Entertainment Performing Arts 10 Deadpan Comedians Share PINTEREST Email Print Performing Arts Stand Up Comedy Singing Acting Musical Theater Ballet Dance By Patrick Bromley Patrick Bromley Patrick Bromley is an entertainment writer and the editor-in-chief of "F This Movie." Previously, he worked as a reporter and critic for the Chicago Sun-Times News Group. Learn about our Editorial Process Updated on 05/23/19 Not all comics have to be energetic or animated on stage to make us laugh. Some comics are able to do it without raising their voices. With a flat or monotone delivery and a succession of one-liner jokes or punchlines that hardly vary from the setups, these deadpan comedians are hilarious and calm. Always calm. 01 of 10 Steven Wright Steven Wright The king of deadpan comedy, Steven Wright practically defined this style of comedy with his frizzy hair, his unmistakable voice, his monotone delivery style and his brilliant absurdist observations. Wright, who came up through the famous Boston comedy scene, is the deadpan comic to which every other deadpan comic owes a debt of inspiration. 02 of 10 Mitch Hedberg Cy Cyr/Getty Images If Steven Wright is the king of deadpan humor, Mitch Hedberg is his prince. His delivery was more fun and laid back, but his absurdist observations and hilarious one-liners were every bit as brilliant. Unfortunately, Hedberg died of a drug overdose way too young, but his comedy lives on. 03 of 10 Tig Notaro Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images Tig Notaro doesn't seem to get a rise out of much -- even a breast cancer diagnosis which she successfully beat (and which has since been documented on her incredible comedy album Live). Like a lot of other deadpan comedians, her delivery lets her better comment on the world she sees around her from a distance -- it gives her a remove that makes her the voice of reason. 04 of 10 Nick Thune Photo by FilmMagic/Getty Images Not just one of the best deadpan comedians currently working but also an essential musical comedian, Nick Thune combines live guitar playing punctuated by Steven Wright-style one-liners. Though he's perhaps not as well known as some of the other comics on this list, Thune's debut album Thick Noon is a great representation of his comedy, offering a steady stream of deadpan one-liners that hit more often than they miss. 05 of 10 Rita Rudner Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images One of the biggest breakout comedians of the 1980s, Rita Rudner is one of the most successful female deadpan comedians. A veteran of more than 30 years in the business, Rudner's flat, airy delivery is unmistakably her own. Now a fixture in Las Vegas, Rudner has sold over a million tickets to her live show since the early 2000s. She proves that deadpan comedy is alive and well. 06 of 10 Demetri Martin Photo by Mat Hayward/Getty Images Picking up where Steven Wright and Steve Martin left off, comedian and actor Demetri Martin has turned deadpan comedy into a multimedia experience, incorporating multiple instruments (all of which he plays) and drawings he uses as a kind of instruction. His short-lived Comedy Central series Important Things with Demetri Martin suggested that maybe deadpan comedy doesn't translate well to sketch form; maybe it's best reserved for his live act. 07 of 10 Nick Offerman Photo by Phillip Chin/Getty Images Best known as the stone-faced Ron Swanson on NBC's Parks and Recreation, Nick Offerman isn't all that different from the character he made famous on TV. He's a guy who believes in a code, in making things with your hands, in having a skill and who rarely changes his facial expression or tone of voice when delivering a joke. He's Ron Swanson, only sometimes without the mustache. 08 of 10 Bill Murray Photo by Columbia Pictures/Getty Images The great Bill Murray has built a career on straight-faced, withering sarcasm. From his early days at Second City to his deadpan deliveries on Saturday Night Live through a long career of some of the funniest comedies ever made, Murray is a guy who turned deadpan into a weapon against the establishment. 09 of 10 Tim Heidecker Photo by Tim Dudelson/Getty Images One-half of the legendary comedy duo Tim and Eric (stars of Adult Swim's Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job), Heidecker's comedy is strange and wonderful and always delivered with a completely straight face. His deadpan humor isn't just saved for his TV show or his live appearances, either; he's considered one of the funniest voices on Twitter, too. 10 of 10 Todd Barry Photo by David A. Smith/Getty Images "Comic's comic" Todd Barry hardly ever raises his voice for laughs, whether he's delivering prepared material or, as he does on his special Crowd Work, doing improvised jokes with the audiences at his shows. His stuff is often absurdist in nature and there's a very funny disconnect between the self-congratulatory boasting he does and the meek, flat delivery with which he does it.