When the world is this dismal, you really have to reach to find the laughter. But with the help of a good sitcom or quality stand up comedy show, humor can be found in even the darkest times. We know the big names already: Chris Rock, Nicki Glaser, Amy Schumer. And while we get it, they’re great — would it kill us to get a few new fresh faces in the mix?
We’ve got some funny men and women who have been making waves in comedy clubs for a while now, but there are some newcomers on the horizon who we’re ALL going to be obsessed with soon enough. These are the best comedians to watch out for in 2018. Get to know them now so you can be one of those ~cool~ people who knew about them before everyone else did!
1. D.J. Demers
This funnyman has been featured on the eleventh season of America’s Got Talent and he’s also been on Conan. Representing those with hearing disabilities, the tagline for D.J. Demers‘ podcast, Definitely D.J. is “He’s bad at hearing, but great at listening.” We love a guy that can poke fun at himself and keep things light and that’s just how D.J. does it.
2. Dulcé Sloan
One of the newest faces on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Dulcé Sloan is a fresh addition to the crew. She’s had comedy specials, been on late night shows and won festivals, yet her name remains still fairly unknown. She’s obviously a force to be reckoned with in the comedy world, but we feel 2018 is the year she becomes a household name, for sure.
3. Rhea Butcher
You may know her already if you’re a comedy fan who’s on top of your stuff. Her wife, Cameron Esposito is all over the place making Rhea, too, a bit more visible. She’s been forging her own path for a while and it certainly seems like 2018 will be this comedian’s year. Her observational humor has left people LOLing across the country as she talks about everything from her butch lesbian identity to feminism and even baseball.
4. Shane Torres
Like many, Shane Torres is no stranger to podcasts. His Help Wanted is a favorite for those who like to laugh. He’s also a contributing writer to Laughspin and Nailed Magazine but his humor doesn’t just stop on the page. A comic to watch, too, he spends a lot of his time on the road out on the west coast and throughout the southwest doing shows.
5. Maggie Maye
Maggie Maye got her start in in comedy with her improv troupe Damn, Gina! Those skills helped her make the transition to stand up. With that, the Texan moved to Los Angeles and has been making waves in the comedy scene ever since. Performing not only on Conan but also at the infamous Comedy Store on the Sunset Strip, Maggie Maye is dynamic and brazen. Also, make sure to follow her on Twitter because it’s FIRE.
6. Fortune Feimster
Fans of The Mindy Project recognize this face. She played the rough around the edges nurse Colette on the Hulu series for the last few seasons. While on a beloved series, it’s time for Fortune Feimster to step out into the limelight as the star. 2018 is that year.
With Mindy over and done, Fortune is going hard with her standup and movies. She’ll be in 2018’s Social Animals alongside The Handmaid’s Tale‘sSamira Wiley, and How I Met Your Mother‘s, Josh Radnor.
7. Ian Karmel
This Oregon native moved to Los Angeles to make a name for himself and 2017 was just the beginning of that process. He’s been working for years, but 2017 marked his first Emmy nomination for his work on The Tonys. He’s already proven himself to be a master-class comedy writer and his stand ups are just as funny. Who knows? Maybe 2018 could be the year for his Oscar win.
8. Hari Kondabolu
A well-respected political based comic, Hari Kondabolu is bomb. He earned his degree in politics – so dude knows his stuff. Only he can deliver it in a manner that makes you laugh and think instead of just scratch your head. This year he made headlines with his documentary The Problem with Apu. In it, he explores the damage caused by the popular Simpsons character. With the buzz around that, we’re interested and excited to see what Hari does next.
9. Brendan Schaub
This is one of those rare occurrences when comedy and sports come together. Brendan Schaub used to be a football player and an MMA fighter. Now he’s a standup comedian and podcaster. Say what? Bringing a truly different perspective to the game, he’s one to keep an eye out for in the world of comedy.
10. Emily Heller
Sometimes I feel like I’m in on a grand secret when it comes to Emily Heller. I saw her on Conan and completely fell in love. Later I saw her in person, and my love grew even more. Awkward at times, she’s my kind of comedian. She’s not only funny onstage, but on TV as well. She’s appeared in Maron, Adam Ruins Everything and FX’s You’re the Worst. Keep an eye out because genuinely, I think she’s the next big thing.
11. Jesus Trejo
Educating audiences through humor about what it is truly like to grow up Mexican is Jesus Trejo‘s forte. He’s definitely on par with the likes of Gabriel Iglesias! You may have seen him on the Sullivan & Son or Adam Devine‘s House Party. Make sure to keep an eye out for more of his appearances, especially in Los Angeles at The Comedy Store where he frequently gigs.
12. Lane Moore
Not only is Lane Moore an exquisite musician, but she’s also quite the joke-teller. She landed in the Top 20 on Paste Magazine‘s “75 Funniest People On Twitter.” She was in good company that year with Silicon Valley‘sKumail Nanjiani and our girl, Emily Heller. People from all over have absolutely loved her Tinder LIVE! show where she takes her tales from the app and brings it to the stage.
13. Rory Scovel
Like Emily Heller, this guy is just waiting to pop off into the mainstream. Right now, he’s a bit of an indie gem. You may have seen Rory Scovel in a cascade of shows like Ground Floor, Wrecked and The Great Indoors. Maybe not, but you should have because he knows how to steal a scene. Right now you can see his Netflix special, Tried Stand-Up For The First Time. Trust us, this won’t be his last one either.
14. Aparna Nancherla
Some of the best comics come from the world of late night. Aparna Nancherla is no different. Back in 2012, she was writing for W. Kamau Bell‘s Totally Biased. More recently, she was on the Late Night With Seth Meyers staff. Of course, that’s not all she can do. She has made us laugh on screen this past year in Crashing, Master of None and Love. Now it’s her turn to take the lead!
15. Nick Youssef
Those in Los Angeles know Nick Youssef fairly world and it’s just about time that the rest of the world will be catching on. He’s a staple at The Comedy Store. He even hosts his own workshop series there every month where comedians can work on new material in front of an audience. We’ve got no doubt that he’ll continue to get more popular when 2018 rolls around.
16. Phoebe Robinson
Wait, you know her right? If not, where have you been? She and her bestie/”work wife” Jessica Williams are all over with their podcast, 2 Dope Queens. She’s written for MTV’s Girl Code, Comedy Central’s Broad City and even toured with Ilana Glazer. What hasn’t she done? We’re not sure because she’s also a celebrated blogger and author. Hmm, yeah, 2018 better be ready because it’s Phoebe’s for the taking.