5 Throwback Clips Featuring Famous Comedians Before They Hit It Big, Watch How Far They’ve Come!


No one just wakes up one day and performs in front of a sold-out crowd at Madison Square Garden. If we all started at the top, we wouldn’t know it was the top. No section of entertainers know this better than comedians. It’s extremely hard to achieve overnight success in the comedy world. All the comedians you see standing at the top right now were once barely making it at the bottom.

Now here they are…starring in a list post on TVST. They have clearly made it. But as mentioned above, they didn’t start out in the big leagues with Madison Square Garden and this wonderful website.

Check out the list below to see the early days of Louis C.K., Aziz Ansari, Amy Schumer, Ellen DeGeneres and Kevin Hart.


5. Louis C.K.

Louis C.K. is THE comic right now. He’s the rare comedian that’s mainstream and respected. It’s difficult to gain both of those titles at the same time. 50 years from now, I’ll be telling my ungrateful grandchildren about him in the same way people talk about George Carlin today.

You watch Louis perform and you can’t imagine him ever being too nervous to get on stage, but that was the case when he first started out. In fact, his first time on stage was so bad that he didn’t return for another two years.

“It was horrible. My whole throat constricted and my…I heard this roaring in my ears. My eyes were watering. My heart was pounding, and I couldn’t control myself.”


4. Aziz Ansari

Ah, Aziz. The comedian of Netflix. He started his career in stand-up comedy back in 2000 while attending New York University. That was 16 years ago. The clip you see above is reportedly from 2005 and it’s one of the earliest videos we could find of him on YouTube.

Even though his comedy has obviously evolved, you still instantly get that Azizness vibe while watching the clip. He just has a way of making you feel comfortable when you shouldn’t feel comfortable. Watching Aziz perform is like watching someone get murdered while listening to You Make My Dreams Come True. Try it one day. You’ll see.

Also, if you haven’t…you should check out his show Master of None on Netflix.


3. Amy Schumer

2009 wasn’t exactly the start of Amy’s comedy career. She was already landing television appearances, but she definitely wasn’t the huge star she is today. In the past seven years, her career has blossomed into something she probably never expected.

Last year, she wrote and starred in her own film, Trainwreck. It made $140.8 million against a budget of just $35 million and managed to land a solid 85% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. So not only is she a comedian, but she’s also a genuine movie star now.

She’ll be trying to capture that box office magic again in 2017 when her next film Mother/Daughter (temporary name?) is released.


2. Ellen DeGeneres

You all know Ellen. She’s so popular that you don’t even have to say her last name now. You can just walk up to someone and be like, “You hear about Ellen?” and they’ll automatically know who you are talking about. At this point, I’m 99% sure Ellen is more popular than Coke; both the drug and the caffeinated beverage.

As you can see in the classic clip above, Ellen mastered the “unexpected” punchline at an early age. She wasn’t a huge storyteller back then, but that seems to be the case with a lot of comedians who are just starting out. It’s hard getting on stage at all, and it’s even harder to get on stage and show the audience the real you.


1. Kevin Hart

Is Kevin Hart the most talented comedian on this list? No. But I think it’s obvious he was the most talented at such a young age. This dude was killin’ it on stage when he was still a teenager. Veteran comedians would murder their only child for a set like this, and here comes Kevin Hart at just 19-years-old doing his thing like he’s been doing it for 30 years.

We all know how popular Hart is at the moment, so I’m not going to waste time telling you about his career. Instead, I want to include this bonus clip of Hart and Louis C.K. promoting The Secret Life of Pets film. They are surprisingly hilarious together, and it’s making me wish Hart would have done a buddy cop action film with Louis instead of Ice Cube.