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Top 10 Comedy Actors of the 2000s

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Q.V. Hough They're the clowns of a new millennium. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Comedy Actors of the 2000s. For this list, we're scouring Hollywood history to find the funniest comedic actors who ever graced a screen. Special thanks to our user JosephT for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestive tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Q.V. Hough

Top 10 Comedy Actors Of the 2000s


They're the clowns of a new millennium. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Comedy Actors of the 2000s.

For this list, we’re scouring Hollywood history to find the funniest comedic actors who ever graced a screen. We’re focusing on performers from both feature films and television, but have decided to exclude talk show hosts and voice actors. This is part of a series of videos spanning the decades.

#10: Ricky Gervais
1961 -

If this man’s laugh doesn’t have you grinning from ear to ear, then nothing will. Over the course of just two series in the early part of the decade, Ricky Gervais enraptured the UK with his deadpan series “The Office.” It may have been a slow burner, but the rest of the world soon caught on, most notably executives at NBC. His brand of humor may be offensive to some, but his ability to focus on the human element – especially the awkward human element – brings a sense of universal truth to his act. In other words, Gervais insightfully observes the mundane aspects of life, the little things that seemingly have little significance, and turns them into the funniest things on earth.

#9: Dave Chappelle
1973 -

Although he started his career in blockbusters like “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” and “Con Air,” not many people knew about Dave Chappelle when his Comedy Central series dropped in 2003, but it soon became apparent that he was establishing himself as the next great innovator of sketch comedy. With sharp takes on the past, present and future, the D.C. native consistently upped the ante until his increasing concern over the misrepresentation of black performers took a shocking turn. And so, Chappelle traveled to South Africa and released a 2005 documentary entitled “Dave Chappelle’s Block Party” upon his return. He played by his own rules, and he’s one of the most respected comics of his time as a result.

#8: Paul Rudd
1969 -

By 2004, this man had been long established as seasoned performer in film and television; but he was more commonly known as “Oh that guy” than his actual name. But that all changed after the release of “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy,” in which Paul Rudd played a long-haired, San Diego newsman enthused by the potency of his “Sex Panther” cologne. His nice guy face makes his most devilish moments that much better, and his numerous collaborations with Judd Apatow have resulted in all-out comedic madness. He’s the guy you want to have a beer with, and the guy your girlfriend would drop you for given the opportunity.

#7: Jack Black
1969 -

Now here is a man who always seems to be having a seriously good time. From 2000’s “High Fidelity” to 2009’s “Year One,” Jack Black made a decade’s worth of films that have had viewers snorting with laughter – in spite of ourselves. His flair for the dramatic comes from his background in music, and he’s a master at conveying his physical happiness through jerky body movements and guitar faces that would make John Mayer crawl into a corner. And while he’s killed numerous starring roles with his balls-to-the-wall humor, he’s also known for his killer cameo in “Anchorman.”

#6: Simon Pegg
1970 -

Already having earned recognition from his short-lived but hilarious television series “Spaced,” Pegg’s fame skyrocketed when he co-wrote and starred in what would come to be known as Edgar Wright’s “Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy.” He thrived in Sci-Fi scenarios through witty banter and an unassuming demeanor, following in a long line of British comedic surrealists. Multi-talented and magnetically charming, Simon Pegg has rightfully earned his spot on our list, and we’d like to give a special shout-out to his fellow cohort in comedy, Nick Frost.

#5: Sacha Baron Cohen
1971 -

Back in 2003, you were either on board with HBO’s “Da Ali G Show” or you were trying to figure out what exactly was going on. And that’s the power of Sacha Baron Cohen, a man of multiple personalities who’s always looking for a new comedic angle. When the 2006 mockumentary “Borat” hit theatres, the average American moviegoer was still unfamiliar with Baron Cohen’s style; that is, unless you were a die-hard fan of “Talladega Nights.” With no regard for social norms, this Brit set off to thoroughly shock the film industry into submission! And he succeeded.

#4: Tina Fey
1970 -

She set the standard for modern female comics and pierced the political world with her spot-on impression of Sarah Palin. While simultaneously working as the head writer and weekend update anchor at “Saturday Night Live,” Fey branched out into film with the 2004 hit “Mean Girls” before taking on another creative challenge: creating a little show called “30 Rock.” Her ability to connect with audiences through social satire made her a star, and through ingenious writing and perseverance, Tina Fey has become one of the most powerful comedy actors of the modern era – regardless of gender.

#3: Steve Carell
1962 -

This straight-faced buffoon kicked off the decade as a correspondent for “The Daily Show,” and following two iconic roles in “Anchorman” and the “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” he was primed to star in the American version of Ricky Gervais’ “The Office.” As the slightly disturbing yet lovable office manager Michael Scott, Carell excelled in the situation comedy through masterful improvisations and a knack for precise comedic timing. For the entire decade, he held down his prestigious NBC role, while simultaneously becoming one of the most versatile film actors of his generation.

#2: Ben Stiller
1965 -

Within a ten-year span, this New Yorker has collaborated with Robert De Niro multiple times, invented the “Blue Steel” pose and became the leading man of a blockbuster franchise. Audiences love to watch his nervous characters endure horrific scenarios, thanks to his magnificent blend of deadpan and comedic humor. Primarily a film actor, Stiller also managed to appear in several episodes of the beloved television series “Arrested Development,” thus solidifying him as one of America’s favorite members of the Frat Pack. Oh, and we also have to thank him for serving as a prime example of why you should never go full…well, you know.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Owen Wilson
- Vince Vaughn
- Jason Segel
- John C. Reilly

#1: Will Ferrell
1967 -

Unlike many of the other comedians on this list, Ferrell came to comedy without a background in stand-up; but he definitely didn’t need one. Here are the facts: Will Ferrell was the #1 reason to watch “Saturday Night Live” until 2002 because he was capable of making almost any cast member break character with his impressions, original characters and general crazy antics. His first big post-SNL role in “Old School” has become mythical, and his run of late-2000s films could best be described as a cinematic master class for improvisational comics. He’s not your typical method actor, but he devotes himself fully to ridiculously absurd characters, and we love him for it.

Do you agree with our list? Who is your favorite comedy actor of the 2000s? For more mind-blowing Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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