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Comedy Giants

In celebration of comedy, A&E Network premiered three new documentaries exploring the lives and careers of comedy giants Chris Farley, Jeff Dunham and Jeff Foxworthy. Airing across Monday, May 27 and Tuesday, May 28, 2019, the specials delved deep into the careers and personal lives of these dynamic performers to give viewers an insider’s look at what it took for each to reach the top.

Chris Farley

Chris Farley

Chris Farley was an American comedian and actor known for his roles on 'Saturday Night Live' and in films like 'Tommy Boy' and 'Beverly Hills Ninja.'

Jeff Dunham

Jeff Dunham

Jeff Dunham is a popular comedian and ventriloquist, known for his clever antics with his puppets.


Jeff Foxworthy

American comedian Jeff Foxworthy is the largest selling comedy-recording artist in history. He's won multiple Grammy Award nominee and is a best-selling author.

Defining Moments in Comedy

Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph

How Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph Became Hollywood's Ultimate Best Friends

The funny women have stuck by each other's sides since their days on 'SNL.'

John Belushi

The Final Days of John Belushi: What Led to His Sudden Death?

The 'Animal House' and 'Saturday Night Live' star was found dead at L.A.'s Chateau Marmont on March 5, 1982.

Jeff Foxworthy

How Jeff Foxworthy's Upbringing Inspired His Comedy

Reflections of small-town Georgia sent the stand-up on his path to fame in the 1990s.

Jeff Dunham

How Jeff Dunham Taught Himself Ventriloquism at 8 Years Old

After the comedian received his first ventriloquist's doll, he began to teach himself the skill of ventriloquism through dedicated study and practice.

Chris Farley

Chris Farley: The Rise and Fall of a Comedy Icon

The 'SNL' comedian delivered big laughs while fighting even bigger personal demons.

Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneres' Girlfriend Was Killed in a Car Accident. The Tragedy Inspired DeGeneres' Career-Defining Stand-Up Routine

'Phone Call to God' put the comedienne on the map — and on Johnny Carson's famed couch.

Carol Burnett

A Stranger Gave a Struggling Carol Burnett $1,000 to Start Her Career

A random act of generosity gave the comedienne the push she needed to move to New York City to fulfill her acting dreams.

Lindsay Lohan and Tina Fey in Mean Girls

Tina Fey Used Her Real Life as Inspiration for the Unforgettable Characters in 'Mean Girls'

Cady Heron, Regina George, Glenn Coco and the other students from North Shore High were based on the 'SNL' alum's friends and family.

Lenny Bruce

Lenny Bruce's Obscenity Trial Challenged First Amendment Rights and Paved the Way for Other Socially Conscious Comedians

Branded a "sick comic," the stand-up pushed boundaries with his foul-mouthed routines, which led to his 1964 arrest.

Whoopi Goldberg, Billy Crystal and Robin Williams

Inside Robin Williams, Whoopi Goldberg and Billy Crystal's Unbreakable Bond

The comedians became deep, personal friends thanks to making people laugh for the good of others.

Stevie Wonder and Eddie Murphy

Eddie Murphy Joined 'Saturday Night Live' as the Show Was Facing Cancellation. Then Ratings Began to Soar

The teenage comedian graced studio 8H for the first time in 1980 and ultimately saved the struggling sketch comedy show.

Robin Williams

Robin Williams' Non-Stop Mind Brought Joy to Millions. But for Him, It Brought Endless Pain

The comedian's rapid-fire brain overtook his professional and personal life.

Bill Murray, Jane Curtin and Chevy Chase

Bill Murray and Chevy Chase Had a Backstage Brawl at 'Saturday Night Live' and It Took Years for Them to Make Up

Bruised egos and resentment fueled a fight between the two comedic heavyweights and later, 'Caddyshack' costars.

George Carlin

How George Carlin’s ‘Seven Words’ Changed Legal History

The comedian’s routine led to a Supreme Court ruling and raised questions about censorship that remain unresolved.

Joan Rivers

How Joan Rivers Bounced Back After Late-Night Rejected Her and Her Husband's Suicide

At the peak of her fame, the fearless comedienne suffered a series of personal and professional losses. She didn’t let them stop her.

Christoper Reeve and Robin Williams

Robin Williams and Christopher Reeve's Devoted Friendship Began as Juilliard Roommates

Through laughter and tears, the comedian and 'Superman' star maintained a brotherly bond.

Richard Pryor

Richard Pryor Risked It All by Walking off Stage in 1967. Then His Star Rose

Required to perform safe and clean routines in front of primarily white audiences, the comedian had enough of club owners telling him what to do.

Prince Charles and Joan Rivers

The Surprising Friendship Between Joan Rivers and Prince Charles

The comedienne and royal may appear to be unlikely pals, but the two shared a close relationship that endured until Rivers' death in 2014.

Carol Burnett

The Secret Message Behind Carol Burnett's Famous Ear Tug

The comedienne used the gesture as a way to silently communicate with her beloved grandmother.

Joan Rivers and Johnny Carson

Inside Joan Rivers and Johnny Carson's Epic Falling Out

The 'Tonight Show' host declared that the comedienne would be a star, but two decades later, the friends would stop speaking to each other forever.

Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder in Silver Streak

The Complicated Friendship of Comedy Duo Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder

Although known for the rapport that fueled hit films like ‘Stir Crazy,’ the famed costars did not have the same level of chemistry off-screen.

Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett

How Lucille Ball Became Carol Burnett’s Mentor

The two redhead comedy icons met in 1959 — and stayed friends for 30 years.