6. Paul Mooney
A circus man who landed his first professional writing gig working on material for Richard Pryor, Paul Mooney is a comic without a filter. On race and politics, he will speak whatever is on his mind, and because he's often telling the truth, lots of folks catch feelings.
During the days of Bush II, an act of Mooney's was cut short during taping for Showtime at the Apollo because of comments from the comedian about the president. The offending line? "Fuck the Bushes. I hate the whole family. Like that mother of his, she looks like the guy on the Quaker Oats box." As a result, Mooney vowed to never again work at the historic Harlem theater.
This is just one moment in a long body of work meant to expose American inequality.