It’s easier now than ever for new and upcoming comedians to reach large audiences, via streaming services, YouTube, podcasts, and Twitter feeds, plus one study showed that more than 30% of Americans attend a comedy club each year. While you may still think of the big names, such as Kevin Hart, Jerry Seinfeld, Sarah Silverman, or Dave Chapelle when looking for a good laugh, some lesser-known stand-up comedians deserve your attention. These four stand-ups have excellent, relatable material that everyone is sure to appreciate.
If you haven’t heard of the New York-based writer and stand-up comedian, Emmy Blotnick, you might just be living under a rock. Although she is lesser-known, Blotnick has made appearances on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” and “CONAN,’ plus she was the head writer for Comedy Central’s “The President Show.” Her material is often described as awkward, intelligent, and refreshing. You can catch a performance at one of the many comedy festivals around the country or on tour with Nick Kroll.
Based out of Los Angeles, Brad Gage is an actor, writer, comedian, and host. Self-proclaimed as the “Ron Howard of stand-up comedy,” Gage has appeared on the CW’s “Jane the Virgin,” NBC’s “Timeless,” and the animated show “SuperMansion” on Crackle. Currently hosting live-stream comedy shows on the Live.Me app, he has also hosted content for Hulu and Sanrio. Watch Ryan O’Flanagan’s “Drunk Driving with Brad Gage” on YouTube for a really good laugh.
This actor, writer, dancer, and comedian was named by TimeOut LA as a comedian to watch in 2019. The publication also called her, “Refreshing, artistic and boundlessly confident.” Atsuko Okatsuka is an immigrant from Japan and her material often includes her experiences and observations as a Japanese-American. She was given a one hour special on Hulu and was also a consultant on the Adult Swim special “Soft Focus.” Her program, “Let’s Go, Atsuko!,” is a woke Japanese game show that Vulture has described as a mix of the drier news-based radio panel show “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me!” and the physical company of typical game shows from Japan.
Theater actor, singer, and comedian, Larry Owens was named as one of Time Out NY’s comedians to watch in 2018. Owens studied improv and acting at the School at Steppenwolf in Chicago. He combines song and hilarious jokes about diversity and pop culture in his stand up. You can catch regular performances by Owens in New York bar and basement venues, including Union Hall and the Carolines.