They're dead funny

The deceased are more popular than the living

A new survey of the all-time great comedians has revealed the key to being a comedy legend. Die.

Nine of the funniest ten comics ever have all passed away, according to the new poll, with only John Cleese still alive.

Tommy Cooper, who died on stage in 1984, again topped the chart, followed by Eric Morecambe, Peter Sellers and Benny Hill.

Dawn French was the only woman to make the list, at number 19.

The poll of 4,400 people was conducted for chip-makers McCain, to publicise their sponsorship of Comic Relief.

The full list, below, comes as Channel 4 undetakes another poll to find the comedians’ comedians, to be unveiled by Jimmy Carr tonight.

  1. Tommy Cooper
  2. Eric Morecambe,
  3. Peter Sellers
  4. Benny Hill
  5. John Cleese
  6. Spike Milligan
  7. Leonard Rossiter
  8. Sid James
  9. Tony Hancock
  10. Peter Cook
  11. Ken Dodd
  12. Kenneth Williams
  13. Ricky Gervais
  14. Norman Wisdom
  15. Vic Reeves
  16. Peter Kay
  17. Rowan Atkinson
  18. Billy Connolly
  19. Dawn French
  20. Eddie Izzard

Published: 1 Jan 2005

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