Congratulations to this year’s class of “10 Comics to Watch,” as anointed by Variety magazine and toasted in July at Montreal’s Just For Laughs festival.
Variety usually compiles its list by a combination of asking industry influencers, plus forecasting based on what comics already have lined up in the coming year. This year’s 10, decidedly more diverse and less white guy than most previous years.
The Class of 2018, along with Variety’s citation for each selection:
Joel Kim Booster – Booster recently released the comedy album Model Minority and recorded a half-hour special for Comedy Central. He’s appeared on Conan and Comedy Knockout and written for Billy on the Street.
Darren Knight – Knight’s character “Southern Momma” has more than half a 750M views across multiple social media platforms and has played 175 shows and sold over 200K tickets in under two years. A documentary about his rapid rise to stardom Southern Momma: The Darren Knight Story is currently available on Amazon and iTunes.
Sam Jay – Currently a writer on Saturday Night Live, Jay has been seen in the series Nobodies and on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Last year she released her half-hour Comedy Central special and has an upcoming 15-minute special on Netflix. Her debut standup album “Donna’s Daughter” will be distributed by Comedy Central Records this summer.
Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle – Hulu just ordered 10 episodes of PEN15 starring the duo (who also co-created with Sam Zvibleman.) Erskine will next be seen in the films Wine Country with Amy Poehler and Tina Fey and Plus One. As an actress, Konkle has been seen in Shameless and Man Seeking Woman.
Hari Kondabolu – Already winning accolades for his documentary The Problem with Apu, his stand-up special Warn Your Relatives is now on Netflix. He also co-hosts the podcasts “The Bugle” and “The Untitled Kondabolu Brothers Podcast.”
Amanda Seales – Seales is the creator and host of the live game show “Smart, Funny & Black,” which will be going on tour this year. She appears on Insecure and recently appeared on black-ish and lent her voice to “Animals.”
Dulcé Sloan – Sloan joined The Daily Show as a correspondent last year and has quickly become a fan favorite. She’s previously appeared on Conan and Comedy Knockout.
Taylor Tomlinson – Tomlinson began doing standup at age 16 and has appeared on Last Comic Standing, Conan and Last Call with Carson Daly. She recently sold a show based loosely on her life to ABC and her quarter-hour Netflix special will be seen later this year.
Julio Torres – As a writer on Saturday Night Live, Torres is responsible for the “Melania Moments” digital shorts, among others. He’s been seen on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and Late Night with Seth Meyers.
Jaboukie Young-White – A writer on Big Mouth and American Vandal, Young-White has been seen on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and in the movies Rough Night and Set It Up.