It’s the dream of many a stand-up comedian: to get his or her very own TV show, and follow in the successful footsteps paved by legends like Jerry Seinfeld. Thanks to some early help from Mr. Johnny Carson early in his career, Seinfeld not only moved from stand-up to series star in Seinfeld on NBC, but he also managed to create a show that became a cultural icon of the ‘90s, with phrases that are engrained in our vernacular to this day. (Ever heard of the double dip, worn a puffy shirt, or met someone with man hands? Yep, those were all Seinfeld.)
While tremendous success hasn’t replaced the first love for most stand-up comedians (even Seinfeld still does standup gigs), many have made the move from behind the mic to the center of your TV screen in brilliant fashion. Here are just a few shining examples from some of the brightest comics around.