Variety’s 10 Comics To Watch revealed (Updated)

By | July 10, 2012 at 4:27 pm | 7 comments | feature slider, News | Tags: , ,

One of the biggest events in the comedy world each year is Variety‘s unveiling of their annual 10 Comics To Watch feature. The issue is usually released during the last week of Montreal’s Just For Laughs comedy festival, which holds a cocktail reception for the newly anointed comedians.

If my memory is correct, Variety keeps the list closely guarded until the actual issue (with accompanying profiles on each comic) is released. However,  the list of comedians appeared on the back of Monday’s issue. And comedian and Chelsea Lately regular Sarah Colonna earlier today tweeted the list. “Variety’s annual 10 Comics to Watch list announced (Official issue out 7/25). I’m excited! (cc: @robdelaney),” her tweet read, referring to her inclusion on the list, which you can see below.

And about the list, itself: there’s not too much to complain about. Jillian Bell is a former Saturday Night Live scribe and currently appears on Comedy Central’s hit series Workaholics. Kurt Braunohler has been a well-respected stand-up for years and currently hosts the mock game show Bunk on IFC. Sarah Colonna, as I mentioned, is a regular on Chelsea Lately (and more importantly one of the show’s writers, and so appears on After Lately) as well as an author. Rob Delaney is, of course, a stand-up comedian and writer who rose to relative fame due to his never-not-funny Twitter account. Lil Rel Howery is a Chicago comedian whose been cast on the upcoming rebooted version of In Living Color.

Jake Hurwitz and Amir Blumenfeld (aka Jake and Amir) are College Humor’s flagship personalities, as they star in videos, host live events and write for the site. Moshe Kasher? Well, we named him a Comic To Watch back in 2009 and listed his 2008 album as one of the 10 best of the year. This year he published his outstanding memoir Kasher in the Rye. Joe Mande is a stellar comic who, until recently, was based in New York City. He just moved to Los Angeles take a job as a writer on NBC’s Parks and Recreation!

Rory Scovel released his debut album earlier this year, but  established himself as a highly sought-after comedian years ago. He’s even appeared in a pair of high-profile, national car commercials. And finally, there’s Jessica Williams, a UCB alum who became a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart this year.

What do you think of this year’s list? Did Variety overlook anyone?

About the Author

Dylan P. Gadino

Dylan is the founder and editor in chief of Laughspin. He launched Punchline Magazine in 2005 (which became Laughspin in the summer of 2011) with childhood friend Bill Bergmann. Dylan lives in northern New Jersey with his wife and two sons. He hopes the Shire is real.

  • Chad Riden

    To me, these lists always seem like they should be titled, “10 Comics You’re Already Watching.”

    • Dylan

      To comedy know-it-alls like you and me, absolutely. i guess to the general entertainment industry, it’s a useful guide?

      • Comedy Groupie

        Hmm, good point Dylan… maybe?  Every year I find this list an odd mix of people who are already pretty freakin successful and one or two gems.  But I guess I’m not the target audience.

        • Dylan

          exactly. you have to remember, Variety isn’t a consumer publication– it’s a trade mag. so the intention is to educate the entertainment industry. when a talent agent leaves an agency for another, for example, it’s huge news for Variety. obviously, we really don’t care about it (usually).

          so, yeah. for comedy fans each year, this list is, ‘here’s a bunch of people you already know about and are pretty successful and a few people you have absolutely no idea why they’re on the list.’

          also, the definition of success you and i have is probably a lot different than the editors at Variety. To say Sarah Colonna is “someone to watch,” seems absurd to me. She’s a friggin writer and producer on Chelsea Lately, is a star of After Lately, has written a well-received book and tours the country as a headlining comic. if her career goes no further, she will have already had an amazingly successful career. maybe what Variety means is that Colonna can soon be selling out theaters and heading up her own media empire like Chelsea?

  • Martha

    Megan Amram!

  • Lolaroni

    So is this list unrelated to the Motnreal festival?

    • Dylan

      Well, Just For Laughs, as far as I know, has nothing to do with selecting the comedians. It’s just that Variety is a media partner of the festival. And so each year, JFL has an event for the comics during the last week of the festival in Montreal.

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