Well, well, well, it's been a whole year since I released my first completely awesome and totally biased list of amazing stand-up comics for you to dig on. I'd say that's enough time for me to trot out a new list for y'all.
If you didn't catch my drift last year, I don't call this a "The Best" list because when we all know those are just cobbled together based on industry influence and personal taste. This one's entirely personal taste. These ARE some of the funniest guys working in Los Angeles today AND some of the best people you could ever know, but that's just one (really well-informed) gal's opinion.
Brent Morin (@BrentMorin) I am completely in comedy love with Brent. If Fahim kicked off my thinking for the 2013 list, Brent was my inspiration for this one. Brent does that thing I love where he takes an often silly concept and weaves an entire world around in onstage, so every line, every voice, every act out and every callback just exponentially increases how funny it is. I can never even narrow down which bit of his I like best because they're ALL amazing (ok, "overconfident 13 year old trying to sleep with his teacher"). He'll be all over your TVs on the upcoming NBC sitcom Undateable. And he's bringing winking back.
Ron Funches (@RunFunches) I don't have the pleasure of knowing Ron all that well, but he just exudes warmth and kindness. I'm not being flippant when I say if I'd been in the terminal with him during the LAX shooting, I would have just run over wherever he was and know everything was going to be alright. He's so, so very funny and even has jokes about his kids that crack me up (which I consider a difficulty 11 move). He's affable and charming and just so likeable onstage, it's almost like bonus points that's he's so good at comedy. You'll get to see this human snuggie on your TVs along with Brent on Undateable.
Jesus Trejo (@JesusTrejo) Awwwww, Jesuuuuuuuuuuus! One of the sweetest guys you could ever meet.. and one of the most hilarious onstage and off. Whether he's just riffing in the parking lot or crushing on stage, he's charming and goofy and just a tad weird. His physical humor and elastic face make him incredibly accessible to just about any audience and he does some great impressions, too. He's opened for Russell Peters and can be seen on TBS's Sullivan and Son and hopefully a lot more places, soon.
Jon Huck (@JonHuck) Jon Huck has two of my favorite things - a beard and a drinking problem. Make that three, he's also got a great bit that's short enough that I can remember and do it justice in recounting to other people ("Weird Al Pacino"). His This is Not Happening episode (below) is one of my top five favorites of the entire series. You can also check him out on The Full Count Podcast with Shawn Halpin.
Tony Hinchcliffe (@TonyHinchcliffe) From the beginning, Tony's been my roommate, cheerleader, cheerleadee and friend and that entire time he's just been honing his razor sharp wit onstage and on paper. This past year, he wrote for both The Burn with Jeff Ross an The Comedy Central Roast and has now launched his own brand of barbed comedy with the hugely popular #KILLTONY podcast on the DEATHSQUAD network. He's on the road all the time with guys like Joe Rogan, Redban and Jeff Ross and of course all over LA.
Steve Simeone (@SteveSimeone) Steve Simeone makes you feel good to be alive. His set is so charmingly open and honest, with the wide-eyed wonder of a child. But don't get me wrong, this is grown-up comedy, through and through. He also brings so much energy to the stage, it's like he has extra to share with the audience. I love his stuff viscerally, but also academically (in other words, it makes me laugh without thinking and on reflection, it's structurally amazing). It's nice to see that the bare-souled honesty that makes good comedy doesn't inherently have to be coupled with darkness and neurosis. Steve recently recorded his first album and that should be out soon!
Kyle Ray (@theKyleRay) A friend once described Kyle as "a regular white guy, speaking the truth" and they nailed it. Kyle's like the smartest of your smartass friends who will tell you the funniest rant about some dickhead driver he encountered today over too many beers then philosophize about rites of passage as you threw up in the alley outside. Kyle performs regularly in LA and San Diego when he's not out on the road.
Stuart Thompson (@stuartbthompson) Stuart's the young pup of the bunch, having just graduated from college a few short years ago. We've already managed to darken him up a liitle bit and he's grown the sinister mustache to prove it. Stuart's got good jokes and does killer impressions and has a face that makes you wonder if either he just came from sculling practice or there's a dead girl in the trunk of his car. Or maybe both. He can be seen in LA, San Diego and the Bay area and is co-producer of the Not So Paid Regular Show.