranked him as one of the best actors who was never nominated for an Oscar.
10. Rodney Dangerfield
Born Jacob Rodney Cohen on November 22, 1921, and passing away on October 5, 2004, Rodney Dangerfield was an American stand-up comic, actor, screenwriter, and producer.
I Don’t Get No Respect! was his slogan, and he was well known for his self-deprecating one-liners and monologues on the subject. It evolved into a constant component of his humorous persona and act.
No Respect, his 1980 comedy album, received a Grammy. The song “Rappin’ Rodney,” from his 1983 follow-up album, Rappin’ Rodney, was included in one of his TV programs.
The song “Rappin’ Rodney” peaked at number one on the Hot 100 in December 1983, and the accompanying video became an early MTV success.
11. Bob Eubanks
Robert Leland Eubanks, an American radio jockey, television personality, and game show presenter, was born on January 8, 1938. Since 1966, he has hosted The Newlywed Game intermittently.
In 2000, he was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work as a radio DJ.
His career achievement earned him an Emmy Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in 2005.
12. Redd Foxx
John Elroy Sanford, best known by his stage name Redd Foxx, was an American actor and stand-up comedian born on December 9, 1922, and died on October 11, 1991.
In 2004’s Comedy Central Presents: 100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time, Foxx came in at number 24.
Foxx not only impacted a lot of comedians, but he was also frequently depicted in pop culture thanks to his catchphrases, nonverbal cues, and expressive facial expressions on Sanford and Son.
Foxx was nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards, had three more Golden Globe nominations, and won a Golden Globe throughout the five-year duration of the program. In 1992, Foxx received a posthumous star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame.
13. Flip Wilson
American comedian and actor Clerow “Flip” Wilson Jr. (December 8, 1933 – November 25, 1998) is best stand-up comedians of the 60s and 70s for his television appearances.
From 1970 through 1974, Wilson had his weekly variety program. For his work on The Flip Wilson Show, Wilson received two Emmys and a Golden Globe. Thus, he’s one of the black comedians from the 70s.
Wilson was the first African-American to serve as the host of a well-liked television variety show. Wilson was referred to be “TV’s first black superstar” when his image appeared on the cover of Time magazine in January 1972.
He released several comedic albums in the 1960s and 1970s, and his 1970 release, The Devil Made Me Buy This Dress won a Grammy. Flip Wilson is the funniest comedian among the best.
14. Bob Newhart
George Robert Newhart is an American actor and comedian born on September 5, 1929.
The humorous monologue collection The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart was a hit and peaked at number one on the Billboard pop album chart in 1960; it is currently the 20th-best-selling comedy album in history. George is definitely one of the top male comedians of the 60s.
In 2013, Newhart made the first of his six guest appearances on The Big Bang Theory as Professor Proton, for which he won his first Primetime Emmy.
15. Albert Brooks
American actor Albert Brooks was born Albert Lawrence Einstein on July 22, 1947. He works in both cinema and television.
Brooks spent a year studying at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University before quitting to concentrate on his acting career. At 19, he joked that “the real Albert Einstein changed his name to be more intelligent.” Albert Brooks became his professional name.
After two successful comedy albums, Comedy Minus One (1973) and the Grammy Award-nominated A Star Is Bought (1975), Brooks left the stand-up circuit to pursue a career in filmmaking.
Real Life, Brooks’ first major motion film, was released in 1979. To win the Nobel Prize and the Academy Award, Brooks films a typical suburban family.
16. Dave Allen
Known professionally as Dave Allen, David Tynan O’Mahony was an Irish comedian, humorist, and actor who lived from July 6, 1936, until March 10, 2005. His short assessments earned him the most incredible notoriety.
Allen has stirred controversy by calling out political hypocrisy and making fun of religious leaders. He influenced a new generation of British comedians with his approach and demeanor.
After initially rising to fame in Australia in 1963 and 1964, Allen made numerous television appearances in the UK from the late 1960s until the mid-1980s. Thus, he is one of the best comedians of the 80s also. His Dave Allen Show was shown on the BBC from 1971 to 1986 and was also seen in several other European countries.
17. Eddie Murphy
American comedian, actor, writer, producer, and singer Edward Regan Murphy was born on April 3, 1961.
Murphy has also performed as a stand-up comic; he was listed as the tenth greatest stand-up comedian on Comedy Central.
Murphy was nominated for the 2008 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and won the 2007 Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor.
He won his first Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for hosting Saturday Night Live in 2020.
18. Bill Cosby
William Henry Cosby Jr., a stand-up comedian, actor, and author from the United States, was born on July 12, 1937.
He recorded a lot of stand-up comedy during the decade, which led to his winning the Grammy for Best Comedy Album every year from 1965 to 1970.
The Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series category at the Primetime Emmy Awards was given to Cosby in 1966, making him the first African American to do so.
His acting career resumed when he appeared in the two-season sitcom The Bill Cosby Show from 1969 to 1971.
19. Jonathan Winters
Jonathan Harshman Winters III was an American comedian, actor, author, television personality, and artist who lived from November 11, 1925, until April 11, 2013.
In 1960, Winters started producing renowned comedies for the Verve Records label. He also released an album almost every ten years for nearly fifty years. Throughout his career, he was nominated for 11 Grammy Awards, including eight for Best Comedy Album.
For his work on an adaptation of The Little Prince, he won the Grammy Award for Best Album for Children in 1975, and for Crank Calls, he won the Grammy Award for Best Spoken Comedy Album in 1996. Jonathan is one the most popular comedians of the ’80s and 90s.
20. Don Rickles
Donald Jay Rickles (May 8, 1926 – April 6, 2017) was an American stand-up comedian and actor. He became known primarily for his insult comedy.
n 1970, Rickles had a notable role as Crapgame in Kelly’s Heroes, sharing the marquee poster with co-stars Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas, Donald Sutherland, and Carroll O’Connor.
Starting in 1973, he became a famous dais comedian appearing on The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast specials. In 1976–1978, he starred in C.P.O. Sharkey, which lasted two seasons.