This week’s cover star Louis C.K. is often referred to as a comedian’s comedian, the kind of guy who considers the stand-up form sacred and takes his form and craft very seriously. In carving out his own personal area of the comedy world (one worth millions of dollars), he has not only cast himself as a singularity but also paved the way for a new wave of dynamic stand-ups who have thrived in today’s multi-platform environment mostly by tapping into their purest selves — just like Louis did.
So take a look at these five comics, all of whom seem ready to break out at a moment’s notice. You may not know them now… but you will.
As a writer for Saturday Night Live, Mulaney co-created Stefon, Bill Hader’s trend-hunting nightlife correspondent on Weekend Update.
Obsessions: Pop-culture nostalgia; run-ins with New York weirdos; Law & Order
Key Bit: Gags about airlines are a dime a dozen in comedy clubs, but Mulaney’s extended absurd riff about airport woes dials up the silliness to excellent effect.
Find Him: Both of his albums, 2009′s The Top Part and 2012′s New In Town, are excellent, and his awesome Tumblr mixes observational comic bits with strangely sweet diversions — like when he took photos as all the Friday Night Lights filming locations on a recent trip to Austin.