Best African-American Comediansby muybueno16 | created - 28 Feb 2015 | updated - 07 Feb 2016 | Public
Many people, famous or on the rise who are great Black comedians. There will be some more debatable ones who vary as well.
Actor | Superman III
Highly influential, and always controversial, African-American actor/comedian who was equally well known for his colorful language during his live comedy shows, as for his fast paced life, multiple marriages and battles with drug addiction. He has been acknowledged by many modern comic artist's as ...
2. Eddie Murphy
Actor | The Nutty Professor
Edward Regan Murphy was born April 3, 1961 in Brooklyn, New York, to Lillian Lynch (born: Lillian Laney), a telephone operator, and Charles Edward Murphy, a transit police officer who was also an amateur comedian and actor. After his father died, his mother married Vernon Lynch, a foreman at a ...
4. Aisha Tyler
Actress | Death Sentence
Aisha Tyler, born September 18, 1970, is an American talk-show host, actress, comedian, author, producer, writer, and director. She is known for portraying Andrea Marino in the first season of Ghost Whisperer (2005), voicing Lana Kane in Archer (2009), and portraying Mother Nature in the Santa ...
Actor | Pulp Fiction
Samuel L. Jackson is an American producer and highly prolific actor, having appeared in over 100 films, including Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995), Unbreakable (2000), Shaft (2000), Formula 51 (2001), Black Snake Moan (2006), Snakes on a Plane (2006), and the Star Wars prequel trilogy (1999-2005), ...
He's mainly an actor but he does plenty of comedy.
6. Debra Wilson
Actress | Batman: The Enemy Within
Debra Wilson was born on April 26, 1962 in South Ozone Park, Queens, New York City, New York, USA as Debra Renee Wilson. She is known for her work on Batman: The Enemy Within (2017), Over the Hedge (2006) and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (2008). She has been married to Cliff Skelton ...
Writer | Chappelle's Show
Dave Chappelle's career started while he was in high school at Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, DC where he studied theatre arts. At the age of 14, he began performing stand-up comedy in nightclubs. Shortly after graduation, he moved to New York City where he quickly established ...
9. Aries Spears
Actor | Jerry Maguire
Chicago native Aries Spears discovered his comedic abilities at the young age of 14, when he started doing his own comedy routine around his hometown. By the age of 17, he landed a part in the movie Home of Angels (1995), starring Abe Vigoda, Sherman Hemsley and Joe Frazier. Spears' additional film...
10. Wayne Brady
Actor | Whose Line Is It Anyway?
Wayne Brady was born in Columbus, Georgia and lived in Orlando, Florida. At 16, Brady had already decided on a career in the military. Little did he know that a chance performance in a high school play would garner him not only rave reviews but also permanently alter his long-range plans. Soon, he ...
Writer | In Living Color
The trail-blazing linchpin of a sprawling African-American family of comic entertainers, it was multi-talented writer/director/producer Keenen Ivory Wayans (born June 8, 1958, in New York City) who was the first to achieve national prominence by successfully creating, launching and hosting a ...
13. Larry Wilmore
Writer | The Bernie Mac Show
Larry Wilmore was born in Los Angeles and grew up in suburban Pomona. He graduated from Damien High School in La Verne in 1979. He studied theatre at California State Polytechnic University but dropped out because he wanted to get his Actors' Equity Association card and begin his career as a ...
14. Kevin Hart
Actor | Ride Along
Kevin Hart was born on July 6, 1979 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA as Kevin Darnell Hart. He is a producer and actor, known for Ride Along (2014), Central Intelligence (2016) and Grudge Match (2013). He has been married to Eniko Parrish since August 13, 2016. They have one child. He was ...
15. Damon Wayans
Actor | My Wife and Kids
An outrageous cueball-domed comedian of film and television satire, fortified by a dazzling, sly smile, New York-born Damon Wayans is the third of ten children of Elvira Alethia (Green), a social worker and singer, and Howell Wayans, a supermarket manager. He grew up humbly in the Fulton Housing ...
16. Phil LaMarr
Actor | Pulp Fiction
A Los Angeles native, Phil is a graduate of Harvard-Westlake School, Yale University and The Groundlings Theater and is perhaps best known as one of the original cast members of MADtv (1995) and as Marvin in Pulp Fiction (1994).
In addition to numerous appearances on stages across the country, in ...
17. Patrice O'Neal
Actor | 25th Hour
O'Neal was born in New York in 1969, but moved to Boston when he was just 1 year old. He was educated at West Roxbury High School and went on to attend Northeastern University, both in Boston. After this, various jobs followed including a sausage cart vendor at a train station, flower seller and ...
18. David Alan Grier
Actor | In Living Color
David Alan Grier was born in Detroit, Michigan, to Aretas Ruth (Dudley), a schoolteacher, and William Henry Grier, a psychiatrist and writer. He trained in Shakespeare at Yale University, where he received an MFA from the Yale School of Drama.
Grier began his professional career on Broadway as ...
19. Michael Winslow
Michael Winslow was born on September 6, 1958 in Spokane, Washington, USA as Michael Leslie Winslow. He is an actor, known for Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987), Spaceballs (1987) and Police Academy: Mission to Moscow (1994). He has been married to Sharon Larrieu since June 12, 2003. He ...
20. Chris Rock
Actor | Top Five
Christopher Julius Rock was born in Andrews, South Carolina and raised in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York. He is the son of Rosalie (Tingman), a teacher and social worker for the mentally handicapped, and Julius Rock, a truck driver and newspaper deliveryman, whose own father was a preacher.
21. Maya Rudolph
Actress | Bridesmaids
Maya Rudolph was born on July 27, 1972 in Gainesville, Florida, to Richard Rudolph, a music producer, and soul singer Minnie Riperton. Her mother was African-American and her father is Ashkenazi Jewish (from a family from Lithuania, Russia, Germany, and Hungary). In 1973, Maya, her parents, and her...
22. Anthony Anderson
Actor | The Departed
Anthony Anderson was born on August 15, 1970 in Los Angeles, California, USA. He is an actor and producer, known for The Departed (2006), Kangaroo Jack (2003) and Transformers (2007). He has been married to Alvina Renee Stewart since September 11, 1999. They have two children.
23. Tommy Davidson
Actor | Vacation Creation
Davidson started his career as a stand-up comedian in Washington DC, earning an ardent following with sheer hard work in various comedy clubs. As one of the cutting-edge, young stand-ups, he was spotted by major concert promoters, who booked him as the opening act for A-list touring acts, including ...
24. Will Smith
Music_department | The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Willard Carroll "Will" Smith, Jr. (born September 25, 1968) is an American actor, comedian, producer, rapper, and songwriter. He has enjoyed success in television, film, and music. In April 2007, Newsweek called him "the most powerful actor in Hollywood". Smith has been nominated for five Golden ...
Another comedian-turned-dramatic actor.
25. Queen Latifah
Actress | Hairspray
Often considered hip-hop's first lady (though some would attribute that to Roxanne Shanté), the woman behind the moniker Queen Latifah was born Dana Elaine Owens on March 18, 1970, in East Orange, New Jersey. She is the daughter of Rita (Bray), a teacher, and Lancelot Owens, Sr. She came from a ...
26. Whoopi Goldberg
Actress | Ghost
Whoopi Goldberg was born Caryn Elaine Johnson in the Chelsea section of Manhattan on November 13, 1955. Her mother, Emma (Harris), was a teacher and a nurse, and her father, Robert James Johnson, Jr., was a clergyman. Whoopi's recent ancestors were from Georgia, Florida, and Virginia. She worked in...
27. Rashida Jones
Actress | Parks and Recreation
Rashida Jones was born in Los Angeles, California, the younger daughter of media mogul, producer, and musician Quincy Jones and actress Peggy Lipton. She has an older sister, Kidada Jones, and five half-siblings by her father's other relationships. Her father is African-American and her mother is ...
Actor | Keanu
Keegan-Michael Key was born in Southfield, Michigan and raised in Detroit. He was adopted as a child by a black father and a white mother. In 1989, he graduated from Shrine Catholic High School in Royal Oak, Michigan. Key attended the University of Detroit Mercy as an undergraduate and earned his ...
29. Kenan Thompson
Actor | Saturday Night Live
Kenan Thompson was born on May 10, 1978 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA as Kenan Stacy Thompson. He is an actor, known for Saturday Night Live (1975), Snakes on a Plane (2006) and Kenan & Kel (1996). He has been married to Christina Evangeline since November 11, 2011. They have two children.
30. Terry Crews
Actor | Idiocracy
Terry Crews was born in Flint, Michigan, to Patricia and Terry Crews Sr. He earned an art excellence scholarship to attend Western Michigan University and also earned a full-ride athletic scholarship to play football. Crews was an All-Conference defensive end, and was a major contributor on the ...
Another actor who does both dramatic and comedic works.
32. Robert Townsend
Producer | Hollywood Shuffle
Robert Townsend transcends any medium he touches whether he's performing stand up, acting, writing, directing, producing, or running a television network. A Chicago native, Townsend is often referred to as one of the "Godfathers" of the Independent Film World." With over 30 years in the business, ...
34. Jordan Peele
Writer | Get Out
Jordan Haworth Peele attended Sarah Lawrence College as a member of the class of 2001. His mother is white and his father is black. Jordan is married to comedian Chelsea Peretti, with whom he has a son.
He is known for co-writing and starring in the comedy Keanu (2016), opposite his close friend ...
39. Charlie Murphy
Actor | Norbit
Charlie Murphy was born on July 12, 1959 in New York City, New York, USA as Charles Quinton Murphy. He was an actor and writer, known for Norbit (2007), Night at the Museum (2006) and Beverly Hills Cop II (1987). He was married to Tisha Taylor Murphy. He died on April 12, 2017 in New York City.
41. Alfonso Ribeiro
Actor | The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Alfonso Ribeiro was born in New York on September 21, 1971. Alfonso's family is from Trinidad & Tobago. Although rumor has been that he is of Dominican descent, he has stated in an interview that this is false. Neither he nor his family are from the Dominican Republic; they originate from Trinidad ...
Actor | The Cosby Show
Emmy-nominated actor and director Malcolm-Jamal Warner was born in Jersey City, New Jersey. He was named after Malcolm X and legendary jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal.
Warner first rose to national prominence by starring on the celebrated and long-running classic television series "The Cosby Show." His ...
Also, mainly does drama nowadays but back in the day it was mainly comedy based sketches.
43. Reggie Reg
Actor | I Got the Hook Up 2
Reginald Muhammad (Reggie Reg) is an actor and comedian, but he's best known for his many impressions, which have been seen on BET's Comic View, HBO's PDiddy Presents The Bad Boys of Comedy, Live in Hollywood with Keke Sheppard, Bill Bellamy's Who's Got Jokes, Jamie Foxx's Laffapalooza and the #1 ...
45. Don Cheadle
Actor | Crash
Donald Frank Cheadle was born in Kansas City, Missouri on November 29, 1964. His childhood found him moving from city to city with his family: mother Bettye (North), a teacher, father Donald Frank Cheadle, Sr., a clinical psychologist, sister Dawn, and brother Colin. After graduating high school in...
Another dramatic personal who occasionally does scene-stealing comedy.
46. Wendell Pierce
Actor | The Wire
47. Morgan Freeman
Actor | Se7en
With an authoritative voice and calm demeanor, this ever popular American actor has grown into one of the most respected figures in modern US cinema. Morgan was born on June 1, 1937 in Memphis, Tennessee, to Mayme Edna (Revere), a teacher, and Morgan Porterfield Freeman, a barber. The young Freeman...
Actor | The Green Mile
Michael Clarke Duncan was born on December 10, 1957 in Chicago, Illinois. Raised by his single mother, Jean, a house cleaner, on Chicago's South Side, Duncan grew up resisting drugs and alcohol, instead concentrating on school. He wanted to play football in high school, but his mother wouldn't let ...
Ditto once more!
49. Ving Rhames
Actor | Pulp Fiction
Strikingly featured and muscular American actor Ving Rhames was born Irving Rameses Rhames in Harlem, New York, to Reather, a homemaker, and Ernest Rhames, an auto mechanic. A good student, Ving entered the New York High School of Performing Arts, where he discovered his love of acting. He studied ...
Actor | The Wire
Emmy nominated actor and producer, Michael Kenneth Williams is one of this generation's most respected and acclaimed talents. By bringing complicated and charismatic characters to life-often with surprising tenderness-Williams has established himself as a gifted and versatile performer with a ...
51. Dennis Haysbert
Actor | Far from Heaven
Dennis Haysbert was born on June 2, 1954 in San Mateo, California, USA as Dennis Dexter Haysbert. He is an actor and producer, known for Far from Heaven (2002), 24 (2001) and Heat (1995). He was previously married to Lynn Griffith and Elena Simms.
Ditto; again, he's more reknown for his serious material but in comedy shows and films which he's a supporting character, he will steal the spotlight.
Actor | Black Dynamite
Michael Jai White is an American actor and martial artist who has appeared in numerous films and television series. He is the first African American to portray a major comic book superhero in a major motion picture, having starred as Al Simmons, the protagonist in the 1997 film Spawn. White ...
53. Jamie Foxx
Actor | Django Unchained
Jamie Foxx is an American actor, singer and comedian. He won an Academy Award for Best Actor, BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, and Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy, for his work in the biographical film Ray (2004). The same year, he was nominated for the Academy...
54. Ernie Hudson
Actor | Ghostbusters
As a child growing up in Benton Harbor, Michigan, Ernie Hudson wrote short stories, poems and songs, always thinking that his words might one day come to life on stage. After a short stint in the Marine Corps, he moved to Detroit where he became the resident playwright at Concept East, the oldest ...
55. Lester Speight
Actor | Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Lester Speight is a film and television actor best known for his portrayal of Terry Tate: Office Linebacker in a series of Reebok commercials that first aired during Super Bowl XXXVII in 2003. The spots feature Speight, a former All-American Football player himself, as a linebacker charged with the...
Actor | The Matrix
One of Hollywood's most talented and versatile performers and the recipient of a truckload of NAACP Image awards, Laurence John Fishburne III was born in Augusta, Georgia on July 30, 1961, to Hattie Bell (Crawford), a teacher, and Laurence John Fishburne, Jr., a juvenile corrections officer.
Ditto once more! Don't believe me? Didn't care for his movie roles? I suggest you see Pee-Wee's Playhouse and Black-ish.
57. Andre Braugher
Actor | Homicide: Life on the Street
Andre Braugher was born on July 1, 1962 in Chicago, Illinois, USA as Andre Keith Braugher. He is an actor and producer, known for Homicide: Life on the Street (1993), Frequency (2000) and The Mist (2007). He has been married to Ami Brabson since December 28, 1991. They have three children.
58. Damon Wayans Jr.
Actor | Big Hero 6
Damon Wayans Jr. was born at his grandmother's home in Vermont, in November 1982, and was raised in Los Angeles. He is the son of Lisa Thorner and actor Damon Wayans.
He made his film debut at age 11 in the 1994 film "Blank Man" playing the role of young Kevin. Later, Damon pursued his early passion...
60. Mike Epps
Actor | Resident Evil: Apocalypse
Mike Epps was born on November 18, 1970 in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA as Michael Elliot Epps. He is an actor and producer, known for Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004), Resident Evil: Extinction (2007) and The Hangover (2009). He was previously married to Mechelle McCain.
61. Chris Tucker
Actor | Rush Hour 2
At one point in time, Chris Tucker was the highest paid actor in Hollywood.
Tucker was born in Atlanta, Georgia, to Mary Louise (Bryant) and Norris Tucker, who owned a janitorial service. After graduating from high school, Tucker made a change to move to Hollywood from Georgia to pursue a career in ...
Again, he varies from audience to audience but when he's got his act together, he can get a fair share of laughs from the audience.
62. Tracy Morgan
Actor | 30 Rock
Tracy Morgan was born on November 10, 1968 in The Bronx, New York City, New York, USA as Tracy Jamal Morgan. He is an actor and producer, known for 30 Rock (2006), Cop Out (2010) and The Boxtrolls (2014). He has been married to Megan Wollover since August 23, 2015. They have one child. He was ...
63. Bernie Mac
Actor | The Bernie Mac Show
Bernard Jeffrey McCollough was born in 1957 in Chicago, the son of Mary McCullough and Jeffery Harrison. He grew up in the city, in a rougher neighborhood than most others, with a large family living under one roof. This situation provided him with a great insight into his comedy, as his family, ...
64. Redd Foxx
Actor | Sanford and Son
Redd Foxx began doing stand-up comedy on the infamous "Chitlin' Circuit" in the 1940s and 1950s. Foxx was one of the premier "blue humor" comedians. Blue humor was very dirty, too dirty for white audiences. For years his party albums were not available in white record stores. In the 1960s his ...
Actor | Jingle All the Way
Sinbad was born in Benton Harbor, Michigan to two parents, Louise and the Baptist Rev. Dr. Donald Beckley Adkins and was then known as David Adkins. He is primarily known as an actor and somewhat a writer and proved his comedic acting style in House Guest (1994), Jingle All the Way (1996), First ...
Varies but has had some interesting stand-up in recent years.
Actor | Barbershop
Cedric the Entertainer was born on April 24, 1964 in Jefferson City, Missouri, USA as Cedric Antonio Kyles. He is an actor and writer, known for Barbershop (2002), Be Cool (2005) and A Haunted House (2013). He has been married to Lorna Wells since September 3, 1999. They have two children.
70. Joseph Marcell
Actor | The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Joseph Marcell was born on August 14, 1948 in St. Lucia, Caribbean. He is an actor, known for The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990), Holby City (1999) and Antony and Cleopatra (1974). He has been married to Joyce T. Walsh since June 1995. They have one child. He was previously married to Judith M ...
71. James Avery
Actor | Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Although known as the uncle/patriarch and judge "Philip Banks" on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990), James Avery was a classically trained actor and scholar. A native of Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA, he joined the US Navy after graduating high school and served in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969. Upon...
The great Uncle Phil didn't do much comedy outside of that role but alas he must be on this list nevertheless.
74. Donald Faison
Actor | Scrubs
Donald Faison was born on June 22, 1974 in New York City, New York, USA as Donald Adeosun Faison. He is an actor, known for Scrubs (2001), Skyline (2010) and Clueless (1995). He has been married to Cacee Cobb since December 15, 2012. They have two children. He was previously married to Lisa Askey.
Well-known, king-sized actor and voice artist Kevin Michael Richardson was born in Bronx, New York. He is, perhaps, mostly recognizable for his deep voice, which he uses in many of his works.
Richardson is a classically trained actor. He first gained recognition as one of only eight U.S. high school...
Primarily a voice actor but still does mainly comedic roles and occasionally live-action material.
Gary Anthony Williams was born on March 14, 1966 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. He is an actor and writer, known for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016), Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 (2012) and Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (2004). He is married to Leslie. They ...
Actor | New Jack City
The legendary gangsta hip-hop emcee Ice-T was born Tracy Marrow on February 16, 1958, in Newark, New Jersey. He moved to Los Angeles, California, to live with his paternal aunt after the death of his father while he was in the sixth grade; his mother had died earlier when he was in the third grade....
Again, primarily a serious rapper-turned-actor but he does plenty of witty retorts, comedic one-liners and other amusing segments.
80. Ice Cube
Soundtrack | Friday
Ice Cube was born in South Central Los Angeles, to Doris (Benjamin), a custodian and hospital clerk, and Hosea Jackson, a UCLA groundskeeper. He first came to public notice as a singer and songwriter with the controversial and influential band N.W.A. His compositions with that group included many ...
Soundtrack | Dangerous Minds
With over 17 million records sold worldwide, Grammy award-winning and multi-platinum recording artist Coolio is an artist known around the world as a musical and cooking master of extraordinary reinvention. Growing up during the time of tremendous change in Compton, Calif., Coolio fed on struggle ...
Ditto; while some may argue he's funny for the wrong reasons, he has done some intentionally hilarious bits.
84. Donald Glover
Actor | Solo: A Star Wars Story
The multi-talented Donald Glover is a writer, actor, musician, comedian, producer and director, who performs under the stage names Childish Gambino and mcDJ. He was born Donald McKinley Glover at Edwards Air Force Base, California, and was raised in Stone Mountain, Georgia. His mother, Beverly (...
85. George Wallace
Actor | Forbidden Planet
George Wallace was born in New York and, at age 13, moved with his mom and her new husband to McMechen, West Virginia, a coal mining town where the boy began working in the mines. He joined the Navy in 1936, got out in 1940, and then went right back in again when World War II started. A chief ...
87. Gina Yashere
Actress | Married Single Other
This dynamic young comedienne hailing from London via Nigeria has taken the comedy world by storm since her debut. In a few short years, she has become one of the most sought after comics in the country, making numerous appearances on Television, radio and the big screen.
This former lift engineer's...
91. Niecy Nash
Actress | Reno 911!
Niecy Nash was born on February 23, 1970 in Palmdale, California, USA as Carol Denise Ensley. She is an actress and producer, known for Reno 911! (2003), Claws (2017) and Guess Who (2005). She has been married to Jay Tucker since May 28, 2011. She was previously married to Don Nash.
93. David Spates
Actor | Bounty Hunters
David Spates is a multi-talented producer, actor, and director. He was discovered by his first agent while he was performing stand-up comedy and quickly began landing roles on films and television shows. Ironically for years he played dramatic roles so to keep his comedic edge sharp he wrote four ...
94. Andrew Bachelor
Actor | When We First Met
Over the last few years, Andrew Bachelor, better known as King Bach, has quickly parlayed from one of the most influential names on the internet to being an in-demand actor, producer, and content creator. His comedy has spawned national catchphrases, captured a global audience, and has launched him...
95. Romany Malco
Actor | Weeds
The first American-born member of his West Indian family, Brooklyn-bred Romany Malco began his career at the age of seven, when he picked up a microphone and started rapping. As a teen he moved to Texas and formed the rap group R.M.G., and upon relocating to Los Angeles, the crew signed a deal to ...
Actor | Stargate SG-1
Conan O'Brien's skit performer.
99. Guy Torry
Actor | American History X
Guy Torry is a native of St. Louis, Missouri. Known as "Torry" by college friends, Guy attended Southeast Missouri State University, the alma mater of fellow comedian and St. Louisan, Cedric The Entertainer. His comic genius was evident to fellow students during these college years. Guy often held ...
100. DeRay Davis
Actor | 21 Jump Street
Born and raised on the south side of Chicago, comedian-turned-actor DeRay Davis can most recently be "scene" starring opposite Taraji P. Henson's "Cookie Lyons" as her go-to hitman/cousin "Jermel" in seasons 1 and 2 of the Lee Daniels and Danny Strong, creative collaboration, Empire on the FOX ...