Home to an unending number of talented individuals, our city has raised some of the most brilliant comedians, and here are the top 10 comedians from Philadelphia.
An accomplished comedian, actor and producer, Kevin Hart grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Some of his better-known work includes movies like Ride Along, and his 2011 stand-up comedy tour, Laugh At My Pain. The Philadelphia native began his career in comedy at a young age, as he used tough experiences from childhood to fuel his post-high-school material. After a difficult start performing his routine for countless comedy clubs in this city, Hart eventually took home several awards from stand-up competitions. This, along with assistance in fine-tuning his act from seasoned comedian Keith Robinson, launched his successful career in the industry.
An Upper Darby native, Tina Fey, attended High School just outside of Philadelphia. She graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in drama and continued her career performing improve at The Second City in Chicago. Following the improviser’s time in Illinois, she began working as a writer and actress for Saturday Night Live. Additionally, Fey has worked on movies like Mean Girls and TV shows such as 30 Rock and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt since. The comedian’s autobiography, “Bossypants,” received rave reviews from The New York Times and gave audiences insight into this talented and relatable woman’s life. This accomplished writer currently works on several projects, like her Netflix series, and lives with her husband and two kids.
Adored actor, writer, and comedian, David Brenner lived in South and West Philadelphia, where he earned the titles of class president and class comedian in high school. After serving in the U.S. Army, he attended Temple University, earning a degree in Mass Communications. Among other projects, the Emmy-award-winning comedian holds the highest record of appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, wrote several books, and directed and produced upwards of 100 television documentaries. Brenner passed away in March of 2014 after a long battle with cancer, and remains highly-revered in the industry.
Jacobson calls Wayne, Pennsylvania, just outside of Philadelphia, home. After graduating with a degree Fine Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art, she performed her comedy show “Welcome to Camp” in LA and New York. The comic built her career utilizing her humor skills in acting and writing, working for movies such as Neighbors 2. She helped create the web series, Broad City, with Ilana Glazer, and the two currently perform a live version of the show in New York. Jacobson’s accomplishments include working on College Humor projects, and continuing to work on Broad City Live in New York, bringing unique comedy to the city.
Larry Fine, born in Philadelphia, acted as one of The Three Stooges alongside Moe Howard and Ted Healy. His love for performing began when he started playing violin for crowds as a teen, which originally started as a doctor-recommended exercise for injured muscles in his arm. He continued to perform, acting in several vaudeville shows, one of which became The Three Stooges. In 1975, Fine passed away after health complications including several strokes. A mural honoring Fine, depicting him playing the violin, remains painted on South Street in Philadelphia.
Known for his satirical humor, Glass started his career at the young age of 16 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The funnyman’s career consists of performances with comics such as Jack Black and David Spade, and stints in several comedy festivals such as the Montreal Just For Laughs Festival. Glass acted in shows such as “Friends”, “The Test”, and “Home Improvement.” In 2012, the Philadelphia native appeared on Marc Maron’s podcast, “WTF”, and powerfully came out after several decades working in comedy.
Coca’s mother worked in vaudeville, and her father worked in a Philadelphia opera house, raising her as a native to the world of performance. She began her career in performance by practicing dance for years in Manhattan. She worked alongside Sid Caesar in comedic shows such as the “Admiral Broadway Revue,” and “Your Show of Shows,” on NBC, which she received an Emmy for. Coca entertained with her comedic and lively performances, and passed away in 2001 of natural causes.
The Full House star grew up in Philadelphia and attended Abington Senior High School. Following high school, Saget attended Temple University, where he belonged to a comedy group. He continued his love for comedy performing stand up shows in Los Angeles, networking and exploring different avenues for his career. The actor built his career acting, producing, directing and narrating for shows like How I Met Your Mother. The Temple University alum continues to work on his comedy, and several movies.
A Philadelphia native, Nangle graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. She performed improv with a group called Hustebot in Pittsburgh, launching her comedic career. This witty woman has worked as a staff writer for Saturday Night Live, and as a writer for the Comedy Central series Inside Amy Schumer. Nangle has also written for The Kroll Show, and acted in comedic series as well. She also writes for an internet sketch group Bobby Chicago, and spends her time living and working in LA and New York.
Alum of Temple University, Pat House has performed comedy for upwards of 10 years. He has entertained in Philadelphia comedy clubs such as Helium, and performed alongside people like Marc Maron and Sebastian Maniscalco. The talented and relatable comic will play a vital role in Founding Footsteps’ new tour, centering around the Philadelphia comedy scene in August, so be sure to lookout for that!
Post Contributed by: Marissa Roney