The Phoenix Nights star won 10% of the votes in the Great British Spirit poll commissioned by Gin distillers Greenall's, beating Billy Connolly and Michael McIntyre into joint second place with 8% each.
The late Ronnie Barker came fourth with 6% of the vote, while the Monty Python team came fifth.
Greenall's spokeswoman Christina Brown said: "Peter Kay has been a phenomenal success since his rise to fame a decade ago. His shows are consistently sold out and his jokes and comedy one-liners are the stuff of legend now.
"It was a surprise that comedy legends like Eric Morecambe and Peter Sellers didn't manage a place in the top five greatest comedians but it just goes to show the truly universal appeal of the new comedy stars on the block that they haven't made the top of the league."
The questionnaire of 3,000 Britons was conducted last month by OnePoll.
Kay has previously won the BBC's 'New Comedy Award' and more recently topped a 'Best Comedian' poll from Jongleurs Comedy Clubs.