Think you come from a funny state?  Check out this cross-country comedy tour to discover the most hilarious person from your neck of the woods.  (Note: We’re going with the states where funny people were born, not necessarily the states they’re most associated with.)


While TV comedy innovator Garry Shandling grew up here, he was born in Illinois.  We’ll take sarcastic David Spade over stand-up Robert Schimmel and fellow SNL alum Aidy Bryant. 

Columbia Pictures


How about Little Rock’s Matt Besser


It’s an embarrassment of riches in the Golden State, with contenders Margaret Cho, Gabriel Iglesias, Chris Kattan, Maria Bamford, George Lopez, Laraine Newman, Paul Rodriguez, and Jason Segel.  We’ll go with
Cho , who hit it big as an Asian female comic when that definitely was not a thing. 


We love Bob’s Burgers’ Kristen Schaal, but we’re giving the trophy to Denver’s Tim Allen, whose Home Improvement was bigger than you remember. Remembered forever for his iconic work in the Toy Stories.



Lots of funny in the Constitution State, home to TV sitcom legend Norman Lear, queen of the rom-coms Meg Ryan, M*A*S*H’s Gary Burghoff, The Honeymooner’s Art Carney, and Family Guy mastermind Seth Macfarlane.  We’ll go with Christopher Lloyd, who created two iconic comedy characters --
Taxi’s Jim Ignatowski and this gem from


Funny ladies abound in the Aloha State, including Being the Ricardo’s Nicole Kidman (no kidding, born in Honolulu) and


Peoria’s Richard Pryor. Next. (OK, honorable mentions to a murderers’ row of comedy, including Bill Murray, Robin Williams, John and Jim Belushi, John Mulaney, Bob Newhart, Jack Benny, Shelley Berman, Garry Shandling, Dick Van Dyke, Betty White, Bob Odenkirk, Nick Offerman,
SNL’s Beck Bennett, Nora Dunn, Cecily Strong, Horatio Sanz, and Seth Meyers, Bernie Mac, Sebastian Maniscalco, Jane Lynch, Hannibal Buress, Jeff Garlin, Kathy Griffin, Amy Sedaris, Harvey Korman, Natasha Leggero, Reno 911’s Thomas Lennon, Andy Richter, Craig Robinson, and Frank Caliendo.  Illinois, you’re the funniest state, and it isn’t even close.)

Columbia Pictures


Your runners-up are Mike Epps, Red Skelton, and Midwestern-pale Jim Gaffigan. And your Indiana Comedy King? The pride of Indianapolis and Ball State University, David Letterman.


Lots of singles and doubles hitters, including Tom Arnold, Ashton Kutcher, Jerry “The Beaver” Mathers, I Love Lucy’s William Frawley,
Simpsons stalwart Marcia Wallace, The Tonight Show’s Steve Higgins, SNL’s Brooks Whelan, and from The Love Boat and Congress, Fred Grandy.  We’ll take Cloris Leachman, star of Mary Tyler Moore Show spin-off Phyliss as well as several Mel Brooks classics.


Overland Park’s favorite son, Paul Rudd, gets the nod in a surprisingly strong state, winning over Second City improv icon Del Close, Ted Lasso’s Jason Sudeikis, Buster Keaton, Fatty Arbuckle, Modern Family’s Eric Stonestreet, and Cheers’ Kirstie Alley.

Warner Bros.


Even if she’s mean to her staff, there’s no denying Ellen DeGeneres is funny.  She beats out original
SNL cast member Garrett Morris, Night Court Emmy winner John Larroquette, and Tyler “Madea” Perry. Special shout-out to The Room’s Tommy Wiseau, who claims he’s from Louisiana but is actually from Mars.


Maryland is an amazing state for straight-up stand-up comics. We’ll go with the acerbic Lewis Black
narrowly lapping a field that includes Martin Lawrence, Whitney Cummings, Judah Friedlander, and Wayne Federman.


Buckle up -- the Bay State boasts half of the cast of The Office, including Steve Carell, Mindy Kaling, BJ Novak, and John Krasinski.  There are also comedy heavyweights Conan O’Brien, Amy Poehler, Steven Wright, Mike Birbiglia, Bill Burr, Penn Jillette, Rachel Dratch, Denis Leary, Gary Gulman, Pete Holmes, Dane Cook, and disgraced comic Louis C.K. For 2022, we’re crowning Bo Burnham

Universal Television


Live from Michigan, it’s Gilda Radner, besting funny folks Lily Tomlin (this was a close one), Sandra Bernhard, Ken Jeong, Dave Coulier, and Byron Allen.



Who else but St. Paul’s Louie Anderson


For a state that’s home to comedy haven Las Vegas, the best it can do is Gilligan’s Island’s
Dawn Wells and Thomas Ian Nicholas, one of the only guys who did not have sex with baked goods in the American Pie movies.

New Jersey

While you can make an argument for Jon Stewart, Jerry Lewis, Janeane Garafalo, Joe Rogan, Chelsea Handler, Richard Lewis, Ernie Kovacs, Artie Lange, Jeff Ross, Joe Piscopo, Bill Maher, or Marc Maron, we’re voting for the double dip of Abbott and Costello, who are both from New Jersey.


New Mexico

Jay Roach (director of the Austin Powers and

New York

Illinois, you’ve got some competition, with Jerry Seinfeld, Don Rickles, Woody Allen, Lucille Ball, George Carlin, Rodney Dangerfield, Mae West, Jimmy Fallon, the Marx Brothers, Pete Davidson, Danny Devito, most of the Three Stooges, Kevin James, Colin Jost, Jay Leno, Demetri Martin, Amy Schumer, Joan Rivers, Kate McKinnon, and Adam Sandler vying for the honor of Funniest Person from New York.  Your mileage may vary, but we’re taking Eddie Murphy. 

Paramount Pictures


Super-solid comedy state, home to Drew “Cleveland Rocks” Carey, Vanessa Bayer, Arsenio Hall, Molly Shannon, Katt Williams, Martin Mull, Father Guido Sarducci, Tim Conway, Phyliss Diller, Nikki Glaser and Danny Thomas. With apologies to generational icons Jonathan Winters and Bob Hope, it comes down to a tussle between family-friendly Kenan Thompson and not-so-family-friendly Dave Chappelle. When we look back,


Modern Family’s Ty Burrell and Bugs Bunny voice Mel Blanc are in the running, but your winner is
Simpsons creator and Portland native Matt Groening.


Twenty years ago, it’s Bill Cosby. Today, among Michael Keaton, Tim Heidecker, Dennis Miller, Elaine May, Bob Saget, Will Smith, Gillian Jacobs, Anthony Jeselnick, Cheri Oteri, Charles Grodin, Seth Green, David Brenner, and Jeff Goldblum, your Funniest Pennsylvanian is Kevin Hart

Universal Pictures

Rhode Island

Break out two trophies for the directors of Dumb and Dumber and

West Virginia

It’s hard to imagine a weirder fight than Don Knotts vs. Steve Harvey


Caspar’s Jim J Bullock was a hit on Too Close for Comfort and a sassy stalwart on Hollywood Squares.

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