Who Was The Greatest Straight Man of All Time?
#3 Greatest Straight Man of All Time – Dean Martin
Dean Martin was one of the most influential comedians of the 20th century. As host of The Dean Martin Show and The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts, Deano played the straight man for his partner Jerry Lewis, but also made other straight man appearances opposite of other talented comedians, such as Foster Brooks, king of the drunken ramble.
#2 Greatest Straight Man of All Time – Bud Abbott
Dispite beginning their career in the 1930’s, Abbott and Costello are still household names. The comedy duo formed when Lou Costello, broke and hitchhiking after a defeated attempt to become a Hollywood actor, made a chance encounter with straight man Bud Abbott. In 1936, they officially began performing together, having performed a few times prior. By 1938, they had national exposure performing their comedy sketches on the radio. By 1940 they were playing supporting roles in films. By 1941, the duo had solidified themselves as comedy stars with their first breakthrough movie One Night in the Topics. However, today, they are best known for their comedy sketch “Who’s On First.”
#1 Greatest Straight Man of All Time – Dicky Smothers
The Smother’s Brothers (Tommy Smothers and Dick Smothers) are arguably the most successful comedy duo of all time. They’re the longest running comedy duo of all time… by a long shot. The Smother’s Brothers toured for a total of 51 years, an feat for even single comedians.
The Smother’s Brothers were at the center of a controversy in 1968 as a result of the Smother’s Brothers wish to appeal to a more youth-oriented audience. While other tv shows at the time were doing business-as-usual, the Smother’s Brothers were attempting to create humor that was socially relevant, including such topics as the Vietnam War and the President of the United States.
Another contribution they gave the world, aside from their own careers, is that they gave comedian Steve Martin one of his first true jobs in comedy. Martin became a writer’s for the Smother’s Brothers very early on in his career and would eventually make his first televised comedy performance there.