Top 10 British Comedians

The Top Ten
1 Russell Howard Russell Joseph Howard is an English comedian, television and radio presenter and actor, best known for his TV show Russell Howard's Good News and his appearances on the topical panel TV show Mock the Week.

I'm actually in love with him. He's perfect. He's absolutely hilarious. I could watch him all day. He genuinely makes me laugh out loud, and he's by far the best comedian ever.

Russell Howard's Good News is so funny. Those little remarks he makes just crack me up. He's gorgeous as well, and so cute.

So funny. Pure British humour. Most of the time, he talks about politics and crime, but it's so funny when he makes commercials and stupid cartoons. Then there's the Mystery Guest. But just remember, you still got to watch the show.

2 Rowan Atkinson Rowan Sebastian Atkinson, is an English actor, comedian, and screenwriter best known for his work on the sitcoms Blackadder and Mr. Bean.

How is he not number 1? He can do stand-up hilariously and has played some of the most iconic comedy characters in history, e.g., Blackadder, Johnny English, Inspector Fowler, and of course, Mr. Bean.

How is a comedian like Russell Howard above hilarious people like Rowan Atkinson, Ricky Gervais, Lee Mack, and Lee Evans?

He has this amazing magical superpower to make you chuckle just by entering the room or stage. When he changes his facial expression, it reduces most people to hysteria, and when he opens his mouth to say something, there is a risk that your head will explode. Oh, and "Pa Pa."

3 Jimmy Carr James Anthony Patrick "Jimmy" Carr is an English stand-up comedian, television host and actor, known for his signature laugh, deadpan delivery, dark humour, and use of edgy one-liners.

Having a dark sense of humor is like a superpower. It comes with responsibility. The amazing ability that Jimmy has is, no matter how cruel or coarse the joke may be, he wants people to believe it's only a joke and that there's nothing they should be worried about. I like that. Beautifully emphasizing that he's there only to "release endorphins" and nothing else. Not only a master of the dark art but an advertiser of its innocence.

This guy deserves to be in the top ten. He is hilarious. Every one of his shows is unbelievably funny.

Also, he doesn't go on big rants on stage that only feature about 5 or 6 jokes. He just tells funny jokes. One of his live shows is called nothing too pretentious. It's just called 'Jimmy Carr Telling Jokes'. That's it.

4 Billy Connolly

Russell Howard number 1 and Billy Connolly being no. 5, are you taking the piss? The Big Yin is Britain's best comic, always has been. A true comic, always funny with his stories and jokes.

Well, he could just open his mouth, and you will find yourself laughing uncontrollably. A true great.

Very funny. Amazing life experiences, excellent storytelling. Deserves way more recognition. Has been doing comedy way longer than almost anyone and still going. Surely he has influenced more people than anyone on these lists.

Billy has conquered so many countries around the world with his comedy where others have totally failed. I have watched Billy since I was about 9, and his comedy has always adapted to the times. A living legend.

5 Michael McIntyre Michael Hazen James McIntyre is an English comedian, actor and presenter. In 2012, he was reported to be the highest-grossing comedian in the world.

I love this man! He can relate to stuff we all see and do every day, making his stuff hilarious! In interviews and such, he is shown to be a generally nice and funny guy. He's not cocky despite his huge success but has the confidence to explore new material and be comfortable on stage. It's a shame he hasn't done much lately, and I hope this changes. I can't stop laughing when I listen to him!

That man makes me smile whenever I see his face. No doubt about it. I love him, and he is so hilarious. He makes everyone laugh around him, and whenever I see him do comedy, he always makes me laugh to the extent that I can't breathe.

6 John Cleese John Marwood Cleese is an English actor, voice actor, comedian, screenwriter, and producer. He achieved success at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and as a scriptwriter and performer on The Frost Report.

It was through Monty Python, and specifically John Cleese, that I learned the English language and how to use it as a tool and weapon as appropriate. By the time I was 14, I could recite the entire Dead Parrot routine in proper English, despite a heavy Ukrainian accent. He and Python are comedy icons.

For one of the Pythons and the co-writer of Fawlty Towers to be left out of the top 10 is truly scandalous. He is still, in his 70s, a comedic genius. I cannot pick my favorite moments of his, for it is all perfection. For Cleese to be at 21 is just unacceptable.

7 Frankie Boyle Francis Martin Patrick "Frankie" Boyle is a Scottish comedian and writer, well known for his pessimistic and often controversial sense of humour.

He is (or at least was) the funniest man in Britain, in my opinion. Probably best on Mock The Week, where his irreverence was a welcome contrast to some of the more diluted humour of Russell Howard, Andy Parsons, etc.

One of the only comedians on MTW to make everybody on the panel laugh (albeit through gritted teeth).

Very funny, fast, great on the spot. Very dark, controversial, easily Britain's greatest dark comedian, possibly the world's, and to me, a great comedian in terms of worldview.

Yes, he's so good at what he does. And can I just point out that many of these comedians have been on Mock The Week?

8 Ricky Gervais Ricky Dene Gervais is an English comedian, actor, director, producer, writer and former singer and manager.

A clever comedian who uses misdirection to take his audience on a journey, then dumps them at the wrong stop halfway through. He will always leave you crying with laughter and wanting to see him more and more. I recently saw him as alter ego David Brent live on stage as part of his Foregone Conclusion Band, and it was the best night of entertainment I have ever had.

Ricky Gervais is number one and the funniest man alive without doubt. Forget the rest. If you are a true comedy fan, then you will agree that Ricky is the king.

9 Sean Lock Sean Lock was an English comedian and actor. He began his comedy career as a stand-up comedian, and won the British Comedy Award in 2000 in the category of Best Live Comic, and was nominated for the Perrier Comedy Award.

Sean Lock was an unbelievable comedian. Should be way, way up this list, number 1 in my opinion. His stand-up, Cats Does Countdown, 8 Out of 10 Cats, he's brilliant on all of them. His mascots on Cats Does Countdown are legendary.

Everything about Sean Lock is brilliant. He creates movies in our heads, paints them like pictures. By a mile, my favorite. He's a comedian. Jimmy Carr and Michael McIntyre are comics. There's a difference.

Really, there should be two categories. Comics say funny things. Comedians say things funny. It's more spontaneous and more skilled. That's why Sean Lock is my number one.

10 David Mitchell David James Stuart Mitchell is a British comedian, actor and writer. He is half of the comedy duo Mitchell and Webb alongside Robert Webb.

Mitchell may not do stand-up comedy like most comedians, however, his sharp wit, intellect, slightly withdrawn personality, pessimism, and OCD tendencies more than qualify him for my personal number one comedian.

Truly one of the quickest wits and sharpest minds working in comedy right now. I'm addicted to his style.

Absolutely adore him. I would watch a two-hour bonanza on shipping timetables if he were presenting it.

The Contenders
11 Milton Jones Milton Hywel Jones is a Welsh comedian. His style of humour is based on one-liners involving puns delivered in a deadpan and slightly neurotic style.

There's something about Milton Jones, something I can't quite put my finger on, that always makes my head explode with laughter. Just listen to him for two minutes, and you'll never forget any of it.

He's mad and funny. On Mock the Week, it is funny that some of the other comedians here don't always appear to find him funny, but the audience tells the true story. He also needs to open a shirt shop.


Best at one-liners there has ever been.

12 Lee Mack Lee Gordon McKillop, known as Lee Mack, is an English stand-up comedian and actor best known for writing the sitcom Not Going Out and starring in it as the main character, also called Lee.

I first saw him on Not Going Out and thought he was so funny, and I had a crush on him (still do). I also saw a DVD of him on tour, which was hilarious. I too think he is not appreciated enough.

You can see how funny he is on Would I Lie to You. I only watch it because of him. One of the best, in my opinion.

Lee is so funny, so smart, and so incredibly quick. He's also super sexy, making him the Number 1 British Comedian for me.

Would I Lie to You is the best show on television. Lee's flirtatious and hilarious sparring with David Mitchell is a dream to watch. Love him!

13 Jack Whitehall Jack Peter Benedict Whitehall is an English comedian, television presenter, actor and writer. He is best known for his stand up comedy, and for starring as JP in the TV series Fresh Meat.

If you haven't heard him talk about his bathroom experience in a restaurant in a foreign country, then you must YouTube it. He tells it on the Graham Norton Show. I laughed until I had tears running down my face.

But I also truly find everything he says funny. His stand-up, hilarious. But he's just one of those ACTUAL funny people. He can just pop stuff off in the moment. He truly has a gift.

Jack is hilarious. Clever, innovative, and the only thing better than his never-ending humor is his great looks. He's gorgeous and adorable. He is so handsome that he should be on the cover of Gentleman's Quarterly.

I wish he had a sitcom airing in the U.S. Or better yet, a movie.

14 Lee Evans Lee John Martin Evans is a retired English stand-up comedian, actor, musician and writer from Avonmouth, England. He is a director of Little Mo Films, which he had co-directed with the late Addison Cresswell, who was also his agent prior to Cresswell's death in December 2013.

Number 12? That in itself is a joke! Lee should be riding high at the top of this list. He is the most brilliant comedian, and his sublime physicality makes me weep with laughter. Such a talented man, and he has heaps of charm to boot. Unlike many other comedians or stand-ups, he doesn't grate or irritate, or ever look smug and self-satisfied. He's just up there having fun and working incredibly hard to entertain the hordes who come along to see him. I'll never tire of watching him. Love ya, Lee! My number 1 for sure.

He is the only comedian I can have on the TV for hours. His jokes never get old, and I will happily rewatch his stand-up. Even though I might know what's coming, it always makes me laugh. His jokes are timeless, and his physicality is hilarious. He deserves a higher ranking than this.

I grew up with him and still love him to this day. My little siblings even laugh at him. His stage presence is insane. Sometimes, you will see a comedian act stuck-up on stage, or you just won't get humble vibes. It's the complete opposite with Lee. I've always gotten humble vibes from him, and he just seems like such a grateful person.

You can see on stage, sometimes when a crowd laughs a lot, he will just take it all in and express how thankful he is. Even when he comes on stage, he goes to all sides of the stage and bows. He doesn't just wave like the average comedian. It's the little things that count.

15 Stephen Fry Stephen John Fry is an English comedian, actor, writer, presenter and activist. After a troubled childhood and adolescence, during which he was expelled from two schools and spent three months in prison for credit card fraud, Fry secured a place at Queens' College, Cambridge, where he studied English... read more

Far and away the most intelligent. Maybe people are still biased because of his sexual preferences, which is silly in these times.

I love David Mitchell, Bill Bailey, Eddie Izzard, and Jimmy Carr, but there can only be one which I choose. It has to be Stephen.

Stephen Fry is brilliant. I can't believe he is not in the top 10. Such a wise and funny man.

16 Peter Sellers Peter Sellers CBE (born Richard Henry Sellers; 8 September 1925 - 24 July 1980) was an English actor and comedian. He first came to prominence performing in the BBC Radio comedy series The Goon Show, featured on a number of hit comic songs and became known to a worldwide audience through his many film... read more

He was just a wonderful actor too. I can watch his films again and again and still laugh at them, such a great entertainer.

17 Bill Bailey Mark Robert Bailey better known as Bill Bailey, is an English comedian, musician, singer, actor, TV and radio presenter and author. Bailey is well known for his role in Black Books and for his appearances on Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Have I Got News for You and QI, as well as his extensive stand-up... read more

"Part Troll" is undoubtedly the best stand-up show I have ever seen. It is not a random mix of funny bits. The pace, intelligence, and variety of humor is incredible, coupled with some amazing songs. His later stuff can't quite match it, but Bill is still a genius.

A veteran who has earned the rightful position of funniest, cleverest, and nicest man in comedy. I asked my son who he would like to live with if he didn't live with me. His answer: Bill Bailey.

Not sure he is my absolute favorite comedian, but then I'm not sure I have one. He needs to be higher, though.

18 Peter Kay Peter John Kay is an English comedian and actor. His 2010-11 stand-up comedy tour was officially inaugurated into the Guinness World Records as the most successful of all time, playing to over 1.2 million people.

I am visiting London from Australia, and my friend had taped a show of Peter Kay, which we watched one evening. I have never laughed so much in all my life, and I am 54, with a great sense of humour. Absolutely a wonderful evening.

I have become his biggest fan. I'm telling everyone to check him out. Thanks, Peter, you make the world a better place.

He is so clever. I mean, most things he says are what we do in life, and we don't realize why we do it. For example, why do they call it the big light? Laugh out loud.

He starts off with simple jokes, and then he does his thing. He should be in the top ten list.

19 Rik Mayall

My hero. VERY, VERY funny. Original. The Young Ones and Bottom... Genius. I suffer from depression, and just thinking about him makes me either chuckle or wet myself, depending on my state of mind. You are missed.

Watched Drop Dead Fred like three times in the past few weeks. Love Bottom too, my favorite show. Rik's a legend.

The Young Ones was genius, and Bottom was legendary. Rik deserves to be higher.

20 Rhod Gilbert Rhodri "Rhod" Paul Gilbert is a Welsh comedian who was nominated in 2005 for the Perrier Best Newcomer Award.

Easily my number 1 British comedian. I saw him live a couple of years ago when he came to the Princess Theatre (Torquay) with his "The Man with the Flaming Battenburg Tattoo" show, and it was easily the best comedy show I have ever seen. Hilariously funny, well-written material, brilliant storytelling, and I loved the story of the show from the beginning when he started 'Anger Management Classes', right through to the New York holiday photos at the end. Great stuff!

Rhod Gilbert is fantastic. I went to see him on tour, and I laughed continuously, helplessly, and joyously from beginning to end. It was a fantastic night.

He is the best, his stuff on YouTube is hilarious too. He doesn't rely on swearing like some to get a laugh. He is just great. Britain's best comedian, definitely.

21 Tommy Cooper

I don't know why Tommy Cooper isn't in the top ten. He is so funny, and it is good to see a comedian that doesn't always swear or use crude humour all of the time. The tricks he did were very smart and funny. Just like that.

Tommy Cooper should be in the top ten at least. The man was hilarious, and I totally agree with the comment about how bland today's comedy must be. No one I can think of has the comic timing Tommy Cooper had.

Even when he said nothing, he was hilarious. The master of timing. A true comic genius. Watch his handkerchief with dots sketch to put a smile on your face. Immense.

22 Graham Chapman Graham Arthur Chapman was an English comedian, writer, actor, and one of the six members of the surreal comedy group Monty Python.

It might just be that Jesus Christ missed out on something here. Christianity might have caught on a little more if there had been a few funny sketches in the Bible. But Graham was, and is, the world's funniest Messiah. And I should know. I've followed a few.

He was great. A plea for sanity from the Reverend Arthur Pews, up the cream bun and jam. Throat wobbler mangrove and fly to the moon. Oh, and I like a joke as much as anybody else, apart from my wife and some of my friends.

Genius, the Python who gets the least credit but deserves the most.

23 Nick Frost
24 Josh Widdicombe Joshua Michael "Josh" Widdicombe is an English comedian and radio and television presenter, best known for his appearances on The Last Leg, Fighting Talk, Insert Name Here and his BBC Three sitcom Josh.

So funny and underrated. The best comedian working now by a mile. He makes me laugh every single time.

Great to see such a funny young guy coming up in comedy. Like Russell Howard.

We saw him in Dunfermline, laughed so much it was unbelievable. Well worth seeing live.

25 Simon Pegg Simon John Pegg is an English actor, comedian, screenwriter, and producer. Pegg came to public prominence in Britain as the co-creator of the Channel 4 sitcom Spaced, directed by Edgar Wright.

Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead, Paul, Spaced, Big Train, etc. Simon Pegg is one of my favorite comedians ever. He and Nick Frost are the dynamic duo.

Best comedian alive. Funny bloke, great accent, and so 'nerdy! Love all his stuff.

Spaced is one of the funniest and most original comedy shows ever made. And Nick Frost is an excellent co-pilot, laugh out loud.

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