Who are the absolute masters of making us laugh on the spot? Well, the world is filled with incredible talents. Some of the most hilarious performers found their groove at Second City, while others are shining stars on the stand-up stage. Surprisingly, a handful of them even skyrocketed to become wildly successful stand-up comedians. So, who tickles your funny bone the most when it comes to improv comedy? And which improv comedy actors make you laugh uncontrollably?
One name that unquestionably deserves the spotlight is Amy Poehler. Not only did she become a household name after her time on Saturday Night Live, but she also co-founded the illustrious Upright Citizens Brigade improv troupe. And we can’t overlook her UCB comrades in comedy, Matt Besser, Ian Roberts, and Matt Walsh – they all belong in the hall of fame of improvisational comedians.
Another comic genius worth mentioning is Todd Barry. He’s famous for embarking on stand-up tours where each performance is solely based on interacting with the audience, meaning every set is completely improvised and one-of-a-kind. Talk about pure talent! And of course, we can’t forget about the side-splitting Stephen Colbert, Kristen Wiig, and Jane Lynch, who also grace this list of the finest improv comedians.
So, who do you consider the funniest improvisational comedian? Give the best comics a resounding applause and let us know your thoughts.
1. Ryan Stiles
Ryan Stiles is widely recognized for his appearances on the popular comedy improv show, Whose Line Is It Anyway? He has been a part of both the British and American versions of the show, and fans absolutely love him. One of the reasons for his popularity is his tall height and his ability to make people laugh with a wide range of humor. But it’s not just his individual talent that shines; Stiles has an incredible chemistry with his fellow performers on the show.
Apart from his improv skills, Stiles has also made appearances as a recurring character on television series like The Drew Carey Show and Two and a Half Men. He has proven his versatility as an actor and has successfully entertained audiences in different roles.
In addition to his television career, Stiles is also a co-owner of an improv club located in Bellingham, Washington. He regularly performs at the club and continues to showcase his talents through live performances. Stiles is truly a multi-talented individual, and his contributions to comedy will not be forgotten.
2. Colin Mochrie
Colin Mochrie is well-known for his sharp improvisational skills and quick wit. He became famous as a regular on both the British and American versions of the TV show Whose Line Is It Anyway? Besides his work on the show, he has also made appearances in various television shows and movies. Colin remains an active performer and frequently takes the stage, often teaming up with other improv comedians.
3. Wayne Brady
Wayne Brady, a multi-talented performer, gained popularity for his incredible skills in singing, acting, and impersonation on the hit show Whose Line Is It Anyway? He amazed audiences with his remarkable talents. Later, he ventured into hosting his own daytime talk show called The Wayne Brady Show, where he proved his versatility as a comedian, game show host, and even a Broadway performer. Currently, you can catch him on the TV series Black Lightning, where he portrays a recurring character.
4. Chris Farley
Chris Farley was a guy who had a ton of energy and was always cracking jokes. He became super famous when he joined the cast of Saturday Night Live. After that, he starred in a bunch of funny movies in the 90s like Tommy Boy and Black Sheep. Unfortunately, his career was tragically cut short when he died in 1997 at just 33 years old. But even though he’s gone, his comedy still lives on and keeps inspiring new comedians today.
5. Steve Carell
Steve Carell became well-known to audiences through his portrayal of Michael Scott on the American version of The Office. With his deadpan humor and endearing awkwardness, he quickly won people over. Since then, he has successfully ventured into the film industry, demonstrating his versatility in both comedic roles like The 40-Year-Old Virgin and more serious ones like Foxcatcher and Beautiful Boy. In addition to acting, Carell also played a role in co-creating the TBS comedy series Angie Tribeca.
6. Will Ferrell
Will Ferrell is one of the most well-known comedic actors of our time. He gained fame as a cast member on Saturday Night Live, where he showcased his talent and humor. Since then, he has appeared in a plethora of comedy films that have left audiences in stitches. Some of his notable works include Anchorman, Talladega Nights, and Elf. In these movies, he brings his own unique style of absurd and lively humor that has become his trademark.
Not only is Will Ferrell a talented actor, but he is also a successful producer. Alongside his partner Adam McKay, he co-founded the widely popular comedy website Funny or Die. This platform has become a go-to destination for hilarious content that has captured the attention of millions. Together, Ferrell and McKay have created a space where comedy enthusiasts can indulge in their love for laughter.
7. John Candy
John Candy was a seriously talented comedic actor who was adored by audiences. He first gained fame on the Canadian sketch comedy show SCTV and went on to star in a bunch of super successful movies like Planes, Trains & Automobiles, Uncle Buck, and Cool Runnings. People loved him for his friendly demeanor and spot-on comedic timing. It’s really sad that Candy’s life was tragically cut short in 1994 when he was just 43 years old. But even though he’s no longer with us, he’s still remembered as one of the absolute best comedic performers of all time.
8. Amy Poehler
Amy Poehler, a former cast member of Saturday Night Live and co-creator of Parks and Recreation, has established herself as a prominent figure in comedy. Her wit and knack for crafting memorable characters have captivated audiences, showcasing her exceptional talent. In addition to her acting prowess, Poehler is also a skilled writer, producer, and director, and she co-founded the online comedy platform, Smart Girls at the Party.
9. Billy Connolly
Billy Connolly, also known as “The Big Yin,” is undeniably one of the most influential stand-up comedians ever. With his distinct Scottish accent, he has captivated audiences for decades with his observational humor and exceptional storytelling skills. His career has reached remarkable heights, extending beyond stand-up to include music, film, and television. However, in 2018, Connolly made the difficult decision to retire from live performances due to health issues. Despite his retirement, he remains highly respected and cherished as a true comedy legend.
10. Tim Meadows
Tim Meadows is famous for being on Saturday Night Live for a long time. During his time on the show, he made a bunch of unforgettable characters, like the slick-talking Leon Phelps, also known as “The Ladies’ Man.” After leaving SNL, he moved on to doing stuff in movies and TV, like Mean Girls and The Goldbergs. Meadows is great at deadpan humor and can easily play the straight guy to more eccentric characters, which shows off his comedic flexibility.
11. Martin Short
Martin Short is a well-known performer, loved for his high-energy performances and his knack for stealing the spotlight wherever he goes. He first rose to fame in the 1980s as a member of SCTV, and later joined the cast of SNL. Throughout his career, Short has graced the silver screen in a variety of memorable films, such as Three Amigos!, Father of the Bride, and Mars Attacks! But his talents don’t stop there – he’s also a force to be reckoned with on stage. Short has dazzled audiences with his remarkable stage presence, both on Broadway and in several one-man shows.