Even when the world stopped, comedy didn't.
At the height of the pandemic, sketch and standup comedians were forced to adapt their work for at-home audiences, with many gaining massive followings on social media platforms such as TikTok. Now, there's a new crop of talent that's taking over Hollywood.
Viral comedy trio Please Don't Destroy brought their unpredictable brand of humor to "Saturday Night Live" as writers this past season, and are now making a movie with Judd Apatow to be released next year. "Hacks" star Meg Stalter similarly translated her chaotic character videos into a burgeoning film and TV career, while internet sensation Quinta Brunson made Emmys history with her beloved ABC sitcom "Abbott Elementary," which racked up seven nominations, including outstanding comedy series.
Here are 10 more rising comedy stars who are poised to break out:
Cohen's distinctive blend of old-school glamor, irreverent songs and freewheeling banter has made her a staple of New York's comedy scene, where she performs her weekly "Cabernet Cabaret" show when she's not on tour. After guesting on Comedy Central's "Awkwafina is Nora from Queens" and FX's "What We Do in the Shadows" last year, she debuted her first Netflix special, "The Twist…? She's Gorgeous," this past March. She'll next star in Freeform dramedy series "While You Were Breeding."
The Twitter comedian has gone viral with several of his droll front-facing videos, playing awkward spokespeople for "less sexy" M&Ms and OnlyFans, and most memorably, a bread-starved pigeon at a Pride event. Next up, the Second City alum will co-star with Rose Byrne and Seth Rogen in Apple TV+ comedy "Platonic."
a pigeon at pride pic.twitter.com/ZOmEJYeuan
— Vinny Thomas (@vinn_ayy) June 16, 2021
The 27-year-old "Late Night" writer broke out three years ago in the show's most charming recurring segment, in which host Seth Meyers quizzed her on '80s and '90s pop culture. Chee, who also performs standup, has written for the Golden Globes and acted in HBO's "High Maintenance." She is also developing a movie and working on a book, according to her website.
The Los Angeles native took off during the early days of quarantine with her wonderfully weird and specific character videos: a woman who gets turned down by her roommate mid-cooking demo, and someone who's been excluded from their family's erotic film. Kuhlenschmidt, who frequently parodies queer culture and politics in her work, recently co-starred in the final season of HBO Max's "Search Party."
woman confuses joe biden for pete buttigieg pic.twitter.com/jMtXR6pBZz
— Ms. Grace Kuhlenschmidt (@GKuhlenschmidt) November 3, 2020
The Florida-raised comedian blew up on TikTok during quarantine with his inspired sketches about game nights in heaven and Gmail "security" measures, in which he played multiple characters. He was quickly scooped up by "Late Night with Seth Meyers" as a writer and made his TV standup debut on the show this year.
As a standup, Perez has brought her no-holds-barred humor to Comedy Central and Netflix is a Joke festival. This past year, she appeared in the new seasons of Netflix's "Russian Doll" and HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm," and recently announced that she's joining Amazon rom-com "With Love" for Season 2.
Known for his genial crowd work and playful musings on sex and dating, Zimmerman is a regular at New York's famed Comedy Cellar and also publishes humor pieces in The New Yorker. His first book, "Is It Hot in Here?," will be released this fall.
Although he's among India's most popular comedians, Das is finally breaking through in the U.S., thanks in part to roles in Apatow's "The Bubble" and a viral monologue about sexual violence in his native country, which he delivered at Washington, D.C.'s Kennedy Center last November. He is currently developing a Fox comedy series executive-produced by Andy Samberg, and will embark on a North American tour this fall.
The New York native co-hosts podcast "The Unofficial Expert" with fellow standup Marie Faustin, in which comedians riff on their fields of expertise ranging from cookouts to thirst traps to Mariah Carey. Washington has also appeared on HBO's "Pause with Sam Jay" and Showtime's "Ziwe," and was Emmy-nominated last month for outstanding actress in a short-form comedy or drama series for Grindr original "Bridesman."
Wang has performed on NBC's "Last Comic Standing" and HBO's "2 Dope Queens," and served as a staff writer and actor on ABC sitcom "Fresh Off the Boat." He taped his first hour-long Netflix special in June, produced and helmed by fellow comedian Ali Wong in her directorial debut.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 10 comedians to watch in 2022, from Vinny Thomas to Sheng Wang
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