DAR Comedy: 7 Comedians And Their Prime Years

By @TrueGodImmortal

There are many comedians who have made their names in the world of standup, television, and film. Some comedians conquer all three worlds and do it at a high level. Some comedians conquer one or two of those lanes and never look back. Today, I wanted to take a look at 7 comedians who have conquered these avenues, but with a twist. While most of these comedians are still alive and going strong, every comedian has a prime, a period of time where they shine the brightest and today, that's what we are discussing. 7 legendary comedians and their prime years. When were they on top of their game and what projects came as a result? Let's take a look.

*Chris Rock
(Prime Years: 1993-1999)

-I will always speak positive about the prime years of Chris Rock. While one could say Chris was in his prime during the early 2000s, I always felt his pinnacle came from 1993 through 1999. What makes this time period so vital to his career IMO is that he was hitting on all cylinders. From his final work on Saturday Night Live to his best standup work with Bring The Pain and Big Ass Jokes, his movie work in CB4, his brief TV work on In Living Color, Bigger and Blacker, as well as The Chris Rock Show all drive home the fact that Chris was at his pinnacle during this era.

*Eddie Murphy
(Prime Years: 1983-1988)

-Of course, Eddie gets a mention. That was a must. One of the most popular comedians of our time, Eddie in his prime was so legendary. His prime started in 1983, with him riding a wave of success. During his prime, he would create Beverly Hills Cop, Delirious, RAW, The Golden Child, and of course, Coming To America. Eddie would become the biggest star of this time and there was no one more popular than Eddie Murphy in the mid to late 80's.

*Richard Pryor
(Prime Years: 1973-1979)

-So, controversy aside, Pryor has a long prime if you count his Sunset Strip show, but for the most part, his best work came when Hollywood started to take notice of his genius. His standup was always popular and managed to afford him nationwide acclaim, but his run of important appearances in films like Lady Sings The Blues, The Mack, Uptown Saturday Night, Greased Lightning, The Wiz, and Car Wash definitely made him an even hotter commodity in the world of Hollywood.

*Martin Lawrence
(Prime Years: 1992-1997)

-Martin is one of my all time favorite comedians ever and he was at his best mostly during the entire run of his TV show. After making a hilarious appearance in Boomerang, Martin would shine on his own legendary sitcom, release a classic standup You So Crazy, as well as big movie appearances like Bad Boys with Will Smith, A Thin Line Between Love And Hate, and Nothing To Lose, among other films. Martin took a decline after 1997, but from 1992 to 1997, there was no comedian with more quality projects than Martin.

*Bernie Mac
(Prime Years: 1994-2000)

-Truthfully speaking, Bernie was always in his prime. However, his best work came between 1994-2000, as he would of course be one of the Original Kings Of Comedy, but his work in Friday, House Party 3, B.A.P.S., Above The Rim, and more are what made him the legend he is. Bernie was never the leading man in a movie during this era, but he was shaping his career and becoming one of the greatest to do it during this time.

*Dave Chappelle
(Prime Years: 2000-2004)

-While one could say that Chappelle is at his peak now, with multiple tours, multiple Netflix specials, and even hosting Saturday Night Live, none of this would be possible without his prime run, which would spawn his classic Killing Em Softly standup, his epic run on Chappelle's Show, his hilarious turn in Undercover Brother, as well as his Showtime comedy special, For What It's Worth. Part of what makes Chappelle so legendary is that he left it all behind in his comedic prime and came back when the demand was high for him to return. Chappelle pulled off the impossible and experienced his prime and left before he was out of it, and technically he's still in it.

*Jamie Foxx
(Prime Years: 1996-2002)

-When looking at his resume, Jamie didn't hit his pinnacle as an actor until he was in Ray, but before that time period, he was in his comedic prime. The transition from a comedian to a serious actor for Jamie came after his prime, which makes sense when you think about it. Jamie started his sitcom in 1996, and The Jamie Foxx Show was the highlight of his career, but when you add in his standup work, as well as ridiculous performances in Booty Call, Bait, Held Up, and other avenues, this was the comedic prime for Jamie and the beginning of his career as a true triple threat (comedian, actor, singer).



  1. When were they on top of their game and what projects came as a result?


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