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Top 5 Black Stand Up Comedians

Updated on September 15, 2011

I was putting together a list of my favorite Top 5 Comedians Ever when I noticed a small problem (of sorts); everyone on it was black. And male. Now, it's not that there aren't white, Asian or other comedians / comediennes who I love, it just so happens that my favorite five are these guys here. And, since I didn't want a slew of white folk bitching at me, asking where Jeff Foxworthy was, nor a list of feminists asking where the females where, I realized that my list was going to have to become a bit politically incorrect, in that it would be categorized by race and sex. (And yes, I did make a Top 5 White Standup Comedians, and there will be one for the women, too.) If you're offended by that/this type of thing, however, you probably won't dig most of the people on said lists anyway, and I won't very much mind if you sod off. So thank you, and have a nice day.

Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby is my favorite comedian of all time. I can still remember sitting in front of the TV with my friends and their parents while Bill Cosby, Himself cracked the entire room up. And the Cosby Show? Forget about it! It's the only show I never missed. Is there anyone of my generation who didn't wish Bill Cosby was their father?? Not only did I watch him on television, I had all of his CDs. All of them. And I listened to them constantly. Oh, and his books; read them all, even though I was too young to completely understand everything he was saying. Take a look at that video clip: It's Bill Cosby on Natural Childbirth. Hysterical!

Bill Cosby: Natural Childbirth

Richard Pryor

When I was a kid, Richard Pryor had a number of problems which kept him in the news. Most of the problems seemed to be related to drugs. That, combined with all the swearing he used, meant that I wasn't allowed to watch him. So, it wasn't until I was teenager that I really got to hear the genius of Richard Pryor. No one has ever been able to swear like that and yet still come across as touchingly honest and vulnerable. It's a combination one wouldn't think possible. Add comic genius to the mix and it's not really hard to understand why he was so famous. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a single video clip of his that would be rated even PG-13, so I had to go with this very old 1964 clip of him before he really developed his own style. Still a must-see, though!

Richard Pryor: 1964

Redd Foxx

Sanford & Son was a very, very popular television show when I was young, and everyone loved watching it. In fact, the only reason it was cancelled, was because Redd Foxx left -- it had nothing to do with popularity. At the time, I only knew him as Fred Samson; but once I got older and heard his classic standup routines, I realized how he got that show in the first place. Redd Foxx was considered raunchy back before it was the norm (although he was fairly clean by today's standards). As with Pryor, it was nearly impossible to find a video clip of him that I could use here -- but I did find one!

Redd Foxx Video Clip

Bernie Mac

Bernie Mac is a little further down on the list, only because he's from a later generation. But for me, personally, he's my second favorite comedian of all time. I love, love, love me some Bernie Mac, and I (like everyone else) was shocked, stunned and saddened by his death. I would love to put some clips from his Kings of Comedy tour DVD, but for sure ain't none of them suitable for minors, so I can't. But I STRONGLY recommend you find them on YouTube, or buy the DVD for yourself. Cos he was one funny mother!!!!! This clip is Bernie Mac in the Transformers film. No swearing, but still as funny as ever.

Bernie Mac in Transformers

Eddie Murphy

Eddie Murphy is the only man who could ever wear that red leather jumpsuit and still look cool. He came up with the last crop of good players on SNL and he was a household name when I was a kid. So were his films. And so were his stand-up routines. Mind... some of his routines in RAW and other footage are offense and politically incorrect -- if you're homosexual, you will probably be offended by some of it, and I admit that it still surprises me that there was ever a time when some of his wording was socially acceptable. But Eddie Murphy did plenty of stand-up that everyone can love, so I still encourage you to watch the classics, including this Eddie Murphy clip from SNL.

Eddie Murphy on SNL


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