Every year, there are a few announcements we can’t wait to hear. Just for Laugh’s New Faces, and Variety’s 10 to Watch, are two of our favorites, and the third is the annual Comedy Central Half Hour lineup. The Comedy Central Half Hour is an important recognition of young comics just hitting their stride, and so many of the comics who get half hours go on to do big things soon after. We’re excited and proud to see our young comedy friends get recognized and every year we find a new favorite comic that we hadn’t been focused on before.
This year we were really happy to see some of our favorite comics get tapped for specials. We’re so excited Joe Machi who we adore, and made such a huge impression on Last Comic Standing. We first spotted Ramon Rivas II when he was a part of Jim Tews very cool documentary about the comedy scene in Cleveland, and now we can’t take three steps without seeing him. Mike Recine made a huge impression on us when he was a part of Carolines “New York’s Funniest” competition, and we’ve been following him ever since. He just put out a great album last year and we’re very excited to see the special. We’re not sure what took Comedy Central so long to get Emily Heller on the The Half Hour, but we’re so happy to see her make the list this year. Aparna Nancherla just released a huge album, she’s on Variety’s 10 Comics to Watch this year, and we’re sure she’s only days away from being ready for an Hour Special, but for now we’re content to check out her Half Hour. Martha Kelly‘s role on FX’s Baskets has shined a big spotlight on her many talents, and stand up is one of them. The Half Hour will also feature our friends Jaqueline Novak, Nick Turner, and Noah Gardenswartz, plus Naomi Ekperigin and Nate Fernald who we saw at Just for Laughs New Faces, as well as Cy Amundson, Erik Bergstrom, Matthew Broussard, Drew Michael, and Ali Siddiq who we don’t know as well…yet…but we’re excited to watch.
All of the Half Hour specials were recorded in New Orleans at the Civic Theater over four days back in June and based on all of the comedians’ twitter feeds and Instagrams, everyone had a great time.
The series premieres this Friday, August 26 at midnight ET/PT and 12:30 a.m. ET/PT featuring Noah Gardenswartz and Ramon Rivas II with two more episodes each Friday night after that.
Noah Gardenswartz was recently featured on Comedy Central’s “Adam DeVine’s House Party,” In 2014, he was selected as a New Face at the Montreal Just For Laughs Comedy Festival and in 2015, was a semi-finalist on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing.” His debut stand-up album “Blunt,” will be available on August 26 on Spotify, Amazon MP3, Google Play and all other streaming services.
Ramon Rivas II is a stand-up comedian and has been a gigantic part of the Cleveland Ohio comedy scene for years. He has appeared on “Doug Loves Movies,” SiriusXM’s Bennington Show, was selected as a Comic To Watch by Comedy Central in 2015 and in 2016 was selected to appear in the NBC/Second City Break Out Festival showcasing emerging talent. His yearly AccidentalComedy.com Fest (Aug 26-28) continues to establish Cleveland as an emerging hotbed for comedy in the Midwest.
September 2 at 12 and 12:30
Joe Machi has appeared on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” and “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.” He has become a regular on “Red Eye with Tom Shillue” on Fox News as well as on SiriusXM’s Bennington show and he’s one half of the Sam and Joe Show with Sam Morril who debuted his Half Hour last fall.
Drew Michael was born and raised in Chicago and currently lives in New York City. In 2014, he was a New Face at the Montreal Just For Laughs Festival. In 2013, Michael released his first album “Lovely” which debuted at #1 on iTunes’ comedy charts. He also hosts a podcast called, “I Might Be Wrong.” Comedy Central Records to digitally release Michael’s stand-up album, “Funny to Death” on September 2 and will be available on Spotify, Amazon MP3, Google Play and all other streaming services.
September 9 at 12 and 12:30
Aparna Nancherla started out doing comedy in her hometown of Washington, D.C. and now resides in New York City. She can be seen in the forthcoming seasons of HBO’s “Crashing,” Netflix’s “Love,” Comedy Central’s “Inside Amy Schumer” and Seeso’s “Night Train with Wyatt Cenac.” Other television appearances include Comedy Central’s “The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail” and “Adam DeVine’s House Party.” Her TV writing credits include “Late Night with Seth Meyers” as well as being a regular correspondent/writer on FX’s “Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell.” In July, her debut album “Just Putting It Out There,” was released by Tig Notaro’s label Bentzen Ball Records and reached #1 on the iTunes comedy chart.
Nate Fernald is originally from Chicago and lives in Los Angeles. He is currently a writer on CBS’s “The Late Late Show with James Corden.” In 2014, Fernald was named one of Comedy Central’s “Comics to Watch.”
September 16 at 12 and 12:30
Ali Siddiq is stand-up comedian, public speaker and writer out of Houston. His unique style of stand-up began behind the walls of incarceration, an incubator for interesting experiences and good stories. People received their first taste of Siddiq when he appeared on HBO’s “Def Comedy Jam” and Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham.” In 2013, he was named Comedy Central’s “#1 Comic to Watch.” Siddiq recently impressed comedy enthusiasts by displaying his ability to captivate an audience with his “Mexican Got Boots On” tale, a descriptive storytelling of a prison riot on Comedy Central’s “This is Not Happening.” Comedy Central Records to digitally release Siddiq’s stand-up album, “Damaged Goods” on September 16 and will be available on Spotify, Amazon MP3, Google Play and all other streaming services.
Cy Amundson made his television debut as a comic on TBS’s “Conan,” followed by appearances on Comedy Central’s “This Is Not Happening” and “Adam DeVine’s House Party.” As an actor, he co-starred in the feature “Break Point,” alongside J.K. Simmons and Amy Smart and has lent his voice to several characters in “Family Guy” and “American Dad.”
September 23 at 12 and 12:30
Emily Heller is currently a writer on TBS’s “People of Earth.” She has appeared on “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” “Conan” Comedy Central’s “The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail,” “John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show,” “Inside Amy Schumer” and “@midnight with Chris Hardwick.” Along with Lisa Hanawalt, she is also the co-host of the long-running podcast “Baby Geniuses” on the Maximum Fun Network.
Erik Bergstrom is a comedian and cartoonist who lives and works in New York City. He has appeared on MTV, VH1, Fuse, Comedy Central, and has been featured by VICE and Buzzfeed. His cartoons have appeared in The New Yorker and in his book “Grimmer Tales” released by Penguin Books. In 2015, he was diagnosed with stage IV Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which is in remission after a hard year of watching Netflix.
September 30 at 12 and 12:30
Martha Kelly is a stand-up comedian based out of Austin, TX. She has been featured on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” Comedy Central’s “Premium Blend,” “Last Comic Standing,” and “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.” Most recently, she landed her acting debut playing the role of Martha Brooks in FX’s “Baskets” which has been picked up for a second season.
Nick Turner is a Texas-born, Virginia-raised, New York-based comedian. He has performed stand-up on NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” and Comedy Central’s “John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show.” He has also appeared on VH1’s “Best Week Ever,” GSN’s “Lie Detectors” and truTV’s “Almost Genius” and he’s a regular on SiriusXM’s Bennington Show.
October 7 at 12:00 and 12:30
Mike Recine has performed stand-up on “Conan” and at Montreal’s Just for Laughs Festival. In fall 2015, Recine released his second album, “Union Delegate with Comedy Dynamics.” He has also written for MTV’s “Video Music Awards” in 2013. Mike’s a regular on SiriusXM’s Bennington Show.
Jacqueline Novak is a stand-up comedian and the author of the new humorous non-fiction memoir “How to Weep in Public: Feeble Offerings on Depression from One Who Knows” (Three Rivers Press, 2016). In 2015, Jacqueline made her network television debut on CBS’ “The Late Late Show with James Corden” and was named one of Comedy Central’s “Comics to Watch.”
October 14 at 12 and 12:30
Naomi Ekperigin is a stand-up comedian and writer from Harlem, New York who has been featured on VH1, MTV, and FX. She has worked as a staff writer on Comedy Central’s “Broad City” and Hulu’s “Difficult People.” In 2013, she was listed as one of the “7 Reasons Why SNL Should Hire a Black Woman” on Buzzfeed and one of “8 Black Comediennes Who are Ready for SNL” by Essence Magazine. She most recently guest starred on the truTV series “Adam Ruins Everything” and the VH1 series “Barely Famous.”
Ahmed Bharoocha was selected as a New Face in the Montreal Just For Laughs Comedy Festival. His stand-up has been featured on Comedy Central’s “Adam DeVine’s House Party,” VICELAND’s “Flophouse” and recently made his late-night television debut on “Conan.” Comedy Central Records to digitally release Bharoocha’s stand-up album, “Almond Badoody” on October 14 and will be available on Spotify, Amazon MP3, Google Play and all other streaming services.
October 21 (airs at midnight ET/PT):
Matthew Broussard was born in New Jersey, raised in Atlanta, and, in 2012, was the winner of Houston’s Funniest Person. Aside from his popular webcomic, mondaypunday.com, most recently he was a competitor on Comedy Central’s “Jeff Ross Presents Roast Battle” and has appeared on “Adam DeVine’s House Party,” FX’s “The League” and Fox’s “The Mindy Project.” He was also featured as a New Face at the 2015 Montreal Just For Laughs Comedy Festival. Comedy Central Records to digitally release Broussard’s stand-up album, “Pedantic” on October 21 and will be available on Spotify, Amazon MP3, Google Play and all other streaming services.
“The Half Hour” is executive produced by John Bravakis and Neil Sheridan from Triage Entertainment. JoAnn Grigioni and Miro Terrell are the Executives in Charge for Comedy Central.