hroughout the history of Black entertainment, comedy has remained one of the primary sources of joy when we all just need a good laugh.
Whether in standup form or featured on film, the art of mastering comedic prowess is a skill reserved for only a select set of kings and queens that’ve made a career out of telling jokes. It doesn’t hurt that some of the best the genre’s ever seen also happen to be of African American descent.
From the wild and unfiltered days of pioneers like Redd Foxx and Richard Pryor — the latter funnyman is considered to be the greatest comedian of all time by many critics and fans alike — to the new school jokesters like Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish that are creating comedy empires on an A-list scale, the world of professional satire is truly flourishing thanks to many of our brothers and sisters that laid down the foundation.
We decided to pay tribute to 20 of the best Black comedians in the biz, past and present, in honor of the countless times they’ve kept us in stitches. While we made sure to list this in no particular order, we hope you all can chime in and either let us know who you think was left off the list or to form a definitive top five of your own based on our selections.