Rising New York comedians
Senior quote: “The world has turned and left me here / Just where I was before you appeared.” —Weezer
Why we love her: Just when you think this experimental stand-up and sketch star is just a slow-talking stoner, her dry bite and deadly timing strike.
On Martin Shkreli: “For Seriously.TV, I interviewed him for maybe 45 minutes about hip-hop, New York and what he was like as a teen. I did all the mean jokes that were used for the video real fast at the end. The only contact we’ve had since was when someone tweeted that I was ugly, and he replied, ‘She’s actually really pretty.’ ”
See her: Cohosting her video and sketch show Cartoon Monsoon at the Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Ave, basement, Brooklyn; 718-569-7810, theannoyance.com) every month, or in a droll appearance on Difficult People.
Senior quote: “Dream lover come rescue me, take me up, take me down.” —Mariah Carey
Why we love him: The mustachioed marvel isn’t afraid to mash up his classical-opera training, Italian-American sarcasm and self-aware sex appeal to an awesome, lively effect onstage.
On bombing: “I was at an AIDS fund-raiser in Chicago and was booed by a room of gay men after I made fun of Britney Spears. All I said was that she looks like Weekend at Bernie’s in Las Vegas. I probably deserved it. But so did she.”
See him: Hosting the roast-style show Battle of the Divas at Union Hall (702 Union St, Brooklyn; 718-638-4400, unionhallny.com)
Nickname: “Final Fantasy”
Senior quote: “Um, I…hmm. Well. I, um…we will, um…. Hmm.” —New York City on election night
Why we love him: The self-professed Space Prince takes his audience through trippy tangents during his live sets and has written for both bonkers Fusion alt-comedy fave The Chris Gethard Show and mainstream stalwart Saturday Night Live.
On moving from El Salvador to Bushwick: “There’s a bagel named after me at Wyckoff Starr, a coffeeshop I go to every single day. I don’t think I can leave now.”
See him: Cohosting the show Future Forms at Throne Watches (41-43 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn; thronewatches.com), which also features Houlihan.
Nickname: “Wheezy. (I had asthma growing up.)”
Senior quote: “Hakuna matata.” —The Lion King
Why we love her: The touring dynamo pulls no punches, whether she’s speaking frankly about her experience living in the projects or producing the birth-control-advocacy music video “inFormation.”
On performing in the deep south: “I was in a bar in the south of Georgia. There was a Confederate flag. I was the only black person there. Afterward, one dude in denim overalls told me, ‘I liked you; you were funny. You must be one of the smart ones.’ I wasn’t sure if he was offending my boobs or my blackness.”
See her: Tearing up Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal St; 212-254-3480, comedycellar.com)
Nickname: “Lil Thirsty”
Senior quote: “I am Steve Jobs.”—Kanye West
Why we love him: Mendoza excellently employs his sense of curiosity and oddball directing skills in DUMB Video, an all-Asian sketch group he cofounded.
On his short film “Searching”: “The film is an animated short about the people in Google Maps Street View trying to break out of their coded reality. So thematically, it’s like a dude trying escape a shroom-induced nightmare.”
See him: Cohosting Drunk Science, a comedy show that challenges inebriated comedians to pitch dissertations to real scientists, at Littlefield (622 DeGraw St, Brooklyn; littlefieldnyc.com) every month
Nickname: “Szechuan Bean Curd”
Senior quote: “I told you not to fall in love with me.”—Mandy Moore in A Walk to Remember
Why we love him: The sharp satirist delivers high-camp sets onstage and in trend-skewering videos with the sketch group Pop Roulette, and he recently brought his manic energy to his role as sales clerk on Broad City.
On backstage racism: “I was tossing off scientific facts at a comedy game show, and another comic remarked that I was ‘so Asian,’ which is fine, I guess, but also lazy. If you’re gonna laugh at my ethnicity, at least make some esoteric Last Emperor joke.”
See him: Performing in Lake Homo High at the Annoyance Theatre
Nickname: “Smiley-Time Sunshine Girl”
Senior quote: “Punks jump up to get beat down.”—Brand Nubian
Why we love her: James may keep her stand-up sets light, low-key and conversational, but she’s not afraid to get political: She writes video sketches like the catcaller-slamming “The Smile Bitch Training Camp.”
On her weirdest moment on the road: “I was featuring for Rob Delaney, and when I got offstage, a huge guy ran up to me, picked me up, then ran around with me for about 30 seconds. He said he was ‘congratulating’ me on a ‘good job.’ It was terrifying.”
See her: Doing her thing at Night Train with Wyatt Cenac on Mondays at Littlefield
Watch Mary Houlian perform in our office
Fascinated with Billy Eichner?
How can a local comedian known for confrontation break big? A surprisingly (almost) mellow Billy Eichner has some ideas.