16 Best Stand-Up Comics Turned Filmmakers

From Woody Allen to Joan Rivers, these comedians went from prowling club stages to calling the shots behind the camera

Carl Reiner

A key writer on TV's seminal Your Show of Shows, Carl Reiner went on to became a name-brand star thanks to his partnership with Mel Brooks that resulted in their legendary "2000 Year Old Man" act in 1961. Once he moved to directing, Reiner favored the same sort of broad, slapstick comedy he’d help pioneer on the small screen, with films that were tiny gems (1970's outrageous Where's Poppa?) and huge hits (1977's Oh, God). Most notably, he helped launch Steve Martin's movie career with a four-film run (The Jerk, Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid, The Man With Two Brains and All of Me) that are still hilarious.
The Must-See: All of Me (1979), which finds Steve Martin's lawyer sharing his body with the soul of late heiress Lily Tomlin — an utterly absurd situation that demands Martin unleash his whole arsenal of comedic talents, from deadpan stares to silly walks.

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