10. Chris Lilley
Born: 10th November, 1974
A man who should need no introduction, Chris Lilley has been lighting up our screens with his witty and wacky sketch comedy since his TV debut the Big Bite in 2003 on the 7 Network. Moving to the ABC, Lilley soon hit his straps with We Can Be Heroes and then blew the roof off Australian Comedy TV with his hit show Summer Heights High in 2007. Lilley plays a variety of characters in his shows and his instinct for impersonation and character acting sets him apart from pretty much every other Australian comedian. He's not without his critics though; his character Jonah from Tonga aroused accusations of racism (with some people accusing Lilley of using "blackface" to portray the Tongan protagonist) and of reinforcing negative stereotypes of Tongan youth.
9 - Magda Szubanski
Born: 12th April, 1961
Truly one of Australia's all-time comedy greats is Magda Szubanski. There can't be anyone in Australia who hasn't been touched by her comedic brilliance. The talented sketch comedy writer and actor came to our screens as part of the cutting edge comedy troupe The D-generation on the ABC. Perhaps Australia's greatest TV show, Kath & Kim propelled Magda and her colleagues to even greater heights with her character Sharon Strzlecki being one of the shining lights in that classic Aussie comedy. A prominent advocate for same-sex marriage, Szubanski was made an officer for the Order Of Australia for her service to the performing arts.
8 - Tommy Little
Born: 23rd February, 1985
Another stand-up star who's made a successful transition to TV and radio is Tommy Little who's a regular on Channel 10's The Project and the co-host of the Carrie & Tommy show (with Carrie Bickmore) on the Hit Network. That's not to say Tommy's left stand-up behind; he bought his witty, quick fire delivery back to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in 2019 with his show 'Self Diagnosed Genius'.
7 - Lawrence Mooney
Born: 22nd April, 1965
Lawrence Mooney is a comedy jack-of-all trades who's been a regular on Australian radio and TV for years and whom many claim is Australia's funniest man. His quick wit and measured delivery has earned him a place in the upper echelons of The Australian comedy scene. The Sydney Morning Herald said of Mooney, 'A fierce and fearless hunter of the funny who deserves his reputation as a master of the form.' It's this instinctive knack for being funny that's established Mooney as a popular commercial radio star. He can be heard hosting the comedy breakfast show, 'Moonman In The Morning' on Triple M, Sydney.
6 - Claire Hooper
Born: 5th September, 1976
One of the most beloved female comedians on The Australian stand-up scene is Claire Hooper. The Perth-born writer, stand-up comedian and TV presenter is renowned for her creatively staged shows and is a mainstay of festivals such as Melbourne International Comedy Festival. There's a warmth in Hooper's humour that has endeared her to stand-up fans across the country with a mix of wry observation and deadpan delivery. Hooper has long been a regular on Aussie TV with numerous appearances. These days she's also the co-host on the Great Australian Bake-Off on Lifestyle.
5 - Adam Hills
Born: 10th July, 1970
Loveable Logie Award winner Adam Hills has been been killing it in stand-up since the late eighties and since 1997 has written and toured ten different award-winning shows across the globe. He's also been nominated several times for the Edinburgh Comedy Awards. He's an Aussie TV icon, first hitting our screens as the host of ABC hit music quiz, Spicks & Specks before branching out for his Logie Award-winning talk show Adam Hills Tonight. Adam is a huge star in the UK where his good natured Aussie humour has found a second home, his show The Last Leg is hugely popular. Hills was born with without a right foot and wears a prosthetic limb, a fact he often talks about in his act.
4 - Dave Hughes
Born: 26th November, 1970
Affable Aussie larrikin, Dave Hughes has been treading the stand-up stage since the early 90's when he made his debut in Perth whilst working as a bricklayer. The past 25 years has seen Hughes become firmly entrenched not only as a legend of Aussie comedy but also as an Australian TV and radio superstar. In 2007, Hughes courted controversy when, whilst co-hosting the Logie Awards, he referred to Kyle Sandilands as a 'massive dickhead' and a feud broke out between the two with Sandilands threatening to punch Hughes if they ever crossed paths. Hughes' latest TV gig is as one of the judges on The Masked Singer.
3 - Tim Minchin
Born: 7th October, 1975
Tim Minchin is known for biting satire that's drenched with beautifully crafted music, creating a unique take on the musical comedy genre. He once said of his comedy, in typical self effacing fashion, 'I'm a good musician for a comedian and I'm a good comedian for a musician but if I had to do any of them in isolation, I dunno'. In truth, though Minchin is a master of both. Onstage, barefoot, with his wild rock and roll hair and eye makeup he cuts quite a figure. In 2018, after a seven year hiatus, the Perth-raised comedian announced he would return to the stage with a new tour; BACK. He's currently touring Australia before Minchin takes his show overseas in late 2019.
2 - Hannah Gadsby
Born: 12th January, 1978
The award winning comedian Hannah Gadsby is known for her mercurial talent as a writer, TV presenter and stand up comedian. Growing up in rural Tasmania and then moving to the mainland, Gadsby came to comedy by way of her diagnosis for ADHD and autism. Breaking out in 2006 as the winner of Raw Comedy in Adelaide, Gadsby soon found her feet on the world stage wowing critics at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival later that year. It was her Emmy award winning 2018 Netflix special Nanette that really propelled her to international stardom and enhanced her status as an icon. 'Standup is, at its core, about an understanding of the power of shared space.' said renowned critic Jane Howard, 'Nanette takes that shared space and bursts it open.'
1 - Jim Jefferies
Born: 14th February, 1977
For the past few years, Jim Jefferies has been without doubt the biggest name in Australian comedy. He's a genuine A-list star whose late-night talk and satire show on Comedy Central, the Jim Jefferies Show, entered its third season in 2019. Jefferies (real name Geoff James Nugent) broke out when the gun control sketch from his Netflix special, Bare, went viral in 2014. Since then he’s become a regular, and sometimes outspoken, commentator on political issues. He caused controversy in 2018 when it was revealed that his interview with a right-wing activist was heavily and negatively edited, with some calling for him to be sacked. His celebrity fans are numerous and include Brad Pitt who has appeared on the Jim Jefferies show as the “weatherman”.