Cheat Sheet: Stand-Up Comedy's New Bumper Crop
by Mike McGuirk | May 10, 2011
For a couple years now, there has been a major resurgence in stand-up comedy -- not just in the amount of comedians out there, but in the wide range of styles and overall quality of their material. At some point, stand-up became "cool," and such comics as David Cross and Patton Oswalt started doing their shows at rock venues, in search of a more sophisticated audience than the ones they encountered at Zany's or the Yuk-Yuk Hut. At the same time, a style of humor almost directly descended from Lenny Bruce -- cringe comedy -- finally made it to the mainstream, thanks mostly to the gradual momentum enjoyed by Louis C.K. and the tragically short career of Greg Giraldo, who died of a drug overdose in 2010.
More traditional comics, including Dane Cook and Jim Gaffigan, are as popular as Larry the Cable Guy, and their material has only gotten better with time. (That said, Gaffigan's "Hot Pockets" routine is still the one you want to hear.) Daniel Tosh has successfully combined the two styles and is in the process of taking over the comedy world; Aziz Ansari's storytelling, Bo Burnham's undeniably clever songs and Maria Bamford's astonishing array of voices also represent an even younger crop of new comedians.
Below, you'll find a small cross-section of what's out there today. There's a lot, and thankfully no one as unbearable as Louie Anderson is involved. Dive in and don't miss Nick DiPaolo at the bottom. That dude is funny.