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Top 10 Funniest Modern Comedic Actors

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Q.V. Hough. They inspire a river of tears from pure comic delight. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the top 10 Funniest Modern Comedic Actors. Although we respect legendary comedians of the silent era like Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, our list covers modern film only, which also eliminates stage performers. These comedians never fail to make us laugh, and we love seeing them on screen. Special thanks to our users TheDanielDayLewis, jjtheflash@gmail.com, Sean Ryan, nait08 and Steven Rando for submitting the idea on our Suggestion Tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Q.V. Hough.

Top 10 Funniest Modern Comedic Actors


They inspire a river of tears from pure comic delight. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 Funniest Modern Comedic Actors.

Although we respect legendary comedians of the silent era like Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, our list covers modern film only, which also eliminates stage performers.

#10: Steve Martin


This “Saturday Night Live” icon developed his style in high school by working with the great Wally Boag, and made his first appearance on “The Steve Allen” show by 1969. After shredding the SNL stage with the classic “King Tut" performance and numerous gut-busting bits, Martin reached an international audience with classic comedies such as “The Jerk,” “Roxanne” and “Father of the Bride.” By adapting his physical humor to any situation, this class clown of cinema is unadulterated comedic gold.

#9: Mike Myers


“Saturday Night Live” was primed for a new era of laughs in 1989 and one shining star twinkled his way all the way from Canada. Myers instantly connected with NBC viewers through his innovative sketches, and the success of “Wayne’s World” ultimately established Myers as a box office star. However, it was the “Austin Powers” trilogy that inspired a collective wave of laughter across the world. With a surreal style combined with a remarkable ability to connect, Myers’ comedic legacy was ultimately cemented by reaching a new generation in the wildly successful “Shrek” trilogy several years later.

#8: Steve Carell


Almost ten years before a recurring stint on “The Daily Show,” this brilliant comic perfected his craft at Chicago’s famed Second City. Although Carell was never a full member of the “Saturday Night Live” cast, he eventually nabbed the lead role on NBC’s hysterical sitcom “The Office.” With a primetime platform and his own unique brand of comedy, Carell instantly gained a cult following and earned a Golden Globe award for his portrayal of the wacky office manager Michael Scott. Now one of the busiest film actors in Hollywood, Carell continues to deliver comedic gifts like no other.

#7: Chris Farley


Do you remember a moment when this American comic made you laugh until you cried? Chris Farley was a hurricane of comedy, and a physical powerhouse with a tender heart. Yet another Second City alum, Farley revitalized “Saturday Night Live” in the early ‘90s with an undeniable knack for physical comedy, and later starred on the big screen opposite David Spade in “Tommy Boy” and “Black Sheep.” Always ready to push the limits, there will forever be only one Chris Farley.

#6: Robin Williams


With an inexplicable ability to improvise, this comic was always one step ahead of his audience. From “Nanu Nanu” to classic stand-up routines, Robin Williams dominated the comedy scene in the early ‘80s, and provided unforgettable characters in modern classics like “Good Morning Vietnam” and “Mrs. Doubtfire.” Always relevant in mainstream comedy, Williams balanced laughs and drama in “Good Will Hunting,” and took home an Academy Award for his work. With an astounding ability to take on any role, this king of comedy established a legacy with a unique blend of intelligence, wit and physical humor.

#5: Will Ferrell


While many comics spend years on the stand-up circuit perfecting their craft, others are born with the ability to entertain. Meet Will Ferrell, a gentleman and scholar of fine comedy. Despite the nice guy appearance, this outlaw of comedy kills with perfect comedic timing, and seven outstanding seasons with “Saturday Night Live” primed him for box office success in the commercial sensation known as “Anchorman”. Ferrell’s improvisational style and beautifully strange characters are often imitated, but we all know who the real boss is.

#4: John Cleese


Beginning his career as a scriptwriter on English radio and television, this living legend’s sharp wit earned him and his comedy group a slot on BBC with the sketch comedy series known as “Monty Python’s Flying Circus.” The towering figure of Cleese inherently complements his dark style, which was introduced to the world in the trilogy of “Monty Python” films. With sharp writing skills and a unique presence, John Cleese established himself as the premiere face of English comedy.

#3: Bill Murray


This human laugh factory was chosen by “Saturday Night Live” to replace Chevy Chase in 1977, and his oddball style made him an instant hit. Murray’s detached brand of comedy appealed to his fellow cast members and sketch comedy hosts so much that his oddball humor opened up doors for roles in classic ‘80s films like “Meatballs,” “Caddyshack” and “Stripes.” Murray has become a favorite of director Wes Anderson and continues to reinvent himself with every role.

#2: Eddie Murphy


He’s a box office legend and one of America’s greatest comics. Adapting the style of Richard Pryor, a teenage Eddie Murphy made his “Saturday Night Live” debut in the early ‘80s. After introducing several controversial characters to mainstream America, and starring in the classic stand-up special “Eddie Murphy Delirious,” the Brooklyn-born comic transitioned to film and delivered his first cinematic hit opposite Nick Nolte in the 1982 classic “48 Hrs” and subsequently starred in the “Beverly Hills Cop” trilogy. Murphy’s abrasive style and unflinching attitude elevated him to instant stardom and his star continues to shine well into the 21st century.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
- Jonah Hill

- Rowan Atkinson

- John Candy

- Paul Rudd

- Sacha Baron Cohen


#1: Jim Carrey


Never afraid to take on any impression, this creative genius inspires heavy tears of laughter with each performance. Jim Carrey struggled with his stand-up act during the early ‘80s, but a chance encounter with Rodney Dangerfield led to numerous film roles throughout that decade, along with a spot on the FOX television hit, “In Living Color.” By the mid-‘90s, Jim Carrey was the undisputed grandmaster of American Comedy, with a string of box office hits in “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective,” “The Mask” and the incomparable “Dumb and Dumber”. With a face able to take on any persona, Jim Carrey’s comedy is crazy beautiful and undeniably timeless.

Do you agree with our list? Who is your favorite modern comedic actor? For more mind-blowing Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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