The Comedians You Should and Will Know in 2023. 25 comics who industry insiders predict will be tomorrow’s superstars.
If you live in New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago, or you don’t but you do spend a lot of time on TikTok, you’re well aware that there are almost too many talented comedians you should know: sketch groups, stand-ups, and people making weird animated videos or singing funny songs in their apartments. With traditional markers of success like Comedy Central half-hour specials becoming rarer, and a historic and successful writers’ strike grinding to a halt late-night stand-up debuts and staffing announcements for over six months, it’s harder than ever to predict which of these performers will end up being a big deal and which of them are just people the algorithm has assigned to you in particular.
That’s where Vulture’s “Comedians You Should and Will Know” list comes in, now in its tenth year: We’re here to celebrate the cream of the crop, separate the wheat from the chaff, and present to you 25 unique, hilarious babies we refuse to toss with the yucky bathwater. These are the comedians you will know because they’re creating all kinds of weird and wonderful work while introducing a range of new perspectives and sensibilities to the art form. And they’re posting it all: Some comics have built entire careers solely off their crowdwork; others are sharing their podcasts minutes at a time on TikTok. Every one of them has sent their performances into the ether, and the ether has laughed back to the tune of scene-stealing movie and TV roles, writing gigs at SNL and The Daily Show, and, most important, more passionate and ardent fan bases than ever.
Vulture polled more than a hundred industry insiders, including bookers, producers, artistic directors at theaters, talent scouts, TV executives, heads of podcast networks and comedy record labels, comedy photographers, and previous Comedians You Should and Will Know, to name the writers and performers they think are breaking out beyond their own orbits and into a collision course with popular culture writ large. More than 200 comedians, duos, and groups got at least one vote, but these are the 25 Comedians You Should and Will Know of 2023:
Occasionally one breakout role can shift a comedic persona into sudden, perfect focus, and this year, that’s Edy Modica on Jury Duty. The Freevee docu-comedy features Modica as sweet, horny weirdo Jeannie Abruzzo, one of the actors hired to portray members of a jury (along with one person who believes it’s all real). Modica’s characterization of Jeannie brushes right up next to the line of too far — she’s full of sexually inappropriate quips, touchy, and often a ridiculous mess. And yet Modica’s performance is layered and thoughtful enough to keep it just barely in bounds. “I’ve always wanted to be asked to do something because you want me to do my thing,” Modica, out of character, explains in episode eight. “This was so exactly that.”
Her fondness for an over-the-top persona predates Jury Duty. She’s just as good in her stand-up as a woman at her wit’s end around Christmas time or a woman describing her stressful week. They each have their own special strangenesses, but Edy Modica characters all share a zany intensity, like they’re all living in a universe just a half-step weirder than our own.
Read our interview with Edy Modica here.