In August 2013 we gave you seven comedians who we predicted were about to blow up in a major way. They were seven great comics working clubs that were ready to break out into the mainstream. Our picks, Joe Mande, Chelsea Peretti, James Adomian, Rob Delaney, Ron Funches, Michael Che, and Rory Scovel have all had big years. From stand-up to television and beyond, here’s a look at what’s changed for these seven comedians since August 2013, and what they’re up to now. Have these 7 blown up? on their way? or have they blown up on the launchpad. Looking for more rising stars to check out? Read our list of 13 Going on 30: Young Comedians on the Rise featuring Pete Davison.
Michael Che’s rise in comedy could be one of the biggest and fastest you’ll ever see. Che wasn’t known much outside of NYC as a stand-up before he was hired as a guest writer for Saturday Night Live’s 39th season.
Since our last article, Che spent a season as a member of the Saturday Night Live writing team, where he co-wrote some of the season’s funniest and controversial sketches. Then in the Spring, Michael became the first stand-up to perform on Late Night with Seth Meyers. In late April of this year, Che was hired as a contributor for The Daily Show and spent the summer as the junior correspondent with the series. His time was cut short with Jon Stewart and the gang when Saturday Night Live came calling, inviting Che to become the first black new co-anchor of the prestigious Weekend Update segment on SNL alongside Colin Jost. The sky is the limit for Che, who even recorded a half-hour special for Comedy Central this year. Oh and if that’s not enough, he’ll be in Chris Rock’s upcoming Top Five which is already getting amazing reviews.
Slate Magazine calls Che “wildly talented”, Uproxx says the way Che’s career has been going, they expect him to be signed to star in a Judd Apatow movie any minute now, and Mike Birbiglia said “From the first time I watched him, I was like, ‘Oh yeah, he’s a star. That’s what a star is in comedy.”
Chelsea Peretti was already on the rise before she landed a role on the FOX comedy series Brooklyn Nine-Nine (which won the Golden Globe for best comedy series) but her scene-stealing role as office administrator Gina Linetti has propelled her to a new level. She’s also getting buzz for her various roles on Comedy Central’s Kroll Show. Peretti has continued to perform stand-up and even recorded her own special in San Francisco called One of the Greats which premieres Friday, November 14th on Netflix.
Here’s some of the recent Chelsea buzz: The Wall Street Journal picked her for their list of Fall Entertainment picks. Vanity Fair chose her for their 2013 “Comedians” issue. GQ called her “one of the sharpest comedians in the game!” Seattle Met said “Pinpointing Chelsea Peretti’s comedic brilliance can be taxing because it’s all over the proverbial map.” And when Netflix decided to start producing original comedy specials, they picked Chelsea to be a part of the first group to produce, calling her one of the “funniest comedians of our time.”
Ron Funches found immediate success upon moving to Los Angeles by scoring a writing job on Kroll Show and continuing his blossoming stand-up career. He followed it up by starring on the NBC comedy ‘Undateable‘, which was recently renewed for a second season, and there’s no doubt his character Shelly is one of the reasons. Funches also recorded a half-hour special for Comedy Central and was was one of the first comics chosen to perform during Jimmy Fallons’s first year as the host of the Tonight Show. He’s been called a “quiet comedy assassin.” Los Angeles Magazine said he “has taken the national comedy scene by storm” with a loveable laid back personality that is “a perfect vessel for his razor sharp observations.” and Variety put him on their list of 10 Comedians to Watch in 2014.
Rory Scovel first gained nationwide attention for his innovative appearances on Conan that saw him land a recurring role as Harvard on the TBS comedy Ground Floor which was just renewed for a second season. Scovel also continued his stand-up career by recording a yet-to-be-released one hour stand-up special and he was hand picked by Jack White to release a vinyl-only album on Jack White’s Third Man Records. Third Man called Scovel “one of their favorite comedians ever and one of the funniest stand ups they’ve seen in years.” He also destroyed on The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail on Comedy Central this year. This year, VICE called Rory Scovel “one of the most dynamic stand-up comedians performing today.” Comedian Sara Schaefer recently called him one of the funniest people in the world and said “He’s going to be massively famous once people realize what people in the business already know.” If 2014 was any indicator, it’s just the beginning for Scovel. You can purchase Rory’s vinyl only album at ThirdManStore.com.
James Adomian has continued to tour across the world performing stand-up as well as appearing on numerous TV shows, including Comedy Bang! Bang! as Chef Gordon Ramsey and a recent episode of the Comedy Central stand-up show Meltdown as the Sheriff of Nottingham. Adomian recently headlined the legendary Caroline’s on Broadway comedy club in NYC and will continue to play more prestigious venues. AV Club called James “a master impressionist with a sure grasp of his characters that makes him one of the most gifted improvisers around.” Tig Notaro told the Torontoist that if she could program her own comedy festival James Adomian would be her first choice for anyone alive. He’s in David Cross’s new film, HITS which got raves this year at Sundance. One of The Advocate’s Top 40 Under 40 for 2013. And this year, Complex.com put him on their “Kevin Hart Effect” list of the next big breakout comedians to move into acting. James’ Album ‘Low Hanging Fruit is available at Earwolf.com.
Joe Mande has continued to rise in the comedy world. He writes and appears on the Emmy nominated series Parks & Recreation, which is heading into its final season. Mande finally accomplished his goal of reaching one million fake Twitter followers, but has become a genuine twitter comedian creating comedy sketches in 140 characters or less at at time. He broke new ground this year releasing the first ever comedy mixtape entitled Bitchface. And you’ll see Mande in the upcoming Seth Rogen/James Franco comedy The Interview, out December 25th. Joe’s comedy mixtape ‘Bitchface’ is available now on iTunes. Paste Magazine praised his mixtape concept calling it “so novel that it’s a wonder no one has tried one before…Here the juxtaposition between the mixtape hallmarks and the self-deprecating comedy of Joe Mande is a perfectly absurd one, and has a great deal to do with the success of Bitchface.” Bustle magazine praised Mande’s unique use of twitter, the Washington Post called Joe Mande the world’s “premier retweet shamer” and Gothamist has praised his incomparable tweetiness.
With the release of his book, wildly popular Twitter account, and blossoming stand-up career, everything was turning up Delaney. That continued in 2014 as the BBC’s Channel 4 ordered a series from Delaney and Irish comedian Sharon Horgan. Delaney has continued to tour across the world performing stand-up as well as filming ‘Catastrophe’ which will premiere later this year. Rob’s book ‘Rob Delaney: Mother. Wife. Sister. Human. Warrior. Falcon. Yardstick. Turban. Cabbage.’ is available on Amazon.com. Jimmy Kimmel called Rob’s book “a book as funny, sincere, weird, wet, and wonderful as Rob Delaney himself” and Anthony Bourdain said Delaney is “the most dangerous man on Twitter” and says “the fact that he’s just as funny in long form makes me want to vomit with envy.”