Today we celebrate by taking a look at our top 8 favorite black stand-up comedians of all time in honor of Eddie Murphy!
He was the one wearing the red leather suit in Delirious making jokes about men claiming the house when they’re drunk and memorable impressions of Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, and James Brown. Or, for some fans, the Eddie Murphy in the leather purple jumpsuit from Raw. Whichever one you choose, no one can deny, before Murphy went all “Nutty Professor” on us, he was the biggest black stand-up comedian in the world.
Pryor’s act was unapologetic, aggressive, and deeply steeped in black life. The man didn’t just know how to tell a joke, he knew how to tell a joke in areas of life where people hadn’t thought laughter existed. From drug addiction to his public demolishing of the N-word in his off-stage conversations, Pryor knew how to make others laugh at things he could barely smile about.
At a time when black comedy was and stand up comedy in general was still a somewhat cottage industry, Gregory came of age to an audience that was both black and white. His popularity was undeniable, just ask Hugh Hefner who hired Gregory to perform at the Chicago Playboy Club.
Rock rifts from the heart but most noticeably from his brain, where he comes up with some of his most well-known bits like his long tirade and explanation about the difference between “black people” and “niggers” and rich” and “wealthy”.
But prior to his show, Chappelle was one of the sharpest stand-up comedians working in the 90’s. His aw-shucks style on the microphone gave his routine a childlike innocence, but his jokes were strictly for grown folks who never could stop laughing.
CEDRIC THE ENTERTAINER
The grind paid off and now, Cedric The Entertainer has lived up to his stage name in venues around the world.
Harvey laces his humor with bits of wisdom he learned back in his younger years, like the older uncle you love to hear talk at the family barbecue.
After his performance — the raucous, prfoanity-laced finale — Mack went onto find success with his own sitcom on FOX and numerous roles in successful movies like the Ocean’s Eleven franchise.
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