Richard Pryor, George Carlin Top Rolling Stone List of 50 Best Stand-Ups

Rolling Stone Magazine’s Matthew Love put together a list of what are, according to him, the 50 best comics to have ever graced the stage. To compile his list, Love judged comedians based on their “artistic merit, technical proficiency and sense of timing, quality of their written material, their delivery and degree of influence — and often, their sense of what makes something, anything, funny.”

No surprise to see Pryor and Carlin in the top slots, but the list has plenty of unexpected choices- which of course is the most fun part of any list.

While Love claims that the list largely bypasses the old guard for more current acts, there are a healthy dose of old-timers on there as well. For each comic, Love provides a short write-up describing their style and contribution to the craft. If you’re wondering, yes, Cosby did make the top ten.

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Bill Tressler

Bill is a writer and comedy enthusiast from New York. An avid gamer and podcast fan, he strives to always toe the line between charming irreverence and grating honesty.