- Bill Cosby had his entire attitude shift after his son, Ennis, was killed while attempting a robbery. Since then, Cosby became a rather outspoken critic of African-American youth who focus on "looking cool" rather than doing well in school or finding a job, though that exact criticism would eventually play a big role in his own social dethronement via comedian Hannibal Buress's distaste of the underlying hypocrisy.
- Played for laughs by stand-up comedian/singer Stephen Lynch when he sings the last verse of the song "Superhero," where at one point he seems to get angrier by the second:If you could be a superheroWould you be Justice Guy?Making sure people get what they deserveEspecially women who lieLike if a wife left her husband with three kids and no jobTo run off to fuckin Hawaii with some doctor named BobYou could skin them and drain them of blood so they'd die! (Especially Bob!)Then you would be Justice Guy!
- British impressionist Mike Yarwood built a career out of being people other than himself. Renowned in the 1970s for his ability to effortlessly "do" politicians of the age such as Edward Heath, Harold Wilson and Jim Callaghan, a career largely based on impersonating Prime Ministers hit the rails in May 1979, when a woman was elected PM... Yarwood soon became one of the first victims of Thatcher's mass unemployment because of his inability to do drag, possibly making him unique among British comedians. He also discovered that while his takes on Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Jimmy Carter were pretty much spot on, he was incapable of doing Ronald Reagan. He soon learned nobody was interested in yesterday's politicians, and more than that, the "real" Mike Yarwood had been lost somewhere under all the other personas he put on for a living. Like Peter Sellers, he bemoaned his inability to find the "real me". This personal crisis developed into psychosis and alcoholism from which he never fully recovered.
- Vaughn Meader suffered a similar fate after November 22, 1963; even though he was a multi-talented comedian and entertainer, no one wanted to hear jokes of any kind from someone whose main claim to fame was a dead-on impersonation of John F. Kennedy. Fortunately, he was able to pull himself together and settle into a second career as a bluegrass musician in his native Maine.
- Margaret Cho spiraled into drug and alcohol addiction after the cancellation of her show All-American Girl, where she was not only forced to lose weight to play the part of herself but also simultaneously criticized for being "too Asian" and "not Asian enough." She wrote about her experiences in the book "I'm The One That I Want", and her stage show version of the book served to re-launch her career. Her experiences with Hollywood and addiction have since become a regular motif in her stand-up.
- Gallagher's stand-up career has never recovered from his previous fame in the 80s, where he was still viewed as more of a novelty act than anything else; over the years, his routines have become decidedly more racist and misogynist, and his vocal criticisms of basic, inconsequential things that modern stand-up comedians do (such as talk about themselves on stage or drink water) haven't even led to him being perceived as "edgy" or "controversial" — instead, most people in the industry either pity or mock him. His bizarre, rambling interview with The A.V. Club or storming off the set of WTF With Marc Maron don't lend much credence to his claims of "professionalism", either.
- Comedian Owen Benjamin has gone this way ever since getting banned from performing at colleges after a video rant about transgender children. His material and online presence going increasingly alt-right, and at times, much like Gallagher mentioned above, downright racist and misogynist, and going on rants on Twitter against anyone that disagrees with him. Things eventually came to a head when his Twitter account got banned and he was prohibited from live streaming on YouTube after verbally attacking a high school student and Parkland shooting survivor.
- Chris Rock's 2018 comedy special Tambourine, his first since 2008, has Chris discussing his failed marriage, infidelity, and the custody battle over his kids. This is especially notable because he rarely has specific references to his personal life in his stand-up.
Creator Breakdown / Stand-Up Comedy