Comedy Central’s Half Hour series has become a big barometer for young comics who have a big future, and so every season when CC announces its new class of comics who will record a Half Hour, its a big deal.
This summer, some of our favorite young comics will be recording half hour specials with Comedy Central. We’re very excited to see these 17 tremendous young talents getting the recognition and the opportunity to record their first specials.
It’s hard to believe Joe Machi hasn’t done his Half Hour special yet, and we can’t wait to see it, after Machi exploded two summers ago on NBC’s Last Comic Standing. Emily Heller who is such a strong talent and has been a national headliner for years now, is also on the list. More overdue and due comedy talents include Mike Recine whose first album last year was so dark, so and original, and so terrific, Ramon Rivas II who quickly became a favorite of ours when we saw him in Jim Tews’ documentary about the Cleveland Comedy scene, “Make Fun”, New York comic Jacqueline Novak who just wrote her first book, Nick Turner who has been a guest on SiriusXM’s Bennington Show, we loved Martha Kelly at Moontower this year and on FX’s Baskets, plus the giant talents of Cy Amundson, Erik Bergstrom, Ahmed Bharoocha, Matthew Broussard, Naomi Ekperigin, Nate Fernald, Noah Gardenswartz, Drew Michael, Aparna Nancherla, and Ali Siddiq.
The 17 comics will tape Season Five of The Half Hour in New Orleans this summer at The Civic Theatre. The specials will tape June 1 though June 4 at 7:30 and 9:30pm each night and air in the fall. You can get free tickets to the taping by heading over to theblacklistnyc.com/nolahh.
Half Hour alums include Rory Scovel, Michael Che, Dan Soder, Nikki Glaser, Chris Gethard, Ron Funches, Sam Morril, Beth Stelling and Liza Treyger to name just a few.
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.”
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.
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.”
Matthew Broussard was born in New Jersey, raised in Atlanta, and, in 2012, was the winner of Houston’s Funniest Person. He has appeared on Comedy Central’s “Adam Devine’s House Party,” FX’s “The League” and NBC’s “The Mindy Project.” He was also featured as a New Face at the 2015 Montreal Just For Laughs Comedy Festival.
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.”
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.”
Noah Gardenswartz is a comedian based out of New York who was most recently featured on Comedy Central’s “Adam Devine’s House Party.” In 2014, he was selected as one of the New Faces at the Montreal Just For Laughs Comedy Festival and in 2015, was a semi-finalist on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing.” Gardenswartz also recorded his debut stand-up album with Comedy Central Records which will be available in fall 2016.
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.
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.
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. Machi also won the 2013 New York Comedy Festival’s “Funniest Comedian Competition” and the 2010 New York Underground Comedy Festival’s “Emerging Comics Competition.”
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.”
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 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.”
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’s “The Late Late Show with James Corden” and was named one of Comedy Central’s “Comics to Watch.”
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.
Ramon Rivas II is a stand-up comedian and eminent Latino from Cleveland, OH. He has appeared on “Doug Loves Movies” and was selected as a Comic To Watch by Comedy Central in 2015. His yearly AccidentalComedy.com Fest (Aug 26-28) continues to establish Cleveland as an emerging hotbed for comedy in the Midwest. This is Rivas’s first television appearance.
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.”
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.”
“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.