Everywhere you look on TV it seems like a new comedian is taking over the airwaves, and it's been this way for years. Whether it be Jerry Seinfeld making the seamless transition from stand-up to sitcom stardom or people like Jon Stewart, who have taken the more traditional path from the stage to behind the talk show desk, every big star seems to have gotten his or her start performing stand-up shows.
Sometimes the formula is flipped around a little bit, however, and that is especially true for Daniel Tosh. The wise-cracking Comedy Central host got his start on the stage, and while he has always been a talented stand-up, his popularity skyrocketed after the debut of his TV show Tosh.0.
The show, which is essentially Tosh offering up sarcastic comments to YouTube videos, is the perfect venue for him to showcase his oft-offensive brand of humor. Since the show began in 2009, his stand-up star has risen considerably. He released his third comedy album Daniel Tosh: Happy Thoughts in 2011, which topped the Billboard comedy charts.
Tosh has been a big hit in the last three years, but few stand-up comedians have been more successful on TV than Louis C.K. The self-deprecating comedian became a critical favorite with the debut of his FX series Louie. He plays a somewhat fictionalized version of himself, and the show's dark humor - often coupled with several bits from his routine - have made the series one of the most unique on TV.
Along with his Emmy-winning series, Louis C.K. also helped pioneer a burgeoning trend in the stand-up world. He sold his 2011 special Live at the Beacon Theater for $5 online. Since then, other comedians have followed suit including Rob Delaney and Aziz Ansari.
Speaking of Ansari, he is also balancing a stand-up career with one of the most recognizable roles on TV - Parks and Recreation's Tom Haverford. Ansari had appeared intermittently on several shows and movies before - including Flight of the Conchords and Funny People - but his supporting role as Tom has helped propel Parks and Rec to be one of the most beloved comedies on TV.
Some people have taken the reverse route, including Craig Ferguson. The affable Scotland native gained notoriety for his role on The Drew Carey Show, and later as the host of The Late Late Show. However, he did not release his first comedy special until 2009.