We have an affection and fascination for who is the best in every possible genre from sports to art and everything in between. In comedy it’s no different. Often we want to know, who are the funniest stand up comedians?
It’s a list that would be very contentious, but we have Steve Harvey’s Mt. Rushmore of comedy. When anyone presents you with their Mt. Rushmore of anything, it is generally limited to four picks because that’s how many faces are on Mt. Rushmore. However, this is Steve Harvey’s Mt. Rushmore of comedians and he cleverly figured out a way to get additional faces on it.
Read on to find out who are Steve Harvey’s funniest stand up comedians in his Mt. Rushmore of Comedians list.
FIRST AND FOREMOST
According to Steve, Richard Pryor is a mountain by himself. He says, “Pryor is a mountain by himself. You can’t put him on this mountain. He’s a chiseled, whole plateau rock, taller than the mountain.” Steve continues and says of Eddie Murphy, “He gets a plaque alone. Eddie gets a whole plaque by himself. You can’t touch Eddie when it comes to comedy. Who?”
With that said, Steve Harvey proceeds to name his Mt. Rushmore of Comedy.
1) CHRIS ROCK
It comes as no surprise that the great comedian Chris Rock occupies a spot on Steve Harvey’s Mt. Rushmore of funniest stand up comedians.
Rock began working as a stand up comedian in 1984 in New York City. He got his first film role and big break in Beverly Hills Cop II. Legend has it that comedian Eddie Murphy saw him performing in a comedy club and then mentored him and gave him the role.
Rock would go on to gain national recognition and prominence as a cast member of Saturday Night Live from 1990 to 1993. He would then leave to make movies, comedy specials and eventually became the mega star that he is.
Chris Rock is also listed on Comedy Central’s list of the 100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time and comes in at number 5. He’s also on Rolling Stone’s list of 50 Best Stand-Up Comics of All Time and comes in at number 5 as well.
2) DAVE CHAPPELLE
When one speaks of the greatest stand up comedians it’s impossible to do so without mentioning Dave Chappelle. With that said, he occupies a spot on Steve Harvey’s Mt. Rushmore Of Comedy.
Dave Chappelle is a Washington DC native and he was born in 1973. He eventually moved to New York City to pursue his dreams as a stand up comedian. Part of his remarkable story is that early on when he moved to NYC he performed at Harlem’s Apollo Theater on Amateur Night and was booed off stage.
However, Chappelle continued in the pursuit of his stand up comedy dreams and quickly made a name for himself in the New York comedy circuit. In 1992 he won critical and popular acclaim for his television appearance on Russell Simmon’s Def Comedy Jam on HBO. This appearance on the show was what led to his rise among mainstream audiences, making him a regular guest on late night television shows.
As far as accolades Dave Chappelle has earned multiple Grammy Awards, Emmy Awards and multiple $20 million Netflix comedy specials. Chappelle came in at number 9 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s 50 Best Stand Up Comics Of All Time.
3) KEVIN HART
Steve Harvey states, If I had to put the new school in there, it would be Kevin Hart. What a phenomenal nomination for Kevin Hart. To be recognized by a comedy peer such as Steve Harvey to be among such legendary comedians.
Like many comedians, Hart’s didn’t start off so well. He was booed off stage on several occasions and he recalls even a piece of chicken being thrown at him.
However, after winning several stand-up comedy competitions, Hart got his first breakthrough when Judd Apatow cast him in a recurring role on the TV series Undeclared (2001). Hart would then go on to star in major films and his first one being Paper Soldiers (2002).
With the release of his first stand up album, Hart’s comedic reputation continued to elevate. He would go on to perform in sold out arenas and become one of Hollywood’s biggest movie stars.
4) KINGS OF COMEDY
Steve Harvey closes out the 4th spot on his Mt. Rushmore Of Comedy with the Kings Of Comedy. The thing is, the Kings Of Comedy are four people. They are, Bernie Mac, Cedric The Entertainer, D.L Hughley and Steve Harvey.
All four are prolific comics who garnished various successes, not only in comedy, but in television and film as well.
And as always we like to close with a saying, quote or adage and today’s is from Steve Harvey (video below of his best comedians): IF YOU WANT TO BE SUCCESSFUL IT’S GONNA TO BE HARD.
Now, go forth and change the game!