King Billy

Connolly named funniest stand-up ever

Billy Connolly has been named the funniest stand-of all time

The Glaswegian, who ‘influenced a whole generation of comedians’ topped a poll on Channel 4, unveiled on Sunday night.

Fellow comics lined up to pay tribute, with Eddie Izzard – who came fourth in the list – saying every other comics was ’15 years behind him’.

Chris Addison said he was ‘astonishingly brilliant’, and Ross Noble added: ‘He is the best this country has produced, hands-down.’

Jimmy Carr said: ‘All comics owe him a debt. He is an incredible performer. He pretty much invented what we do for a living’ and Bruce Forsyth added: “ ‘He makes you listen to him, even with that accent, you hang on every word.’

A list of nominees was drawn up by experts, then voted upon by 150,000 visitors to the Channel 4 website.

Peter Kay ‘a stand-up who has rejuvenated end-of-the-pier humour’ was voted number two, and Eddie Izzard number three.

The programme also unearthed some rare footage, such as a young Richard Pryor when he was trying to emulate Bill Cosby’s mainstream ‘colourless' comedy, a pre-Pub Landlord Al Murray doing his old sound-effects routine, and Eddie Izzard’s first TV appearance.

The full list was:

100 - Tim Vine
99 - Patrick Kielty
98 - Alan Carr
97 - Jim Bowen
96 - Bill Cosby
95 - Lee Mack
94 - Ardal O'Hanlon
93 - Rik Mayall
92 - Paul Merton
91 - Dick Gregory
90 - Joe Pasquale
89 - George Burns
88 - Ronnie Corbett
87 - Reg D Hunter
86 - Bob Newhart
85 - Harry Enfield
84 - Demetri Martin
83 - Tommy Trinder
82 - Barry Humphries
81 - Freddie Starr
80 - Andy Kaufman
79 - Frank Carson
78 - Mitch Hedburg
77 - Chic Murray
76 - Arthur Smith
75 - Dave Gorman
74 - Dave Allen
73 - Ed Byrne
72 - Frankie Howerd
71 - John Thompson
70 - Jethro
69 - Russell Brand
68 - Lee Hurst
67 - Mike Reid
66 - Chris Addison
65 - Rhona Cameron
64 - Tommy Tiernan
63 - Alan Davies
62 - George Carlin
61 - Phil Jupitus
60 - Omid Dajilil
59 - Steve Martin
58 - Dave Spikey
57 - Julian Clary
56 - Roseanne
55 - Sean Lock
54 - Emo Phillips
53 - Tommy Cooper
52 - Jerry Seinfeld
51 - Lenny Henry
50 - Bob Hope
49 - Graham Norton
48 - Ken Dodd
47 - Jackie Mason
46 - Rob Newman
45 - Paul O'Grady
44 - Robin Williams
43 - Johnny Vegas
42 - Dara O'Briain
41 - Stewart Lee
40 - Sean Hughes
39 - Jenny Eclair
38 - Andrew Dice Clay
37 - Jim Davidson
36 - Mark Thomas
35 - Denis Leary
34 - David Baddiel
33 - Chubby Brown
32 - Steven Wright
31 - Bob Monkhouse
30 - Lenny Bruce
29 - Bernard Manning
28 - Joan Rivers
27 - Daniel Kitson
26 - Frank Skinner
25 - Steve Coogan
24 - Eddie Murphy
23 - Lee Evans
22 - Jo Brand
21 - Ben Elton
20 - Jasper Carrott
19 - Les Dawson
18 - Alexei Sayle
17 - Dylan Moran
16 - Al Murray
15 - Jerry Sadowitz
14 - Woody Allen
13 - Jack Dee
12 - Jimmy Carr
11 - Ricky Gervais
10 - Ross Noble
9 - Chris Rock
8 - Victoria Wood
7 - Bill Bailey
6 - Bill Hicks
5 - Harry Hill
4 - Richard Pryor
3 - Eddie Izzard
2 - Peter Kay
1 - Billy Connolly

Published: 18 Mar 2007

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REMOTE COMEDY FROM THE PADDOCK

It's the sort of content comedians have been pumping out from their spare rooms since lockdown began, now being given a wider audience (and hopefully some £££s) thanks to E4, which commissioned this compilation series.

Four episodes will air online at 9pm Tuesday nights, starting with this one, which features Stath Lets Flats star Jamie Demetriou, Lolly Adefope, Rosie Jones, and Australian award-winner Sam Campbell

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... including a new, free stand-up special from Funmbi Omotayo plus Standing Up For Sunny, an indie romcom about a loner with cerebral palsy who is roped into helping a comedian overcome her shyness.

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