10 Comedians Who Need Their Own Biopics

Richard Pryor
Richard Pryor
Raw way before Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor didn’t just break the rules of stand up, he showed there were no rules in the first place, addressing controversial issues without fear. Pryor’s life was made of equal parts laughs and tragedy, and it’s about time it was immortalized on film. Mike Epps is currently the frontrunner to play the comedian in an upcoming biopic, but Pryor isn’t the only funnyman or funnywoman that deserves the biopic treatment.
Universal Pictures via Everett Collection
Steve Martin
Steve Martin
Steve Martin really is comedy’s Jack of all trades. His stage shows were really something to behold, combining comedy, magic, singing, and sudden banjo playing into one brilliant package. Even off the stage, he had a masterful film career, starring in comedies like The Jerk, Father of the Bride, and The Three Amigos. Casting Martin would be tough, but we might be able to see Jake Johnson in the role if he dyes his hair, and we squint hard enough.
Orion Pictures via Everett Collection
Bill Hicks
Bill Hicks
Changing the very definition of scorched earth, no one told jokes like Bill Hicks, whose wickedly sharp satire delved into all things wrong with the universe. He was the one sane man in a world gone mad. Russell Crowe has been interested for numerous years in bringing to life a biopic on the comedian, but the Australian actor just doesn’t quite have the right aura about him. If Joseph Gordon-Levitt put on a few pounds, we could probably see it.
via Everett Collection
George Carlin
George Carlin
George Carlin had a take-no-prisoners style of comedy that examined the dark side of humanity and influenced every self-respecting comic currently making his or her way through countless open mic nights. His "Seven Dirty Words" routine even managed to change FCC broadcasting standards forever. That’s how strong his mark on the comedy world was. We’d love to see Jeff Bridges playing an older George Carlin, right when his comic misanthropy was at its peak.
Miramax Films via Everett Collection
Rodney Dangerfield
Rodney Dangerfield
Rodney Dangerfield really didn’t get much respect. It took the hard working comic a couple decades to get his career off the ground, but when he finally broke into the public consciousness, he hit like a jackhammer. Dangerfield was one of the most prolific comedians of the '80s, appearing in films like Caddyshack, Easy Money, and Back to School. This might sound crazy, but we could see Joaquin Phoenix playing Dangerfield. Just imagine the actor with a few pounds of extra flub and the classic Rodney Dangerfield expression. It really works.
Orion Pictures via Everett Collection
Mitch Hedberg
Mitch Hedberg
The king of one-liners, Mitch Hedberg brought an original style and rhythm to stand up comedy. His short, non sequitur style gained him a legion of fans as he carved out his own little niche in the comedy universe. We could see someone like Owen Wilson matching Hedberg’s looks and sense of humor.
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Bill Cosby
Bill Cosby
The king of the gaudy ’80s sweater, Bill Cosby has had an illustrious career as a comic and sitcom star. His comedy specials like 1983’s Himself are bona fide classics, and The Cosby Show made every kid growing up in the '80s and '90s wish they were a part of the Huxtable clan. We could see Denzel Washington embracing his comedic side and falling into the role.
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
Joan Rivers
Joan Rivers
This legendary comedian deserves a spot on this list for just how long she’s been in the game. Rivers has been doling out insults since the ’60s, and has been a mainstay in comedy for decades. Now that’s longevity! A Joan Rivers biopic would require a really blustery performance full of sharp sarcasm. We could see Jane Lynch in the role... if only Lynch wasn’t so darn tall.
WENN/Andres Otero
Bernie Mac
Bernie Mac
A graduate from HBO’s Def Comedy Jam, Bernie Mac rose to fame by taking his real life experience, and folding them into his wildly successful sitcom, The Bernie Mac Show. We could see Craig Robinson portraying the late comedian, but he’d probably need to develop a harder edge before really getting Bernie Mac right.
Dimension Films via Everett Collection
Robin Williams
Robin Williams
Robin Williams died tragically yesterday, but his gentle soul and hearty laugh will live on in his unforgettable list of films, television shows, and comedy specials. He was the king of impressions, and it’s hard to think of any actor living or dead who could really do him justice. He really was one of a kind.
Universal Pictures via Everett Collection

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