Can You Name These Comedy Legends?


By: Gavin Thagard

6 Min Quiz

Image: Wiki Commons by Eva Rinaldi

About This Quiz

From old school legends like Bob Hope and Richard Pryor to new-age comedians like Joe Rogan and Jim Jefferies, the world of comedy has only grown over the past century, and we are all the better for it. What's life without a good laugh, after all? It's not much fun; that's for sure. 

The greatest comedians have been granted a gift that not many people have access to. Their comedic skills, timing, and well-crafted jokes are central points for entertainment. It's what helps drive half of the industry, demonstrating that the world undoubtedly needs them around to lighten the mood when everything seems out of whack. 

They are not always appropriate, and often times, their jokes can be downright obscene. Luckily, the best comedians refuse to back down, and we, along with that sharp laughing pain in our guts, are so much better for it. 

How well do you know the comedy legends who have dominated the industry? If we give you an image, can you name the comedian? Here's your chance to find out. 

When you're ready to test your knowledge on these hilarious human beings, jump into this quiz and see if you are witty enough to get a high score! 

This comedian revolutionized comedy with his political commentary. Who is he?

George Carlin's 1972 comedy routine, "Class Clown," was heavily criticized for its use of profanity. The Federal Communications Commission banned the routine from the radio, a decision that was later upheld by the Supreme Court.


Do you know the name of this comedian who brought racial issues to the forefront of comedy?

In his stand-up, Richard Pryor brought a vast range of topics from the black experience to the stage. One of the comedian's greatest traits was his vulnerability, which helped him reach a broader American audience.


A former band manager, who is this comedian known for her dry comedy?

"I went on a hardcore drinking and smoking binge. It lasted right about nine months. And then, as soon as I was born, I was like, 'Do not go in there.'" –Tig Notaro.


His comedic skills could be seen on stage or television. Do you know who he is?

Trained at the Juilliard School, Robin Williams possessed enough energy to encapsulate an entire room while also carrying a high level of precision in his work. The comedian was particularly sharp when it came to portraying various characters with different backgrounds and accents. His suicide in 2014 reminds lovers of comedy that being hilarious and creative doesn't mean that comics don't experience depression. If you're experiencing depression, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.


What's the name of this comedian who was a member of the Queens of Comedy?

Mo'Nique's comedy career led her into hosting such programs as "Showtime at the Apollo." In 2009, she began hosting her own talk show called "The Mo'Nique Show" on BET.


Can you identify this comedian who had a sitcom named after him?

"Why do they call it a building? It looks like it's finished. Why don't they call it a built?" –Jerry Seinfeld​.


Known for his insult comedy, who is this comedian?

Though he was a hard worker, known for showing up at least an hour early to a show, Don Rickles had plenty of lucky breaks during his career. However, his greatest break he created himself when he abandoned his normal stand-up routine to insult his audience, a decision that shaped his comedy moving forward.


Who is this comedian that was also a famous television host?

From an early age, Johnny Carson was destined to be a performer. As a kid, he taught himself the skill of being a magician and regularly performed his act at fairs and other events in Nebraska.


This comedian found early success on the "Chitlin' Circuit." Who is she?

"Advice to children crossing the street: damn the lights. Watch the cars. The lights ain't never killed nobody." –Moms Mabley.


A former Academy Awards host, can you identify this comedian?

Chris Rock garnered national attention when he began appearing on "Saturday Night Live" in the early '90s. Rock was added to the show as it transitioned from older cast members, such as Jon Lovitz and Nora Dunn, to a new cast of talent.


Do you know this comedian who was the former host of "The Daily Show"?

Jon Stewart has been vocal about his views on the importance of dismantling systemic oppression throughout his lengthy career. After leaving the "Daily Show" in 2015, Stewart became an advocate for 9/11 first responders whose funds have been cut for things like healthcare.


Recognized for her social critiques, what's this comedian's name?

Trying to break racial barriers for Asian-Americans, Margaret Cho starred in the television show "All-American Girl," which ran for one season in 1994–1995. Her political critique and fierce activism has won her awards from the ACLU, Lambda Legal, and the National Organization for Women.


Can you recall the name of this former "Saturday Night Live" member?

"Does anyone have a mother that would hit you with a shoe? I had a mother that would throw a shoe at you at the drop of a dime. So by the time I was like ten, my mother was like Clint Eastwood with a shoe." –Eddie Murphy.


What's the name of this controversial comedian?

Joan Rivers' career launched in 1965 when she appeared on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson." Her appearance on "The Tonight Show" led to her own program called "'That Show' With Joan Rivers."


Do you know the name of this comic whose career started in the '90s?

Melissa McCarthy's first major film role was in "Bridesmaids," where she played alongside other great comedians including Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph. The movie launched her to stardom, and she has since appeared in other major comedies like "Tammy" and "The Heat." McCarthy has been Oscar-nominated twice, for Best Supporting Actress and Best Actress.


One of the greatest late-night hosts of all time, can you identify this comedian?

David Letterman spent 33 years of his career hosting the "Late Night Show with David Letterman." When the show ended in 2015, Letterman was the longest-tenured host in American television history.


This comedian's popularity grew when he was given his own sketch comedy show. Do you know who he is?

Dave Chappelle came onto the comedy scene in 1998 when he starred in the film "Half Baked." Chappelle co-wrote the movie with Neal Brennan, who he would later work on the sketch-comedy series "Chappelle's Show" with.


Well-known for filming a comedy special while pregnant, who is this comedian?

"My husband occasionally changes diapers, and when people hear that, confetti everywhere. When my baby girl was first born, I would do skin to skin contact every day to bond with her. She [crapped] on my chest. Where's my confetti?" –Ali Wong.


Do you know who this great satirist is?

Stephen Colbert was trained as a dramatic actor at Northwestern University, where he graduated with a degree in Communications. While in college, Colbert got involved in improv comedy and eventually became an understudy to Steve Carell.


Who is this comedian that became known for his use of dark comedy?

Bill Hicks became a regular at the Comedy Store after moving to Los Angeles following his high school graduation in 1980. His popularity grew throughout the '80s, and he released his first comedy album in 1990 called "Dangerous."


Can you identify this former Netflix host?

Chelsea Handler got into comedy in an unusual way, through a DUI charge. While telling the story of how she got the DUI to other criminals, she realized she had a talent for comedy because they all found the story to be hilarious.


This comic was always looking for respect in his bits. What's his name?

The first stage name Jacob Rodney Cohen used was Jack Roy, which he stopped using when he took a break from show business in the 1950s. He re-emerged as Rodney Dangerfield in the early '60s.


A former star on "Sanford and Son," do you recognize this comedian?

Raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Redd Foxx left home at the early age of 13 to pursue a career as a performer. He got into comedy in the 1940s when he joined the black vaudeville circuit.


What's the name of this comedian who brilliantly mixes sports with social critiques?

Bill Burr created the animated sitcom "F Is for Family," which appeared on Netflix beginning in 2015. Burr plays the voice of the main character Francis X. Murphy.


YouTube has elevated the career of this comic. Who is he?

Joe Rogan gained national attention as the host of "Fear Factor," which first aired on NBC in 2001. Rogan has stated that the show gave him the economic opportunity to pursue other avenues in comedy.


Can you recall the name of this Canadian comedian?

Catherine O'Hara rose to fame as a member of The Second City, an improvisational theater troupe. Her success in the troupe eventually led her to "Saturday Night Live," where she served as an understudy to Gilda Radner. These days, she's most noted for her role on Schitt's Creek.


This female comedian was a finalist on the Miller Light Comedy Search in 1989. Do you know her name?

Sheryl Underwood is one of the five hosts on the daily talk show "The Talk." Underwood has been a member of the show since 2011 when she replaced Leah Remini.


Who is this comic that was once a preacher?

Sam Kinison died at the age of 38 in an automobile accident while he was traveling to a sold-out show. He was hit by a young driver who had been driving under the influence of alcohol.


Not known for being very appropriate with her comedy, who is this?

Sarah Silverman was only 17 years old when she started her stand-up career. Her early success earned her a spot on "Saturday Night Live," but she was fired after only one season. However, that did little to derail her career.


Featured in "The Original Kings of Comedy," do you recognize this comedian?

Bernie Mac's career found success after he won the Miller Lite Comedy Search in 1990. The contest helped him secure a role on "Def Comedy Jam," where Mac put on a legendary show in front of a not-so-friendly crowd.


Can you identify this comedian who is known for his wild tangents?

When Norm Macdonald began appearing on "Saturday Night Live" in 1993, he became well-known for his impersonations and critical remarks. Two of his greatest impersonations were of Larry King and Burt Reynolds.


What's the name of this "Saturday Night Live" member?

In a joke about her age during The BET Awards, Leslie Jones says, "In my head and heart, I'm in my 30s. I be like, yeah, mid-30s. My body be like, you better sit your [butt] down. You are 50!"


Few comics have received the same level of fame as this comedian. Do you know who he is?

Steve Harvey was part of "The Original Kings of Comedy," a film directed by Spike Lee and released in 2000. The film also featured Cedric the Entertainer, Bernie Mac, and D.L. Hughley.


Can you recall the name of this Blue Collar Comedy Tour member?

Jeff Foxworthy's comedy routine was shaped by his "You Might Be a Redneck" jokes. The jokes were first featured in his 1993 comedy album released under the same name.


One of the most versatile comedians of all time, do you know his name?

Living to be 100, George Burns continued to have success even in his later life. In fact, he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor at the age of 79 for his role in "The Sunshine Boys."


Do you recognize this comedian who has hosted her own show since 2003?

Ellen DeGeneres starred in a sitcom titled "Ellen" from 1994 until 1998. It was during the 1997 season that she famously came out on "The Oprah Winfrey Show."


He was one of the best one-line joke tellers ever. Who is he?

"I wanna hang a map of the world in my house. Then, I'm gonna put pins into all the locations that I've traveled to. But first, I'm gonna have to travel to the top two corners of the map, so it won't fall down." –Mitch Hedberg.


This comedian's career lasted over 70 years. What's his name?

With a career spanning nearly eight decades, Bob Hope accomplished as much if not more than most other comedians. One of his greatest honors was hosting the Academy Awards, which he did 19 times.


Can you identify this writer and comedian?

"My dad, growing up, called my Princess. He drilled it in my head as a kid that I was a frigging princess. And then I grew up, and I got into the real world, and I realized that no one else was on board with the whole princess thing. Princesses don't lose their virginity at Lollapalooza." –Whitney Cummings.


The current host of "The Daily Show," do you know who this is?

Trevor Noah was born to a black mother and white father in South Africa, which was under apartheid law at the time. According to the law, their relationship was deemed illegal.


Explore More Quizzes

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!