What do you guys think about these comedians?

As it often is with comedians and comedic actors, you either like them or you hate them, how does everyone feel about the following?

Richard Pryor
John Cleese
George Carlin
Jim Carrey
Mike Myers
Robin Williams
Bill Murray
Eddie Murphy
Chris Rock


Pryor’s great, if you’ve got the videos. You really need to see what he’s doing on the stage, and the albums don’t really do him justice.

I’ve generally liked Cleese in everything.

Carlin’s gotten a little less entertaining and more obnoxious as the albums have progressed. Complaints And Grievances was a bit much. I usually buy Carlin albums unheard, but now…I don’t know that I could.

I liked Carrey in The Truman Show, and on Space Ghost Coast To Coast, but that’s about it.

Mike Myers tends to be good in an original and a broken record in sequels…see the Austin Powers or Wayne’s World series for evidence.

Robin Williams was fantastic in Garp and The Birdcage, along with quite a few other movies…I think maybe I’ve aged out of his standup, though. The hyper stuff that was so entertaining when I was 17 isn’t so amusing now at 33.

Bill Murray, Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock…loved their SNL work, but (excepting Rock) I have to be in the mood to see any movies, and I rarely am. Meaning, I don’t use Murray or Murphy as a barometer for whether or not I’ll enjoy the movie. Chris Rock’s standup has a few good moments, and I enjoy his work in the Kevin Smith films.

Out of the more current crop of standups, I like David Cross a lot, though there are some stream-of-consciousness rough spots that are a little hard to take.

Richard Pryor – Comic genius, but never came off particularly well on film (other than his concert films).

John Cleese – Also brilliant and moderately successful in film because he came from sketch comedy.

George Carlin – Another great one. But better as a standup; he can only play George Carlin.

Jim Carrey – Tries to be a crazy comedian, but isn’t all that funny. His strength, oddly enough, is as a light comedian – a charming guy. When he plays it relatively stright he shows signs of being a good romanitic lead, but as a comedian, he looks good only in comparison to Adam Sandler.

Mike Myers – Overrated. Only sporadically funny (the Austin Powers films especially).

Robin Williams – Very funny standup, and is best when able to improvise. His acting can be very good (especially when he’s not the lead), but he has a eye-rolling tendency toward cheap sentimentality on screen.

Bill Murray – Very good actor. Not a standup comedian, but probably the best of the SNL crew.

Eddie Murphy – OK on SNL, and so-so as an actor.

Chris Rock – Don’t really know enough. He was OK in “Dogma.”

Chris Rock surprised me in New Jack City and his routine in I’m Gonna Git You, Sucka was one of the funniest.

I enjoyed every single Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder buddy movies.

Eddie Murphy can be really good (48 Hours, Bowfinger, Coming to America) or incredibly bad (Vampire in Brooklyn, Holy Man, The Golden Child).

Robin Williams can make me laugh until my sides hurt or give me a great big headache and a wish to shove a few Valiums down his throat.

John Cleese was a member of Monty Python. That’s all one has to say about that.

Jim Carrey is another who can make me cringe in one movie (Me, Myself and Irene, Ace Ventura) and leave me wanting more int the next (The Truman Show, Liar, Liar).

Mike Meyers is OK and I don’t remember seeing George Carlin ever actually act.

Richard Pryor: haven’t heard as much of him as I should, but many comedians today owe him a lot. But his movies didn’t really let him do what he did best (though he co-wrote Blazing Saddles).
John Cleese: love him in Python, and he’s really good in A Fish Called Wanda. Other than that, he’s mostly gotten so-so character parts.
George Carlin: love his standup. Complaints and Grievances isn’t at all his best, but it’s damn funny when he’s on. When he’s in a movie, he usually doesn’t do much - I think he gets cast just so directors can have him around.
Jim Carrey: never cared for him, really. Decent actor, but I think he tries way too hard when he wants to be funny.
Mike Myers: he actually has some talent, but it’s so wasted sometimes. Wayne’s World was funny, the Austin Powers movies have had some real moments, but they’re getting dumber and dumber.
Robin Williams: movies just aren’t his thing. He’s good when he’s going crazy, and only Good Morning, Vietnam let him do that. THAT movie was funny… most of the rest is just sap.
Bill Murray: he’s never wowed me either way, but he can be good.
Eddie Murphy: could be very good on SNL. Everybody wants to know what’s happened since then.
Chris Rock: the New York Times commented, interestingly I thought, that he’s got a great movie in him. I think he might, and I like him as a stand-up comedian.

What do you guys think about these comedians?
As it often is with comedians and comedic actors, you either like them or you hate them, how does everyone feel about the following?

What do I think? I think, great, another chance to spread my worthless opinion on the internet! Wheeeeee!

I was going to split the list into comedians and comic actors, and then realized most are hybrid.

Richard Pryor
Gene Wilder seems to make him an actor. In other movies, he doesn’t really pull it off. A brilliant stand-up. Note to Marley23, industry gossip is that he basically wrote Blazing Saddles. Ditto Michael Keaton and Night Shift and Mister Mom. It’s too bad he was always making stupid movies to pay the stupid mistakes he made as a drug addict.

John Cleese
What the heck happened? He started selling these corporate development tapes. They’re not funny and, these days, neither is he.

George Carlin
Never struck me as more than a stoner. Was eager to hear some of his early work and be proved wrong, but it was all very on weed in the Berkshires. Don’t get it. Just don’t get it. He’s a fairly handsome man, though. Not at all bad-looking for a comic.

Jim Carrey
Agree with RealityChuck that his biggest strength is light comedy, although he was terrific in “In Living Color” sketch comedy. He’s also a strong writer, which should count for something. As far I know, his standup was mostly impressions and one-man sketches rather than jokes and monologues.

Mike Myers
One of the funniest comedic actors and sketch comics ever. Some complain that he never had the sophistication of Bill Murray (and by sophistication, I mean irony) which doesn’t seem germane. That’s not what he does. He’s warm and charming and silly and specializes in characters we can empathize with.

Robin Williams
Never, ever got his standup. Thought it was cheap and derivative (and by that I mean stolen.) Enjoyed the first half of his film career but am liking him less and less as he tries to be serious.

Bill Murray
He can do no wrong. A god-like being. He is also one of the few celebrities whose private life interests me. Do you think he is a good father and husband? Or does he leave the 400 children and their raising entirely to his traditional Catholic wife? Did I say no wrong? Of course. The Razor’s Edge never happened. Never!

Eddie Murphy
A cheap hack for a long time, using good looks and technique to get by. “Raw” is so lame. I have no idea what changed him, but by the time of Metro and Nutty Professor, Murphy was a complex and gifted comedic actor. It’s sort of horrible that by the time “Hollywood” realized that Eddie Murphy movies made gazillions of dollars, and were ready to spend umpty-billion on marketing and open wide, the movie that benefits is Daddy Daycare.

Chris Rock
Sadly, I don’t think he has what it takes as a comedic actor - I only buy him in movies and sketches cuz I love him. He is, however, a great standup and a great writer. Not sure what to make of criticisms in black press. I never saw him as selling out to the white man, even with the “when I look over my shoulder at the ATM” bit.

Richard Pryor Don’t know much about it. Never showed up very prominently on my radar.

John Cleese Basil Fawlty (not John Cleese) happens to be my personal role model. As for Cleese, he’s a very intelligent man who lucked out with Python, made his money from Video Arts, and had one great movie in him (Wanda). Hasn’t done anything worthwhile for ages, and ‘Fierce Creatures’ was awful.

George Carlin Virtually unknown over here in Brit-land.

Jim Carrey Talented guy with patent rights on hyper-zany comedy characters. Everyone said he proved himself as a serious actor with ‘Truman’ and maybe everyone’s right, but I didn’t care for either it or him.

Mike Myers As funny as a cancer diagnosis written in braille. Teenage toilet humour elevated to cult status, and I’ll never understand why.

Robin Williams Genius. ‘Live At The Met’ is IMHO the single greatest stand-up comedy performance ever.

Bill Murray Naturally funny guy, doesn’t always get the right vehicle for his talents. I’m pleased he’s had the hits he’s had, but he’s had his share of clunkers too.

Eddie Murphy Over-rated, nothing more than John the Baptist to Chris Rock.

Chris Rock Genius. Wondrous. Awesome. I’ve listened to his albums more often than I can remember, and there is nothing out there to match him. He’s in a league of his own.

Richard Pryor: I liked his movies okay, but didn’t see anything terribly special in them. Unfortunetly, I’m not familiar with his stand up except by reputation.

John Cleese: Brilliant actor. Heck, brilliant man in general. I think he teaches at Oxford. Hasn’t been in anything really great recently, but I think that’s because he’s semi-retired. Still, his work in Monty Python and A Fish Called Wanda was superb.

George Carlin: Used to be a great stand up, but I think he’s burned out. Not a very good actor at all. Tends to only appear in movies so that he can deliver a monologue from his stand up routine.

Jim Carrey: I’d like to see him distance himself more from comedy. He’s not a bad comedian, but I think he has the potential to be an excellent actor. As much as I loved Dumb and Dumber (and God help me, I do love it so) I think his comedy roles are holding him back from his real potential.

Mike Myers: Not a great comedian, but a very solid talent. Wish he’d stop milking the Austin Powers franchise. The first was great, but the second was just a rehash of all the jokes from the first.

Robin Williams: Has-been. Should have got out of the business ten years ago, before he destroyed his reputation.

Bill Murray: For my money, the single funniest person to ever come out of SNL. Good actor, great comedian. The Pineapple dance from The Man Who Knew Too Little alone secures his place in comedic history.

Eddie Murphy: Very hit or miss. Seems to only make good movies when he’s not popular. Look for the next really good Eddie Murphy movie sometime in 2020.

Chris Rock: Funniest stand up working today. As an actor, not so hot. His screen persona seems pretty much limited to his stand up persona. However, this might not be his fault. He did a great job in Nurse Betty. including one of the most disturbing death scenes I’ve ever witnessed. Chris Rock fatally gut shot and screaming for his daddy gave me the shudders for weeks. I think in the right role he could really take off.

Hoping this doesn’t double post…

Richard Pryor - never saw him do standup, but I love his films with Gene Wilder

John Cleese - check my username, then ask me what I think of a member of Monty Python. He wrote the famous Dead Parrot Sketch and the fantastic Argument Sketch. Not to mention “A Fish Called Wanda” for which Kevin Kline won an Oscar in a role written specifically for him (or so I’ve heard).

George Carlin - never impressed me much, rather indifferent to his stand up. He can be funny, but for the most part he comes off as just a grumpy old fart.

Jim Carrey - at his best when he’s not doing his over-the-top Ace Ventura type crap. As said earlier, he’s much better in light comedy.

Mike Myers - has some decent stuff (Wayne’s World and Austin Powers) but should stay away from sequels.

Robin Williams - one of my favorites. I love watching him improvise. A great comedian who can also be a great actor (Awakenings, One Hour Photo)

Bill Murray - Stripes and Ghostbusters are classic comedies and I thought he was very good in Rushmore, aside from that, he’s been hit and miss I think.

Eddie Murphy - Outstanding stand up (until he got too big) and made some great films (Beverly Hills Cop, 48 Hrs) Another guy who should stay away from sequels though (Beverly Hills Cop 2 & 3, Another 48 Hrs, Nutty Professor 2)

Chris Rock - not impressed with him as an actor (aside from his Kevin Smth stints - I loved his bit in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back), but as a standup, I think he’s great.

Pryor: Unfortunately, I haven’t dealt with that much of his stand-up work (though I liked that quite a bit), and his movies tend to annoy me.

Cleese: One of the greats, but hasn’t been up to snuff in recent years, probably due to doing too much.

Carlin: Love him, but, sadly, as he grows older, he’s gotten to be obnoxious. Can’t act his way out of a paper bag, but I doubt he cares about that.

Carrey: I’ve never liked him, in any of his career modes.

Myers: Talented, but he seems to be heading towards burnout.

Williams: A trifecta. I don’t like his standup, I don’t like his comedic acting, and I don’t like his dramatic acting.

Murray: Haven’t dealt with enough of his material to make a useful judgement.

Murphy: Great on SNL, but his film work is so-so at best.

Rock: Great monolinguist, but not an actor.

All are very talented except for Jim Carrey who is CRAP.

I’d rather watch Carrot Top, whom I loathe.

Richard Pryor
John Cleese
George Carlin
Mike Myers
Eddie Murphy
Chris Rock

I think they’re all funny guys. George Carlin was better in the 70s when he was doing drugs. He’s sort of run out of steam. I’m not faulting him, though - I think you’d have to be super-human to be consistently funny for over 30 years.

I liked Mike Myers on SNL, and the first Austin Powers movie was great. But I think he’s run out of steam, too.

Robin Williams
Bill Murray
Jim Carrey

I actually consider all 3 of these guys to be better actors than they are comedians. I don’t care for Robin Williams manic improv stuff most of the time, but he was great in more serious stuff like Goodwill Hunting. And I never thought Bill Murray was funny, but I think he did a great job as the mob boss in Mad Dog & Glory, and was also good in Groundhog Day. Jim Carrey has had a couple good movies, but he tends to overdo it, especially when he’s trying to be funny. That Ace Ventura stuff was just garbage.

Anyone else like to offer their opinion?