13 Great ‘90s Comedians That Are Still Out There Doing It

Andrew Dice Clay didn’t make the cut
13 Great ‘90s Comedians That Are Still Out There Doing It

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Hey ‘90s kids, not all of your beloved comedy acts from the grunge decade are still going strong. A sad number of favorites, such as Mitch Hedberg, Garry Shandling, Bill Hicks and Norm Macdonald, have passed away. Others who got huge in the 1990s, like Andrew Dice Clay and Roseanne Barr, stumbled into the new century. But several comedians who rose to prominence during the decade are still rocking the mic. Here are 13 superstars from the 1990s who show no signs of slowing down… 

David Cross

One-half of the most important comedy show of the 1990s, Mr. ShowDavid Cross cruised into the 2000s with the successes of Tobias Fünke on Arrested Development and multiple Grammy nominations for Best Comedy Album. He also starred in Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Sequel, but we’re going to let that slide. He’s got a new comedy special on Veeps and is currently hanging with comics on his podcast, Senses Working Overtime with David Cross.

Bob Odenkirk

And now, the other half of the Mr. Show dynamic duo. Want to make the case that no 1990s comedian has done better than Odenkirk in the 21st century? You’d have a pretty good argument, with six Emmy nominations for his roles in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul as evidence. Somehow, the guy also turned himself into an unlikely action star, kicking ass in Nobody. Is this the year we finally get to see Odenkirk’s dramatic remake of so-bad-it’s-hilarious movie The Room?

Margaret Cho

Currently on her Live and Livid tour, at least her 10th tour since 2000, Cho’s stand-up career shows no signs of stopping. In a career full of funhouse choices, only Cho could have scored an Emmy nomination for playing Kim Jong-il on 30 Rock. She has a loyal following among a new generation of Asian comedians, including Ali Wong, Joel Kim Booster and Bowen Yang, who credit Cho for breaking barriers. 

Chris Rock

With Bring the Pain and Bigger and Blacker, stand-up comedy didn’t get bigger than Chris Rock in the 1990s. Since then? Don’t know if you heard, but he got slapped at the Oscars. That led to 2023’s Selective Outrage, the first-ever live comedy special on Netflix. He’s still hitting the clubs but seems to be focusing on a career as a movie director with a Martin Luther King biopic and a remake of Danish Academy Award winner Another Round on his calendar. 

Adam Sandler

The king of 1990s movie comedy continued hitting it out of the park in the 2000s, parlaying that box office success into a huge Netflix paycheck to make whatever he wants with Rob Schneider and Jennifer Aniston. The guy doesn’t have an Oscar nomination, but he’s laughing all the way to the bank as the highest-paid actor in Hollywood. Somehow, he still found a way to return to stand-up last year with his 25-city I Missed You tour

Jon Stewart

Before he dominated the world with The Daily Show, Jon Stewart spent the 1990s doing stand-up on Letterman and hosting his own talk show on MTV. After the century turned, he saved democracy on Comedy Central, blah blah blah. Now he’s returned to see if he can do it again — but only on Mondays this time around. 

Maria Bamford

Maria Bamford started her stand-up career in the late 1990s, instantly becoming a late-night favorite. In the 2000s, she hooked up with Patton Oswalt on the Comedians of Comedy tour (and TV show and documentary), headlined Lady Dynamite and wrote a 2023 New York Times best-seller, Sure, I’ll Join Your Cult: A Memoir of Mental Illness and the Quest to Belong Anywhere

Drew Carey

Carey knocked it out of the park on his first 1990s Carson appearance, then parlayed his successful stand-up into The Drew Carey Show, a monster hit that’s inexplicably missing from the streaming services. He swung into the new millennium by hosting Whose Line Is It Anyway?, the improv reality show that chugged along for 19 seasons. Next, Carey rode that hosting gig straight into The Price Is Right, a job that might not be comedically satisfying but pays well enough to have bought hundreds of thousands of dollars in free burgers for striking writers last year. 

Ray Romano

Ray Romano embodied the 1990s stand-up comic’s dream: Land a spot on Letterman, kill, then sign a sitcom deal with Worldwide Pants. Everybody Loves Raymond lasted until the mid-2000s, then Romano took on a number of challenging acting roles in projects as varied as The Big Sick, Mick Jagger’s Vinyl and Martin Scorcese’s The Irishman. Gotta admit, I didn’t see that coming.

Kathy Griffin

Another founding member of the 1990s alt-comedy scene, Griffin roared into the 2000s with a mindbending number of stand-up specials, earning a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for most specials on a single network (16 for Bravo). Her reality show, My Life On the D-List took home two Emmys and her extremely durable comedy career chugged along until an ill-advised post on social media led to a slew of canceled bookings. Despite health challenges, Griffin is back on the road again with her My Life on the PTSD-List tour. 

Steve Harvey

Steve Harvey and his leather pants made a splash in the 1990s as host of It’s Showtime at the Apollo and part of the record-breaking Original Kings of Comedy tour. With apologies to Howard Stern, Harvey used his ’90s comedy success to become the real King of All Media, hosting a long-running morning radio show, writing the best-selling Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man and asking America for the top seven answers to the question, “Who has been on every cable channel simultaneously for the past 10 years?”

”Weird Al” Yankovic

“Weird Al” was doing it in the 1980s. He was doing it in the 1990s. He was doing it in the 2000s and 2010s. Weird: The Al Yankovic Story won the 2023 Emmy for Oustanding Television Movie. “Weird Al” is forever. 


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