Any aspiring stand-up comic (or even the most seasoned pro) will tell you that it’s difficult to get on a stage in front of a crowd of people, some of them in desperate need of a laugh and some three sheets to the wind. Telling jokes, testing new material, handling hecklers, bouncing back from a bomb, working for chump change, getting TKO’d on Comedy Knockout – it’s a pretty stressful and wild ride for a stand-up comic.
But what about the actors who play stand-up comics in movies and television shows? Is it easier for them to play the role, knowing that they’re not actually at risk of being booed off stage? Or is it harder because they need to nail the mannerisms and style just right to give us the authentic feel of watching a comic kill or be killed? We’ll let the performances be the judge, as we rank our favorite fictional stand-up comics on how they’d make it as the real deal.