There are a lot of rising stars in the comedy world right now, and it seems stand-up is in something of a golden age. Even sitcoms, for the most part, have done away with the laugh tracks and traded the sexy Hollywood stars and starlets for professionals in the art of being funny. Truthfully, the more great comedians that are out there performing, the harder it is to know whom to follow. We just want to warn you that the following 10 people likely will have you giggling at your desk.
Although John Mulaney is the mastermind behind classic Saturday Night Live character Stefon, he's mostly been a behind-the-scenes kind of guy. That's all about to change in October when his show Mulaney premières on Fox. Kroll Show fans might also recognize him from the "Oh, Hello" skits. If you haven't seen his stand-up special John Mulaney: New In Town on Netflix, do yourself a favor and spend the next hour or so laughing your pants off.
Nikki Glaser's machine gun-like brand of stand-up is unrelenting. Her performance on the Women Who Kill special (currently available on Netflix) with Amy Schumer, Marina Franklin, and Rachel Feinstein showcased her ability to bounce between raunchy jokes and self-deprecation. Although her MTV show Nikki & Sara Live (co-hosted by the noteworthy Sara Schaefer) was cancelled last year after two seasons, we see great things in her future. After all, she's one of the few comedians who can cram 10 jokes into a couple of minutes and still find a way to roll into each one in a completely effective way.
As an author and playwright, there's no doubt that Moshe Kasher is a smart dude. And not to gush, but his "French Clown" bit is a work of genius. From the absurd premise, use of planted hecklers, and effective build to the final joke, it's definitely a bold closer, not to mention a completely unique skit to throw into a stand-up routine. You might have seen the "French Clown" on Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail, but before that, it was part of Kasher's Live in Oakland stand-up special, which, if you haven't seen, you have to watch. It's available to stream on Netflix now.
With the recent release of Gillian Robespierre's Obvious Child, starring Slate, she's definitely more on people's radar than ever before. However, her smaller roles, such as Mona Lisa Saperstein on Parks and Recreation and Liz on Kroll Show, have given Slate a solid fan base. Her stand-up, much like her character's in Obvious Child, is deeply personal and just about as honest as you can get, which, in her case, is a recipe for hilarity.
You might know Hannibal Buress from his boy-toy role on Broad City. But if you saw his stand-up at last year's Oddball Comedy Tour (you know, when it actually came to Phoenix), you know his stand-up is killer, too. His mellow demeanor and sharp, witty observational humor complement each other in a totally unexpected and entertaining way. He wrote for both Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock, but we're glad he stayed behind the mic for the most part.
If there's any name on this list that you're likely least-familiar with, it's probably Heller's. However, we see her going places -- and fast -- in the next year or so. Her appearances on Conan and John Oliver's New York Stand Up Show gave her some exposure, but you really have to check out her YouTube series The Future, where she plays a hack psychic and tries to predict the future of other funny people.
If you follow the show @Midnight, chances are you're already a big fan of Ron Funches. His goofy and jovial, but still mild and bashful, presence makes him endearing. And then he'll go and say something completely filthy, and it totally slays. If you're not familiar with Funches, you'll probably be a fan after watching the Muppet Babies clip above. You can also catch him on the new NBC sitcom Undatable.
Dry and unapologetic, Natasha Leggero's level of not giving a fuck and going full force with her jokes makes her an ideal roaster. She's kind of like the mean girl in high school that you still wanted to be friends with because, despite her rudeness, she was brutally honest and it was funny. She's been a guest on pretty much every Comedy Central show in the past six or seven years, so someone should probably just give her a show already.
Kumail Nanjiani is totally hilarious in Portlandia and on Mike Judge's new HBO show Silicon Valley, especially in the finale's mathematical hand job bit. However, it's his new show with Jonah Ray on Comedy Central called Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail that makes us most excited to see what's in store for him. The show features many stand-up comedians on the rise, making it a great one to follow if you're trying to keep up with the growing number of great comedians. For video game lovers, Nanjiani also hosts a hilarious podcast called The Indoor Kids with his super-funny wife, Emily Gordon.
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As a past writer for both Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon as well as the show Crank Yankers, you've likely laughed at Morgan Murphy's jokes and didn't even know it. We prefer to hear her tell her own jokes though. Her dry, near-monotone delivery adds a level of surprise to the moments where she goes for more R-rated jokes. Case in point, the above clip about alcoholism and abortion.