The 2010s brought forth a new wave of stand-up comedy, captivating audiences with its diverse voices, bold perspectives, and razor-sharp wit. From established legends pushing boundaries to rising stars breaking molds, the comedic landscape of the decade was rich with talent and innovation.
In this article, we celebrate the 12 best stand-up comedians who left an indelible mark on the comedy world during the 2010s. These artists captivated audiences with their unique styles, fearless storytelling, and ability to elicit laughter while tackling subjects ranging from relationships and social issues to personal experiences and cultural commentary.
John Mulaney is a stand-up comedian known for his witty storytelling and impeccable comedic timing. With a unique blend of charm and observational humor, Mulaney’s performances often revolve around his personal experiences growing up and navigating adulthood. His sharp writing and animated delivery have earned him critical acclaim, resulting in numerous comedy specials and a dedicated fan base. Mulaney’s ability to find humor in the mundane and deliver it with a combination of self-deprecation and clever wordplay has solidified his place as one of the most beloved comedians of the 2010s.
Dave Chappelle is an iconic stand-up comedian known for his fearless and thought-provoking approach to comedy. With a distinct blend of social commentary, satire, and sharp wit, Chappelle tackles sensitive topics with intelligence and humor. His ability to provoke laughter while delving into complex issues such as race, politics, and social norms has made him a legendary figure in the comedy world. Chappelle’s unique style, coupled with his ability to captivate audiences with compelling storytelling and unparalleled stage presence, has cemented his status as one of the most influential comedians of the 2010s.
Ali Wong is a trailblazing comedian known for her unabashed and unapologetic comedic style. Her performances often center around her experiences as a woman, motherhood, and cultural identity. Wong fearlessly tackles taboo subjects with sharp wit, offering a refreshing and empowering perspective. Her raunchy yet intelligent humor challenges societal norms and stereotypes, resonating with audiences worldwide. Wong’s ability to blend humor with insightful social commentary and her unapologetic delivery have established her as a powerful voice in the comedy industry.
Bo Burnham is a multi-talented comedian, musician, and actor who gained prominence during the 2010s. Known for his innovative and unconventional approach to comedy, Burnham combines stand-up, music, and theatrical elements to create compelling performances. His razor-sharp wit, clever wordplay, and satirical commentary on modern life have earned him critical acclaim. Burnham’s ability to seamlessly integrate comedy and music, along with his introspective and self-reflective style, sets him apart as a truly unique and boundary-pushing comedian.
Hannah Gadsby is an Australian comedian whose thought-provoking and groundbreaking performances have made a significant impact on the comedy scene. With her critically acclaimed special “Nanette,” Gadsby broke conventions by challenging the traditional format of stand-up comedy. Her deeply personal and poignant storytelling explores themes such as gender, sexuality, trauma, and mental health. Gadsby’s ability to combine vulnerability with sharp humor has resonated with audiences worldwide and sparked important conversations about representation and the power of storytelling.
Amy Schumer is a fearless comedian known for her bold and unfiltered approach to comedy. With her irreverent humor, Schumer fearlessly tackles topics such as relationships, sexuality, and body image. Her candid and self-deprecating style, along with her knack for turning taboo subjects into hilarious anecdotes, has garnered her widespread acclaim. Schumer’s ability to infuse her comedy with social commentary and her unapologetic delivery have made her a prominent and influential figure in the comedy landscape.
Read more: Best Stand Up Comedians of the 1990s
Aziz Ansari is a comedian, actor, and writer known for his witty and relatable style. His performances often explore themes of love, relationships, and the challenges of modern life. Ansari’s observational humor and ability to capture the nuances of human interactions with charm and authenticity have resonated with audiences. With his unique blend of storytelling and sharp punchlines, Ansari has carved out a niche as a top comedian of the 2010s, capturing the spirit of a generation grappling with the complexities of the digital age.
Jim Gaffigan is a stand-up comedian celebrated for his clean and family-friendly humor. With his signature deadpan delivery and witty observations about food, laziness, and everyday life, Gaffigan has become one of the most recognizable and beloved comedians of the 2010s. His relatable and lighthearted comedy appeals to a wide range of audiences, and his ability to find humor in the mundane has made him a go-to comedian for clean and accessible laughs.
Kevin Hart is a dynamic and energetic comedian who has achieved tremendous success during the 2010s. Known for his charismatic stage presence and animated storytelling, Hart’s performances often center around his personal life experiences and the challenges of relationships, family, and self-improvement. His ability to connect with audiences through relatable humor and infectious energy has made him a superstar in the comedy world. Hart’s dedication to his craft and his ability to transcend cultural boundaries have solidified his position as one of the most influential and commercially successful comedians of the decade.
Tig Notaro is a highly acclaimed stand-up comedian known for her unique and honest storytelling style. Her comedy often delves into personal experiences, including her battle with cancer, which she famously addressed during a legendary set in 2012. Notaro’s dry wit and deadpan delivery have resonated with audiences, earning her praise for her raw and intimate performances.
Mike Birbiglia is a masterful storyteller who combines comedy and personal anecdotes to create compelling and hilarious performances. Known for his one-man shows, Birbiglia seamlessly weaves together narratives, often drawing from his own life experiences, to create relatable and thought-provoking comedy. His ability to capture the essence of everyday situations and convey them with sincerity and humor has solidified his reputation as a top comedian of the 2010s.
Natasha Leggero is a comedian with a sharp and witty comedic style. Her stand-up routines often feature biting social commentary and observations about modern culture, relationships, and gender dynamics. With her impeccable timing and sardonic delivery, Leggero has built a reputation for her acerbic wit and ability to tackle controversial topics with intelligence and humor. Her distinct comedic voice has made her a standout performer in the comedy scene.