The Funniest People To Come Out Of Arizona

By Luka E

A surprising number of famous comedians grew up in Arizona, home to the Grand Canyon. These are a few of the funniest Arizonian comedians of the century. 

David Spade

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David Spade was born in Michigan but moved to Arizona at the tender age of 4. He describes his childhood self as “the friendless nerd” but has since earned the “legit Arizona dude badge.” He started his career in comedy at Greasy Tony’s Pizza in Tempe. 

In his early days of comedy, David would take time to visit his home in Arizona.  “Every time I come home–there are kids next door who are, like, six and eight years old–I come back in town for two days, and Judy says, ‘Now, Davy, I promised those kids you’d ride bikes with them.’ `What are you talking about?’ `You can’t forget your fans! They’re what made you.'”

Robert Schimmel

Before becoming a stand-up comedian, Robert worked as a stereo salesman in Scottsdale. His career began when his sister convinced him to try his jokes on a stand-up stage in town. He was never really into TV or movies but was ranked by Comedy Central as  #74 out of 100 top comedians in 2004. 

His taste in jokes usually included sex stuff mixed with good old family humor. His daughter, Jessica Schimmel, worked on The Simpsons – she had obviously inherited his style of comedy.

Garry Shandling

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Garry Shandling, though Chicago-born, is Arizonan through and through. His family made the move when he was a baby to get better medical treatment for his brother. 

Before committing himself to comedy, Garry studied 3 years of engineering at the University of Arizona. He basically ambushed his idol, George Carlin, in a Phoenix comedy club to show him some of his jokes. Although Carlin didn’t buy any of them, he encouraged Shandling to keep it up and said there was good material on each page. From there, it was onwards and upwards.