Serving in the military is a brave choice a small group of Americans makes to guarantee the security of all of us. We at Stand Up NY would like to thank all veterans for the sacrifices they made to keep this country safe. Thankfully, for some veterans, serving in the military inspired them to start writing jokes. Here is a partial list of notable comedians that answered the call to service and went on to successful careers in comedy. So if you think you’re pretty funny and currently serving in the military but wondering what you’re going to do when your service is over, perhaps it is time to start writing jokes.
Mel Brooks – Actor/comedian/director Mel Brooks was an Army Corporal who specialized in defusing landmines and served in the Battle of the Bulge, one of the most important and bloodiest battles of the Western Front in World War 2.
Drew Carey – Comedian and game show host Drew Carey served in the Marine Corps Reserves for six years.
George Carlin – Comedy rebel George Carlin served in the Air Force in the 1950s as a radar technician. He was court-martialed 3 times and given a general discharge in 1957.
Johnny Carson – Legendary Tonight Show host Johnny Carson was a Navy Communications Officer in charge of decoding encrypted messages during World War 2. He was also an undefeated amateur boxer during his time in the Navy.
James P. Connolly – James P. Connolly served in the Marines during the First Gulf War and rose to the rank of Captain. He credits his commanding officer making him write jokes for an Officer’s roast as the beginning of his comedy career.
Benari Poulten – New York standup comedian and writer Benari Poulten joined the Army Reserve in 1999 and served in combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Don Rickles – Legendary comedian Don Rickles served in the Navy in World War 2 on a torpedo boat.
Rob Riggle – Comedian/Actor Rob Riggle was in the Marine Corps Reserve for 23 years and achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He was still serving while he was a correspondent on The Daily Show. Riggle was deployed overseas multiple times and served in combat in Afghanistan.
Katie Robinson – Comedy Store regular Katie Robinson served as a Chem-bio-radiation Officer in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Ron White – Ron White’s father made him join the Navy at 17 after he was kicked out of high school in the early 1970s. White claims that in a hearing before his discharge his commanding officer called him a “hole in our nation’s national defense.”