BreakingModern – Certainly there are legends in the world of comedy. Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy, Tina Fey, Louis C.K., Jim Carrey, Robin Williams, George Carlin, Richard Pryor, and Roseanne Barr are just a few of the names that pop immediately to mind.
These comics, at one time or another caught the attention of the cultural zeitgeist and changed the comedic landscape forever. They’re famous now, but we often forget that they were all struggling comedians at one point. And then, through hard work and happenstance, their career took off. In most cases there wasn’t one big break, but a series of several small breaks along the way.
Today, there’s so much content out there that it can often be difficult to ascertain who is rising up the comedy flagpole. I’ve taken the initiative to highlight three comedians whose careers you need to be watching.
Though she was dramatically underused in the film, you probably remember Lauren Lapkus from her brief appearance as one of the control room operators in Jurassic World. Or you might remember her from Orange Is the New Black and/or Clipped. She’s a good actor, sure, but Lapkus truly excels as an improv comedian. She’s paid her dues on Earwolf podcasts like Comedy Bang! Bang!, and now she’s doing her own thing as the host of two separate podcasts: With Special Guest Lauren Lapkus and Psychic Show. Whether it’s on screen or in our ears, I predict that Lapkus has a long comedic career in front of her.
He admirably plays the straight man on HBO’s Silicon Valley, but Thomas Middleditch is a fascinating and odd comedian. He’s had a lot of near-hits in his career such as an audition for Saturday Night Live that never turned into a full time gig, and a guest-starring role on an episode of The Office that was meant to develop into a Dwight Schrute spinoff. Now, however, Middleditch is crushing it. Much like Lapkus, Middleditch has started making appearances on various Earwolf shows, displaying his impeccable improvisational comedy skills. He’s also had several guest spots on Conan, securing his place as a weird and funny guy.
His tenure on the show was brief, but you might recognize 29-year-old Brooks Wheelan from a single season of Saturday Night Live (2013-2014). His weirdly honest and manic style may not have made him a great character actor on SNL, but it certainly makes him a hilarious standup. Wheelan’s first audio special This Is Cool, Right? was released this past January, and his Comedy Central half-hour special aired in August. Additionally, he recently made guest appearances on HBO’s Girls and CBS’s Hawaii Five-0.
All Screenshots: Jordan Wold