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Five Funny Comedians Who Work Clean


Want to find some stand-up comedy without any foul language? Check out this list of five hilarious stand-up comedians who work clean.

Jerry Seinfeld

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld
Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

Jerry Seinfeld is easily best known for his self-titled sitcom, Seinfeld, but his stand-up act is an equally clever (though less cynical) blend of sly observations and neurotic self-deprecation with an absurdist bent (which makes sense, as his sitcom was developed out of his stand-up). Seinfeld is also one of the biggest comics to always work clean, a choice that is merely a fact about his stand-up, not the defining characteristic. He's a rare comedian who's able to appeal to everyone -- even those comedy fans that may typically stay away from "clean" comedians they may deem "too safe." Seinfeld is proof that funny is funny, with or without vulgarity.

Ellen Degeneres

Comedian Ellen Degeneres
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Comedian and talk show host Ellen Degeneres has a lot in common with Jerry Seinfeld: her routines are largely observational, occasionally abusrdist and often based on her own neuroses. Plus, like Seinfeld, Degeneres works clean. Like most of the comics on this list, Degeneres' comedy isn't for everyone; some audiences want more "edge" in their stand-up. But there's little denying that Degeneres is an incredibly funny, quick-witted comedian and brings her own comic sensibilities to every project she takes on, rather than adapting as the job demands. When comedians work clean, it can sometimes be easier to avoid compromising themselves. Degeneres is proof of that.

Bill Cosby

Comedian Bill Cosby
Photo by Rob Loud/Getty Images

Sure, he gave up on being funny years ago to fill his days as a professional lecturer and grump, but from his days as a stand-up in the 1960s through his run on The Cosby Show, Bill Cosby was one of the funniest clean comedians of all time. His classic stand-up albums, from Bill Cosby is a Very Funny Fellow...Right! through his concert film, Bill Cosby: Himself, are terrific examples of how to be hilariously funny without ever being vulgar or dirty. His routines are even great for kids (he was the first comic I grew up listening to), making him a good gateway comedian for young people. Cosby is one of the all-time greats.

Jim Gaffigan

Photo by Martin Crook/© Comedy Central
Deadpan oddball Jim Gaffigan might best be recognized from his numerous TV commercial gigs, but in his day job he's one of the most popular comics working today. As the voice of the lazy, suburban everyman, Gaffigan's material is derived from dealing with America's obsession with food and eating (his hugely popular signature bit is all about Hot Pockets). He often contrasts his monotone style with an odd, high-pitched voice meant to represent the audience's opinion of what he's saying. Gaffigan is incredibly prolific, releasing seven stand-up albums in nearly as many years. He also works clean, allowing him to reach as wide an audience as possible without ever losing his bizarre edge.

Bill Engvall

Comedian Bill Engvall
Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images

Bill Engvall, a founding member of the original Blue Collar comedians, is one of the most "family-friendly" of the Blue Collar comics; he never works blue and a good deal of his comedy is based on his own life as a family man. With eight stand-up albums and over two decades in stand-up, Engvall has proven himself to be incredibly hard-working and devoted to comedy. His material may play it safe a lot of the time, but that can sometimes be the trade-off when you're working for all age groups and audiences. Plus, it's hard to disagree that he seems like a heck of a nice guy and deserving of his success.

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