Comedy is an interesting art. We watch eagerly as the funny people on stage or TV tell creative jokes, share entertaining and outrageous stories, and often make fun of people and the state of affairs around us as we laugh heartily at what is often taboo or inappropriate.
Comedians love to push the envelope, step over the line of what is considered to be politically correct, and often use 4-letter swear words as though they're going out of style. They'll do anything for a laugh and applause even if it requires being crude, mean, or otherwise offensive. Nothing seems to be off-limits, and the dirtier or more cringe-inducing their jokes are, the better.
As time has taken us to the present day, what's considered OK for comedians to do or say is becoming more and more over the top. Holding back or being polite is simply not on the menu. If a comedian doesn’t give it his or her all and go that extra mile, there's another up-and-comer who's more than eager to step up to the mic and deliver the goods.
Audiences are prepared to hear just about anything from comedians, yet we're always shocked when something super objectionable comes from their mouths. But this lunacy only makes these comedians even more popular and sought after.
Here are 15 super offensive popular comedians who have polarized audiences but whom we still seem to embrace wholeheartedly. When it comes to being funny, even the most distasteful and obnoxious comedians are getting standing ovations. Get ready to laugh as you remember some of these comedians’ most off-color moments.
15 Andrew Dice Clay
When the Brooklyn-born Andrew Dice Clay came on the scene, he attracted a particular type of audience, but as time passed, his fan base grew, and he became a big-name comedic attraction. He wore a motorcycle-style leather look on stage and gave off a “macho” man persona while delivering his off-color and usually offensive jokes. He became well-known for his own version of classic nursery rhymes, inserting curse words and lewd language whenever possible. He was opposed by many women’s groups for his dirty and sexist brand of humor, but this didn’t stop his fans -- men and women alike -- from continuing to get a big laugh from the brash and bold comedian. Clay has not only excelled at standup comedy but also been on television and the big screen. He's now 59 years old, and his comedy chops are still cutting to the core.
14 Sarah Silverman
The 46-year-old comedian, Sarah Silverman, has been in the funny business game for decades, and despite her brash and offensive style of humor, audiences are always captivated. She has no issue with tackling “inappropriate” topics in her standup routines, will talk openly about sex and religion, and isn’t afraid to bring up the topic of race. She's wildly sarcastic and often insulting, yet she pleases crowds at every turn. Not only has Silverman become a successful comedian, but she's also appeared in a number of films such as Funny People, The Book of Henry, The Muppets, and I Smile Back. Silverman famously dated TV host Jimmy Kimmel in the early 2000s, so while it lasted, that couple must have had plenty of laughs together. Don’t let her pretty looks fool you… this gal is a dirty dog on the inside!
13 Bob Saget
Remember the picture-perfect dad from the popular family TV show Full House? He was beloved for his kind and caring persona and acting talent. But did you know he’s also a comedian who's been controversial for his dark and raunchy humor, satire, political comedy, and swearing? Not the dad we saw and loved on TV! He would often talk dirty around the set of the TV show in front of the kids (allegedly). And don’t forget, this swear word-loving pop was also the host of the clean-cut America’s Funniest Home Videos. Talk about a split personality… or just a means to a hefty paycheck. Sure, comedians can cover all ends of the spectrum; it’s just hard to picture “Danny Tanner” blurting out the F-bomb! Another Saget fact: he’s the narrator voice of “Ted Mosby” on How I Met Your Mother!
12 Chelsea Handler
Chelsea Handler is a New Jersey native who's not afraid to call things as she sees them. As a close pal to Jennifer Aniston, she's berated Angelina Jolie more times than one can count in public, calling her a homewrecker, among other negative names. She's taken to social media to bare her breasts on more than one occasion and talks of her love for slugging back vodka as though it were water. She's openly talked about her sex life and romantic encounters on TV and in her books, and she publicly declares which celebs she can’t stand and would never want as guests on her show. Handler despises the Kardashians and has gone after Lindsay Lohan. Her talk show made fun of political figures, sensitive news topics, and celebs whom she simply doesn’t have a taste for. Despite her often “Debbie Downer” demeanor, fans can’t seem to get enough of Handler.
11 Louis C.K.
Comedian Louis C.K. is as popular as ever, and his talent and knack for pushing things to the very edge are exactly why fans simply can’t get enough of his brand of outrageous and mostly offensive humor. He's joked about masturbation, his kids, “white trash,” how he’s glad he's white and not black and has made gay and race-related jokes -- even jokes about 9-11. The list goes on and on, but somehow, his intelligence and delivery make his large audiences think about the humor in everyday life and learn to use laughter to come together. Of course, Louis C.K. isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but he's doing quite well with the fans he's already got! And they can’t wait to hear more from the polarizing comedian.
10 Sacha Baron Cohen
British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen will push things so extremely far that it's an utter shock he's not gotten himself into some serious trouble. With his “Ali G” persona, the comedian has gone to the extreme with joking around that some people think it's unbearably and horrifyingly offensive. He once poured ashes of who-knows-what all over the confused and surprised TV personality Ryan Seacrest during a red carpet interview and has made lewd and crude jokes about Donald Trump being infected with HIV by actor Daniel Radcliffe who plays Harry Potter. The list of Cohen’s shenanigans goes on and on, and as long as throngs of fans keep laughing along with the wild Brit, he’ll keep pulling his outlandish stunts. What’s funny to some is frightening to others, but Cohen’s getting the last laugh as he gets paid the big bucks.
9 Amy Schumer
At age 36, the blonde and bold Amy Schumer is one of the hottest female comedians in the world at the moment. Her movies are blockbusters, and her comedy shows are sold out. Her film Trainwreck was a smash and her new flick with Goldie Hawn is also drawing huge crowds. Schumer often offends her haters by talking openly about her sexual conquests and other “taboo” topics. She’s not afraid to speak her mind, no matter if what comes out of her mouth is insulting to others. But as long as the fans are laughing, she'll keep spewing her raunchy stuff and getting more and more popular with every joke. She's been accused of stealing other comedians’ jokes, but Schumer denies the accusations. Love her or hate her, Schumer is here to stay, and she'll make jokes about all sorts of things that make the crowds cringe -- she wouldn’t have it any other way.
8 Russell Brand
Just say the name Russell Brand, and the reactions you'll get from those around you will be priceless. Tons of folks are big Brand fans, but they won’t deny that the comedian frequently pushes boundaries and can be super offensive. He hails from England, but his American fan base is enormous and always expanding. He’s been in the press for his sexual promiscuity, drugs, and wild and wacky antics, but this doesn’t stop Brand from doing what he loves. He was married for a short while to pop singer Katy Perry, but it seems you can’t take the player out of the man, even a married one. Along with his off-the-wall comedic skills, Brand is an actor, author, and activist -- perhaps why he's so well received despite his often lewd and iffy behavior.
7 Kathy Griffin
56-year-old comedian Kathy Griffin has always been the subject of controversy, but her latest “joke” had plenty of people calling her out. She held up a replica of a “severed bloody head” of President Trump during a video recording, which got her fired from her gig with CNN for her annual New Year’s special. Still, plenty of fans are sticking by the comedian, but the President, along with other Griffin haters think it’s time for her head to roll. In the past, Griffin has focused the theme of many of her jokes toward picking on other celebs and the current state of affairs. She’s never been known to be particularly prim or proper, and her antics have gotten her banned from venues such as the Apollo Theater. Although she’s in some deep doo-doo at the moment, it doesn’t seem like Griffin has any intentions of shying away from the limelight.
6 Richard Pryor
Of course, the groundbreaking comedian, Richard Pryor, is no longer with us, but his legendary comedic skills and unforgettable routines will live on forever. In his day, some of the jokes he told were not typical of those of most comedians, as he examined racism and other controversial topics in his standup routines. Pryor was known for his frequent use of swear words and other vulgarities in order to get his point across, and his own brand of comedy made him stand out from the pack. What some perceived as offensive, others believed to be revolutionary, and he paved the way for many comedians who followed in his footsteps. Along with the often polarizing effects of his comedy, Pryor was controversial due to his drug habit and his many marriages and children. May the comedian rest in peace and know he made an impact on the world of comedy.
5 Daniel Tosh
Daniel Tosh is a Comedy Central staple, and his off-color and offensive humor has his fans rolling on the floor laughing. He hosts Tosh.O, and his commentary, while off-the-chart silly and controversial at times, still keeps his TV fans coming back show after show to hear what the 42-year-old says and does next. He shows ridiculous video clips and adds to the craziness of them with his input and personal take on what's in the footage. He’s not afraid to cross the line when it comes to sexuality, race, and anything one may consider politically correct. Tosh is a hoot at his standup comedy shows, and although he's obviously offensive to nearly every group of people, his fans are from all walks of life and can't seem to get enough of him. Tosh is still super lovable and fun to watch.
4 George Carlin
The famous comedian, George Carlin, passed away in 2008 at the age of 71, but his lasting legacy in the world of groundbreaking comedy will be forever relished. His intelligent social critiques, often offensive black comedy, and flair for making jokes about topics considered indecent made him a standout. He was all about taking comedy to the next level, and while he had plenty of people who criticized him, overall, the comedian was beloved and admired for his wit and quick thinking. He was famous for his “Seven words you can never say on television,” and his fans went wild over his ability to cross the line at any chance he had. Many comedians have said that Carlin was their inspiration, and these include Chris Rock, Lewis Black, Jon Stewart, Jerry Seinfeld, and Ben Stiller, to name a few.
3 Joan Rivers
Can we talk? Another unforgettable comedian we’ve lost, Joan Rivers, was a true riot who never backed down and always put herself out there. She’d make fun of anyone or anything and wasn't afraid of the aftermath. She was brassy and far from demure, and her hilarious commentary on the red carpet led her to host Fashion Police on E! at an age when most celebs had thrown in the towel. Sure, Rivers offended people left and right, but she had thousands of devoted fans of all ages who couldn’t get enough of the brash comedian. Infamous for her extensive plastic surgery, Rivers was self-deprecating and made jokes about herself before anyone else could possibly beat her to the punch. From her start as a young comedian on TV, to her stand up, to her gigs later in life, Rivers was one of a kind and is surely missed by her fans and family.
2 Ricky Gervais
Ricky Gervais’s off-color sense of humor is what his fans love best about the comedian. He hosted the Golden Globes, leaving many audience members in shock due to his outrageous one-liners and offensive joking around. But the offensiveness is what keeps the fans on the edge of their seats waiting to hear what the comedian will say next. He has famously made fun of Hollywood’s “closeted” actors and offended lots of other big-name celebs while hosting the Globes. But he keeps on getting asked back to host again, so he must be doing something right! The comedian was born in England, but Americans love his style of humor and his satirical personality. Some folks love him for his work on The Office, and he’s been on other TV shows as well. He's also acted in a number of films. Perhaps it's his devilish smile or his likeability that keeps fans interested even when he’s gone too far. But Gervais isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, so prep yourself for more offensive comedy to come!
1 Roseanne Barr
Fans loved Roseanne Barr on her TV sitcom, Roseanne, and her persona on the show gave her a huge fan base that has loved her over the years despite her many bouts of controversy. There was the time when she butchered “The Star-Spangled Banner” and caused a frenzy in the eyes of many Americans who felt her performance was insulting and unpatriotic. She's been very political and polarizing in her views outside the world of comedy as well. Her loud and obtrusive ways and raunchy jokes have caused many people to find her super obnoxious, but there are thousands of devoted Roseanne admirers who can’t get enough of Barr’s controversial and pushy style. Roseanne is coming back to TV, so the celeb surely has plenty of people who still want to watch what only she can deliver.
Sources: www.complex.com; fullredneck.com;independent.co.uk