Home Culture Culture Lists

10 Comedians You Need to Know

From ‘Saturday Night Live’ writers to scathing new stand-up routines, here are the funny people who are changing the way comedy works

The current popularity of stand-up comedy means a constant stream of jokes, specials and fresh comedians; fans will never be at a loss to hear different perspectives and inventive approaches to every subject under the sun. One of the only difficulties is trying to dig through the embarrassment of riches to hone in on new and interesting voices. Here, Rolling Stone does some of the work for you, picking some of the brightest young talents worth watching as they nab their first, big credits and beyond. From the “Space Prince” to a man one identified onstage as “Ahbad Badoody,” these firecrackers and oddballs have been rising in the ranks and sure to break big soon.

Leonard Ouzts

Yoko Haraoka

Leonard Ouzts

Ouzts is still a young comic, but his appealing history – which is full of shit jobs, like being a waiter at IHOP – and loads of self-doubt give this natural talent plenty of fodder for his act. An offhanded yet inviting delivery sucks audiences in and makes them want to root for him as he ponders: “What if I get a big girl pregnant, and the baby grow up, start to walk and run, and we can’t catch it? We’ll literally be unfit parents.” His expressive mug – including eyes that widen to the side of saucers – can create a punchline on its own. Add these assets together, and Ouzts can convince comedy fans he is the complete package in just one set, as is evidenced in some of this New York comic’s early credits, including Adam Devine’s House Party and Conan. While Ouzts is a big dude, and quite happy to talk food and weight, it’s not a signature issue on which he’ll spend the entirety of his career dwelling.

Dulce Sloan

Celeste Echols

Dulce Sloan

Dulcé Sloan is wildly confident for a young stand-up. She doesn’t need to seduce, bully or otherwise cajole audiences into listening; she speaks and they simply fall in line behind her, ready to hear everything she’s got to say about Spanx or why its better to fear the Congolese than Chicagoans. (“Ma’am, that bitch is a child soldier. She’ll kill you with a blowdart and a sharpened banana.”) The Atlanta-bred, L.A.-based comic has already racked up a number of great credits, including Conan and Steve Harvey’s “Comedians You Should Know” segment, won her episode of the Chris Hardwick-hosted @midnight, and she’s already begun to pick up promising industry gigs (including a role in a new pilot opposite Eva Longoria). Chances are Sloan’s self-assured sass will lead to great things, and sooner rather than later.