Beards have been associated with everything from Vikings to Hipsters, Politicians to Musicians, as well as Actors and Comedians. And after our recent podcast taping with David Cross for The Laugh Button (he was sporting what we’ve been calling “The Rubin”, as in Rick), we thought it would be fun to rank the best beards in comedy.
11. Sean Donnelly
First up, comedian Sean Donnelly, and he doesn’t waste anytime bringing it to your attention. On his website it’s line 2 of his bio, “Sean Donnelly grew up in NY and now lives in Brooklyn with his wife and dog Rickles. Sean has a beard and loves making people laugh.” Last year saw the release of his album Manual Labor Face. And nothing says labor like his beard. On the album he jokes, “The other day I walked into a store and saw two other fat bearded guys, and the minute I walked in they both nodded at me.”
10. Dan St. Germain
Comedian Dan St. Germain has racked up some nice credits thus far in his comedy career including appearances on Jimmy Fallon, Conan, Best Week Ever, @Midnight, We Love the 2000s, John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show, The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, The Electric Company, Guy Code, The Josh Wolf Show, Video by Trial, Friends of the People, and Adam Ruins Everything just to name a few. He’s also been a guest on WTF with Marc Maron and Carolla. And one thing he always brings with him everywhere he goes is his signature beard. You can pick up his 2014 album Bad at the Good Times and speaking of the aforementioned Sean Donnally, they do a podcast together entitled My Dumb Friends where they swap stories of stupidity amongst their peers. Here’s a clip of Dan St. Germain on Conan sporting a beard that has a suit around it.
09. Wyatt Cenac
Comedian Wyatt Cenac hosts a successful stand-up showcase in Brooklyn, NY every Monday night called Night Train. The show’s success lead to an eventual deal with streaming service Seeso and will be premiering soon. You may also recognize Cenac and his beard from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart where he was a correspondent for four years. He currently has two albums available, 2011’s Comedy Person and 2014’s Brooklyn.
08. David Cross
David Cross is the reason this article even exists. When he showed up for a taping of our podcast, he was rocking quite the beard. Salt and Pepper with depth and distance. Quite the opposite look for the project he was there to support, the return of Todd Margaret on IFC. Here’s some footage of his beard in action during his Bigger and Blackerer special.
07. Reggie Watts
Reginald Lucien Frank Roger Watts, that’s his full name. A name just long enough to match the size of his beard and hair. He was a successful musician before diving into the world of comedy full time. Now he’s combined the two and made quite the career for himself. Back in 2006 he broke out by taking home the prestigious Andy Kaufman Award. In 2009 he released his EP Pot Cookies and followed it up with his first full-length Why Shit So Crazy? in 2010. His next album, A Live in Central Park, came out just two years later while signing on to Scott Aukerman’s IFC series Comedy Bang! Bang! as the band leader. This helped propel him to new heights eventually landing him a coveted spot on The Late Late Show with James Corden as the band leader, where he still resides today. One thing he has brought along with him for the entire ride has been his beard and hair, which has now become iconic.
06. Beards of Comedy
Well, we simply can’t have a “best beards” list if we don’t include the Beards of Comedy. We’ve decided to include them here as one institution. A team if you will, because, that’s what they were. The Beards of Comedy consisted of Andy Sandford, TJ Young, Dave Stone, and Joe Zimmerman. After more than four years as a touring comedy collective, they decided to call it quits, though they’ve each gone on to some individual success afterwards. Here you can see Sandford and Stone together in one of their more popular sketches.
05. Dave Attell
He’s one of the best ever to perform comedy. Period. And his beard has become part of his legendary identity. From his first appearance on television back in 1988 on VH1’s Stand-Up Spotlight to his recent appearance in Trainwreck as Amy’s homeless friend “Noam”, Dave Attell has been pushing the boundaries of comedy for almost 30 years now. Personally, I miss the hell out of Insomniac which found Attell walking the streets of America’s cities late at night, meeting the people in a haze of ecstatic inebriation. Here’s a hysterical interview he did on Conan back in 2014 where he had some fun with the crowd while discussing hot topics such as e-cigarettes and pot.
04. Brian Posehn
Coming in at number four, comedian and actor Brian Posehn. To see Posehn without his beard is to see Yeti, or Big Foot, or the Loch Ness Monster. His love of metal music runs rampant throughout his stand-up as does his love for all things nerd. He’s written for the comic series Deadpool and performed with Scott Ian of Anthrax. In comedy he’s a beast, in film he’s a “that guy”, in television he’s worked alongside some of comedy’s finest. One writing team he was a part of back in 1994 included the likes of Chris Hardwick, Doug Benson, Chris Henchy, Dave “Gruber” Allen, Steve Higgins, David Anthony Higgins and Joel Hodgson for MTV’s Trashed. He’s released 3 albums including Live In: Nerd Rage, Fart and Wiener Jokes, and The Fartist. In this stand-up clip, he’s wondering if his beard is to blame for people’s pre-conceived notions of him based on his appearance:
03. Mike Lawrence
Lawrence is both a comedian and writer who started performing at the tender age of 15 and his beard has taken on a life of its own these days. His comedy credits include John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show, Conan, The Half Hour, Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell, Inside Amy Schumer, and @midnight. He also released his debut album in 2013 entitled Sadamantium and released his beard most likely at birth. Jump into his world with this clip of his Conan appearance back in 2013:
02. Kyle Kinane
Kyle Kinane is the voice of Comedy Central and has released 3 albums, much to the comedy fans’ delight. Death of the Party in 2010, Whiskey Icarus in 2012, and I Liked His Old Stuff Better in 2015. If a beard suits any comic, Kinane’s the guy. From his persona to delivery, if you’d never actually seen him and only heard him, you would imagine him with a beard. You will be able to see him as a featured cast member in the upcoming truTV series Those Who Can’t and has two films in production as well. Close your eyes while you listen to this recent performance on The Tonight Show and try to image that voice coming out of a beardless face. Good Luck.
01. Zach Galifianakis
Zach Galifianakis can safely claim that he has the most identifiable beard in comedy. Since his rise to cross-over mainstream success back in 2009 with the film The Hangover, Galifianakis was showcasing his talents and made appearances in such films as Heartbreakers, Bubble Boy, Corky Romano, Out Cold, and What Happens in Vegas and TV shows such as Tru Calling, Reno 911!, Tom Goes to the Mayor, The Sarah Silverman Program. Then, starting in 2010, it became Galifianakis 24/7. He’s interviewed the President Between Two Ferns, starred in two more Hangover films, and will be the voice of The Joker in The Lego Batman Movie due out in 2017. Maybe we’ll see what the Lego version of The Joker will look like with a beard? Enjoy this clip of the man responsible for the #1 beard in comedy from his iconic performance Live at The Purple Onion.