Some comedians have material that is thought-provoking in nature, and those comediand and actors can at times even transcend just being funny, to some level of cleverness that many find to be appealing for reasons beyond just being entertaining. These comedians are often incredibly intelligent people. It takes brains and intellect to land a really good joke or to tell a story that gets the audience thinking AND laughing.
Smart comedy. It's great. However, it's not at all what this article is about.
It's about... these guys:
And while the Jackass boys put their bodies in harm's way on a consistent basis for the sake of getting a laugh... I do believe there is a method to their madness. They know what they're doing, and even after Steve-O snorts Wasabi at a Japanese restaurant, he's the one laughing all the way to the bank immediately afterwards.
So, without further ado, here are the ten best physical comedians of all time. Some of these comedians are physical AND cerebral in nature, though. This list just includes those comedians who can get people of all backgrounds (race, religion, age, nationality, etc) laughing. Because, at the very surface-level, what they're doing on stage or on-camera is hilarious to all.
10. Michael Richards (Kramer from Seinfeld)
This dude made opening a door funny. Think about that. I included the gif above, solely based off the reaction I would expect he would give when told he only came in at #10 on this list. The only reason I don't have him higher is due to the fact that he didn't have much of a post-Seinfeld career. Not that he had to. He assuredly left his mark on the comedy scene and made a good chunk of change in the process.
9. Melissa McCarthy
Melissa McCarthy has found her niche in Hollywood. Not to say she's not hilarious with her words, but her physical brand of humor has made movies entire movies work. She always takes it to the limit, and she doesn't even really care that the haters hate. She's a heavier woman making more money than a lot of more petite actresses in Hollywood because... she's incredible and forgot how to give any f*cks.
8. All the 'Jackass' dudes
I pretty much had no choice but to include the 'Jackasses' in this one. I feel like the collective gang kind of deserved their own spot. There's no way you could say one of them is better than another. In fact, I would argue that their team-centric attitude makes them even funnier. It's like, we're all going to go through this painful, embarrassing, brutal stuff for the sake of a few laughs. It'll be Bam today, then Steve-O tomorrow, then Johnny, etc. That's how I feel they delegate the tasks. Or at least how I hope they do.
7. Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean)
Atkinson is one of those comedians who could literally make an entire movie with no sound and I would probably still be in stitches by the end of it. His Mr. Bean character is pure gold.
6. Steve Martin
The SNL alum looks like someone's dad, but he's casually still always making ridiculous gestures and being incredibly game for any joke. Whether that joke is in a big movie, in a small skit, or just as a bit on a talk show, he's willing to make it his own.
5. Kevin James
There are a lot of people in Hollywood who don't get why a movie like [Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2](tag:1213137) gets made. Those people don't understand, respect, and love Kevin James and his ridiculously endearing sense of physical humor. He's an every-day man, but he's also just straight up ridiculous. He's been in a lot of movies that he could have just phoned in his performance, but made them his own every time. He's a talented and likable actor.
4. Will Ferrell
Will Ferrell has been himself throughout his entire career, and most of the time that meant being a lovable goofball that works incredibly hard to make us laugh. I don't think it was a mistake that Ferrell jumped into the A-List so quickly and effortlessly after SNL. He's just a man from Irvine with a dream. I think we all can relate to that.
3. Chris Farley
Chris Farley's passing was tragic, but his comedic genius will live on forever regardless of whether he's actually here to keep us laughing our asses off. If he was present in a scene, it was likely that your attention was going to be on him. Very funny dude who will be missed... RIP.
2. Jim Carrey
Jim Carrey is another dude who could hold his own in the physical comedy department. Whether is was voices, faces, ridiculous body movements, dancing, it didn't matter... Jim Carrey could handle it and more. The movie Dumb and Dumber To may not have needed to have been made. However, that being said, Jim Carrey killed it as always.
1. Charlie Freakin' Chaplin
This dude was funny before sound. Well, sound existed, but you know what I mean. He somehow made Hitler jokes funny even when those jokes could have probably had him killed. He is the greatest physical comedian of all time, and one of our best comedians of all time, period.
Now, I know there are plenty others that I missed, but save it for the comments. Let me know if you think there are any others who belong in the top 10 of all time below!