International raconteur Glenn Wool is an intense, lyrical, magnetic performer with a flair for narrative twists and zero tolerance for hypocrisy. Small minds and sacred cows beware.
Comedians can never go wrong with relating personal experiences that offer a genuinely illuminating glimpse into their lives and mindsets. Ron Funches is one of the most exciting up-and-comers outside of New York or Los Angeles, and he consistently leaves converts not only wanting to hear more material, but wanting to know more about him as well.
The Apple Sisters
The key to selling an unlikely character premise? Attention to detail. Candy, Cora and Seedy Apple (Rebekka Johnson, Kimmy Gatewood and Sarah Lowe) are a trio of 1940s radio stars who sing, dance and hawk their sponsors’ wares. Their high-concept videos offer hours of retro hilarity; someone give them a sketch series, stat.
I was first turned on to Mike Kaiser by the Beards of Comedy. Not only are his persona-driven social observations bitingly brilliant, he’s also wicked smart offstage (so much so that he recently earned his Ph.D.). Even his seemingly-innocent seasonal stuff belies some seriously deep, dark truths.
Sean Rouse’s personal and professional struggles lend themselves to material largely unsuitable for passive mainstream consumption. Fortunately boosts from the likes of Dave Attell and Doug Stanhope continue to ensure that the loose-cannon misanthrope reaches like-minded audiences who could most benefit from his, ahem, solutions.
Little surprise that FX’s Totally Biased would snatch her up as a writer. Race and family are frequent themes, but Aparna Nancherla’s self-effacing approachability contrasts with the in-your-face aggression of, say, Margaret Cho. As an added bonus: Muppet humor!
He’s one of the nicest and most unassuming guys in comedy, slightly melancholy, often lost in thought. Henry Phillips’s songs, meanwhile, tend to lean toward the bitter, jaded and twisted side of the spectrum. His mock-autobiographical comedy Punching the Clown is required viewing (even more so now that Sarah Silverman is developing it as a Showtime series) for anyone even remotely interested in “making it.”
Jon Fisch’s credits include Letterman, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, and being my neighbor. He’s remarkably flexible and can adapt to any audience, venue or situation, while his style is one of simple observations and deliberate economy. Most remarkable of all is his ability to make everything seem so effortless.
Since moving from San Francisco to New York, Emily Heller has become one of the top female alternative comics to challenge the Old Guard. She’s quirky and eccentric without being grating, and possesses a formidable knack for taking a seemingly commonplace premise and extended it far into new and unexpected territory.
The dude is crazy, without a doubt. He’s also criminally underrated. For proof, see his feature film The Living Wake (with Jim Gaffigan and Jesse Eisenberg), music video “What’s It Gonna Be?” (with Dr. Ken Jeong), or this lovely little number that leaves me considering adopting such an infant just to grant Mike O’Connell his wish.