There are thousands of stand ups around the world, and that’s not including the MILLIONS chained up in the dungeon of old, drunken kings. However, a few of these artists are making serious names for themselves armed with nothing but their jokes. The Paragons of Haha’s on this list may not have their own TV shows, but are certainly doing well enough that all of your coworkers know about them. Prepare yourself for a live-comedy chat at the water cooler today:
- Credits: His Damn Stand Up Comedy, Bunk, Delocated, Bob’s Burgers
- Why You Don’t Know Him: You prefer a life devoid of whimsy and have never purchased a vandalized “Thank You” card in New York City.
- Bio: Kurt’s self-proclaimed mission in comedy is to bring stupidity or absurdity into the public’s lives. He is debatably most famous for his acts of comedy activism, such as pretending to be various authors at the bookstore and proceeding to autograph those books. His 2013 live album How Do I Land was well received by critics, even the ones that like airplanes.
- Apartment Game Show with Kurt Braunohler
- Credits: His Damn Stand Up Comedy, Comedy Bang Bang, Eastbound and Down, Delocated, Reno 9-11, 5 Million Other Things
- Why You Don’t Know Him: Glasses make you throw up a bit.
- Bio: This man is a modern comedy legend living in LA, with a specialty in pretending to be other, less successful people. Andy is a gifted actor and his stand up album “Nine Sweaters” features him doing 5-13 minute sets as a different character on every track. That’s not to mention you’ve seen him as a minor role in literally every movie that has ever been made.
- Comedy Bang Bang Episode 200
Paul F. Tompkins
- Credits: His Damn Stand Up Comedy, Comedy Bang Bang, Mr. Show, Community
- Why You Don’t Know Him: Enchantingly told stories remind you of an older relative whom you are desperately trying to block out of your memory for some reason.
- Bio: This man is a modern comedy legend living in LA, with a specialty in pretending to be other, more successful people. Paul’s most popular impressions include Werner Herzog, Ice-T, The Cake Boss, Gary Marshall, John C. Reilly, and Andrew Lloyd Weber. Most impressive however, is the sheer amount of amateur comedians that try to be Paul by stealing his mustachioed-look.
- Stand Up Clip: “Laboring Under Delusions”
- Credits: His Damn Stand Up Comedy, The Eric Andre Show, Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock, Louie
- Why You Don’t Know Him: Sure you do, buddy, he’s that silence of the lambs guy.
- Bio: With a vocal style reminiscent of the famous Mitch Hedberg, Hannibal’s always got your back with a unique take on topics like why you should kick pigeons. The success of his 2009 album My Name is Hannibal launched his career all the way to funky town, landing him writing jobs on both SNL and the fifth season of NBC’s 30 Rock. Hannibal currently cohosts the Eric Andre Show on Adult Swim. That show is crazy.
- Stand Up Clip: “Live From Amsterdam”
- Credits: Her Damn Stand Up Comedy, Arrested Development, Adventure Time, Legend of Korra, CatDog
- Why You Don’t Know Her: You’re afraid of blonde people, which is something you’re going to have to confront eventually.
- Bio: Maria only sounds like a crazy person because she is so damn talented at doing voices. With an impressive voice-acting career from shows on Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon, Maria has no problem convincingly portraying a full dysfunctional family on stage. Even the dad, you ask? Yes, even the dad.
- Stand Up Clip: “Ask Me About My New God”
- Credits: His Damn Stand Up Comedy
- Why You Don’t Know Him: His bearded, punk-rock attitude is avoided at all costs in your sheep-like lifestyle.
- Bio: Mr. Kinane proudly quotes the London Evening Standard on stage for describing his act as “bleak and misanthropic.” Kyle has the soul of a modern poet alongside the soul of a meth’d out truck driver and the two of them have a hard time getting along in one body. He’s comfortable talking on stage about his useless creative writing degree from college or just bunnies having sex the wrong way in front of kids.
- Stand Up Clip: “Death of the Party”
- Credits: His Damn Stand Up Comedy
- Why You Don’t Know Him: He’s not on TV, which is apparently this HUGE deal.
- Bio: This man is known for his alternative sense of humor and his deadpan delivery on stage. He has as many jokes in his act as he does scientific experiments. Brent also holds the glorious title of winning the Andy Kaufman Award in 2007, who was this other guy you’ll have to read a whole different article about.
- Stand Up Clip: “Mostly Live”
- Credits: Her Damn Stand Up Comedy, The Roast of James Franco, Betas, Ugly Americans, He’s Just Not That Into You
- Why You Don’t Know Her: The hard E sounds in “The Queen of Mean” bring out your tinnitus.
- Bio: Natasha is renowned for her brutal style of comedy, which landed her on the Roast of James Franco last summer. She prefers the simple things in life like publicly mocking women who decide to keep their babies or enraging the internet over a Pearl Harbor joke. How can the internet still get enraged over a Pearl Harbor joke? They. Don’t. Have. Enough. Cats.
- Roasting Jay Leno:
- Credits: His Damn Stand Up Comedy, Portlandia, The Indoor Kids, Burning Love, Michael and Michael Have Issues
- Why You Don’t Know Him: Something something racism.
- Bio: The co-host of a podcast about video games with his wife, Kumail is a big ol’ nerd. Hailing from sunny Pakistan, Kumail manages to bring his jokes from an outsider’s perspective both socially and culturally. His appearances on Portlandia are always the highlight of the show, even though Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein are yelling all the time.
- Stand Up Clip: “Beta Male”
- Credits: His Damn Stand Up Comedy, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Bang Bang, Axe Cop, Children’s Hospital
- Why You Don’t Know Him: The gays have erased your memory of him with their insidious secret technologies.
- Bio: Legend says radical scientist James Adomian survived a blast from an experimental beam, emerging as a host for the souls of over 10 different TV personalities. He then proceeded to really kill it at stand up comedy using his unholy, new advantage. James can sound like a lot of different people, and he’s not afraid to get up in your face about culture, politics, and being gay around a lot of bullshit beer commercials.
- Stand Up Clip: “Low Hangin’ Fruit”