After experiencing a good comedy show, audience members may feel elated, angry, excited, or even enlightened. From deconstructing popular misconceptions to simply making people laugh, comedy serves an important role in our society. Whether you’re an aficionado of the form, or simply interested in discovering new talent, here, listed in no particular order, are some funny performers to check out.
Starting off the list at #1, Paul Scheer has starred in shows such as Showtime’s Black Monday and the FX sitcom The League. He was the co-creator and one of the stars of the cult MTV sketch series Human Giant, as well as the Adult Swim comedy-action-parody series NTSF:SD:SUV::.
In addition to his work in television and film, this comedian co-hosts two movie discussion podcasts: Unspooled with Amy Nicholson, and the award-winning How Did This Get Made? alongside June Diane Raphael and Jason Mantzoukas. Scheer has also penned titles for comic books and graphic novels by Marvel.
At #2 on our list, Romesh Ranganathan was a former mathematics teacher before he made his comedy circuit debut in 2010. After establishing himself as a new voice in British comedy, he starred on television shows like Asian Provocateur, The Misadventures of Romesh Ranganathan, The Reluctant Landlord, and Just Another Immigrant. This performer is a regular on the British game show, A League Of Their Own.
Following the success of his bestselling memoir, Straight Outta Crawley, Ranganathan’s second book, As Good As It Gets: Life Lessons from a Reluctant Adult, was released in the Fall of 2020. Published by Transworld, the book is a dissection of adulthood and the pressures that people face in the process of growing up.
Up next, at #3 is Cally Beaton, whose act makes use of personal anecdotes, observations, and confessions. This comedian enjoys engaging with audiences during her performances, and turning gender stereotypes on their heads.
Beaton premiered her first performance, Cat Call, alongside her comedy partner Catherine Bohart in 2016. Her 2017 debut solo show, Super Cally Fragile Lipstick, was met with positive reviews, received national press coverage, and was picked as Best of Edinburgh Fringe by The Arts Desk.
Coming in at #4, stand-up performer, writer, podcaster, actor, and amateur juggler Tiernan Douieb has performed in comedy clubs and theaters around the world. He is the host and writer of the Partly Political Broadcast, a comedy world events podcast that was chosen as one of The Observer’s Top Ten Political Podcasts of 2018.
When he isn’t acting or touring venues around the world, Douieb co-runs Comedy Club 4 Kids, a family-friendly stand-up and interactive entertainment performance show. As a writer, he has penned articles for publications such as Empire Magazine, Metro, and more. The Guardian has described Douieb as “opinionated, yet likable.”
On to #5, Christian Reilly uses his voice and guitar to perform musical comedy to audiences all over the world. As a global comedy circuit headliner, he has appeared at numerous international festivals, on BBC radio and TV, and in the award-winning stand-up and sketch show As It Occurs To Me. Reilly has been a regular at Edinburgh Festival since 1999, and his show, Gig Economy, was released on DVD in 2019.
Reilly also works on the Modern Monetary Theory podcast, where along with co-host Patricia Pino, he interviews experts and discusses topics such as inflation, hyperinflation, the gold standard, tax justice, and more.
#6 on the list is Jeff Greenspan. This New York City-based comedian, activist, and artist also freelances as an advertising writer and creative director. Greenspan is a regular at Stand Up NY and Gotham. His work can be seen on Netflix and in clubs and theaters around the US.
Greenspan’s other achievements include being the first chief creative officer at BuzzFeed, working closely with Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook to launch Timeline, and writing for filmmaker Michael Moore. Currently, this comedian is focusing on “being happy more than on being right,” which he says is “making him miserable.”
Finally, at #7 is New Jersey native Liz Miele, who started performing stand-up at age sixteen. Two years later, she was profiled in The New Yorker, and subsequently appeared on Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham.” An avid runner, she was profiled in the March 2015 issue of Runner’s World. This comedian regularly tours internationally and has several albums on Spotify and iTunes.
Miele wrote and produced season one of her animated web series “Damaged,” which includes the voices of such comics as Maz Jobrani, Hari Kondabolu, Jermaine Fowler, and Dean Edwards. She also co-produced and co-starred in 40 episodes of the web series, Apt C3.