This Mount Rushmore was not easy. How do you come up with four names to be on the Mount Rushmore of stand-up comedians? First of all, comedy is so subjective anyone’s list would be just as valid as anyone else’s. You’re the only judge of what you think is funny. Second, there are so many legendary, influential and beloved comics it would really take 10 or 20 Mt. Rushmore’s to do justice.

Here’s the criteria we used when compiling our list.

  • Influence. We looked for comics who other comics named as major inspirations.
  • Originality. Being unique and ground-breaking definitely added points.
  • Funny. That should go without saying.

Oh, and also...

  • Not currently in prison for multiple sex crimes. That was a big factor. Bill Cosby probably would have made this list if not for all the “rhymes with grapes”.

So, here is our final list of the Mount Rushmore of Stand Up Comedians.

  • Richard Pryor—influenced everyone from Eddie Murphy to Eddie Griffin…and lots of other comics NOT named Eddie.
  • George Carlin---a genius at pointing out the absurd. Also, one of the greatest at deconstructing language to humorous effect.
  • Eddie Murphy—the closest a comedian has ever been to being a rock star. That was Eddie.
  • Jerry Seinfeld---observational wit at its finest and most well-crafted. The way his premises are set up and punch-lines delivered are a real master-class in how to construct comedy.

Yes, we realize we made some glaring omissions. Who would you have replaced and with whom?