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My Favourite Non-Stand-up Comedians

Having compiled a list of my favourite stand-up comedians I became inspired to write another Top 10 with some comedians that I think belong here for their non-stand-up work, be it online, on stage or in TV/movies.

Hopefully you agree with some of my picks, or maybe even found a new act to follow. Why not let me know who you would have picked by getting in touch?

Eddie Murphy

For those of you that have read my post about my favourite comedy specials you'll know that I have a thing for Eddie Murphy. His Delirious special made the list but I am here to pay homage to his career off stage and on the silver screen.

As a 90s kid Eddie Murphy was a staple name in comedy films and it was his work in Dr Dolittle, The Nutty Professor and even Shrek that introduced me to comedy films and strong character work.

Steve Martin

I'm not sure whether this name is for my Mum or me, but Steve Martin is a gem of a comedian either way. In many ways, Eddie Murphy's career (and some of the others on this list) is similar to Steve Martin's because they did start as stand-ups, but I know and admire them first and foremost for their work in cinema.

Steve Martin's Trains, Planes and Automobiles, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Three Amigos, Cheaper by the Dozen and Father of the Bride always make me smile and are go-to films if you want to have a laugh and turn your mood around. Beyond films there is so much that Steve Martin offers and he even has a Masterclass if you want to learn from the best.


YouTube has come a long way since it's inception. It has morphed into one of the most powerful entertainment tools out there and is one of my main sources of content. On average I spend a couple hours every day watching YouTube and it's on the Funhaus channel that you can often find me.

As part of Autin-based Rooster Teeth the channel launched in 2015 as a new style of Inside Gaming. The main cast, James, Adam, Bruce, Lawrence, Elyse and Matt are this amazing blend of niche references and tongue in cheek humour that when coupled with video games becomes a beautiful collection of hilarious nonsense that is every bit in tune with my thought train.

Trey Parker & Matt Stone

In one word I would describe the duo of Parker and Stone as 'genius'. The writers of South Park have tackled issues, topics and controversies head on and have found some hilarious clichés, tropes and devices in society that they have stretched to monumental proportions. South Park is without a doubt one of the most in-depth analyses of our world today, yet it is brilliantly masked by outrageous characters and story lines.

But I don't want to say that Parker and Stone have only done South Park. They've also written and starred in some of my favourite films: Team America and Orgazmo. Alongside a few other works of art these two films in particular have me rolling with laughter and I highly recommend you check them out.

Jim Carrey

If you grew up in the 90s and Eddie Murphy made your list then omitting Jim Carrey would be a cardinal sin. This man embodies what it meant to be a child in the 90s. Starting in In Living Color, Carrey was destined to be a superstar. It's hard to really define what makes him so brilliant but I'd often look at his commitment to absurdity and energy in his performances as a real inspiration in my own work.

To list all of his best works would just be 90% of his filmography but the special mentions have to go to Ace Ventura, Dumb & Dumber, The Mask, Me, Myself & Irene and Bruce Almighty. Every single one of these is a banger and will permanently live in my comedy library.

Monty Python

Where Jim Carrey pushed the boundaries of absurdity in the USA Monty Python had erased the boundaries in the UK. The six members of the group defined comedy for a generation and have probably influenced almost every comedian alive today.

It's hard to really pinpoint what Monty Python actually is but I'd describe it as a collection of nonsense that is thoroughly worth your time. Be it their movies, The Life of Brian and The Holy Grail, their sketches in The Flying Circus or And Now For Something Completely Different, or their work in The Meaning of Life and everything else in between they are a considerable notch on the timeline of comedy.

Mike Judge

Most likely one of the lesser known names on this list, but, to me, this man is something really special. I admire Mike Judge's work greatly because he has written some of the best pieces of comedy writing I have ever come across and to follow in his footsteps is the ultimate dream.

With his break coming through Beavis and Butthead, Judge went on to write King of the Hill and Silicon Valley, which is one of the shows I'm currently watching and loving every minute of. He also put together Idiocracy, which seems less of a comedy film and more of a documentary nowadays but it is his 1999 film that I am constantly in awe of. Office Space, starring Ron Livingstone, is an essential watch for anyone that has ever existed between the walls of an office cubicle. Go and watch it. It's a masterpiece.

Colin Mochrie & Ryan Stiles

If you know what Improv Comedy is you know who Colin Mochrie and Ryan Stiles are. If you don't, stop reading this blog and get researching. The two main stars of the US show 'Whose Line Is It Anyway?' are the lead names in improv comedy and it's easy to see why. Their commitment, speed of thought and ability to take a scene to places you never expected makes them the ultimate improvisers.

Flanked by the likes of Wayne Brady the show will always have a special place in my heart but even as a duo they have an amazing ability to make you cry with laughter. As an improviser myself, these two are my idols and every moment I was improvising I would think 'what would they do?' in order to push myself and make the scene better.

Lauren and Hardy

The third duo in this list are the duo that the other two aspire to be. Take yourself back some 70-80 years and you'll be hard pushed to find many people funnier than this pair (maybe Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin). In an era blanketed by political and social turmoil this Brit-American act became landmark figures in a changing world of cinema.

I owe my Grandad an awful lot, and introducing me to Laurel and Hardy is one of the things I am most thankful for. Their physicality, nuances, mannerisms and chemistry made them so incredibly entertaining and it's works like The Music Box, The Flying Deuces and Saps At Sea that I lapped up at every opportunity but there are countless other works, all of which deliver near perfection every time.

Robin Williams

What does it take to top a list like this? We've had social commentary, physicality, character performances, absurdity and commitment. You know who had all these and so much more? Robin Williams. Whilst this list might be heavily 90s influenced, I don't think it takes much to have this man top your list no matter which decade you were born in.

No celebrity or public figure has affected my life more than this man. So much that I still think about him once a week. It's really difficult to put into words what this man meant to me because I'm not really sure what it is, but I'm confident in knowing that the feeling is felt by millions around the globe.

His movies were everything for a child growing up. They taught us lessons; they told us to love and care for each other; they made us laugh; they made us cry; they made us appreciate being human and loving stories.

Mrs Doubtfire, Peter Banning, Alan Parrish, Genie, Sean Maguire and so many more became the characters that sculpted my childhood and instilled in me lessons and beliefs that I still carry with me today. Of course, your family, your teachers, your friends are integral to shaping your early life, but Robin Williams, to me, was just as important and all I can say is "Thank You".

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