10 Comedy Acts to Watch in 2012
|Dominic Dierkes and DC Pierson with Donald Glover in "Mystery Team"|
5. Dominic Dierkes and DC Pierson
Picked by Emily Gordon, booker/producer at Meltdown Comics' Nerdist Theater: "I see a lot of comedy, and the comics that get me the most excited about standup are Dominic Dierkes and DC Pierson. They are two-fifths of the sketch group DERRICK, but in the past year, they've proven that they are formidable standups as well. Dominic tells relatable, hilarious stories about miscommunication and rocks falling, DC does well-written bits about how bitter his imagination is now that porn is so readily available, but what both of these comics have is that rare, hilarious-in-the-moment quality. They're charming, they're smart, and you can tell they love being on stage."
4. Melissa Villasenor
She had already appeared on FrankTV (expectedly) and Family Guy (awesomely), but it was the 2011 America's Got Talent quarterfinals (in which she channeled Owen Wilson, judge Sharon Osbourne, Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson and Judy Garland) and semifinals (Sarah Silverman, Wanda Sykes, Shakira and Christina Aguilera) that cemented the Laugh Factory regular as the country's top young vocal impressionist. Villasenor's recent Dorie Theatre one-woman show I'm Not Myself was directed by none less than Tomorrow! variety-show ringleader Ron Lynch. Plus her first college tour kicks off in January, and spankin' new Happy Loner web series promises to showcase her combined talents of drawing, poetry and brutal self-analysis.
3. Eric Andrè
How best to follow appearances on Curb your Enthusiasm, Hot in Cleveland and as a phone-distracted coworker ("You know you can't take Allegra with orange juice...FYI.") in that citrus-averse Zyrtec commercial? With an eponymous Adult Swim talk show spoof, of course. The Eric Andre Show debuts June 24, features Awkward Kings of Comedy co-star Hannibal Buress as Andre's sidekick, and has been described as "Imagine Charlie Rose on Salvia, then mix in elements from hyperactive Japanese game shows and Seventies-era New York public access, and you will begin to visualize Eric's playpen of hysteria." Until then, watch videos documenting the show's progression on his (downright exasperating) website and catch his live standup in all its ricocheting, gonzo glory.
2. Ari Shaffir
Picked by Alf LaMont, Comedy Store Director of Marketing and Development: "Ari's Skeptic Tank podcast shines through an already saturated terrain as he discusses life's issues with friends and peers with the same courage and disregard for sensibilities that made his 'Amazing Racist' character surprisingly popular. His storyteller series at the Improv Lab builds on an incredible ability to not only get to the root of his chosen subject, but inspire well-known names to do the same on themes ranging from Jail Time to Lost Virginity. Add to that arsenal a gifted comic unyielding in his art and continuously developing new material, and you have a real force to be reckoned with. When I last asked what he was working on for 2012, Ari responded, 'My nutsack.' I can only assume that will be the title of his autobiography."
Action Figure Therapy's Jungle Recon
1. Action Figure Therapy
The low-budget brainchild of Dan Bialek features help from Jarrod Harris, Andrew DeWitt, Jerry Rocha, Karl Hess, Asterios Kokkinos, Mike Black, Zach Ames and David Taylor, who together have managed to tally 14 million (and counting) hits in one year of existence. Who knew a bunch of off-brand GI Joes bitching about their jobs, uniforms, sexual conquests and run-ins with the law could not only galvanize legions of real-life military personnel, but spawn a live tour, rumored animated series and healthy merch sales? As fan-fave character Jungle Recon would say, "It's like a mustache with titties!"
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