Top 10 Saddest and Most Depressed Comedians


Welcome to Top10Archive! Though some comedians may be outwardly funny,
it may only serve to mask the darkness and sadness within them. In the comedic world, even the ostensibly
brightest persona can be hiding an unhappy reality. In this somber Archive, we’ll be looking
at the 10 saddest comedians ever to take the stage. 10. Bill Hicks
On February 26th, 1994, comedian William Melvin Hicks, better known as Bill Hicks, passed
away after a short battle with pancreatic cancer. At the time of his death, he was known for
his darker comedy which may have stemmed from bouts of depression he struggled with in his
twenties. Cynthia True, writer of Hick’s biography,
“American Scream,” spoke out about the late comic’s more difficult times, which
were laden with drinking and drugs. Before his cancer diagnosis, Hicks had found
a means of being relatively happy, but he still struggled with dissatisfaction with
himself, making it difficult for him to appreciate his own work. 9. Freddie Prinze
Frederick Karl Pruetzel, or Freddie James Prinze, took to the stage in 1973, starting
with comedy clubs in New York City. His career blossomed through stand-up, tackling
hot-button issues like race relations and, at the time, recreational drug use, but there
was a darker side to the comic. At 16, just three years before his career
started, Prinze became addicted to cocaine and Quaalude. Reckless behavior was a staple for the troubled
comedian, who had a tendency to play Russian roulette. When his wife filed for divorce, his depression
drew him in deeper and, during a visit by his business manager Marvin “Dusty” Snyder,
he put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger. While initially deemed a suicide, a civil
case overturned the original ruling, citing his penchant for Russian roulette, despite
a suicide note left by the comic. 8. Jerry Lewis
Even the most iconic funnymen, like jack-of-all-trades Jerry Lewis, have wrestled with demons throughout
their most successful years. In 1973, just having celebrated his 29th wedding
anniversary, comedian, songwriter, and director Jerry Lewis found himself tasting the cold
metal of a .38-caliber revolver. High on Percodan, an addiction he wrestled
for a period of his life, Lewis was ready to end it all until he heard his children
laughing. For a period of 13 years, his addiction took
hold of him and sent him spiraling into a dangerous stretch of pain and sorrow that
almost ended in the bathroom of his own home. Though he was able to kick the Percodan habit,
depression struck him again in the early 2000’s when he gained 56 pounds or roughly 25 kilograms
while on prednisone for pulmonary fibrosis. 7. Artie Lange
On January 2nd, 2010, the severity of Artie Lange’s depression, which he had made public
on multiple occasions, escalated when the comedian and actor slit his wrists, stabbed
himself nine times, and drank bleach in an unsuccessful suicide attempt. Suffering from a heroin addiction and facing
the stresses and monetary benefits of a successful career, Lange also faced a debilitating gambling
addiction which he cites as his “most damning addiction.” Money was being lost quicker than he could
make it as the comedian seemed to work to sabotage his own life. Despite the gruesome suicide attempt, Lange
survived and underwent a year of detox and therapy to finally return to the spotlight
as a stand-up comedian, co-host of The Nick & Artie Show with Nick DiPaolo, and writer
of Crash and Burn, his second of three books. 6. Chris Farley
To the public eye, Farley’s weight was part of his charm and a good reason why everything
he did was so hilarious. With no apparent fear of humiliation, the
actor and comedian never seemed to hesitate when it came to doing the most ridiculous
of things. Beneath the hilarious exterior, though, was
a man described by those closest to him as troubled and sensitive. In 1997, Farley overdosed from cocaine and
morphine, leaving his fans in confusion as his boisterous personality read as anything
but sorrowed and fueled by drugs. While his weight added to his boyish charm,
it was also one of his greatest battles. According to Joyce Sloane, a producer at Second
City that helped Farley launch his career, he wasn’t pleased with being the “fat
boy” and often wrestled with depression over his size and the stereotypes he feared
he had fallen into. 5. Greg Giraldo
The New York-based, tell-it-like-it-is comedian began his career as a stand-up comic in 1992
and for about 18 years, seemed to be enjoying the fame that he had earned. On September 25th, 2010, Giraldo was found
having overdosed on prescription medication and slipped into a coma. Four days later, his life support was pulled. Though successful, Giraldo’s career was
always overshadowed by his own sense of failure, an aspect of his personality that he didn’t
often hide from public view. In an interview with Psychology Today, the
comedian discussed his obsessive personality and constantly falling short of his potential
and the numerous times he felt he screwed up his life. Despite swimming in depression most of his
life, medical examiners determined his death was accidental and not a suicide. 4. Rodney Dangerfield
Rodney Dangerfield was one of the greatest insult comics of all time, though he’ll
likely never be labeled as one. Reason being – all of his insults were directed
back at himself, and the audience loved it. To be so self-depreciating, one has to have
some form of inner conflict going on, and for Mr. Dangerfield, it was what he called
“The Heaviness.” The pressures of success, a lifetime of feeling
unloved, and a poor self-image may have made Dangerfield an incredibly prolific comedian,
but it also weighed on him – a fact he wasn’t very shy about and often made it the focus
of his routines. Dangerfield was able to take the reality of
depression and make millions laugh. Yet many of his fans were unaware of the reality
behind his comedy. 3. Richard Pryor
At the age of 10, Richard Pryor was abandoned by his prostitute mother and went to live
with his grandmother in her brothel. Through years of sexual molestation, the young
Pryor found himself getting lost in worlds of fantasy through movies, which is where
he found his comedic flair. Though he could take his pains and turn them
to laughs, the sorrow of his youth was always there, nagging him and fueling his self-depreciating
comedy. His demons showed themselves in June of 1980
when the actor lit himself on fire after freebasing cocaine for days and dousing himself with
151-proof rum. While his daughter tried to claim the accident
was an effect of the drugs, Pryor later admitted he had tried to commit suicide. 2. John Belushi
At the age of 33 in 1982, actor and comedian John Adam Belushi passed away after a fatal
dose of heroin and cocaine, or “speedball,” was injected into him. Prior to his death, Belushi was revered by
his colleagues, but there was a darker side to him that wasn’t so well hidden. Since his earlier days on Saturday Night Live,
Belushi suffered from a cocaine habit that partially formed to help with anxieties over
the live television program. According to his widow, Judith Jacklin, Belushi
had been an “insecure man-child” and had insecurities about his weight, which was quite
opposite of what audiences saw on screen. 1. Robin Williams
Legendary actor, comedian, and all-around nice guy, Robin Williams, was an inspiration
to many and a source of endless entertainment for all that knew and watched him. On August 11, 2014, the comedian and actor
was found in his home, having committed suicide by hanging himself. Though Williams was known for his boisterous
demeanor, he also suffered from bouts of depression, especially after the death of John Belushi,
and, later in life, was unknowingly dealing with a severe case of Lewy body dementia. As the disease progressed, it left him paranoid,
confused, and dealing with anxiety, tremors, and insomnia that impeded his career and quality
of life. Aware of the deterioration of his own mind
and finding it impossible to “reboot” his brain, Williams took his own life.

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Comments

  1. Robin Williams death now made sadder :'(. Whenever I look at videos like this about comedians it makes me stop and look at them in a different light, sure they can funny but we never see that pain they might be hiding.

  2. When Robin Williams passed away… That was the first time I cried over a celebrities passing… I know a lot of us grew up with his amazing films, or perhaps his Stand-up, He was one of the biggest parts of my childhood.
    Shortly after his passing I drew this for him. http://emberdim.deviantart.com/art/Mr-Williams-476591876 I began working on this the same day it happened.

    RIP Mr. Williams…

  3. Robin williams, was to intelligent for this Live. The Reason he Killed himself, only belongs to Mankind it Self. People are to stupid to think over them selves. And as Long we are Not ready to reflekt our selfes we are Not netter than animals. Sry 4 the Language, German Autokorrektur ins Theater hell.

  4. sad but true — 10 years from now people will still be looking at/to Chris Farley & Richard Pryor & Robin Williams for laughs & then wondering how any of this could've happened.

  5. I still am kind of in shock from Robin Williams dying. I mostly remember him from Aladdin and Mrs. Doubtfire. Sometimes I think "Wow….he's really gone…" And it hurt my mom too because she loved him ;;

  6. I won't lie…I shed tears over this. This goes to show that even the funniest of us all are not happy below the surface. A smile can mask incredible pain. I used to suffer depression, and I know all about masking my pain by smiles, or cracking jokes to make other people laugh. This is the saddest thing I've watched in a while.

    Top10Archive, thank you for writing and presenting this in such a respectful manner. You guys present such sad videos respectfully. Great work.

  7. wow 2011 is when Robin died, time flies, it pretty much felt like last year for me when I heard the news…..
    but it is true what the quote says: Those who laugh the loudest, have the darkest secrets/ are the saddest.

  8. i read a news paper article that said williams was murdered and made to look like a suicide. the story was he was still dealing with his past demons that he couldn't pay off.

  9. Two things, wasn't Robin Williams relatively free of torment before contracting his heinous disease? Also, although it's no honor to be listed here, I was disappointed not to see Lenny Bruce mentioned, if only to keep his legacy in front of people.

  10. When I feel suicidal I think of Robin Williams and how he would want me to go on for him. Dementia and Alzhiemers are such awful diseases that in some ways can be worse than dying itself, I totally understand why he took his own life. We can only hope that one day we find a cure for these horrible unexplained brain diseases so that more do not feel like they have to die before they completely lose themselves. Prion diseases are the worst.

  11. David Bowie Is not on this one?, come on he’s the great actor of his great movie called Labyrinth

  12. This was a good video… but I don't like the idea of "most depressed". People with depression experience it in different ways and have different symptoms. You could be the most miserable person in the world and not be suicidal, and you can be mildly depressed but very suicidal. So you can't judge by their actions and say that one was more depressed than another.

  13. You can't say "the saddest/ most depressed" because everyone struggles with problems and every problem is terrifying for every person. There is no such thing as the worst

  14. It is so sad that we will not see all of these celebrities making movies no more they are making the man up in heaven laugh RIP farley RIP robin williams you two where very funny men 😢😢😢😢

  15. Watching Artie Lange on Howard stern show I feel how he feels no real friends feeling like I’m nothing and getting into drugs to feel better.

  16. And we reduced them to a top ten with a voice over that sounds like the guy commenting shark week on discovery. I don't know whether to laugh, cry, or just take it to the logical extreme and masturbate with my tears as lube.

  17. Comedians, often have deep unhappiness or something bothering them. The need for peoples approval and laughter comes from the fact they dont feel like they are enough as a person, they need the validation of other people to make them feel good enough. How do i know ? I was that quick witted kid at school making people laugh while in truth i was unhappy with my unsettled home life and things bothering me. The need to make jokes is something you can do for a short time on a stage or in front of a bunch of people, after that short time you have to face yourself again

  18. "Behind my smile is a story you wouldn't understand". It is pain, it is depression, it is something that can't be explained or understood.
    I suppose many of these
    Comics knew this all too well. R.I.P. to all of them. :' (

  19. Im a comedian. I have been a comedian since 18. Im 31 years old now. I have been really active the last 5 years. Im still struggling with not getting paid as much to make a living. Im going crazy i need to feed my family…

  20. Richard Pryor and Robin Williams had the high sensitive trait. I dont know much about the other comedians personalities to say if they also had the high sensitive trait.

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