Best comedy act: Stephen Colbert or Steve Martin?

Best comedy act: Stephen Colbert or Steve Martin?

Join the conversation and vote below

Stephen meet Steve. Steven Martin is a comedy legend, whose absurdist comedy routine sold out venues across America and catapulted Martin to a successful film and music career. Stephen Colbert is a geeky, satirical genius whose fierce commitment to a comedy bit on the "Daily Show" resulted in a 10-year, award-winning run as host of "The Colbert Report" and being selected as David Letterman's "Late Show" successor. Both are brilliant on Twitter... but who has the best comedy act?

The Votes Are In!

After a year like 2016, we could all use a laugh. That's why we've taken 16 of the most beloved comedians of all-time and are pitting them against each other all month long! Who's the funniest? You decide and we'll announce the king (or queen) of comedy at the end of the month!

Help us crown the best comedian by voting in these other exciting head-to-head debates too:

Biggest comedy empire: Dave Chappelle or Kevin Hart?

Best comedian with a sitcom: Jerry Seinfeld or Margaret Cho?

Funniest self-deprecating stand-up: Louis C.K. or Hannibal Buress?

Best political commentary: George Carlin or Jon Stewart?

Funniest late night show host: Jimmy Kimmel or David Letterman?

Most groundbreaking comedian: Joan Rivers or Samantha Bee?

Funniest comedian-turned-director: Mel Brooks or Woody Allen?


Stephen Colbert, like a fiery phoenix, rose out of the comedy ashes of Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show." In a reoccurring gag, Stephen Colbert played a hyper-conservative character also named Stephen Colbert—coinciding with the highly divisive George W. Bush years. The bit was a hit with audiences.

Colbert turned the comedy performance into an award-winning, critically-acclaimed spinoff entitled "The Colbert Report," a brilliant send-up of FOX News and the tsunami of conservative pundits who flooded terrestrial airwaves after 9/11. Colbert always stayed in-character, even at his awkward turn as emcee of the 2006 White House Correspondents Dinner. For over 10 years, Colbert torpedoed science, liberalism, progressive values and invented words. That's right, the South Carolina native created words out of thin air; Colbert's invention of "truthiness" was Merriam-Webster's 2006 Word of the Year.

Isn't an agnostic just an atheist without balls?

Sadly, Colbert retired the character of Stephen Colbert in 2014, so he could replace David Letterman as host of "The Late Show" (as Stephen Colbert the person, not Stephen Colbert the character). Despite the protest of Viacom's corporate lawyers, Colbert brought back his alter-ego during the Republican National Convention, and has made guest stints on "The Late Show" ever since.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is The Word.


At its height, "The Colbert Report" was appointment TV. That's hard to say for most things in our crazy on-demand world.

Here is Colbert's roast of George W. Bush at the 2006 White House Correspondent's Dinner.

It's tough to really sum up Steve Martin's prolific career as comedian, actor, playwright, novelist, director and musician. He is simply a living treasure.

But before "The Jerk," "Father of the Bride," countless SNL appearances, hosting the Oscars three separate times, his New York Times best-selling novel "An Object of Beauty," or his five Grammy awards... Steve Martin was just another groundbreaking, genre-defying comedian whose dedication to absurdist humor sold out venues across America. It's impossible to underscore just how incredible Martin was in his prime, and how bizarre and special those performances were. Martin quit stand-up altogether in 1981, but briefly came out of retirement 35 years later when he lost a bet to Jerry Seinfeld.

I've got to keep breathing. It'll be my worst business mistake if I don't.

In his later years, Martin has become a prolific actor, but also a best-selling writer and a Grammy-award winning musician. His Twitter account basically justifies the entire medium. He still hasn't lost his charm or love of absurd humor.

Oh, and he's still one wild and crazy guy.


Steve Martin's absurdist routine is the stuff of comedy legend. It must be seen to be believed.

And perhaps no character was more memorable than Martin's "King Tut."

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