By Janet Manley (or @janetmanley if you're nasty)
There is nothing like getting on a bandwagon early. Getting on early, and rolling through town coaxing newcomers aboard as the party grows and grows. But eventually the bandwagon ends up too crowded, and you desperately want off, want your own private haystack to feel superior on. Yes! The only time to get on a bandwagon is early, and the best early bandwagon to mount is a funny bandwagon, ridden by hooting fans. From my sentry post in New York City, I offer my best early picks for comedians on the up and up.
The heyday of Twitter was 2011, I have decided. The flow of Tweeters into clutch television writing jobs (Megan Amram, I’m talking about you) has been stanched, with a flood of comedians settling over the Twittersphere as over a rice paddy, bogging our feeds with hopes of a quick rise to glory. The really good ones have mostly already been poached by the comedy gods. But one comic who remains as reliably fresh and zingy as springtime ramps is Michelle Wolfe (@michelleisawolf), a New York comedian who has been featured on Nikki Glaser and Sara Schaefer’s podcast, “You Had to Be There,” as well as Emily Heller and Lisa Hanawalt’s podcast, “Baby Geniuses.” If you are in New York, you can see Wolf about town at various comedy shows, where she pedals a slightly manic, perma-amused character who starts from simple, zany premises and builds to all-out absurdity. Sort of like an ADHD Annie who gets so distracted in the middle of a song, she finishes by singing a completely different one. Find her goofy abandoned Tumblr here, and MARK MY WORDS, this comedian will one day be towing a heavy-ass bandwagon.
If you’re looking for someone to follow on OH JUST EVERYWHERE, this San Francisco sunbeam is a hot pick. She made the hop to New York a couple of years ago and has carved out a space within the standup community as a sharp, critical voice of hysterical reason. She is also a diligent Photoshopper, grafting herself into the artist space as Farrah Fawcett, Pamela Anderson, Glina the Good Witch, Katie Holmes, Suri Cruise and the entire cast of the Golden Girls. Hell-Bone, as she is alternately known only to herself, appeared on “John Oliver's New York Stand Up Special” on Comedy Central, then recorded her “Conan” debut, amid running established live weekly comedy shows “The Afterlife” and “Fresh Out” in New York, and her podcast, “Baby Geniuses.” But wait! We are only just getting to the bandwagon. In Heller’s new web series, “The Future,” she reads the tarot cards for other harcdcore comedians, bending their fortunes to her will/sense of humor/limited knowledge of tarot. I see enthusiastic turtleneck wearing in this comedian’s bright future. Follow her on Twitter @mremilyheller.
Have you heard of Wendy Molyneux? WIN for all of us. There is room on this flat-top. I first came across Molyneux’s parody of “Eat, Pray, Love” on The Rumpus: “Brag, Build, Banana.” Upon researching the author, I found that she was a regular contributor to McSweeney’s Internet Tendency—my favorite online haunt to creep on funny people. If you only hit one hyperlink in this article, spirit yourself over to her third-person tour de force, “Mitt Romney Writes Erotic Fiction About Himself.” For further research, pick up her book, “Everything Is Wrong With You: The Modern Women’s Guide to Finding Self Confidence Through Self Loathing.” (It’s the only way!) Today, she is one of the writers behind Bob’s Burgers, the animated series starring Kristen Schaal and Eugene Mirman. Molyneux is on Twitter! @wendymolyneux
I don't know where this girl came from. One moment she was writing a few things for The Awl and Mental Floss, the next she had touched down as Gawker's fleet-footed agony aunt and preeminent cultural arbitrator. She could be 20, she could be 12, I just know she has won over the site's online tribunal and given 9-to-5ers something to look forward to on Fridays: her “Thatz Not Okay” advice column. I came on board somewhere around her coverage of fall 2012 Fashion Week: ("...the only people anyone wants to photograph for their Street Style are the people already being photographed for their Street Style. It's a great day for black women wearing tribal prints who have great Street Style.") Was she plucked off the streets of Philadelphia by a media mogul in disguise, walking as a mortal among mortals? Did she climb the rungs of Twitter first? Don’t know, don’t care, she’s killing it. Follow her @caityweaver.
Did you ever read a little ditty called “It’s Decorative Gourd Season, Motherfuckers”? It went viral through the cucurbitaceae community and was written by McSweeney’s god and advertising titan Colin Nissan. This voice actor, comedian, writer and sometime animator speaks for all of us when he says, “It’s Weird to Think That One Day I’ll Photoshop You Out of These Very Vacation Photos.” His book, “Don’t Be That Guy,” illustrated by Sean Farrell, is so full of Greek archetypes (guy with Amish beard who isn’t Amish; guy who is more comfortable nude at the gym than I am at home) that you will cry out “Who is the guy who wrote this?!” And the answer is Colin. Colin Nissan: One funny guy, or two funny guys stacked inside a trenchcoat. Find him in small-time rags the New Yorker and The Onion, and follow him @cnissan or on Tumblr. Love him everywhere.