OH MY GOD IT'S ANOTHER LIST! Yes, yes it is. Is this gonna help you land JFL or a network sitcom? Probably not. Is it gonna impress your ex girlfriend from high school, yeah it'll do that.
Here, for you, my annual tradition of basically nerding out on people I love both onstage & off, who just happen to be incredibly talented folks that you should check in to if you like things like "being entertained" and "happiness"
Also, I should point out most of these funny fellas have exceptionally awesome girlfriends or wives, so keep your crushes in check. Notable exceptions - stalk the hell out of Mark and Dave, they'll love it.
Steve Simeone (@SteveSimeone) - Steve Simeone is just a ray of light. He's a person whose sets and conversations consistently leave me happier than when they started. Thoughtful, upbeat but not saccharine, Steve's your proverbial buddy with the best stories. I HIGHLY recommend his album Remember This and his podcast Good Times. They will make your life better, no exaggeration.
Joe List (@JoeListComedy) - Oh man do I love Joe List. All my comedian friends told me he was the shit when I moved to town and they were right! So right! He's a fantastic joke writer and somehow makes being riddled with anxiety look adorable. He made his first Letterman appearance this year and can be heard on the charmingly degenerate podcast Tuesdays With Stories
Mark Normand (@marknorm) - Speaking of Tuesdays With Stories and fantastic joke writers - Mark Normand! I love this guy! Hard working, hard partying and just so fucking nice all the time. You got to see him for a minute of Last Comic this year and he'll be appearing an the new Amy Schumer-Judd Apatow movie, and I expect you'll get to see a lot more of him on whatever size screen you like very soon. If you can't wait, you can check out his The Half Hour and album Still Got It right now!
Joe Machi (@JoeMachi) - Another Joe that I love! Machi is DELIGHTFUL as a comedian and a person. Whether he's playing the straight man with comedy bud Sam Morril or shining in his own spotlight, Joe is so smart and funny and has fantastic timing. Of course, he was one of the finalists on Last Comic this year, but don't write him off as some flash-in-the-pan reality show comic. Just give thanks that that show made it possible for people around the country to see Machi in person. I like Machi so much, I'm gonna leave Sam Morril off this list, even though I love him, just so they can have something else to fight about.
Joe Zimmerman (@JoeZimmerman) - Look, if you're funny and your name is "Joe" I'm gonna like you. But Joe Z has more going on for him than just my (apparently) favorite name. His little bit of southern drawl and pacing add an extra cherry on top of just hysterical jokes. And he's smarter than he lets on in his science podcast Universe City. Also, he's a ginger with a beard, what do you think I'm gonna do, fight the laws of nature and not think he's totally swell?? You can check out Joe on The Half Hour and you can also grab his album Smiling at Wolves.
Luis J Gomez (@LuisJGomez) - All right, now we're getting into the bad boys! Luis is actually a total kitten, but he's also a buff Puerto Rican, and judging by his Legion of Skanks couples dance with Dave, he'll throw you around a bit. Luis is one of the first new-to-me guys I saw in NY that I really dug. He's a smart smartass and big time degenerate, which makes him a joy to watch onstage. He's on fifty-eleven podcasts, so check his site for the weekly sched.
Dave Smith (@ComicDaveSmith) - Boy do I love looking at Dave Smith's face. I'm actually glad it took me a minute to notice how handsome he is, so that first I could appreciate his incredibly intelligent jokes. Dave also shows off that handsome brain on his podcast Part Of the Problem and web series Dave Smith On, and just gets silly on Legion of Skanks.
Josh Gondelman (@JoshGondelman) - OK, delightful, DELIGHTFUL. Josh Gondelman is not only so sharp and so funny, but he is soooooo nice. I've been in love with his twitter (and his side twitter Modern Seinfeld) since long before I met him or had the joy of seeing him live. They say "Don't Meet Your Heroes" but Josh is the exception that proves the rule. You can also enjoy the fruits of his hilarity semi-weekly on Last Week Tonight. He's also probably doing dozens of other awesome things that he's just way too cool to brag about.
Pete Lee (@PeteLeeTweets) - Oh my gosh, what a great midwestern boy Pete is. Just delightful, DELIGHTFUL (I think I'm gonna win some Google search award for "Most Uses of Delightful In a Single Blog Post"). Tremendously funny and so gosh darn likeable. You might've caught this cutie on Best Week Ever or in your hometown, because he's out touring ALL THE TIME.
Aaron Berg (@AaronBergComedy)- If Luis is a secret teddy bear, Aaron is an even secreter teddy bear. He is so crazy raunchy onstage and just gives off so much energy it's like he's creating a circus and then leading it every time. You'd expect offstage he's just throwing hos in the back of a limo to do blow off their butts on the way to score more drugs in the sketchiest part of town. And, well, probably he did that one or two or eleven times back in the day. But now he's just a sweet, charming teddy bear. For serious. But he does have a hilarious book out called Mr Manners that details much of the sketchiness you'd expect.
James L Mattern (@JamesLMattern) - Awww, little Jamie Mattern is all grown up and not going by "Maddog" anymore. Unequivocally one of the top emcees in town, Mattern hasn't just changed his name, he's also started doing regular sets with regular jokes on top of his exceptional hosting work. And they're pretty darn good jokes, too. He has a very unique way of thinking and way of speaking, so whether he's yelling so loud he has to hold the mic by his waist or practically whispering, "Now listen, my peoples..." it's completely engaging. He cohosts a number of podcasts, including Lust For Life and Guns n Roses themed Get In The Ring.
Robby Slowik (@RobbySlowik) - Yes, he's my roommate, but I also only live with very funny people, so suck it. Robby's the only one on this year's list I've actually had the pleasure of watching grow from a newbie(ish) comic to an incredible force on stage. He's now slinging jokes so well written that they can range from very silly to very dark and keep everyone on board, plus he's incredibly quick on his feet. You can check out his web series Littlefinger Lately or see him monthly, hosting Stand-Up On the Spot.
And a last little shout out to three of my biggest crushes who are conspicuously missing from this list - Jay Oakerson, Rory Albanese, and Greer Barnes. Basically, if you don't already know these guys... I don't even know what to say.