Peter Cook - the comedians' comedian
The poll was conducted amongst over 300 comedians, comedy writers, directors and producers for a Channel 4 show, The Comedians' Comedian. Cook came in at first place, though his comedy partner Dudley Moore failed to make the top 50. The pair worked together on the Not Only...But Also TV shows.
Amongst the interviews shot for the show came Austin Powers star Michael Myers' words: "I didn't know dirty words could be done that artfully."
Arthur Smith said: "He had talent oozing out of him and he hardly had to exert himself as he was so brilliantly funny.
"He influenced a whole generation of people - even now he's spoken of in terms of awe."
The top ten comedy acts in the poll:
1. Peter Cook
2. John Cleese
3. Woody Allen
4. Eric Morecambe
5. Groucho Marx
6. Tommy Cooper
7. Laurel and Hardy
8. Billy Connolly
9. Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer
10. Richard Pryor